Thursday, September 16, 2010

Favorite Romance Tropes: Soul Mates

KATI: The general consensus around the literary world is that romance is formulaic. And yes, I suppose the case can be made that they are. But man, that formula works for me. For this visit to the island, I'm going to be talking about my favorite romance tropes. I hope you'll chime in with why you love or hate the tropes I'm discussing. (Graceful curtsy to Jane at Dear Author for the inspiration) So let's get started:

For Love of a Soul Mate

I find that romance readers tend to be very torn about the topic of Soul Mates.

Wikipedia defines soul mates as: A soulmate or soul mate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, and/or compatibility. A related concept is that of the twin flame or twin soul – which is thought to be the ultimate soulmate, the one and only other half of one's soul, for which all souls are driven to find and join.

It's a sure fire romance trope, like Love At First Sight, but deeper.

I happen to be a fan of the Soul Mates trope because I love to see two disparate people discover each other even after their souls already "know" that they are destined. This particular storyline, of course, is limited to PNR. I can think of four series off the top of my head that deal with Soul Mates:

1- The Carpathians by Christine Feehan - Male Carpathians loose their sense of color and light the longer they are without their mate. The moment they discover their mate, all color comes back into their world. And then they begin to protect their mate with a single mindedness and sense of purpose that defines them. I find that they tend to be extremely autocratic and spend a lot of time justifying their behavior by saying things like "I can do no other than stuff you in a closet to protect you from the bad guys." Evs, yo. This series? Not for me.

2- The Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson - This series actually works for me. Mostly because the connect was instantaneous and completely unwanted by Elliseta, the heroine. And it is a constant struggle for Rain to build the connection between them.

3- The Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs - In this series, Charles' wolf recognizes Anna's wolf (and vice versa) as it's mate immediately. But Anna has been abused and doesn't trust immediately. She's terrified of Charles, among the most powerful in his pack, and has a hard time warming up to the idea that they are mated. I like this series because Charles is so patient and gentle with Anna, even while he's desperate to make her submit to their mating.

4- The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole - Not every book in this series has soul mates, but male demons seem to imprint on their mates immediately. Because Cole writes such headstrong heroines, the struggle between them tends to be truly entertaining, as the heroine pushes back at the hero who is trying desperately to "provide" and "protect" her. I find Cole's demons to be my favorites in the series, probably just because of the soul mate aspect.

YOUR TURN: Do you have favorite soul mate series? Or do you hate the trope? If you do have favorite soul mates series, which are they and why do they work for you?


canary islands holidays said...

Everyone should have a Soulmate. Whether a friend, a loved one, or even that quiet place in ourselves a special touch of wisdom that we are all born with. According to me we all should have soulmate so that we can share our feelings.

Sullivan McPig said...

I like soulmates if they're written well. As for series you already mentioned my favourite: alpha and Omega, but I also really like the Dark Ones series by Katie Macalister.

Anonymous said...

I'm not big on the whole "soulmate" thing because I think that almost makes it "too easy".
That said, I have read a few books that it did work in (Lora Leigh's "Breed" series), but I usually stay clear of these stories.



Jessica said...

For me the connection between Eve Dallas and Rourke is the definition of soul mates. Damaged as they were as children, I don't think they could be as understood or loved by any other person.

Tracy said...

I love the soul mate trope in books. It just works for me. All of those that you've mentioned are great examples. Now in real life I think you have to work pretty hard for it but it's lovely when it happens. :)

CC said...

I enjoy Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling Series. As in Brigg's books the cat or wolf often recognizes their mate before their human's do.

Estella said...

I enjoy soul mate series if they are well written.
I enjoy Feehan's Carpathians and Ione's Demonica series.

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