No fooling! I love a great hero and need them in the books I read and writing. No matter how wonderful the heroine of a romance novel is, without the right hero, there is no book. The heroes in my stories come from different backgrounds (and even planets!) but each has passion, commitment and drive – three things I find very sexy in a man.
When I create a hero, or any lead character, I look for the things that will make him real for readers. This includes not only knowing his strengths and goals, but also knowing what he most fears and what he will need to learn by the end of the story. Hopefully, finding the love of his life will both enhance and complicate this process. It wouldn’t be any fun if things were too easy, after all.
Teodor in THE GLASS STILETTO fears he will be loved for what he has, over who he is. In Mariella he finds a woman who shows him how strong he is, no matter if he wears a crown and leads a kingdom. Of course, at first she doesn’t want to marry him at all… but that’s another wrinkle.
In DESTINY’S JEWEL, Ellard is a more tortured hero (and I pictured him looking like David Boreanz in Angel). He’s been raised to do his duty and take on the job of vizier, but in his heart, he’s an adventurer and the thought of being tied to king and castle is making him miserable. Not to mention the fact that he’s fallen in love with Kyra. His fear is being forced into a life he doesn’t want. He must accept there is a new journey to take.
Miles Anderson was my first contemporary hero, created for PASSIONATE HEAT, and one of my personal favorites. Because of his childhood, thinks he is too damaged to love and be loved in return. He fears he will always be alone, never have a family. He must learn that not only he deserve this, but he can have a home whereever he chooses to create one. He also needs to see the hero in himself. Jillian, the woman he loves, helps him see this.
When the reader meets Drew Crawford of WAVES OF PLEASURE he is in a dark place having been betrayed by a friend. In his case, learning to accept the past and look to a different future is going to be his struggle. He has a beautiful mermaid to help him.
For me, memorable heroes have flaws and fears but the strength and determination to overcome them (Nora Robert/JD Robb’s Rourke is among my favorites for this reason). And if along the way, they give their heart to the special woman who sees the greatness in them… well, that’s what I love about romance!
My father and my husband both fit my definition of a hero – great, flawed, and loving with strong commitments to their goals and family. I’d love to hear about your heroes! Whether from books, movies, or real life – who are they and what do you love about them?