Wendy Crutcher wrote an interesting post yesterday, and it got me thinking of what bugs me. In paranormals, specifically.
I'm not a fan of vamps (shag a zombie tick, ewwww, gross) and don't get me started on rhyming witches, but what really bothers me is the "fated-to-be-mated" plot device.
It can be vamps, Carpathians, shapeshifters, you name it; our heroine meets the hero and he knows. He knows she is his through telepathy. Empathy. Because he can see the world in color and has her scent in his nostrils. Tattoos magically burned into their hands. Sudden inexplicable lust.
Some deux ex machina has decided that our couple is fated to be together; nevermind that she hates him, his country, his family, the fact that he's always in danger and, you know, has to suck on people to live. Give in, baby. You're trapped. Besides, he mates for life, and can only mate once. And as time goes on, if you don't sleep with him and go through the Elaborate Mating Ceremony he'll DIE without you! DIE!! Do you really want that on your conscience, you heartless tramp?
It just seems like such a contrived situation; I'd be much more impressed with a heroine who falls in love because he's a great man in spite of his alternative lifestyle. And a lot of these heroines seem to be assaulted with almighty fate, and are somehow unable to consent, but also unable to protest. She'll sure enjoy her One With The Cosmos with him, though. Reminds me a great deal of the old Rosemary Rogers-type romances of the 70's in that way.
A woman who decides on her own, with no help from the stars, that she'll take a very big chance on the love of her life is waaaay more interesting than a victim who is pulled in against her will.
What say you? Does star-crossed do it for you or tick you off?