Friday, November 5, 2010

What Makes A Hero HOT!

Hey. It's Friday and today I welcome Wilder Rose author Becca Dale. Wilder Rose means hot, folks and Becca has a new holiday themed release out today. Congrats, Becca.

Becca is doing somrthing different today which really gives us insight into her characters. Read on.

What makes a hero hot? A good friend of mine loves the polished type. You know the man who looks like a CEO even on vacation? Nope, that doesn’t do it for me, but when I’m with her, I find that I notice those guys more. I look for them so I can offer a “check him out.” Personally, I want the guy who is a little rough around the edges, one you can be proud of in public but is rarely refined behind the bedroom door. Because my taste and that of the women I know are so divergent, a question has bounced around in my head a great deal lately. I worried that perhaps my characters had become too much alike, that my taste had overpowered the men and women of my stories. The general standard claims there is someone for everyone, but if they all became alike, my guys might not be broad enough to attract readers. In the end, an online friend suggested I ask the women involved – my heroines and my readers. So here are my most recent heroines’ perspectives on their guys. I would love to hear from readers as well so please leave a comment.

Today’s Panel Judges and Their Heroes:

Jess – Surrender at Sea (Forty-two-year-old bodyguard whose first husband was an abusive and manipulative jerk.) Sean (Twenty-eight-year-old game designer who sees the fun in a situation more often than not.)

Kya/Hannah – Kya’s King (An impressionable but tough girl/shifter who wants to be a
vet and longs for a family that wants her no matter what.) Ja (A soldier to the end driven by honor and the need to protect his clan no matter the cost to individual happiness.)

Jenica—Jingle all the Way Twenty-something, single mother whose ex left because he needed more: more excitement, more freedom, more people, just more than Jenica and
their small town could offer.) Burk (International businessman born and raised throughout Europe and the Americas. Smooth on the exterior – a man with everything and nothing at once.

Lily—Untamable [Available Jan. 2011] (Red haired spitfire as fiery as her hair implies but only for the boy she once loved and the man he has become). Thor/Thunder (Ex bronco rider who raises rodeo stock, rugged and defensive as the horses he trains.)

Becca—All right ladies, let’s begin by talking about what you look for in a guy – personality wise. Who wants to go first?Jess – I will. When it comes to men I like a little control. I bent to the will of my ex-husband for too many years. I have no intention of ever doing that again.

Kya—Yes, but there is a certain security in a man who takes charge. I can appreciate a guy with the strength to tell me no as long as he’s willing to listen to my side.

Lily—I think that’s the key, Kya. He has to be willing to listen and to share. People love Thor but he doesn’t show real emotion around others. I think he’s been told how great he is by so many women that he doesn’t believe it so he plays his own cards pretty close to his chest. That’s my only problem with him. No matter how big of a stubborn mule he can be, he needs to bend on occasion and reveal what he’s thinking if he expects me to be vulnerable to him.

Jenica—Right. He can push me but he needs to recognize my limits. There’s nothing wrong with a little manhandling as long as he isn’t a jerk like Jess’s ex was.

Kya—That sounds like a dangerous philosophy, Jenica. Define manhandling.

Jenica—Wow, I don’t even know how to answer that in a public forum. Uhm, you know the kind of guy who will make sure he has your full attention at all times even if it takes an occasional love tap to do it.

Jess –Love tap my a—my butt. No guy better put a rough hand on me again unless he wants to find himself on his back with my knee to his jugular.

Lily—I don’t think Jenica meant abusive, Jess. She’s just saying that sometimes a man has to do something that breaks through a woman’s defenses. Thor tied me up to get my attention, but in reality the situation opened his eyes more than mine.

Jess –Bull. No matter the situation, no man should use his strength against a woman just because he can. You girls are too young to recognize that fact. Men can be jerks more often than not and I think—

Kya—Not every situation is black and white, Jess. Don’t try to make Jenica feel bad because she sees things differently than you do.

Lily—Exactly, sometimes what is on the surface of a man doesn’t reflect the full truth. I don’t think any of us can judge.

