Heroes who make you go ahhhh
By Maggie Toussaint
We admire heroes. They’re larger than life; they accomplish the impossible; they glow with vitality. In creating heroes for romance fiction, writers are faced with the challenge of having flawed characters act nobly, characters who must come to the realization that love is all.
Not an easy thing for an alpha male to admit. Like ordinary people, heroes tend to stick with what they know. If they’re firefighters or special forces or even park rangers, they do their job to the best of their ability. Mushy stuff isn’t for them. These aren’t the kind of men who sit down and chat about their feelings.
But when they do, it's pure magic.
As readers, we know that searching for completion is our unstated goal as we go about the business of life. Sure we may be climbing the corporate ladder or hoping to keep our job in tough times, but none of that matters in our heart center. If we’re miserable and lonely, the best job in the world or untold riches won’t fix that.
Celebrating that moment of truth where the pretense of life is stripped away and we (heroes, too) look at our core and open it up to joy and happiness – well, that’s downright contagious. For writers of romance fiction and for readers, that’s the big payoff, when the character stops resisting the power of love and accepts that they don’t know everything.
Additionally, romance authors often have their hero bare their soul to their love interest. For a conflicted character, especially a male with communication troubles, this exchange and vulnerability is something he’s avoided his entire life. As readers, we get to experience that vicarious thrill of self-discovery with the heroic character.
When all is said and done, we feel that the hero deserves a happy ending, and we come away from the book with a good feeling about the characters and the writer.
Some of my favorite book ahhh! heroes have been written by Jayne Ann Krentz and JD Robb, two of my favorite authors. Suzanne Brockmann also writes strong alpha males that resonate with me long after the pages are turned. And because I love these characters, I visit them more than once by rereading their stories.
Here are my questions for you. Do you have books on your keeper shelf you read multiple times? Or is it just a quick once through the book and you’re done? Are there heroes you’d like to meet?
(Not to brag too much, I had women stop me on the street because they wanted to know who I’d modeled my first published hero after. They wanted to marry him. That made me feel like I’d gotten it right.)
I’ll go first with a hero that makes me go ahhh! Roarke, Eve Dallas’ husband, is darn near unforgettable. He’s got a warrior’s physique and a warrior’s mentality, but he appreciates nice things. The way he treats Eve, as if she’s the best thing that ever happened to him, makes me fall in love with him every time I pick up a JD Robb book.
I’ll be waiting to hear your take on heroes that make you go ahhhh!
Author of romantic suspense
MUDDY WATERS, available now!
e-book: digital format at Wild Rose Press
trade paperback: Amazon Wild Rose Press
Author Maggie Toussaint is published in mystery and romance. Her recent release, MUDDY WATERS, is a romantic suspense where danger stalks friends turned lovers as they search for hidden treasure. Her debut release, HOUSE OF LIES, won Best Romantic Suspense in the 2007 National Readers Choice Awards. Maggie’s an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. Visit her at www.maggietoussaint.com and at http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/.