Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: Eavesdropping on Romance Heroes Anonymous

Last week, I asked you what your favorite Romance Hero type said about you and one of my readers, Mary Ann Landers said this: 

"My dream men tend to be heroes who are truly heroic, who go above and beyond for love; or ordinary guys looking for love amidst the problems and complications of life. I also dig mystical types, but they're pretty rare.

I know I'm weird, but there's one common aspect of romance heroes I don't care for one bit. I don't want to read about a man who needs to be redeemed. I don't see how men like this can give love or be worthy to receive it."
  Thank you, Mary Ann.

This intriguing comment got me to thinking about Romance Heroes. About whether or not they think they're truly in need of redemption despite how they led their lives before meeting their true loves or were they merely seeking the same things as the heroines? I decided to figure out a way to discover what Romance Heroes were really thinking about when it came to their romantic escapades, and lo and behold, I found Romance Heroes Anonymous!

***There is no Romance Heroes Anonymous, all characters are fictional and do not resemble any others except generically. Everything said here is fiction and not meant to represent the thoughts or actions of any or all fictional heroes except for entertainment purposes.  ; )

This was what was overheard at one of those meetings which I managed to eavesdrop on :

Bad Boy:  Hey fellas, how's it hangin'? (tall, gorgeous man enters wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket, muscle hugging blue jeans, scuffed boots and carrying a twelve-pack of beer)

Good Man:  BB, you know we're not supposed to be drinking alcohol on the premises. It's kind enough of the proprietor to allow us to use the backroom without insulting the poor man.  (seated at the table is a tall, gorgeous man wearing a pale blue shirt, sleeves rolled to the elbows, black jeans and running shoes)

Bad Boy:  GM, you gotta loosen up a bit, old man! (setting the beer pack on the table surrounded by chairs) We're always having to play by those crazy author rules but we don't have to on our time.  (pulls out a cold can and tosses it to Good Man who promptly catches it and grins)

Good Man:  I suppose you're right, BB - occasionally. (snapping open the can and takes a drink)

Bad Boy:  Where is everybody? (glancing around)

Free Spirit: Right here ... well, except NQH but then you know he'll probably make a grand entrance eventually. (a tall, gorgeous man enters the room wearing a cowboy hat, red flannel shirt, dirty blue jeans and cowboy boots that looked like they'd seen better days. He removes the hat and tosses it on the table)

Free Spirit is followed by another tall, gorgeous man wearing a suit and tie, polished shoes with only a small scuff on one of the toes. He shrugs off the jacket and drapes it over a chair while tugging his tie loose)

Knight in Shining Armor:  Brought beer, I see, BB ... are they cold?

Bad Boy:  Cold enough.  (tosses a beer to Knight and then slides one across the table to Free Spirit, who nods his thanks)

Free Spirit:  Ever tried finding a place to park your horse in this city? Geesh! Every time I found a tree to tie him up, a cop came along and told me to move along.

Knight:  Good thing I came along when I did. Told the cop that was about to write poor old FS here a ticket that this cowboy was with me and the horse was evidence in a case. Schmuck actually believed me.  (laughing as he tugged his tie off and draped it over his jacket)

All four men laughed happily.

Not Quite Human:  Sounds like you're all in a good mood tonight. 

All four men turned to look at the tall, gorgeous man standing in the doorway wearing a long black coat beneath which black leather pants peeked out over the toes of black boots.

Bad Boy:  What? No fancy shimmer or smoke prelude to your entrance tonight, NQH?

Not Quite Human:  Naw, just not in the mood. (walks forward shrugging out of his black coat only to reveal a black silk shirt beneath with full sleeves and opened wide at the neck)  Got another of those cold ones?

Bad Boy:  Sure. (tossing NQH a beer after he watches the dark figure drape his coat over the back of the chair and take a seat) What's up? Or rather what's got you down, NQH?

Not Quite Human:  I'm so tired of always being portrayed as the hero who needs a woman to redeem his ass, in order for him to appreciate the love she's bringing to the relationship.  Sometimes, it's just damn lonely being a supernatural being wandering through existence alone and without someone to tell my troubles to - you guys are the exception, of course.

Four voices chime together:  Of course.

Not Quite Human:  I'm not heartless, you know? Even if I'm portrayed as soulless, I'm not heartless - well, maybe at times I'm a bit heartless in my dealings with some but I try to limit that to the bad guys.

Bad Boy:  Hey!

Good Man:  He said bad GUYS, BB, not Bad Boys.

Bad Boy:  Oh, right, sorry NQH - go on.

Not Quite Human:  No, you've just hit on the thing that bugs me the most. People automatically label me as evil. Someone who needs to be changed. Redeemed, ... I had parents once upon a time. I may even have had family. Sometimes, I've even been in love before and got my heart broken. We all have, right?

Four voices chime together:  Right!

Not Quite Human:  So why do the authors always make us out to be some horrible no-good who needs the love of a good woman to redeem us?

Free Spirit:  I know what you mean, NQH, how many times haven't I been portayed as some guy who needs a woman's influence to become responsible, to grow up even. Hey, what's wrong with enjoying life and having a good time? Besides, I am responsible. I always take care of my horse.

