Is it the rough and tumble man, the cowboy, the strong but silent type? Or is the charming, well spoken, impeccably groomed business man portraying financial and commercial power? Is he gentle, domineering, strong or bookish, a man of action or one who thinks before he acts?
In “No Gentleman is He”, the first book in our Sons of Liberty series of Historical Romance set in the time of the American Revolution, Colton Rolfe is a surly, angry, tall, dark and handsome type who is rather tough to handle. Our heroine, Cassandra Courtney Brooks, is initially intimidated by him, as anyone would be. But soon, as she finds her voice and her heart, she becomes more than capable of meeting him insult for insult, and passion for passion. She is a strong, determined woman, rare for that time period. At first, Colt may find her irritating and exasperating, but he soon finds he admires the very qualities frowned upon by 18th Century standards. He has no patience for shrinking violets, and Cassandra, he soon finds, is far from that.
Many women will not find this particular hero appealing to live with in real life, but in fictional romance, he is exciting and perhaps, on some level, a challenge to tame. He is like the dark stallion that he loves, snorting and pawing the ground in anticipation of a fight, a fiery spirit ready to defend what is his. When he finds his heart completely enveloped by Cassandra, he will do anything to make her his, though his temper often makes it hard for her to get close. In some ways, he actually sabotages the very relationship he longs to have with her. They are both stubborn, which only adds to the conflict and the fun.
In reality, he would probably drive most of us women crazy. To Cassandra, our heroine, he is exactly what she has been longing for all her life, for she too needs taming, and Colton is capable of the job. Do you like a man who takes control in your imagination, but not in real life?
I wonder if readers are more attracted to heroes that are overpowering, challenging and exciting but impossible to live with for any normal woman, or are they attracted to the everyday, normal man, who happens to be drop dead gorgeous (of course, aren’t they all?) and who is supportive and completely understanding, who cries when Bambi dies and takes in every stray dog, and tells you everything about his day?
There are many species of men who fall somewhere in between, with a mixture of our favorite characteristics. I’d love to hear from readers and other writers. Who are your favorite heroes who make your heart go a-flutter. What kind of man is invited to park their slippers by your beside anytime, and who is invited to rest on your bookshelf?
For the two may be completely different.
I would love to hear what you think. Who knows, it may influence who my next hero will be in my next book.