Wickedly, sinfully, deliciously dangerous.

Charliedrac
Jo here. Last time around I was thinking about historicals and forbidden fantasies, and when it comes down to it, we were talking about heroes, yes? Romance readers are mostly women, so it’s not surprising that many of our darker fantasies are about the opposite sex. But is it a bit strange that we don’t seem to have dark fantasies about what women could do if the rules were thrown aside?

Or do you think that happens in romances, historical or otherwise? Examples?

Maybe I see one way this happens – heroines are often a lot more willing to get in-your-face with dangerous males than most of us. Probably in real life most of us avoid the leather-clad biker, or the stubble-chinned guy leaning on a wall, eying the world with hard-eyed cynicism, not to mention the drunken sports fan, rolling out of the bar in the early hours looking for a fight.
Fightingpirate

So why is it that we find these guys thrilling between the pages of a book, and enjoy watching the much-braver-than-we heroine going nose-to-nose with him? Probably part of it is that they rarely get the sort of results they might in real life. Instead, the dangerous guy is melted, thawed, tamed. Or at least befuddled.
Knight

And let’s substitute a mercenary knight on dark horse for that Hell’s Angel on the Harley. Or a cynical earl standing aloof at a ball for the wall-leaner. (Or perhaps even Mr. Darcy, eying the provincial assembly with disdain.) And that drunken sports fan? A rake rolling out of a gaming hell, looking for trouble – but finding our heroine instead.

I’m not talking here about the sort of heroes who do real harm the heroine, but the ones we know could. Sometimes ones who can and do harm others. This could be in a noble context such as a soldier or cop, or not so noble, as with a man from the dark side of life who’s needed to be hard to survive.

I was thinking about this after my last blog, but it came even more to mind after I put up a couple of excerpts from Lady Beware. Lbgoodcropped
Darien fits most closely the “man from the dark side of life who’s needed to be hard to survive,” and we see some of that during the encounter. Most of my readers find it thrilling, but a few are disturbed. You can read them here.

Chapter One
Or you can skip straight to the confrontation here. Chapter Two

Your reaction?

So why do these scary heroes make for thrilling stories? Or don’t you agree about the thrill?

Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary? Is some of it context?

Does motivation matter?

Your ever enquiring Jo

168 thoughts on “Wickedly, sinfully, deliciously dangerous.”

  1. I was once in a relationship with a truly dominating obsessive male. It was wonderful in the beginning, but toward the end of it I was mostly in tears. Because dominating is really dominating and obsessive is scary. However, in books I enjoy the so-called Alpha male and for me it’s because in the end they’d do anything for the heroine. And,usually she has them wrapped around her finger. I’m thinking that it may be because most of the Alpha males in romance are written by women and these women know that a really dominating male is a pain in the butt. I mean honestly how many of us really want to be with James Bond …isn’t he really kind of creepy?

    Reply
  2. I was once in a relationship with a truly dominating obsessive male. It was wonderful in the beginning, but toward the end of it I was mostly in tears. Because dominating is really dominating and obsessive is scary. However, in books I enjoy the so-called Alpha male and for me it’s because in the end they’d do anything for the heroine. And,usually she has them wrapped around her finger. I’m thinking that it may be because most of the Alpha males in romance are written by women and these women know that a really dominating male is a pain in the butt. I mean honestly how many of us really want to be with James Bond …isn’t he really kind of creepy?

    Reply
  3. I was once in a relationship with a truly dominating obsessive male. It was wonderful in the beginning, but toward the end of it I was mostly in tears. Because dominating is really dominating and obsessive is scary. However, in books I enjoy the so-called Alpha male and for me it’s because in the end they’d do anything for the heroine. And,usually she has them wrapped around her finger. I’m thinking that it may be because most of the Alpha males in romance are written by women and these women know that a really dominating male is a pain in the butt. I mean honestly how many of us really want to be with James Bond …isn’t he really kind of creepy?

