Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Perfect Hero

They say love makes the world go round, but many of us who enjoy reading and writing Romance feel there should also a good measure of lust thrown into the mix.  Attraction, so I feel, makes the “action” in the stories that thrill us.  It doesn’t have to be overt and in-your-face: a Christian Romance writer can still tell us how her heroine’s heart speeds up and butterflies fill her stomach when the hero gives her that special smile.  Of course, it can be pretty steamy too, as any Erotic Romance author who’s ever written a shower scene can tell us.

So, what makes the attraction that spins the world?  Pity the poor Romance writer who has to create the perfect hero.  Because not all women in the world, and certainly not all the women who love to read Romance are attracted to the same kind of man.  Good thing for posterity that’s so, or the continuance of human kind would certainly be in jeopardy!  But when a writer sits down to create her male protagonist, for what details does she reach?

Some women like men who look like angels, with golden hair spilling over their shoulders and a slow, not-so-angelic grin.  Some like whipcord strength, some bulging muscle.  Some like their men dusky and dark, some quicksilver bright, some blue-eyed, some brown.  Some like dastardly and dangerous men, some jokesters with a quick wit; some are fascinated by power or an agile mind.  For it’s not just the physical details that turn us on.

Quite possibly, there is no such thing as a “perfect” hero.  But an author can make her male lead compelling and beguiling, vulnerable and yet courageous enough to risk his heart.  Isn’t it these things that attract us to the men we love in real life? 

I believe in creating heroes who engage a reader’s emotions as well as her hormones.  I love to build my stories around two people finding that one perfect, even spiritual bond that transcends mere incidentals such as hair, skin or eye color. 

Gareth de Vavsour, of my latest release, Champion of Sherwood, is just one such hero.  A young Norman knight newly proven, he is on his way to take up a post with his uncle, the Sheriff of Nottingham, when his whole world changes, first because he is captured by outlaws in Sherwood Forest, and second because he lays eyes on that one woman for whom he will be ready to sacrifice anything … even his life.

Come walk with us for a while in Sherwood, and discover whether Gareth is a hero to whom you could give your heart.


Kate Hill said...

Excellent topic! You're so right that everyone has different taste. Write a hero who appeals to you and there will be others who feel the same.

Champion of Sherwood sounds like a great romance. Adding it to my TBR list. I love variations of the Robin Hood legend!

Laura Strickland said...

Thanks, Kate! I hope you enjoy the read.