Friday, February 05, 2010

Pick Your Hero, Any Hero

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was in the fifth grade. My mother handed me a couple after an unsuccessful visit to the bookstore, where I couldn’t find a book because I’d already read everything in the Young Adult and classics sections of the store. From the first page of the first book (Jude Deveraux’s Velvet Angel) I was hooked. Hooked by the fabulous story, incredible clothes, terrible dungeons, plucky heroine, and, of course, the sexy as all get out hero, Miles Montgomery. Seriously, there was nothing about this man not to love. He was tall, sexy, handsome, loyal, intelligent, cunning, adored by women from age 1 to 99 and a hell of a good fighter, to boot. Needless to say, he made my 11 year old heart go pitter patter. And then some.

Anyway, I’ve been reading romances for 23 years now—and I’m not a one sub-genre kind of girl. I read just about everything—romantic comedy, category, erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary, paranormals, historicals, YA—if it’s a romance, I’ll give it a shot. My TBR pile numbers in the high hundreds. Now, the sub-genres of romance are very different—in tone, temperament, style, heroine, and any number of other things. I enjoy the differences, I really do. But for me, the one constant in romance novels is the hero. And let me tell you, I love me a good hero.

Maybe because Miles Montgomery, a truly fabulous hero, was my first example of the romance novel hero, I always strive to create a hero that is as fabulous and yummy and all around amazing as he was. So when I sat down to write this blog post, I thought I’d give you a thumbnail sketch of some of the heroes I've written to date. But I’ll warn you, I write seriously alpha heroines, so my heroes need to be pretty kick-ass themselves.

Cole Adams, the hero of my lasterotic suspense, Tie Me Down, is a tall, dark and gorgeous documentary maker on the trail of his sister’s murderer. Desperate to solve the cold case, he turns to Genevieve Deveraux, one of the few honest New Orleans homicide detectives around, to help him. Sparks fly as the two search for his sister’s murderer—and face down a psychotic serial killer—and Cole, who relishes being in control in and out of the bedroom, finds himself seriously turned on by Genevieve’s strength and determination. Though his relationships are always a little dark, even Cole is shocked by the intensity of his need for Genevieve and the lengths he will go to to get inside her body and her head. Her independence and need for control bring out a side of him that he’s never known existed—one that is dark and dangerous and determined to bend her to his will. And though he is shocked by his need to dominate her-- to be everything to her—he is unable to walk away from the wild, often frightening, pleasure he feels when he’s with her.

Rafael Cardoza, my hero from my December Superromance, is also tall, dark and gorgeous (noticing a pattern here)? He has a dark past that involves spending time in jail for a crime he didn't commit. And while he's managed to move on and be a successful, productive member of society (he runs a teen center in the middle of San Francisco's Tenderloin area) he is suspicious of the silver spoon society that lives on Nob Hill, as it was false testimony from the girl on the right side of the tracks that put him in prison. Suspicious, that is, until he meets Vivian-- the rich lawyer willing to take on one the defense of one of the teen's at his center for free. Suddenly, all of his ideas about rich, white women are shaken and htough Rafael is all hardass on the outside-- leather, motorcycle, tattoos, earring-- he slowly reveals a very tender inside.

And finally, Byron Hawthorne, the hero of my April 2010 erotic suspense, is a different breed all together. To begin with, after writing nine books, I finally decided to go for a blonde hero-- one who looks very much like the boy next door. And though Byron has demons of his own, he's an exciting, fun-loving hero, full of teasing, laughter and exciting games-- and the perfect hero for my much-too-serious heroine.

So those are my heroes for the last six months, the men I've created to foil my strong but vulnerable heroines. What kind of heroes do you like to read about? Oh, and stop by my blog for Fun Friday, I'm giving away a $10 gift certificate to Bath and Body Works.

Happy Friday!


Rebekah E. said...

I don't have specific type of hero I usually pick to read. I like them all. Thanks for the great post.

Mary Kirkland said...

I like the ones where he starts out being a grump, or scary and turns into a bih ole marshmallow and a romantic.

Michele L. said...

My favorite kind is the macho, world saving guy, who really respects a lady and does nice things for her.

Linda Henderson said...

I like strong, smart, giving, non-egotistical heroes. One who will stand by the heroine no matter what.