    Reply
  4. I was once in a relationship with a truly dominating obsessive male. It was wonderful in the beginning, but toward the end of it I was mostly in tears. Because dominating is really dominating and obsessive is scary. However, in books I enjoy the so-called Alpha male and for me it’s because in the end they’d do anything for the heroine. And,usually she has them wrapped around her finger. I’m thinking that it may be because most of the Alpha males in romance are written by women and these women know that a really dominating male is a pain in the butt. I mean honestly how many of us really want to be with James Bond …isn’t he really kind of creepy?

    Reply
  5. OK, read the excerpts, thinking hard about the question… There’s alpha and then there’s alpha; for me it depends on whether the man has any charm to go with it. If he’s merely boorish I find myself annoyed with the heroine for any attraction she feels toward him. Some authors, in my opinion, make far too much of the hero’s physical attributes. Perhaps there are women who feel irresistably drawn to a handsome man in spite of his rudeness or crudity, but I am not one of them.
    On the other hand, a man who seems dangerous either simply because of a dark brooding presence (e.g.) or because of rumors about him, etc., could still be very enticing. That sort of man gives a woman reason to be curious, and I think we would all like to believe ourselves to have at least sufficient courage to stand at the edge of a precipice, and at least sufficient sense not to jump!

    Reply
  6. OK, read the excerpts, thinking hard about the question… There’s alpha and then there’s alpha; for me it depends on whether the man has any charm to go with it. If he’s merely boorish I find myself annoyed with the heroine for any attraction she feels toward him. Some authors, in my opinion, make far too much of the hero’s physical attributes. Perhaps there are women who feel irresistably drawn to a handsome man in spite of his rudeness or crudity, but I am not one of them.
    On the other hand, a man who seems dangerous either simply because of a dark brooding presence (e.g.) or because of rumors about him, etc., could still be very enticing. That sort of man gives a woman reason to be curious, and I think we would all like to believe ourselves to have at least sufficient courage to stand at the edge of a precipice, and at least sufficient sense not to jump!

    Reply
  7. OK, read the excerpts, thinking hard about the question… There’s alpha and then there’s alpha; for me it depends on whether the man has any charm to go with it. If he’s merely boorish I find myself annoyed with the heroine for any attraction she feels toward him. Some authors, in my opinion, make far too much of the hero’s physical attributes. Perhaps there are women who feel irresistably drawn to a handsome man in spite of his rudeness or crudity, but I am not one of them.
    On the other hand, a man who seems dangerous either simply because of a dark brooding presence (e.g.) or because of rumors about him, etc., could still be very enticing. That sort of man gives a woman reason to be curious, and I think we would all like to believe ourselves to have at least sufficient courage to stand at the edge of a precipice, and at least sufficient sense not to jump!

    Reply
  8. OK, read the excerpts, thinking hard about the question… There’s alpha and then there’s alpha; for me it depends on whether the man has any charm to go with it. If he’s merely boorish I find myself annoyed with the heroine for any attraction she feels toward him. Some authors, in my opinion, make far too much of the hero’s physical attributes. Perhaps there are women who feel irresistably drawn to a handsome man in spite of his rudeness or crudity, but I am not one of them.
    On the other hand, a man who seems dangerous either simply because of a dark brooding presence (e.g.) or because of rumors about him, etc., could still be very enticing. That sort of man gives a woman reason to be curious, and I think we would all like to believe ourselves to have at least sufficient courage to stand at the edge of a precipice, and at least sufficient sense not to jump!

    Reply
  9. My own hubby is one of those dark and dangerous guys. Or rather — WAS one of them. These days, there’s just a residual layer remaining, though just beneath that layer — watch out! What “tamed” him? Not me … alas. He broke his back and is now paraplegic. He still lives a little on the edge, his need for the adrenaline rush not having miraculously disappeared with his accident (it doesn’t, you know.) I honestly believe it is that “bad boy” personality — let’s call it a natural arrogance and devil-may-care personality — which has kept him from sinking into self-pity and always looking for the next big challenge. Here’s to the underlying strength and courage of the “bad boy”!

