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Holding Out For the Unsung Hero
In the world of romance novels, the Alpha male still seems to reign supreme. With his take-charge attitude (or his take-no-crap one), he is strong, often tortured, and almost always impossible (at least to begin with). But does it really need to be that way? Does being an Alpha male need to be a prerequisite? What is it, exactly, that makes a man a hero, anyway?
There’s something about the “bad boy” image that seems to appeal to women everywhere. Maybe it’s our innate desire to be the one who can change such a man (don’t we all have a story like that in our backgrounds?), or heal him, but romance readers seem to love a story about the tough, bad-ass guy who meets his emotional match in a heroine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that –I’ll always be a sucker for a well-written tortured-hero type (and like to write them myself). But I do think we should give the world’s nice guys a fair shot at the heroic spotlight, too.
Because strong and tortured may make for great reading, but there’s something equally satisfying about the quieter heroes. The men who demonstrate their strength not just through physical prowess, but through compassion and understanding. The ones who aren’t afraid to be human as well as male; who can look after sick kids in one chapter and be masters of seduction in the next.
Because, bottom line, my kind of hero is the guy who’s going to be there when I really need him, whether it’s for taking down the bad guys or taking out the garbage. He’s going to be as adept at making me tea as he is making me feel like a woman. And he’s not going to be sexy just because of his looks or his muscles or his arrogance, but because, ultimately, he has nothing to prove to himself – or to anyone else.
So what’s your idea of a hero? Are you the guy-next-door aficionado, or one of those who prefers to live dangerously where men are concerned?
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!