Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Hero Is a Hero

Bad Is Good

I write contemporary and historical romances, but the core of my protagonists in these different genres remains constant. Whether the hero is a cowboy (which is the case in my historical romances) or a psychic detective like Levi Wolfe in “Through His Eyes” and “Through His Touch,” they are alpha males with a “bad boy” persona. The heroines are smart, independent, and will stand toe-to-toe with these mavericks.
Why a bit of badness in the men? Well, because that’s my personal weakness. I’ve always loved those bad boys with hearts of gold. All tough on the outside and gooey on the inside – with the right woman, of course!
A hero just isn’t any fun if he isn’t a little (or a lot!) dangerous and flawed in some way. I love the “misunderstood hero” (Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice” or Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind”) and my own heroes fit this description, such as Griffin Goforth in “Fire Lily,” Johnny Cheyenne in “Cheyenne’s Shadow,” and Reno Gold in “Tough Talk, Tender Kisses.”
Levi, the hero/protagonist in “Through His Eyes” and my new novel in the Mind’s Eye series “Through His Touch” is a classic misunderstood, flawed, alpha man and he is – if I say so myself – deliciously bad in the best sense of that word. Levi Wolfe had a troubled youth and he launched himself into a destructive period as a young man to emerge with “No Trespassing” signs posted all over him, especially on his heart. He’s a gifted psychic and self-made millionaire, but he has never known unconditional love. Into his life walks Trudy Tucker, also a talented psychic, who does a head and heart trip on Levi.
I think what I love most about bad boys is their strength coupled with vulnerability. They can take care of themselves and they do because they usually have had to do just that. There wasn’t anyone around they could trust to protect them, love them, and guide them as they grew from boys to men. Or they went down the wrong path in their youth, disappointed people who loved them, and then felt like they couldn’t make enough amends when they finally regained their footing on the right path.
Levi is one of those walking wounded who feels that he can’t trust people with his deepest feelings and that he’s damaged goods. Women look at him and swoon because he’s a gorgeous specimen of manhood, but they don’t look past his beauty to see the sad beast crouching within his heart. Trudy sees him – all of him – and she still loves him. And that both fascinates and terrifies Levi.

Readers tell me that they love my heroes and that gladdens my heart because I love them, too! Whether they are cowboys in the 1880s or present day psychics, they are men with heart and grit!