    Reply
  10. My own hubby is one of those dark and dangerous guys. Or rather — WAS one of them. These days, there’s just a residual layer remaining, though just beneath that layer — watch out! What “tamed” him? Not me … alas. He broke his back and is now paraplegic. He still lives a little on the edge, his need for the adrenaline rush not having miraculously disappeared with his accident (it doesn’t, you know.) I honestly believe it is that “bad boy” personality — let’s call it a natural arrogance and devil-may-care personality — which has kept him from sinking into self-pity and always looking for the next big challenge. Here’s to the underlying strength and courage of the “bad boy”!

    Reply
  11. My own hubby is one of those dark and dangerous guys. Or rather — WAS one of them. These days, there’s just a residual layer remaining, though just beneath that layer — watch out! What “tamed” him? Not me … alas. He broke his back and is now paraplegic. He still lives a little on the edge, his need for the adrenaline rush not having miraculously disappeared with his accident (it doesn’t, you know.) I honestly believe it is that “bad boy” personality — let’s call it a natural arrogance and devil-may-care personality — which has kept him from sinking into self-pity and always looking for the next big challenge. Here’s to the underlying strength and courage of the “bad boy”!

    Reply
  12. My own hubby is one of those dark and dangerous guys. Or rather — WAS one of them. These days, there’s just a residual layer remaining, though just beneath that layer — watch out! What “tamed” him? Not me … alas. He broke his back and is now paraplegic. He still lives a little on the edge, his need for the adrenaline rush not having miraculously disappeared with his accident (it doesn’t, you know.) I honestly believe it is that “bad boy” personality — let’s call it a natural arrogance and devil-may-care personality — which has kept him from sinking into self-pity and always looking for the next big challenge. Here’s to the underlying strength and courage of the “bad boy”!

    Reply
  13. WandaSue, I am so sorry that happened to your husband, but how wonderful that his strength and spirit persisted.
    What a good point about the need for adrenaline. I hadn’t thought of it, but I realize I address that a bit in Lady Beware. (very minor spoiler follows.)
    As I was writing I came to realize that he’d lived in and out of that adrenalin rush from 15, in the army. So I have him spending time in Jackson’s Salon fighting for fun, but fighting harm. He needs that in his life, and he admits he liked a lot about being a warrior.
    Kay, yes, dominating men are very hard to live with in reality.
    Elaine, great point about curiosity. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat.*G*
    Is the appeal in books perhaps precisely _because_ most of us avoid these men in real life? Like a virtual ride at Disneyworld? The wind in our hair, the knot in the gut, but no real danger at all?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  14. WandaSue, I am so sorry that happened to your husband, but how wonderful that his strength and spirit persisted.
    What a good point about the need for adrenaline. I hadn’t thought of it, but I realize I address that a bit in Lady Beware. (very minor spoiler follows.)
    As I was writing I came to realize that he’d lived in and out of that adrenalin rush from 15, in the army. So I have him spending time in Jackson’s Salon fighting for fun, but fighting harm. He needs that in his life, and he admits he liked a lot about being a warrior.
    Kay, yes, dominating men are very hard to live with in reality.
    Elaine, great point about curiosity. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat.*G*
    Is the appeal in books perhaps precisely _because_ most of us avoid these men in real life? Like a virtual ride at Disneyworld? The wind in our hair, the knot in the gut, but no real danger at all?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  15. WandaSue, I am so sorry that happened to your husband, but how wonderful that his strength and spirit persisted.
    What a good point about the need for adrenaline. I hadn’t thought of it, but I realize I address that a bit in Lady Beware. (very minor spoiler follows.)
    As I was writing I came to realize that he’d lived in and out of that adrenalin rush from 15, in the army. So I have him spending time in Jackson’s Salon fighting for fun, but fighting harm. He needs that in his life, and he admits he liked a lot about being a warrior.
    Kay, yes, dominating men are very hard to live with in reality.
    Elaine, great point about curiosity. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat.*G*
    Is the appeal in books perhaps precisely _because_ most of us avoid these men in real life? Like a virtual ride at Disneyworld? The wind in our hair, the knot in the gut, but no real danger at all?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  16. WandaSue, I am so sorry that happened to your husband, but how wonderful that his strength and spirit persisted.
    What a good point about the need for adrenaline. I hadn’t thought of it, but I realize I address that a bit in Lady Beware. (very minor spoiler follows.)
    As I was writing I came to realize that he’d lived in and out of that adrenalin rush from 15, in the army. So I have him spending time in Jackson’s Salon fighting for fun, but fighting harm. He needs that in his life, and he admits he liked a lot about being a warrior.
    Kay, yes, dominating men are very hard to live with in reality.
    Elaine, great point about curiosity. And we all know what curiosity did to the cat.*G*
    Is the appeal in books perhaps precisely _because_ most of us avoid these men in real life? Like a virtual ride at Disneyworld? The wind in our hair, the knot in the gut, but no real danger at all?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  17. WandaSue, your husband puts me in mind of the guys in MURDERBALL. They are who they are, regardless of their wheelchairs. They live hard and they play hard, and I can respect that in a person.
    As for the bad-boy hero thing, there’s something thrilling about the knowledge that he COULD be bad, but chooses not to be. *grin* (says the girl who’s dated far too many leather-clad bikers, LOL!).
    For me, it’s not so much context as it is intent. I can take an Alpha-@sshole so long as he never actually hurts the heroine . . . he can even intend to do so, so long as he stops himself. And I think your new hero is delicious! An anti-Rogue. What fun!!!