Bad Boy: Exactly. I know I'm sometimes guilty of bad behavior but that doesn't mean that I don't care about folks, even if I don't always treat 'em the way they want to be treated. I'd never deliberately harm anyone - well, unless they deserve it.

Knight:  That's so true, BB. Sometimes, in order to do the right thing, you have to do some bad things. It's our nature as heroes, isn't it? To protect those who can't protect themselves and those that we care about?

Good Man:  I think I understand what you're all saying. If we're to be the heroes we are asked to be then we have to act on our instincts. And if our instincts take us along a certain path, then why do we need to be changed in order to love someone?

Four voices chime together:  Exactly!

Not Quite Human:  Not that you've probably ever had to be redeemed, GM.

Good Man:  Oh, I've had my moments, NQH. I'm not that good!  (chuckling)

Everyone gets his joke and laughs along with him.

                 *                   *                  *                   *                  *                   *

So readers, what do you think? Do Romance Heroes have to be redeemable for the heroines (and us) to love them?

What about Heroines, who are less than innocent, should we think of them as needing to be redeemed?


Prize:  One Print Copy of SIZE 12 AND READY TO ROCK by Meg Cabot


Summer break . . . and the livin' ain't easy!
Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn't mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself--who just happens to be newly married to Heather's ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . . and it's clear that the star was the intended victim.

Grant Cartwright, head of Cartwright Records, wants to keep his daughter-in-law (and his highest-earning performer) alive. So he hires his oldest son, black sheep of the family and private investigator Cooper Cartwright--who just happens to be Heather's "new" fiancE. Heather should leave the detecting to Cooper. But with a dorm full of hysterical mini-divas-in-training, she can't help but get involved. And after Tania shares a really shocking secret with her, "this" reality suddenly becomes more dangerously real than anyone ever anticipated.

A bit of mystery keeps this contemporary romance moving along. Anyone want a copy?

Giveaway rules:   THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks for playing.

One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a print copy of SIZE 12 AND READY TO ROCK by Meg Cabot.

This Giveaway is OPEN to US RESIDENTS ONLY (void where prohibited)

You must leave a comment with a valid email address to qualify to be entered in this Giveaway.

Giveaway will run till 11:30PM Friday, October 26, 2012 at which time one lucky commenter will be chosen at random and notified by email as well as announced in a special post on Saturday. Good Luck!
Happy Reading Everyone!
SIZE 12 AND READY TO ROCK, a Heather Wells Mystery novel, by Meg Cabot, William Morrow paperbacks, available in print, ebook, and audio formats.


erin said...

what a fun post! A cute way to define the "hero" stereotypes :) Umm... For me a hero doesn't always have to be redeemed or redeemable, but he has to be likable/relatable just a bit. I have to like him, despite his flaws and want him to find a bit of happiness/love. Even if he's only nice to the woman he loves, I have to believe that that is part of his character and not just an overblown stereotype. And for me the heroines are the same. It chafes me a bit when a strong, independent woman can be potrayed as "the bitch" who just needs a good man to "soften" her up. It should be equal across the board, IMHO :)

Thanks for the giveaway!


Amy Valentini said...

LOL! Erin, your humble opinion is always welcome here. Glad you enjoyed. Good luck!

Pamela Tyner said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it.

I don’t mind characters who need to be redeemed, but I don’t search them out either, and I couldn’t only read stories with characters like that. I need a variety in my reading.

MommyIves said...

Super fun post! Made me smile!

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks Ladies! Glad you enjoyed. If all I do is succeed in making someone smile - my job is done. : )

Amy said...

Great post. it was totally fun to read! loved it! :)

Amy said...

i forgot to put my email addy! lol sorry.. im slow..

Amanda said...

I do think for the most part the hero needs to be redeemable but not to everyone just the heroine. My favorite hero is Sebastian from Devil in Winter. He was a bad guy in pervious books and I think to the world in general he is still that guy at the end of his book but not to his heroine and her friends.
In the end I have to find something to like/love in the guy.

Amanda said...

My email is

Amy Valentini said...

Amanda, good point. I don't like to see a 'not so nice' guy suddenly become a 'totally good' guy just because he falls in love. It's not believable. I'd rather be able to see that redeeming quality already there but just brought out more by his falling in love while he retains what was his strongest characteristic in the beginning. Thanks for coming by. : )

Zippy said...

Loved it! I would rather have a bad boy!
zipstersclue04 at gmail dot com!
Thanks for the giveaway !

Carey Baldwin said...

Loved this post, Amy. Awesome blog today! I love the bad boys, I must say!

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Zippy, glad to see you! Bad boys do rock! : )

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Carey, how've you been?
I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, I love getting a little creative. I've got a passion for the bad boys, too - make 'em a vamp or shifter bad boy and I'm in 7th heaven. Thanks for coming by. Hugs! : )

JB Lynn said...

I don't want to be entered in the TBR pile is high enough already, but wanted to say: Great post! Gotta say I was in stitches with all your tall, gorgeous men. :-)

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks JB! I was caught in a quandary because I couldn't use any one hero for the parts so they really did become very generic. After all, we like 'em tall and gorgeous, right?
Thanks for coming by! : )