Sunday, February 15, 2009

I had it in my head all week that I was going to blog today about reviews and what makes it a review versus just a bunch of squeeing or bashing, but then I found myself watching the Princess Bride on tv and somehow my whole topic changed. Perhaps I'll save my review post for next time, since another two weeks' perspective on it might be a good thing.

I wanted to talk specifically about hurt/comfort in romantic fiction and why it's such a big draw for some. Okay, a big draw for me. :D H/C is one of my bulletproof kinks (which I think I've blogged about before but will happily do so again, maybe next month). I just love when a strong male character is brought down by illness or injury, thereby rendering him temporarily helpless. And the other side of that coin is the strong male character that's forced to use a bit of tenderness when caring for a partner who is sick or hurt.

Hurt/comfort can be written well. Of course, it can also be written poorly. Too much crying, the illness or injury being dragged out for tooooooo many pages, or one of the characters being completely turned off to his partner by the sickness never fails to ruin a good H/C scene for me. However, since it IS a big kink for me, I'll always give the scene the benefit of the doubt before I dismiss it. To me, there is nothing hotter than a strong, stubborn man being forced to stay in bed and be cared for by another strong, stubborn man. It makes them both ornery and cross, but circumstances dictate the necessity of it. And delight me as a reader.

Tell me your opinions on good H/C!


Louisa Edwards said...

I think h/c works so well in slash because it showcases the elements that makes these stories feel fresh and different from traditional romance. In gay romance, you have two male characters who are allowed to be strong and tough, but still vulnerable to and tender with each other in a way hetero heroes are rarely permitted to be. H/C scenes, when done well, are the perfect embodiment of that dynamic--which is probably why you see them so much more in gay romance than in trad romance.

Tory Temple said...

Louisa: I agree with the remark about seeing h/c more in gay romance. In traditional romance, it's often the female heroine that's doing the nurturing or caring for the hero. If there happens to be a scene where the heroine is sick, the hero is often shown as fumbling, worried, and generally incompetent at caretaking. The h/c dynamic in gay romance is a little more forgiving.

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