Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The 1990s - nostalgia anyone?

Hi everyone!

How are you doing all? Been quiet on blogland? I'm trying to blog, but I've been busy at work :( Even if I sit at the computer the whole day, I only managed to blog hop... Well I guess it's better than nothing. I hope everyone is doing well :)

This post is related to the reviews I just posted here. Basically, I read three Jayne Ann Krentz in the past few weeks and really enjoyed them a lot :) You can read how much by following the link or scrolling down. I started a separated post, because I wasn't sure if everyone would get to the bottom of the three reviews LOL :)

Anyway... so I read three Jayne Ann Krentz and liked I said, enjoyed them a lot... and I went to the library yesterday and basically picked up all of her books, but I particularly chose the one from her 1990s. Some bloggers had warned me about her books being formulaic and I know what they mean; however, it didn't bother me at all (which is strange a bit) and I've been really having a great time... and I wondered why.

It made me think of Nora Roberts - I've enjoyed almost all of her stand-alone books in the past... but I have to say, it seems there's been a shift in the past few years. Then, Judith McNaught... what did her contemporary romance had that made them stand out?... and then, when I figured it out... Most of the heroes in contemporary romances in the 1990s were... businessmen!

Isn't that weird? How the hero's job changes thing? But when you think about it, it makes sense... at least to me. Most of the businessmen heroes are described as cool, ruthless, smart, manipulative, going after what they want, etc. They follow a certain mold and it's the same for the storyline. It'll focus a bit more on merger and family feuds than murders... You get different characteristics with different types of jobs. I went back and looked briefly over my monthly reads list for the past few months... and I realized that none of the heroes were businessmen or if they were, that it wasn't the focus of the storyline (you know... because some of them sucks blood or change into furry animals :)... There seems to have been a shift in the professions of the heroes... there's a lot more heroes who are with the military or are cops, firefighters, lawyers, actors, retired jocks... or if not, they own a small business in construction but nothing big.

So why is that? How come our heroes aren't CEO or businessman anymore? Was it overdone? Is it because it's not attractive anymore? It's like we abandon a whole possibility of storylines... and so I guess the reason I'm enjoying the Jayne Ann Krentz so much at the moment... it's not just because of the stories and how well they are written... but it's a bit of nostalgia as well.

What do you think?


  1. Oh, good question!

    I know the move to paranormal made business men almost obsolete. It could be the Boss/Secretary thing was over done for years.

    I do miss those handyman type of heroes also. The ones who work with their hands always appealed to me (wonder why? ;))

    I know that reading about the uber-rich is a bit of a turn off for me now. Part of my problem with JD Robb's Roarke is that he's a billionaire. Really. Did her have to be that rich? Couldn't he have been just well off?

    I do know that lately I've been wondering where all the good straight contemporary romances have gone.


  2. Maybe the business man hero was the thing of the 90s then 9/11 happened and the focus was more on the fire fighters, cops and military etc. Good questions Nath.

  3. Yup, yup, yup ... when I think of McNaught nowadays, I remember her CEO heroes. :D I think I read all her earlier contemporaries. And just the mention of CEOs brings back a tidal wave of nostalgia. :)

    Never read Krentz though, and only a few Roberts. ;)

    CEOs being out of fashion nowadays - I guess there's only so much wheeling and dealing that makes for interesting reading, without sounding repetitive. And I'm asking myself if CEOs can compete with vamps, shapeshifters, wizards, space pirates or even SEALs in the sexiness department or on the "badness" scale. ;)

  4. Cindy - but there's much more than the boss/secretary plot... and seriously, if you want boss/secretary, than your hero can be a lawyer, an actor with his personal assistant, etc.

    I do agree that the paranormal trend has shifted the focus from the job to the being LOL :P

    as for Roarke, well is there really a difference between rich and billionaire? Being rich, he could still afford whatever he wants without limits.

    That's an excellent question though, about straight contemporary... I'm waiting till they get back in trend.

    Leslie - That's a good explanation Leslie. Maybe that's it. Add to that all the wars... I guess contemporary romances do follow actuality :P

    Jace - LOL, I agree :) I guess in the 90s, readers were craving for powerful heroes :P

    I have to say, there's something to being powerful, ruthless and cool that I believe can compete with the SEALs and their badness LOL :) Thing is, it's been so long since we had businessmen as heroes, I think it'd be a great comeback for them... I mean, aren't you tired of all the military heroes and paranormal beings? I have to admit, I am a bit.

    What we need seriously is good balance. How hard can it be?

  5. interesting question. I never thought about it. But I can't think of any ceo heroes off the top of my head.

  6. Hey there - have to say I found the comments on "straight Contemporary" quite refreshing, given that I'm "one of those" as an author and find myself asking the same question as I'm trying to swim through the river of erotic, menage, otherwordly beings....
    Anyway - the purpose of this is to contact you with regard to maybe setting up a reciprocal link, review exchange, etc. Please email me on if you are interested.
    Many thanks,

  7. I don't have a clue...does that help? lol

    I really enjoyed the whole business man idea but I think it got old after a while and authors started branching out more to other vocations.

    Leslie does have a great point.

  8. Isabel - LOL, probably because they're all quite old :P just kidding... it's sad that there's not any anymore :(

    Jude - I've already been in contact with you as I'm part of Breezing Through :)

    Tracy - LOL :) I guess I should ask editors and publishing houses :P

    I guess you're right... I guess authors have to follow trends.