    Reply
  18. WandaSue, your husband puts me in mind of the guys in MURDERBALL. They are who they are, regardless of their wheelchairs. They live hard and they play hard, and I can respect that in a person.
    As for the bad-boy hero thing, there’s something thrilling about the knowledge that he COULD be bad, but chooses not to be. *grin* (says the girl who’s dated far too many leather-clad bikers, LOL!).
    For me, it’s not so much context as it is intent. I can take an Alpha-@sshole so long as he never actually hurts the heroine . . . he can even intend to do so, so long as he stops himself. And I think your new hero is delicious! An anti-Rogue. What fun!!!

    Reply
  19. WandaSue, your husband puts me in mind of the guys in MURDERBALL. They are who they are, regardless of their wheelchairs. They live hard and they play hard, and I can respect that in a person.
    As for the bad-boy hero thing, there’s something thrilling about the knowledge that he COULD be bad, but chooses not to be. *grin* (says the girl who’s dated far too many leather-clad bikers, LOL!).
    For me, it’s not so much context as it is intent. I can take an Alpha-@sshole so long as he never actually hurts the heroine . . . he can even intend to do so, so long as he stops himself. And I think your new hero is delicious! An anti-Rogue. What fun!!!

    Reply
  20. WandaSue, your husband puts me in mind of the guys in MURDERBALL. They are who they are, regardless of their wheelchairs. They live hard and they play hard, and I can respect that in a person.
    As for the bad-boy hero thing, there’s something thrilling about the knowledge that he COULD be bad, but chooses not to be. *grin* (says the girl who’s dated far too many leather-clad bikers, LOL!).
    For me, it’s not so much context as it is intent. I can take an Alpha-@sshole so long as he never actually hurts the heroine . . . he can even intend to do so, so long as he stops himself. And I think your new hero is delicious! An anti-Rogue. What fun!!!

    Reply
  21. Hmmm… don’t know as I always do avoid them in real life, but perhaps I’m the exception. I prefer men who are strong enough to match me, but they’re not dominating or obsessive – alpha males are just generally very good leaders – but most of them don’t HAVE to be in control all of the time – they’ll cede or share control to other competent folks (or at least that’s my definition of alpha male – true strength doesn’t have to be exercised constantly!)….
    My experience is that the most physical, dominating or ‘blustery’ people are in fact very weak underneath – their behaviours may be pre-emptive? I have this annoying value system that says that if I can always win against someone else, then I can never use my strength to prevail against them for my personal gain….so hanging around with wimps is a selfless giving pit… fine for a while but way more fun to be in a more equal relationship.
    So – I LIKE strong heros in my books. So – is strong SCARY? Not for me. (My husband was one of those warrior bad boys – a bit more challenging to manage at times, but infinitely more interesting! One of the things I liked most about him, actually!)
    And besides, based on these excerpts, I don’t really see Darien/Horatio/Cave as all that ‘scary’. He’s straight forward in his behaviours, even if they’re a bit more assertive than the norm! Folks with creepy hidden issues are by far more scary….and they tend to be rather good at company manners…
    Is a need to dominate/an obsessive need to control, Scary? I think so, but I don’t see either in this character….

