Colin (when not busy with his local cosplay group) was a
mild mannered accountant with a small weenie, a big heart,
and a love of orally worshipping frocked up damsels.
Totes hero material.
I’ve been thinking lately about writing a hero who is a paraplegic. There are a few concerns here. One, can I write a book that is not condescending or offensive to people in that situation? That’s a biggie. Two, that’s a shit load of research you’re setting yourself up for right there, hun. Let’s not lie ... you can be a bit on the lazy side sometimes. Why, often you’ve thought, no fooking way am I ever writing an historical. Details, baby! All those nitpicky details to get right. And authenticity matters, we all know it to be true. Three, is there enough of a market for such a story? Would enough people want to read my bookie to make it economically feasible? Because let’s not kid ourselves on this one, if I’m going to dedicate months of my life to this story then I do require it to have at least a chance of paying off. I have a family to feed and shod and stuff. Let’s not even get into my expensive book habit. So yeah, I dunno … still deciding. But I really wanna.
Anyhoo, this got me thinking about the not quite “normal” or “regular” hero. How do we feel about heroes with physical imperfections? Or how about heroes who do just differ from our usual fare? Let’s check out the Our Usual Fare Hero Requirements List just to be sure we’re on the same page, here (Yes, sweeping generalizations abounding. Hold on tight.):
18 – 45 years old?
6 feet or taller?
Handsome, ruggedly or otherwise?
Knows what he’s doing in bed?
Extra points awarded for having a man whorish past.
Further bonus round points if emotionally scarred and or stunted.
So, how does the last hero you read rate?
At the moment, I’m reading “This Is Who I Am” by Cherise Sinclair. If you’ve never heard of Cherise, she’s the best damn BDSM erotic romance writer around, in my honest opinion. Check out The Shadowlands series. The hero is in this book, Master Sam, is in his fifties. He’s a silver fox, baby. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually read a romance before where the hero was that old. (And by “that old” I mean “not all that old at all”. Because let’s face facts, I’m closer to fifty than eighteen myself these days. It's a while off, but it's out there...lurking.) How about a hero who is shorter than the heroine? A couple of books do come to mind, most recently “Chasin’ Eight” by Lorelei James. Lorelei scores well in the out of the ordinary heroes category as she’s also had a hero who was a returned soldier and amputee. “Real” by Katy Evans features a hero who is bipolar. RAWR, Remy. In “Painted Faces” by L. H. Cosway the hero was a drag queen (and he was awesome). “Untamed” by AnnaCowan has a cross dressing duke front and centre. Yes, I realize I’m lumping all sorts of differences together here. But you know how rambly I get on the blog. Deal with it.
So there are books out there giving us a healthy serve of alternative love interests. Are we showing them the love right back? As always, it’s going to come down to whether the story hooks us or not. I’ll read just about any romance if the hero makes my knees weak. I’m easy like that. What do you think? Read any books with a hero who didn’t fit the mould?