I mentioned this briefly in my review of Feint of Art earlier in the week. I’ve noticed a trend in the books I’ve been reading recently. Not just romance, but fantasy and mystery as well. The multiple choice hero.
You know, where the author gives you several options for who the heroine might have a romantic relationship with. It might be two, it might be three (and if you’re LKH, it might be ten) but part of the storyline is the guessing game–which hero will win the heroine’s heart?

As I said, it’s not just a romance phenomenon. Looking at the last eleven books I’ve read (leaving out the Harlequin Presents because…just because you know what to expect from a Presents) from the beginning of July, I’ll bold the ones with multiple heros and put the genre behind them:

58. A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison (fantasy)
59. Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow (fantasy)
60. Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund (fiction)
61. Run for the Money by Stephanie Feagan (romance)
62. Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton. DNF (fantasy)

63. The Syndicate by Jules Jones and Alex Wargrave (ebook, Loose Id)
64. Love You Madly by Linda Palmer (mystery)
65. Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur (fantasy)

66. Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
67. Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die by Nancy Martin (mystery)

68. Feint of Art by Hailey Lind (mystery)

Only two of the eleven books I read didn’t have multiple heros. TWO. And I think my reading was pretty varied, genre wise, from romance, fantasy, mystery and fiction, so it’s not an epidemic with one genre. It’s something that’s occurring in all genres. On most of these books, there’s no indication in the blurb that there will be multiple heros, so no one can accuse me of being attracted to that theme. Four of the authors were new to me, so I didn’t have any expectations from them. So why are we seeing this trend, for the multiple choice hero? Is it so the author has a plot device to fall back on and lure readers in with? Is it because the industry is demanding those plots?

As a reader, do you like the multiple choice hero format? Or do you like to know who the heroine’s love interest is?

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