    Reply
  22. Hmmm… don’t know as I always do avoid them in real life, but perhaps I’m the exception. I prefer men who are strong enough to match me, but they’re not dominating or obsessive – alpha males are just generally very good leaders – but most of them don’t HAVE to be in control all of the time – they’ll cede or share control to other competent folks (or at least that’s my definition of alpha male – true strength doesn’t have to be exercised constantly!)….
    My experience is that the most physical, dominating or ‘blustery’ people are in fact very weak underneath – their behaviours may be pre-emptive? I have this annoying value system that says that if I can always win against someone else, then I can never use my strength to prevail against them for my personal gain….so hanging around with wimps is a selfless giving pit… fine for a while but way more fun to be in a more equal relationship.
    So – I LIKE strong heros in my books. So – is strong SCARY? Not for me. (My husband was one of those warrior bad boys – a bit more challenging to manage at times, but infinitely more interesting! One of the things I liked most about him, actually!)
    And besides, based on these excerpts, I don’t really see Darien/Horatio/Cave as all that ‘scary’. He’s straight forward in his behaviours, even if they’re a bit more assertive than the norm! Folks with creepy hidden issues are by far more scary….and they tend to be rather good at company manners…
    Is a need to dominate/an obsessive need to control, Scary? I think so, but I don’t see either in this character….

    Reply
  23. Hmmm… don’t know as I always do avoid them in real life, but perhaps I’m the exception. I prefer men who are strong enough to match me, but they’re not dominating or obsessive – alpha males are just generally very good leaders – but most of them don’t HAVE to be in control all of the time – they’ll cede or share control to other competent folks (or at least that’s my definition of alpha male – true strength doesn’t have to be exercised constantly!)….
    My experience is that the most physical, dominating or ‘blustery’ people are in fact very weak underneath – their behaviours may be pre-emptive? I have this annoying value system that says that if I can always win against someone else, then I can never use my strength to prevail against them for my personal gain….so hanging around with wimps is a selfless giving pit… fine for a while but way more fun to be in a more equal relationship.
    So – I LIKE strong heros in my books. So – is strong SCARY? Not for me. (My husband was one of those warrior bad boys – a bit more challenging to manage at times, but infinitely more interesting! One of the things I liked most about him, actually!)
    And besides, based on these excerpts, I don’t really see Darien/Horatio/Cave as all that ‘scary’. He’s straight forward in his behaviours, even if they’re a bit more assertive than the norm! Folks with creepy hidden issues are by far more scary….and they tend to be rather good at company manners…
    Is a need to dominate/an obsessive need to control, Scary? I think so, but I don’t see either in this character….

    Reply
  24. Hmmm… don’t know as I always do avoid them in real life, but perhaps I’m the exception. I prefer men who are strong enough to match me, but they’re not dominating or obsessive – alpha males are just generally very good leaders – but most of them don’t HAVE to be in control all of the time – they’ll cede or share control to other competent folks (or at least that’s my definition of alpha male – true strength doesn’t have to be exercised constantly!)….
    My experience is that the most physical, dominating or ‘blustery’ people are in fact very weak underneath – their behaviours may be pre-emptive? I have this annoying value system that says that if I can always win against someone else, then I can never use my strength to prevail against them for my personal gain….so hanging around with wimps is a selfless giving pit… fine for a while but way more fun to be in a more equal relationship.
    So – I LIKE strong heros in my books. So – is strong SCARY? Not for me. (My husband was one of those warrior bad boys – a bit more challenging to manage at times, but infinitely more interesting! One of the things I liked most about him, actually!)
    And besides, based on these excerpts, I don’t really see Darien/Horatio/Cave as all that ‘scary’. He’s straight forward in his behaviours, even if they’re a bit more assertive than the norm! Folks with creepy hidden issues are by far more scary….and they tend to be rather good at company manners…
    Is a need to dominate/an obsessive need to control, Scary? I think so, but I don’t see either in this character….

