Stuart Woods's "Stone Barrington" series was recommended to me years ago, when I lived in Florida. Since then, I have heard many women talk about how wonderful Stone is--even that he is their dream man. I am reading the third Stone Barrington novel, Dead in the Water, and I have to say that I am totally confused as to why any woman would want to be involved with this man. I like the books so far, but I have to say that unless something drastic happens...well, I am not a fan of the male lead. He is likable in most aspects of the story, but his relationships with women are ridiculous. Each woman proclaims him (in some manner) to be her best lover, he cheats on his girlfriends, and, yet, he is totally ignorant about women. I don't care if he maintains a relationship with a female character or not, but his lack of depth is astounding. As a writer, Woods could turn a womanizer into a character of tremendous depth, but he chooses not to do so. Just when I think that I have identified Stone's code of ethics, he violates it--either by will or by stupidity. Keep in mind that this man is supposed to be middle-aged, yet he is wishy-washy in so many ways and is starting to look like a caricature rather than a hero. Ugh.
On the more positive side, I am at least interested enough to keep reading for a while longer. I just need my literary heroes to be a bit more. So, I am holding out hope that things change and get better.
And, as a side note: These books provide yet another example of why the general reading public should not put down romance novels because they think that they are full of illicit material. The "Stone Barrington" novels have more of that than most romance novels...and romance novels take a lot longer to work up to it. Anyway, just a thought. I always laugh when someone says that women read romance because it is full of such scenes. Such a false representation of the genre!
Okay. Rant over.