I just finished a pretty amazing book. One where I’ve known the main character’s family, her father, her mother, her uncles and close friends for a long time now. I have a bond with that character unlike any other. Why? Because the author made her and her entire family come alive for me over time until I know them almost as well as my own family.
Readers, bloggers… we kinda joke about book boyfriends, or book friends but there is probably more truth than joke to those statements, even if we’d rarely admit it.
Shifter romance is a genre that I don’t ever see myself growing tired of. And, no, it’s not the hot, sexy Alpha males or the flaming sex scenes… although they have their enjoyment factor. It’s really that I don’t find that type of attachment to the characters that I feel toward a Shifter couple as compared to any other genre. I think there are a couple reasons (aside from the hot sexy stuff) that I feel that way.
I like the idea of fate stepping in, of knowing that there is one perfect for me person out there somewhere who is also searching. I enjoy seeing a character say screw you to our society and fall in love with someone that might not be seen as “perfect” enough – that actually makes my day quite often. The sense of belonging to a larger group of people who share a deep bond, a unified front, a history is also a strong point for Shifter romance.
But most of all… I enjoy reading a story that can touch my emotions, make me mad, sad, angry, giddy, nervous and just plain happy. A story where with a few words I’m reminded of another story with familiar faces and there is a sense of reliving that story over again as I remember – her father, his sister, their cousin, their pack mate. There’s a connection that flows through long series, connecting series that gives me a full circle look around the people within that universe. A connection. One that I rarely find in any other genre. Oh, I can think of two offhand – but two compared to the hundreds of Shifter romances I’ve read and connected with is a bit lopsided don’t you think?
I understand that not every reader enjoys or even ‘gets’ Paranormal Romance. You do have to stretch your imagination to envision a man’s body changing shape from human to wolf or bear or lion. Yet, I make that transition very easily now, in a way the Shifter’s worlds have become my own because I accept them for exactly what they are… amazing flights of imagination that I love getting caught up in.
So to answer my own question: “Do You Form An Emotional Bond With The People In A Book?” the simple answer is… Yes. When I can cry real tears, when a scene will linger in my mind long after I’ve read on from it, when finding justice for a wrong is just as important to me as it is to the character… then yes, I do bond emotionally with the characters I’m reading about. Like today – when the main character went back home and the scene was familiar, and the faces she saw were definitely loved and that sense of finally coming home was felt through the screen of my Kindle… then yes, yes I do connect — and when I stop connecting that is when I need to shut down the Kindle for the last time.