    Reply
  25. Jo —
    My hubby still needs his adrenaline “rush” — he sails solo, plays basketball (and plays it hard!), still hangs with his old buddies, and lives as “dangerously” as he can, pushing the envelope every chance he gets. I do sometimes wonder if it is part of his personality to do so, or if he is trying to “prove something” about men with disabilities … or are both issues the same? Hmmm… Whatever. The issue is: he is still a “bad boy”, wheelchair notwithstanding, and I love that about him. I am drawn to the type (obviously!), and perhaps it is because I was a “good Catholic girl” who was always told those types should always be avoided. HA! But here’s the secret: he’s a good Catholic Italian boy himself beneath it all! He’s never had anything but the utmost respect for me — as his parents and family has always noted, to their amazement. Isn’t that the way of it, though? I’ve often thought of writing a romance myself, with him as the model for my hero … well, he IS my real-life hero!
    Kalen — yes, we saw “Murderball”, and as you see, the need for adrenaline doesn’t die with a paralyzing accident. The need remains. Very interesting movie.

    Reply
  26. Jo —
    My hubby still needs his adrenaline “rush” — he sails solo, plays basketball (and plays it hard!), still hangs with his old buddies, and lives as “dangerously” as he can, pushing the envelope every chance he gets. I do sometimes wonder if it is part of his personality to do so, or if he is trying to “prove something” about men with disabilities … or are both issues the same? Hmmm… Whatever. The issue is: he is still a “bad boy”, wheelchair notwithstanding, and I love that about him. I am drawn to the type (obviously!), and perhaps it is because I was a “good Catholic girl” who was always told those types should always be avoided. HA! But here’s the secret: he’s a good Catholic Italian boy himself beneath it all! He’s never had anything but the utmost respect for me — as his parents and family has always noted, to their amazement. Isn’t that the way of it, though? I’ve often thought of writing a romance myself, with him as the model for my hero … well, he IS my real-life hero!
    Kalen — yes, we saw “Murderball”, and as you see, the need for adrenaline doesn’t die with a paralyzing accident. The need remains. Very interesting movie.

    Reply
  27. Jo —
    My hubby still needs his adrenaline “rush” — he sails solo, plays basketball (and plays it hard!), still hangs with his old buddies, and lives as “dangerously” as he can, pushing the envelope every chance he gets. I do sometimes wonder if it is part of his personality to do so, or if he is trying to “prove something” about men with disabilities … or are both issues the same? Hmmm… Whatever. The issue is: he is still a “bad boy”, wheelchair notwithstanding, and I love that about him. I am drawn to the type (obviously!), and perhaps it is because I was a “good Catholic girl” who was always told those types should always be avoided. HA! But here’s the secret: he’s a good Catholic Italian boy himself beneath it all! He’s never had anything but the utmost respect for me — as his parents and family has always noted, to their amazement. Isn’t that the way of it, though? I’ve often thought of writing a romance myself, with him as the model for my hero … well, he IS my real-life hero!
    Kalen — yes, we saw “Murderball”, and as you see, the need for adrenaline doesn’t die with a paralyzing accident. The need remains. Very interesting movie.

    Reply
  28. Jo —
    My hubby still needs his adrenaline “rush” — he sails solo, plays basketball (and plays it hard!), still hangs with his old buddies, and lives as “dangerously” as he can, pushing the envelope every chance he gets. I do sometimes wonder if it is part of his personality to do so, or if he is trying to “prove something” about men with disabilities … or are both issues the same? Hmmm… Whatever. The issue is: he is still a “bad boy”, wheelchair notwithstanding, and I love that about him. I am drawn to the type (obviously!), and perhaps it is because I was a “good Catholic girl” who was always told those types should always be avoided. HA! But here’s the secret: he’s a good Catholic Italian boy himself beneath it all! He’s never had anything but the utmost respect for me — as his parents and family has always noted, to their amazement. Isn’t that the way of it, though? I’ve often thought of writing a romance myself, with him as the model for my hero … well, he IS my real-life hero!
    Kalen — yes, we saw “Murderball”, and as you see, the need for adrenaline doesn’t die with a paralyzing accident. The need remains. Very interesting movie.

