This week RBH invited Romance Author Donna Alward to share with us about the heros she likes to write and read about. But as she says there are damaged heroines and heros who love them!
Damaged Heroines and the Heroes who love them….
I tend to write damaged heroes. I love a good broody, wounded man who falls really hard for the right woman. Wounded heroines are a harder challenge for me. Maybe because we don’t want to feel sorry for a heroine. We want to see strong, independent women we can cheer for – and because the majority of readers of Romance are women and the main protagonist is generally female, you really have to make sure she’s relatable. The hero is the man you dream of, but you walk in the heroine’s shoes.
Wounded heroines need special sorts of heroes. My last three Harlequin Romances have all starred wounded heroines – some of the scars are visible, some are not. In my current release, THE LAST REAL COWBOY, social worker Angela Beck seems confident at the beginning, like she has her crap together. She’s Executive Director of Butterfly House, a second-stage housing shelter for abused women. She’s a hard worker and she’s strong and determined to make it a success.
But Angela hasn’t dealt with her own issues yet, and her own secret: that she feels guilty for leaving after high school – leaving her mother to deal with her abusive father all by herself. There’s a little piece of her that still hopes her mother will be strong enough to leave him someday.
It takes a big man to deal with that sort of baggage.
In walks Sam Diamond. Sam seems pretty cocky at the beginning, but he’s also carrying a fair burden – the day-to-day running of Diamondback Ranch in the wake of his father’s stroke. Not just the practical running of it but stepping in as the de facto head of the family even though that title still belongs to his Dad, Virgil. Sam knows how to love and how to care for someone. And he’ll protect those he loves ‘til the end. They are two pretty strong personalities to put together, and sparks fly a bit, but they’re a pretty good team, too.
In THE REBEL RANCHER, the follow up book out next month, Angela’s first client Clara is our wounded heroine. As a client of Butterfly House, we know she’s come from an abusive relationship and jumping into another is not in the plan. Especially with a man like Tyson Diamond – the rebellious Diamond who left the ranch at 18 and never looked back. Ty’s got a reputation as a bad boy and that scares her to death – until she meets him and sees a whole other side to him. She sees the hurt behind the bravado. The calm beneath the charisma. Clara’s a wounded bird, and Ty, despite his reputation, is loyal and especially gentle. I don’t have to tell you that I really love Ty, do I?
And last fall I wrote a damaged heroine whose scars are pretty obvious – HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART - Meg Briggs is a breast cancer survivor. She’s gone through a mastectomy and chemo. While inner wounds are easier to ignore, it’s harder when it’s so obvious and well-known. Meg is, to a large extent, identified by her cancer.
Clay is an old friend and he hasn’t always been a good one. Before her treatment they had words and now he needs to apologize for not being there for her. Clay’s had his own experiences with the Big C and the truth is it scares him to death. But he’s stronger than he gives himself credit for. And he loves Meg – he always has. What Clay has to offer is acceptance – of her diagnosis, her treatment, and what the future might mean. And the scene where that acceptance is tangible is my favourite scene in the book.
It’s resonated with readers as well – this book has been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, has won the Colorado Award of Excellence, and is also nominated in the National Reader’s Choice Awards and the Booksellers’ Best Awards.
[Wow! Donna! Congratulations on being nominated for so many awards!]
I think what it comes down to is that we all have scars of some sort, and we all dream of rising above them. Throw in a dreamy, sexy and strong hero and you get a Happy Ever After that makes it all worth it.
Donna’s website: www.donnaalward.com
Buy links at Harlequin: THE LAST REAL COWBOY
Buy link at Amazon for THE LAST REAL COWBOY
And last we have a gift from Donna Alward! You can download her book Hired By The Cowboy among some more books! Well altogether sixteen books are available for you to download FREE!