Jess –Seriously, I hope my daughter isn’t this naive. You girls—

Becca—Whoa, people. I see you all have different opinions on personality. How about we shift gears and focus for a moment on the physical. Can you describe the perfect guy?

Kya— Ja’s big. Broad and muscular with well developed muscles. He had dark hair and unusual green eyes that make me forget why I’m mad at him no matter how much he ticks me off. Whether he is in feline or human form he exudes a raw almost feral power that turns me on. I know he would give his life for me, but if I push him too hard, that need to control every situation could break loose and overwhelm us both. It’s like all this delicious, protective, yet somewhat violent, strength simmers just beneath the stoic soldier’s fa├žade, and I can’t wait to turn it loose. (blushing) Does that make sense? I am turned on by the idea that he might not be able to hold back even though I know he will.

Lily—(laughing) Thor couldn’t be more different. He has dark hair but that is about the only similarity. He’s tall but not overpowering and his muscles are lean and long, a working man’s strength. He’s also arrogant as all get out and it shows in the way he walks and even his stance. He has no problem laughing and demanding his way through life, but for me he is just so damned masculine. I think I love his hands the most. They’re strong and calloused but almost magical when he touches me. Maybe because when he does reach for me, I have his full attention. The whole world narrows to him and me when I am in his arms and I forget every reason why I should push him away. There is something incredible about having a social man like Thor tune out everyone one and everything beyond me with a sensual caress.

Jenica—Yeah, I know what you mean. I can’t resist Burk’s touch either. Not that he’s much l like your Thor beyond the lean muscles part. He has golden hair and a shadow beard, but he dresses like a city boy. Like Ja his eyes are killer except they’re this weird piercing blue that remind me of a wolf for some reason. It is his voice that really gets me though. I’ve lived in Keaton, ND my entire life. Everyone sounds the same-and no we do not talk like the people on Fargo though a few of the old timers come close. Burk has a bit of a British accent that mellows everything he says and makes me crazy. Is that physical? (grins self-consciously) I’m not sure if sound counts as physical, but it is so much a part of him, and it does such lovely things to me that I have to include it. What about you, Jess? You’re awfully quiet.

Jess – (shifts uncomfortably and studies the rest of the group) I’m almost embarrassed to describe Sean. Not that he isn’t insanely hot, more that he is so damned young. He should probably be with someone like you girls, but for some reason he likes me and that is part of his draw. He has this wild sun-bleached hair that gives him a California rich-boy image. Like Thor, he has a casual confidence about him that reflects in his stance and his sexy smile. That smile is what does it for me. It’s like trying to resist an adorable puppy. (grinning) He would hate that reference but he would turn it so I had to admit how much I want to pet him every second he’s in reach. Physically he’s a big man, not your typical computer geek, but he would never use his strength against me. Not that I would put up with it if he did, but I love knowing that he won’t ever try. Still when he holds me close and I can feel his hard body, I must admit I melt far easier than I should.

Becca—Well, I guess that answers my question, ladies. Physically my heroes seem to run the gamut though I see they tend to be tall. Huh? I wonder why that is. Personally, I like a man to be close to my height so I can look him in the eye. There is nothing grosser than snuggling in a man’s arms and finding your face pressed to his belly. Darling hubby is only about six inches taller than me and I am short. None of their personalities seem much alike either which is good. I would still like to know what kind of man catches readers’ attention and if it is different in real life versus the fantasy of a romance novel. Please share.

You can contact Becca at:



  1. Ja sort of is my idea of a hero from reading the blurb - Jingle All the Way sounds like a fun story.

  2. Oooh, they all sound gorgeous in different ways. Which is exactly what you (and your readers) are looking for.

  3. Wow, hot column, enjoyed reading all the comments. Thanks! I guess for me I like heroes that respect the heroine's intelligence and beauty and treat her as an equal(once she proves herself a strong woman to match his strength) Alison Chambers

  4. Thanks for the feedback, ladies. For me, this exercise reinforced the importantance of the hero being exactly what the heroine needs. I agree that respect is essential as is the idea of equality. Even if the guy is dominate to some extent, he must see the woman as his other half - the element that is missing in his life.