    Reply
  29. I don’t know if I’m unusual in this, but when I enjoy an alpha or bad*ss hero in romance or any other genre, I’m not identifying with the heroine and wanting to tame him–on some level I’m wishing I could *be* him. While I’m reading I get to pretend I’m wild and free and dangerous (but only to those who truly *deserve* my wrath, of course), instead of a perfectly civilized office drone who does her best to keep her temper under wraps to avoid rocking the boat. I find when I’m under the most stress in life is when I enjoy the alpha hero the most, regardless of genre–it’s like a way to escape for awhile and let my id run free. 🙂
    As for what makes an alpha hero work me…if their alpha behavior involves any form of cruelty to the heroine or another sympathetic character, it has to be EXTREMELY well-motivated or I won’t accept it. After all, my alpha fantasies are all about being powerful and free and able to right injustices, not about hurting anyone other than perpetrators of injustice.

    Reply
  30. I don’t know if I’m unusual in this, but when I enjoy an alpha or bad*ss hero in romance or any other genre, I’m not identifying with the heroine and wanting to tame him–on some level I’m wishing I could *be* him. While I’m reading I get to pretend I’m wild and free and dangerous (but only to those who truly *deserve* my wrath, of course), instead of a perfectly civilized office drone who does her best to keep her temper under wraps to avoid rocking the boat. I find when I’m under the most stress in life is when I enjoy the alpha hero the most, regardless of genre–it’s like a way to escape for awhile and let my id run free. 🙂
    As for what makes an alpha hero work me…if their alpha behavior involves any form of cruelty to the heroine or another sympathetic character, it has to be EXTREMELY well-motivated or I won’t accept it. After all, my alpha fantasies are all about being powerful and free and able to right injustices, not about hurting anyone other than perpetrators of injustice.

    Reply
  31. I don’t know if I’m unusual in this, but when I enjoy an alpha or bad*ss hero in romance or any other genre, I’m not identifying with the heroine and wanting to tame him–on some level I’m wishing I could *be* him. While I’m reading I get to pretend I’m wild and free and dangerous (but only to those who truly *deserve* my wrath, of course), instead of a perfectly civilized office drone who does her best to keep her temper under wraps to avoid rocking the boat. I find when I’m under the most stress in life is when I enjoy the alpha hero the most, regardless of genre–it’s like a way to escape for awhile and let my id run free. 🙂
    As for what makes an alpha hero work me…if their alpha behavior involves any form of cruelty to the heroine or another sympathetic character, it has to be EXTREMELY well-motivated or I won’t accept it. After all, my alpha fantasies are all about being powerful and free and able to right injustices, not about hurting anyone other than perpetrators of injustice.

    Reply
  32. I don’t know if I’m unusual in this, but when I enjoy an alpha or bad*ss hero in romance or any other genre, I’m not identifying with the heroine and wanting to tame him–on some level I’m wishing I could *be* him. While I’m reading I get to pretend I’m wild and free and dangerous (but only to those who truly *deserve* my wrath, of course), instead of a perfectly civilized office drone who does her best to keep her temper under wraps to avoid rocking the boat. I find when I’m under the most stress in life is when I enjoy the alpha hero the most, regardless of genre–it’s like a way to escape for awhile and let my id run free. 🙂
    As for what makes an alpha hero work me…if their alpha behavior involves any form of cruelty to the heroine or another sympathetic character, it has to be EXTREMELY well-motivated or I won’t accept it. After all, my alpha fantasies are all about being powerful and free and able to right injustices, not about hurting anyone other than perpetrators of injustice.

    Reply
  33. Susan, I think there likely others who identify in that way with an alpha character…thanks for articulating it so well. We have strong convictions but don’t always have the courage to act on them, so we identify with a hero (or a heroine) who does?

    Reply
  34. Susan, I think there likely others who identify in that way with an alpha character…thanks for articulating it so well. We have strong convictions but don’t always have the courage to act on them, so we identify with a hero (or a heroine) who does?

