I love romances. I love heroes—both reading and writing them. I have, as we all do, more than one favorite hero and hero types. The alpha male with the heart of gold tops my list, but there’s another layer to that great character trait that really gets me squirming and clutching the book (or Kindle, or iPhone, or…you get the picture) to my chest and sighing—the super-clever, sneaky, purposefully self-deprecating alpha male with a heart of gold. Sounds complicated? Oh, you betcha. And that excites and invests me in a story more than any other hero out there. Hard to write, but when he’s done right… Oh, my.
I just finished reading Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades yet again, and her hero, Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, is all that and more. Clever, constantly in control, on top of things, and ten steps ahead of everyone else. He’s intimidating and awe-inspiring, all the while making people believe he’s a bored, pampered aristocrat. So when he brings the denouement down on everyone’s’ heads with iron control, calculation, and effect, I find myself cheering and squeeing like a fangirl every time.
Another hero (or anti-hero, yeah, super-big fan of those when they’re written well) who may very well be the ultimate example of my favorite type of hero is C. S. Pacat’s Laurent from her Captive Prince series. Those stories are simply brilliant. Nuanced, frightening, thrilling, unexpected, nothing-as-it-seems brilliant. She writes Laurent with some great goal already in mind, I have no doubt, but the discovery and the journey of his character has been gripping so far. Taking a character and turning him around, from hating him, believing him shallow, spoiled, cruel, possibly downright evil and revealing his true nature and motivations bit by bit in the narrative and action of the story is not only captivating for the reader, but also difficult to accomplish as a writer. I’m enthralled and dying for the third book. Dying.
A hero that has been on my top five all-time favorites list ever since I first read his story years ago is Lorenzo Gage from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Breathing Room. Clever, gorgeous, actively encouraging people to think the worst of him, making fun of himself—he’s irresistible. He protects the heroine and those he loves from himself as well as outside threats, sacrifices, all the while maintaining a selfish façade that hides his big old heart of gold. And did I mention quick-witted and clever? That, above all, is my favorite kind of hero.
P.S. As it happens, I just finished reading SEP’s perfectly and appropriately titled Heroes Are My Weakness, and Theo Harp… Another of her heroes that hits all my wonderfully complex favorite traits.
A contemporary romantic suspense
Published May 2014 by Grizzlypeake Press
Infiltrating an international drug cartel is the dangerous chance of a lifetime for Asher Beaulieu of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Falling in love while running the op isn’t part of the plan, but he never had much use for plans anyway. Shrouded in deception and surrounded by temptation, his charmed life explodes in betrayal and tragedy.
DEA Special Agent Emmaline Justice is determined to be recognized for her work, not her sex. She doesn’t have time for an intriguing, wounded RCMP inspector. When the contacts she cultivated over long months of an international undercover investigation keep showing up dead, Emma must use her instincts as both an agent and a woman to determine Beaulieu’s role in the case and in her life.
One woman tore him apart. Another is brave enough to put him back together—if his past doesn’t kill him first.
“Hey, Ash.” One of the rookie constables stuck her head through his office door. “There’s an American Special Agent that wants to talk to you down in the conference room if you’ve got a second.”
“FBI?” he asked, leafing through the papers on his desk until he located a particular sheet. When she didn’t answer, he glanced up to see her shaking her head. “Homeland Security?”
“No, she’s a DEA agent.”
Ash went still as suspicion locked his limbs. “She?”
“Yeah.” The rookie shrugged. “Her last name is Justice, if you can believe it. Yanks.”
He believed it, all right. His damn luck, after all. Anticipation heightened his senses, but he wrote the rush off as wariness. Special Agent Justice tried to drop kick him the last time he’d seen her. He wondered what other tricks she had up her sleeve. He’d love to wrestle with the attractive DEA agent again.
Special Agent Justice stood behind the table facing the door as he entered the conference room, but he spotted the telltale tap of one high-heeled foot. Her face was every bit as appealing as he remembered, her tall, curvy body encased in a smart suit that was both feminine and professional. The feel of her pinned between him and the side of the building at the gym flashed through his mind—and body. He hid the predictable reaction under a smile meant to charm.
“Special Agent Justice of the DEA. Nice to see you again.”
Her chin lifted, and he let the smile hover. So, she’d decided to play the game with bravado and defiance. Blood leapt in his veins, and he fought to temper the automatic male reaction.
Devouring two or ten books per week as a young'un, I was rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy. So, of course I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes.
I’ve lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, and foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Since moving to an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs, I’ve learned to play a mean game of 5-stand, catch squid, clams, shrimp, and crab. Good thing I like shellfish.
Author of the paranormal romance Wraith series published by The Wild Rose Press.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Fox/e/B009YC0ERO