  5. Note: I forgot to mention this earlier, but one insightful comment will result in a free copy of Jingle All the Way - available today from The Wild Rose Press/Wilder Catalog.

  6. Really good topic. I'm currently writing a story of a merman for nano which reminds me that I love a guy who'll swim with me. DH is not that guy (he has other talents lol) but a good watery love scene in the ocean, maybe...the Caribbean, aqua water where you can see what lies below the surface. Sigh...I guess that would work with SAS!

  7. Great Blog! I loved the different character responses. You really showcased each character's personality, and I loved reading their opinions on men!

  8. How clever, Becca!
    I'm all about the refined guy on the outside, maybe a little cold-hearted for all outward appearances but Mr. Mush inside, especially when it comes to his woman. However, thinking back, one of my heroes is not a businessman but a sexy firefighter. And of all my heroes, he's my favorite. So I don't know what to think now, LOL GREAT BLOG as usual, Ms Dale!

  9. What a unique and interesting idea you came up with. I love it. We all have different tastes in men, and I do believe there is someone for everyone. As for me, I love a strong, free spirited, rugged man, who is fun, yet, not overly refined or stuffy. I think I'll keep my hubby, who is a perfect match for me.

  10. Mmmm Becca, I love all your hero's!!!!!!!!!!!!! well done blog too I loved it :)

  11. Thanks all. Dominique and Ellen you are both so good for my ego. :-) Glad you liked it. I can't take full credit as I milked friends for the idea. Kate, my guy wouldn't swim with me either. He is also funny but I can't write humor very well. I think if I wrote a man like mine, I would have to enlist help for the dialog, but like Kathleen said, he is the prefect guy for me. All your comments about your different tastes are exactly what I was worried about. It is good to know that others step out of their personal hot zone when writing, Val. Take care and thanks for dropping by.

  12. Wow sound to me as if the girls are happy with the man they have. Each has learned the power of love. In this, day and time just having a man you can depend on and trust is important which to me is what each of the girls has found. No matter what the guy looks like just knowing you are the center of his world is all that matter. However, the road to learning that is what makes the story.
    Some time the pretty face guy is not the way to go but the guy that stands in the background and watch the woman he loves until she realizes that looks and the fine cloths does not make the man, but what is in the heart. Now I’m not saying the man in the background is not a looker him self but the man that has been in the picture and has not made he move to win his woman heart.
    What type of man would he be? The one that steps up and shows his woman what it is like to hold his heart in her hands forever.

  13. I agree, Terra. Women want a man who has substance not just show. That is exactly what I tried to create with Jingle All the Way - well with all my characters, I guess. Jenica needs someone who she can count on, someone that won't go looking for the next exciting thing because she provides exactly what he needs. Thanks so your comment.

  14. Yeah, Becca. I didn't realize you were giving away a book. I must tweet again.

  15. I forgot to mention it, Autumn. Sorry. I appreciate you re-tweeting. LOL Is that a word?

  16. Great post. How fabulous to touch base with your heroines to find out what they like in a man!

    Very fun.

  17. Hard to choose just one. They all sound great. I want to read "Surrender at Sea." I love stories about younger men/older women, but they don't seem to be very common.
    A hero has to be what his heroine needs, and if all the girls are as different as the ones above, no doubt the heroes will continue to be diverse as well!
    Thanks, Whitley

  18. Thanks, Whitley. I loved Sean in Surrender. He was so adorable and absolutley not what Jess thought she wanted but he turned out to be exactly what she needed.

  19. They all sound wonderful! I enjoy reading all types, they just have to be emotionally strong - controlling is okay - in certain circumstances - understanding without being just takes a great mix to make a great hero but he can come in any style!

  20. I agree, Marie. It is hard sometimes to walk that line between compassionate and milk toast - or commanding and controlling.

  21. I received so many great comments that I couldn't decide who should get the prize so I threw the names in a hat and drew one out. The book goes to Whitley. Thanks for commenting everyone.

    If anyone feels the urge to go another round, and I get more than eight comments, I will give away another book.

  22. I see I'm late to this party. But I still think it's a great idea to talk to the heroines! Who knows the dude better, after all?