A few people, a very few, have criticized both Edward, from The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and, Jason, from I Found You, for being too nice. But then there are far more people who love having that hero in a book, that is everything most real life heroes are not, truly dependable and everything you have been looking for in a man.
“I defy you not to love Edward.”
“Jason Macinlay is the best book boyfriend ever!”
Well that was not by chance, I did decide quite deliberately to make both my heroes in my first books really nice. Edward, of course, came first, and he was initially written for a Mills and Boon submission, although he was never sent there in the end. The Illicit Love of a Courtesan ended up something that was for a broader market. Mills and Boon had rejected my previous submissions because my men were too dark for M&B (I do love writing dark men most although I have a real soft spot for both Edward and Jason, they are the men I would have loved to have met but never did).
I studied Mills and Boon’s best books and worked out the elements of a perfect hero. A really strong self-assured character (but not arrogant like Mr Darcy, just comfortable in their own skin). Obviously totally alpha male––physically and emotionally strong. A fixer. They are always going to take a lead role, and be that strong person the heroine can lean on, no matter what. So likewise to make these powerful, totally nice heroes, work, the female characters had to be women who really needed a man like that. Otherwise, the stories would have had nowhere to go. Ellen, had enough problems, she would never have trusted a man with too many of his own issues, and it’s the same with Rachel and Jason. Rachel’s character desperately needs a man like Jason to come into her life and be on her side… and so my nice heroes present as knights in shining armour. I do love medieval history. Can you guess? 😀
But I am not going to treat you to dozens of the same men, as some authors do, I intend to shake them about among my books, if you have read The Passionate Love of a Rake, you will know that Robert is very different––still good at heart, but arrogantly self-assured, tough skinned and holding grudges. More like an average real life man. He ends up desperate. I love making my heroes a little desperate… There is nothing quite like having a man beg for a woman’s attention… Naughty aren’t I? 😉
But the next couple of Historical romances are going to get even darker, with some very messed up men, who make some poor judgements; of course this means, it’s the women who present as much stronger, to balance. I’m sorry to say, John, who is the lead male in the next part of the Marlow Intrigues story has grown up, angry and intensely assertive, and he’s not good at judging right from wrong, he’s too wrapped up in himself… But he is a Duke with a lot of power in his hands… The Scandalous Love of a Duke is coming soon.
The next two New Adults stay fairly light on the men, as it’s the women with most of the problems, not that the men don’t have their fair share of angst… It’s not until book four in the New Adult stories though, when you will meet my first really messed up young man. 🙂 The next New Adult will be out in May.
I don’t know about your favourite man in a book, mine has never been Mr. Darcy. I will tell you that much. I much prefer poor Rawdon from Vanity Fair, the con-artist and rogue, who falls in love. Maybe his nature was a little weak, but he’d have been good fun. Equally I am not drawn to any of the men in Bridget Jones’s life.
In New Adult books, my favourite hero I have read in a long time, is Rome, by Jay Crownover, I looooove him! Good work Jay! I think that is because I like his flaws and vulnerability, but he also has that domineering strength and the power to just sort stuff.
I have a poll on my website, where you can vote for the type of hero you like, if you want to share, and so far, 50% of voters are going for the strong nice character, which is, let’s be honest, why Mills and Boon used that style of hero, because he is the lead most women want, so you cater to your biggest market. I am laughing though, because no one else has picked Rawdon, but I do love a cheeky rogue myself. 😀
Don’t forget, you can follow one of my nice guys on twitter as he’s talking to Rachel and pretend he’s your nice guy;) @JasonMacinlay, or follow Rachel too and see what she is saying back to him @RachelMacinlay…