As my crit partners well know, I love to write steamy sex. I love to read it too, and I’ve found that Harlequin Blaze books are the perfect bite-sized portion of my favorite types of stories. Smart heroines, fun and/or compelling plots and of course, hot heroes! Today, author Marie Donovan is going to share with RU which men make the cut for hero status in her Blaze books.
She’ll also be giving one or two copies of her September release, HER LAST LINE OF DEFENSE, in reward for the most interesting comment(s) on her post today!
I have a secret to confess: in many of my books, I like writing the heroes better. I don’t know what that says about my psyche, but I can definitely trace it back to hanging around the guys when I was growing up. The upside of having male friends is that you learn what they really think. The downside is—you learn what they really think.
Mostly, they think about sex. But you also hear how a guy talks about his new girlfriend as if she were Wonder Woman, Cinderella and Miss September all rolled into one. You also see how he cries, gets drunk, or both when she breaks his heart.
Blaze heroes are like the guys I know, just ramped up (and pumped up) for fictional purposes. So what makes a Blaze hero? I’ve come up with the Four S’s.
The first S is surprisingly not Sexy, it’s Strong. My editor Kathryn Lye says, “He has to be strong, an equal match for our bold, yet still feminine hero.” Blaze heroines are never wimps waiting around for someone to rescue them. In many books, they wind up rescuing the hero.
In my September Blaze HER LAST LINE OF DEFENSE, Cajun Luc Boudreau is a rough, tough, in-the-buff Green Beret who has survived danger after danger, but is reluctant to give in to his growing affection for Claire Cook, a congressman’s daughter. After completing Luc’s outdoor swamp survival training, Claire realizes her own strength and Luc is the one who needs to match her courage.
Blaze author Tawny Weber (FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME, 9/09) agrees. “The hero has to be able to appreciate how sexy, strong and adventurous that heroine is. And then add a little extra sex, strength and adventure to the mix.”
And we come to our second S—Sexy. Blazes are novels of sexual adventure, self-discovery and love. The Blaze hero is a fantasy man, gorgeous, buff and mind-blowingly awesome in bed. And against a tree. And in a tent. And any place where the mood strikes. Blaze heroes are incredibly selfless in matters of sex, putting the heroine first, and second and sometimes third before they get their chance for satisfaction.
Because life (and the plot) must go on, the hero and heroine can’t spend all their time in bed. Although we’ve all known the gorgeous hunk with rocks between his ears, he is not a Blaze hero, so Smart comes into play. Remember, this is a man who is the heroine’s soulmate, not boy-toy. He has to be her intellectual equal as well.
Finally, he must be Sweet. Not in the sense of, “Golly, I love your hair-do,” but in the sense of doing kind things for the heroine. In the case of Green Beret Luc, he shows his affection by making sure nothing harms Claire. A poisonous spider crawls into her boot and he saves her from a painful bite. Her feet are bloody and blistered as he carries her into camp and cares for her wounds. My editor Kathryn calls it “an underlying vulnerability and sensitivity”.
I hope you’ve learned more about crafting a mouth-watering Blaze hero. What do you think? What would you like to see in future Blaze heroes?
A big thanks to Adrienne, Tracey and Kelsey for inviting me to participate in their wonderful blog.
Be sure to join us again Friday when the fabulous Margie Lawson discusses New York Times caliber writing and the EDITS system.
For award-winning author Marie Donovan, writing romance is a dream come true after so many years of avid reading. She got her fill of tragedies and unhappy endings by majoring in opera/vocal performance and Spanish literature and she devoured romances whenever she could.
Marie worked for a large suburban public library district for ten years as both a cataloguer and a bilingual Spanish storytime presenter. She graduated magna cum laude with two bachelor degrees from a Midwestern liberal arts university and speaks six languages. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and yoga.
Marie loves to hear from her readers. To find out more about her smart, sexy, stirring romances, please visit www.mariedonovan.com or email her at email@example.com.
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- Creating a Relatable Heroine with Author Tawny Weber
- Writing the Alpha Male
- AMM: Why We Love (and Resent) Alpha Males
- An Interview with Tawny Weber’s Latest Hero