I was reading two Harlequin Presents published in the 1980s. One was by Susan Napier and the other by Charlotte Lamb. In both books, the heroine slaps the hero in a rage and the hero hits her back. I think Jo Beverly had a very controversial book wherein the hero hits the heroine. It sparked a huge debate on AAR on the issue of whether physical violence by the hero should ever be considered acceptable in romance books. Even if slapping is not considered kosher these days, plenty of books contain spanking (both sexual and non sexual) and the threats of spanking. Why is hitting someone on the ass more acceptable than on the face?
In any event, I was kind of shocked reading those scenes in the books. I prefer my heroes to be non violent but is there ever a place for physical reaction? Is it wrong to call the slapping “violent”? Should heroines who slap at the heroes expect the same in return? The following is the hero poll. We’ll see how the results shake out.
Physical violence between protagonists, Poll 1: The hero
- Depends on the book (62%, 251 Votes)
- Never on the part of the hero, he should turn the other cheek (19%, 75 Votes)
- Striking back after being struck is acceptable (11%, 43 Votes)
- Spanking is acceptable (8%, 34 Votes)
Total Voters: 402