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Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Need a Hero!

The one thing every great romance needs besides a happy ending is a hero we can fall in love with, right alongside the heroine.

Great heroes come in all kinds of compelling packages.  Some are rich and powerful, masters of their universes.  Some are rough-edged warriors, used to the power, action, and sacrifice of battle.  Then there’s the outsider bad boy, sometimes almost an anti-hero at the beginning, who wins your heart by doing good.  Then, oh my, then there’s the brooding, tortured, lost soul, the one at whom life has thrown a million impossible obstacles, leaving him damaged and feeling unworthy.  No matter the type, everything the hero does, he does for the love, protection, happiness, and comfort of her, the woman who impossibly tamed him, comforted him, captured his heart.

I love writing heroes.  Often, it’s the hero’s story, the hero’s voice, I see and hear first when a new story idea comes to mind.  So, let me introduce you to the loves of my writing life *grins*:

Heart’s in Darkness’s Lost Soul:  Caden Grayson

Heroine’s first impression of Caden: 
He was…Oh my God! damn rugged and…masculine…and just…darkly beautiful.
The enticing angle of his jaw combined with full lips and high cheekbones and a strong brow framing intense brown eyes with impossibly long, full eyelashes. His shaved dark brown hair came to a widow’s peak in the center of his forehead. Two small silver loops embraced the left side of his bottom lip. The piercing on his right eyebrow was black metal and shaped like a barbell.
He had a face that, with a certain set of his jaw and eyes, could easily appear harsh, intimidating. But she knew he was neither.

Have you ever wished you could crawl into a novel and just hold the hero, just wrap your arms around him take away all his hurt? Yeah, that’s Caden Grayson.  Traumatized by a tragic, fatal childhood accident, Caden is both committed to helping other people in similar situations, thus his job as an EMT, and withdrawn, a defensive mechanism to protect from getting hurt again.  Watching him fight against his reflexive social distancing makes you cheer for him to get his happy ending with Makenna James.  Caden’s story is available now from The Wild Rose Press.

Forever Freed’s Bad Boy with a Lost Soul:  Lucien Demarco

Heroine’s first impression of Lucien, from her diary:
       He was so gorgeous. I mean, just unreal. Tall with the best hair—brown and a little long and wavy. I felt like I could get lost in his eyes. They were the most interesting shade of gray.

Have you ever liked a hero who did bad things, who knew they were bad and did them anyway?   Who didn’t ask for or want the situation he’s been thrown into, a situation that threatens to steal every bit of the man he once was?  You can’t help but sympathize with Lucien Demarco who fights against his vampiric nature, but isn’t always successful.  Add on an empathic “gift” that forces him to swallow his victims’ emotions at every feeding, and you have to understand why he finds it nearly impossible to resist the wondrously joyous emotions emanating from the heroine.  The sweetness of her emotions affects him as if they were an anesthetic, offering him a respite from the guilt and grief he’s carried for over a century.  Watching Lucien struggle against all the reasons the relationship he forms with Samantha Sutton is a bad idea leaves you both on the edge of your seat and praying that his worries are misplaced.  Lucien’s story is available now from The Wild Rose Press.

Just Gotta Say’s Warrior:  Lucas Branson

Heroine’s first impression of Lucas:
            Lucas Branson, with his short brown hair that curled at the ends if he let it grow at all.  With his perpetually stubbled square jaw.  With hazel eyes that reflected the anguish he carried inside.  She’d never known anyone who looked so tough and serious on the outside, but was so broken-up and vulnerable on the inside.  Sometimes her arms ached so much from the need to hold him she couldn’t restrain herself.  She’d hug him and make a joke about it or roll her eyes like it was no big deal.  No, nothing was complete without Lucas.

Have you ever yelled at a hero and heroine for not seeing what was right in front of them?  That’s Lucas’s relationship with his long-time best friend and roommate, Callie Davis.  An older, war-hardened, injured veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, Lucas hesitates to do anything that will harm this friendship he values over all others—including admitting his feelings and claiming Callie for himself.  Just what—or who—will it take to make Lucas realize what he really needs?  Lucas’s story is forthcoming from Decadent Publishing.

 North of Need’s Powerful God:  Owen Winters

Heroine’s first impression of Owen, while he’s passed out:
            Walking around him, she admired the man’s surreal good looks.  Even asleep, unconscious, whatever, the guy was ruggedly handsome.  Mop of shiny black hair, strong brow, square jaw, fair skin, full red lips.  A male Snow White.
            Her eyes traced down.  Very male.  No wonder she hadn’t been able to lift his shoulders.  They were broad and well-muscled, which the tight tuck of the blanket emphasized.  His body tapered to a trimmer waist, also framed by the tucked chenille.  It was a short trip for her eyes from his waist to his hips…

Have you ever read a book and said, “Why doesn’t stuff like that ever happen to me?” *grins*  As in, why doesn’t an ancient snow god ever appear unconscious and half naked on my doorstep on Christmas night?  That’s how Owen and widow Megan Snow first meet.  Self-exiled from the Realm of the Gods for so long he’s forgotten what it feels like to take human form, Owen extends both of them a chance at love and happiness.  But can he break through Megan’s widow’s guilt and grief before the temperature rises and the snow melts?  Watching Owen struggle against the hurt of his own past and battle the elements—literally, makes you cheer and hold your breath (not easy to do at the same time! *grins*) in anticipation of his happy ending.  Owen’s story (and his cover!) is forthcoming from Entangled Publishing and is Book 1 of 4 in the Hearts of the Anemoi series.

So, what do you love about heroes?  And who are your absolute favorites and why?

Thanks for reading about and ogling my heroes *winks*,
Laura Kaye
Hot, Heartfelt Romance - Because everyone longs to belong...

Laura Kaye is a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance with five books releasing in 2011. 


MomJane said...

made my heart beat a little faster just looking at the pictures. It sounds really great.

Na said...

For me characters are what really makes a story great and a hero is definitely no exception. I want to be able to connect with the hero and heroine and if I'm lucky, the secondary characters as well. I'm drawn to the dark, tormented heroes with a heartbreaking past. It's not that I like seeing him suffer but that it's the ultimate statisfaction to see him find his happiness! One of my favourite is Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. He has such a dark past and is almost cruel but because of a special female, his tender heart is revealed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the gorgeous pictures and biographies of your heroes. I think I will have to check Caden's story out very soon. I like dark and tortured heroes. They usually feel they can't or don't deserve love. I like to see the heroine prove them wrong.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Laura Kaye said...

Na--OMG I'm a Zsadist lover, too! Great minds!

:) Thanks for ogling my heroes, guys!

laurakayeauthor at gmail dot com

shiderly77 said...

Love the heroes! Of course, I wouldn't be much of a romance reader if I didn't!