Have you ever really loved a character only to have them change into a completely different person between one book and the next?
Is this just a matter of personal interpretation? You think that they've changed but actually you're wrong. Have you misjudged everything about the character to the point where you didn't see what was blindingly obvious to the rest of the readership? Or on the other hand, you're not going mad and they've definitely changed.
Is it ever acceptable for a character to do a complete 180 personality wise - as regards beliefs, character traits etc. - with no other explanation than, that's the way it is.
A couple of examples. (My personal opinions other readers may disagree)
For me John Matthew of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series changed in Lover Avenged. Up until that book he'd been my favourite character and my main reason for following the series. I loved that though he was young and unsure of himself and his worth, he had a depth and vulnerability that put you firmly on his side. Unfortunately in Lover Avenged he turned into a bit of a wanker. (I now find I'm reading the series for the relationship between Blay and Qhuinn).
Another character who suffered an extreme personality change was Nicolette Peltier of the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. She'd always been portrayed as this earth mother type, firm but fair. However, in the book Unleash the Night she turns into a right cow (for want of a better description). Apparently all the compassion, understanding and diplomacy she showed in the previous books was just for show.
I'm sure there are other cases where I've read something and thought Noooooo, that character just wouldn't do/say that. Don't you remember way back in book 2 he said he'd never do x,y or z. (Insert the appropriate action in place of the algebra)
Are there characters who you feel have changed without good reason? Or has this phenomenon never happened to you? (In which case consider yourself lucky)
I have a copy of Shadows and Lace by Teresa Medeiros* to give away to one poster to this thread. Winner to be chosen by random number at randomnumber.org on Saturday.
* Yep the giveaway is going a bit historical. :)