...or why do I like jerks?
Don't worry, this isn't a post about my dating habits. Nope, this is strictly about the stuff good romances are made of. Namely, a hot hero. We've all heard how important it is for the reader - and you, as the writer - to fall in love with the hero in a romance novel. All well and good if the kind of man you like is "traditionally" heroic.
What happens when you tend to like guys rougher around the edges without that clear S on their capes? Are you doomed to continually hear that your hero is not sympathetic or likable, especially when you're dealing with books that aren't single titles?
Case in point: my favorite Nora Roberts' book, Angels Fall. Yes, I gush about this book to my friends a lot. Take a wounded heroine who's a bit odd, a lot smart and gutsy as hell and pair her with a hero that isn't one the Hallmark channel would have any clue what to do with.
Sold! So sold, in fact, that I recently finished my 4th reread of AF and own the book in both paperback and HC. Brody is my kind of hero. He isn't full of poetry and doesn't always woo. Sometimes he's downright crass. One of my favorite lines is when Reese, the heroine,waits for him to kiss her goodbye after their first kiss and he says, paraphrased, "What, are we going steady now, Slim?" That's Brody.
Brody also is a hero in ways that many men would never be, ways I won't illustrate here for fear of spoilers. He's a man of action, not words. Words are cheap and lots of people buy them on layaway.
He's also the kind of hero I write or that I've tried to write. A lot of readers expect a traditional hero, and from responses I've received, apparently that means one who thinks heroically at all times. To me, a true hero/heroine is one that sees a way out of doing the right thing, knows they have a choice, but still does the right thing anyway.
What do you think? What makes a hero? Are you okay with rougher edges if the person is, fundamentally, a decent human being?
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Cari Quinn wrote her first story - a bible parable - in 2nd grade,much to the delight of the nuns at her Catholic school. Once she saw the warm reception that first tale garnered, she was hooked. She attempted her first romance in junior high, long before she'd ever read one. Writing what she knew always took a backseat to what she wanted to know, and that still holds true today. Cari's genres of choice include contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, urban fantasy and paranormal. Recently she discovered erotic romance. Her first erotic novella, Full Disclosure, debuted last winter from The Wild Rose Press, and two new releases are coming soon from Ellora's Cave and The Wild Rose Press. Visit her at: http://www.cariquinn.blogspot.com/