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Guest blogger: Helen Lacey

23 April 2017

What makes a hero …

I’ve been writing romance for a long time, and writing for Harlequin Special Edition is an absolute pleasure. I write about small towns and families, cowboys and CEOs, babies, barns and horses. But recently I received an email from a reader asking me how I make, essentially, the same kind of hero seem different in each book.

This got me thinking. Are my guys the same?

Well, the short answer is yes.

So I wrote down a list of their core values and character traits—

Integrity (a must for any hero in my opinion)—I mean, Mr Darcy was often a pompous ass, but he always tried to do the right thing, even if his arrogance sometimes got in the way of the truth.

Kindness—a hero who would save a kitten up a tree (well, not always literally, although I do have the hero in my latest release rescuing a feline trapped on top of a gazebo).

Compassion—which often gets mixed up with weakness, but I’ve never believed this to be true.

Consideration—do you remember when Gilbert Blythe took a job further from home so that Anne could stay close to Marilla in Anne of Green Gables? Even if you’re not a fan of the book or movie, this hero always seemed to be considerate of Anne (because he loved her).

Grit—a must for any good hero. I always like to give my heroines gumption … but for the boys, it’s grit. That steely determination to get things done. To me, it’s an embodiment of strength and courage. Think John McClane in Die Hard … the man had grit by the bucketload and was determined to save everyone and be reunited with his wife.

Lastly, I love a hero who will always do what’s right, even if he knows the heroine isn’t going to understand, or if it will make her question his integrity. This of course, creates conflict. And conflict is a must in any good romance.

So, yes, my heroes usually possess the same qualities, the same core beliefs and values. So whether you like Rhett Butler or Mr Darcy, Jon Snow or Jason Bourne, whoever are your favourites, you might find they share many similar character traits.

Do you have a favourite type of hero? More alpha than boy next door? More rock god than cowboy? And do your favourites have similar values? Leave a comment to go into the draw to win a signed copy of my latest release, Married to the Mom-to-Be, available from Harlequin Special Edition. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Love Affair with Food.)

You can find Helen here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

April marks the release of book 4 in my The Cedar River Cowboys series:

Married to the Mom-to-Be

She’s late. That kind of late…

Kayla Rickard always planned to marry and start a family—with the right man. Then she met Liam O’Sullivan. Once she sampled passion in his arms, she forgot the feud that separated their families for decades. Now Kayla’s in two times the trouble. She’s secretly married to—and pregnant by—public enemy number one.

After eloping to Vegas, the scion of the O’Sullivan empire wants to come clean. Liam wants his wife—at his side, in his bed. He’ll do whatever it takes, even get to the bottom of the feud. But are he and Kayla prepared for the bombshells they’ll uncover? They have no choice—because in nine months their little secret will be born!

Three Reasons to Wed (book 1, The Cedar River Cowboys)
Lucy & the Lieutenant (book 2, The Cedar River Cowboys)
The Cowgirl’s Forever Family (book 3, The Cedar River Cowboys)
Married to the Mom-to-Be (book 4, The Cedar River Cowboys)

and coming in August 2017 …

The Rancher’s Unexpected Family (book 5, The Cedar River Cowboys)

  1. stevenjayhicks permalink
    23 April 2017 4:46 pm

    Hi Helen. I love all those character traits you’ve listed. Well… except the grit thing is a bit OTT sometimes – I don’t need a hero to walk barefoot on glass in the Nakatomi Plaza or anything, but there are other ways to show courage like, say, diving off a pier to help someone. I prefer them to be sensitive and funny. Happy writing and best wishes. Leave me out of the draw 😉

    • stevenjayhicks permalink
      23 April 2017 4:47 pm

      Best wishes. Jay

  2. 23 April 2017 11:30 am

    Hi Helen

    I love all types of heroes I don’t think I have a favourite it depends on my mood and what type I feel like picking up when I start a new book and there are lots to choose from but I do love a hero with a sense of humour 🙂

    I did love this story

    Have Fun

    • 23 April 2017 2:09 pm

      Hi Helen – yes, a sense of humor is a must. I’m delighted that you enjoyed Kayla and Liam’s story 🙂

  3. 23 April 2017 10:58 am

    Thanks for this post and the giveaway!

Comments are closed.