"I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero till the end of the night."

       These words are from the Bonnie Tyler song, Holding Out For A Hero, sung in the 1980’s and used as a theme song in the movie “Footloose.” I have the song in my playlist, and I play it almost every day to put me in the mood for writing my own heroes. We need more heroes today, and not just the fictitious Marvel Comics heroes in kids’ movies.

"He’s gotta’ be strong and he’s gotta’ be fast"

       Women are just naturally drawn to a man of strength and sureness. And yes, we are drawn to brawn and power. I mean no disrespect to today’s smart and independent women, many of whom are also heroes as EMT’s, police women, those who work for a fire department, doctors, nurses, women in sports, women in the armed forces, caregivers – even mothers should be considered heroes. But for this blog, I am talking about the male heroes of romance novels – the flawed, yet in so many ways perfect man, who is tough as nails but knows how to be gentle with a woman and who adores the heroine.

"And he’s gotta’ be fresh from the fight."

When the men in my stories walk into a room, heads turn. People immediately know this man is bigger than life. This man is in complete control and knows no fear. Jake Harkner, in my Outlaw Hearts series, is definitely that kind of man. After writing Jake, I had trouble getting interested in new characters and new heroes. Jake is simply one of a kind, so bold and so memorable that it was very hard for me to leave him after four books and go on to other stories. Those who have read this series know exactly what I mean.

"He's gotta’ be bigger than life."

       Another unforgettable hero I wrote is Zeke Monroe (Lone Eagle) in my Savage Destiny series. Zeke is another character that leaves everyone else frozen in their seats when he walks into a room. Some characters just have that aura of power about them, men who command respect and attention the minute you lay eyes on them. Nick de Santos, the hero in the book I just finished writing – THE LAWLESS BREED – is another hero who commands full attention. When he rides into the story at the end of the first chapter, readers will have an OMG! moment and will immediately want to know more about this man.

"He’s gotta’ be sure."      

       I write heroes, and I will ALWAYS write heroes. Why? Because I write about women’s deepest passions and deepest desires. Romance readers want a hero, a man with skills that were needed in a time of wild danger, a time of settling untamed country where there was no law. And my heroines match my heroes in bravery and that special independence that was once rare for women. I love writing heroines who only make the men in their lives even stronger and more able to defend home and hearth, able to hunt, to fight, and to lead.
"Where have all the good men gone?"

       Ya’ gotta’ love that bad man with a good heart, and the fact that a true hero is willing to admit he couldn’t get by without the woman in his life. As my hero Jake puts it, his wife is “the air I breathe.” He fully admits he couldn’t survive without her. His wife Miranda keeps Jake focused and keeps her ex-outlaw husband on the straight and narrow. She taught him what love is all about, and that love is his lifeline. At the same time, Miranda realizes she needs and wants Jake’s protection and his sureness as a man who knows how to handle himself in dangerous situations. Miranda knows in her heart that she needs all that is “man” about Jake, and that only compliments her as the heroine.

"I need a hero."

              Writing strong heroines only helps enhance the hero’s role in a story. In the opening chapter of RIDE THE HIGH LONESOME (coming November 2019), the hero is about to be hanged. It’s the heroine who saves his life, but not because she is Wonder Woman. She needs the guy for his food and supplies and to help her find her way out of a wild, dangerous land in which she is lost and stranded. So, I have a brave, smart heroine helping a complete stranger who turns out to be very brave and capable himself. These two totally compliment each other in heroism and survival instincts, yet there is a femininity about the heroine that brings out the protective instincts in the hero and makes him more “manly” just by being himself. Throughout the story these two recognize what each needs from the other and each totally respects what the other can contribute to their survival. The writer of romance doesn’t need to make the heroine weepy and shivering just so the hero seems more heroic. My heroes absolutely admire a strong, brave woman who in many ways is his match, but who, when it comes to true love and making love, is soft and inviting and a woman in every sense of the word. The heroine in turn wants the hero to be a man in every way in the romance department, but she also expects respect and adoration. That’s what women get from my heroes.

       Through all the changes in what is popular today, romance remains at the top of most women’s reading list, and yes, men, too. How else are they going to find exciting, action-packed reading, while at the same time learning “what women want?” 
       Most romance writers have adapted to today’s social changes, and they understand that even though our heroines have to be much braver and more independent than in those old, original romance novels of the 80’s, these adjustments do not have to take away from the natural attraction a woman feels for a brawny, able hero. That deep, innate need for a man’s man in our lives is what keeps readers turning to romance novels for reading entertainment. So, I don’t know about you, but …

"I need a hero." 
       And heroes are what I write.

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Coming 24 September:

Coming 26 November:


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