Please welcome today, guest blogger Carolynn Carey as she shares with us:
Brooding, Belligerent, or Boyish? What’s Your Taste in Heroes?
I’ve been reading romance novels much longer than I’ve been writing them, and I’ve noticed over the years that the ideal image of a hero has changed. In the Gothics I once loved, the hero was a tortured soul, brooding, often angry, and frequently rude or sarcastic with the heroine. She, of course, was so patient, so loving, and so understanding that she salved his soul and saved him.
Today that type of hero is less common. For my own part, I tend to write heroes who are perhaps misguided, sometimes even rude, but I certainly wouldn’t describe any of them as a “tortured soul.”
Jim Markman, the hero in my upcoming Barbourville novel (tentatively titled The Forgotten Christmas Tree) starts off being rude to the heroine. She’s just rolled into town, broke, out of gas, and with a four-year-old child to care for. And what does Jim say when he first sees her? He orders her to get out of his father’s restaurant and adds, “Your kind isn’t welcome in Barbourville.”
In this case, of course, my hero is misguided. He thinks he is acquainted with Abby Grant, but instead he knew her sister. As Jim comes to know Abby, he’s forced to revise his opinion and accept that she is as good a person as she appears to be. And he becomes her hero when he helps her realize she’s not the familial jinx she thinks she is.
If you’ve read the Barbourville novels (a sweet series that consists of A Summer Sentence, Falling for Dallas, Dealing with Denver, and Dreaming of Dayton), you know that my heroes tend to be good guys deep down where it counts. They may sometimes be a bit judgmental (like Daniel in A Summer Sentence), or arrogant (like Dallas) or unyielding (like Dayton) or even a bit clueless (like Denver). But all of them become heroes when the women they’ve come to love need a hero.
What about you? What’s your taste in heroes? Do you look for the tall, dark and handsome ones? Or are you willing to overlook a few warts to find the prince underneath?