    Reply
  35. Susan, I think there likely others who identify in that way with an alpha character…thanks for articulating it so well. We have strong convictions but don’t always have the courage to act on them, so we identify with a hero (or a heroine) who does?

    Reply
  36. Susan, I think there likely others who identify in that way with an alpha character…thanks for articulating it so well. We have strong convictions but don’t always have the courage to act on them, so we identify with a hero (or a heroine) who does?

    Reply
  37. “So why is it that we find these guys thrilling between the pages of a book, and enjoy watching the much-braver-than-we heroine going nose-to-nose with him?”
    Because in real life I’d never have the guts or be that reckless.
    “So why do these scary heroes make for thrilling stories? Or don’t you agree about the thrill? Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary? Is some of it context? Does motivation matter?”
    Authors who write dangerous heroes usually give clues so the reader knows, even if the heroine doesn’t, that he isn’t dangerous to her. IMO, how edgy a hero is depends on how good the clues are and the reader’s ability to pick up on them. If readers can’t follow the clues or the clues are false, an author can end up with a hero who is over the edge.
    I find dangerous heroes very thrilling. It depends on their motivation, but also on what their limits are (which ties into the honor theme). If the hero doesn’t have a line that he won’t cross, he becomes truly scary.
    I liken it to the lure of big cats – the almost irresistible urge to reach through the bars and pet. All that wildness and power are beautiful and you just want to wallow in it. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Reply
  38. “So why is it that we find these guys thrilling between the pages of a book, and enjoy watching the much-braver-than-we heroine going nose-to-nose with him?”
    Because in real life I’d never have the guts or be that reckless.
    “So why do these scary heroes make for thrilling stories? Or don’t you agree about the thrill? Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary? Is some of it context? Does motivation matter?”
    Authors who write dangerous heroes usually give clues so the reader knows, even if the heroine doesn’t, that he isn’t dangerous to her. IMO, how edgy a hero is depends on how good the clues are and the reader’s ability to pick up on them. If readers can’t follow the clues or the clues are false, an author can end up with a hero who is over the edge.
    I find dangerous heroes very thrilling. It depends on their motivation, but also on what their limits are (which ties into the honor theme). If the hero doesn’t have a line that he won’t cross, he becomes truly scary.
    I liken it to the lure of big cats – the almost irresistible urge to reach through the bars and pet. All that wildness and power are beautiful and you just want to wallow in it. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Reply
  39. “So why is it that we find these guys thrilling between the pages of a book, and enjoy watching the much-braver-than-we heroine going nose-to-nose with him?”
    Because in real life I’d never have the guts or be that reckless.
    “So why do these scary heroes make for thrilling stories? Or don’t you agree about the thrill? Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary? Is some of it context? Does motivation matter?”
    Authors who write dangerous heroes usually give clues so the reader knows, even if the heroine doesn’t, that he isn’t dangerous to her. IMO, how edgy a hero is depends on how good the clues are and the reader’s ability to pick up on them. If readers can’t follow the clues or the clues are false, an author can end up with a hero who is over the edge.
    I find dangerous heroes very thrilling. It depends on their motivation, but also on what their limits are (which ties into the honor theme). If the hero doesn’t have a line that he won’t cross, he becomes truly scary.
    I liken it to the lure of big cats – the almost irresistible urge to reach through the bars and pet. All that wildness and power are beautiful and you just want to wallow in it. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Reply
  40. “So why is it that we find these guys thrilling between the pages of a book, and enjoy watching the much-braver-than-we heroine going nose-to-nose with him?”
    Because in real life I’d never have the guts or be that reckless.
    “So why do these scary heroes make for thrilling stories? Or don’t you agree about the thrill? Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary? Is some of it context? Does motivation matter?”
    Authors who write dangerous heroes usually give clues so the reader knows, even if the heroine doesn’t, that he isn’t dangerous to her. IMO, how edgy a hero is depends on how good the clues are and the reader’s ability to pick up on them. If readers can’t follow the clues or the clues are false, an author can end up with a hero who is over the edge.
    I find dangerous heroes very thrilling. It depends on their motivation, but also on what their limits are (which ties into the honor theme). If the hero doesn’t have a line that he won’t cross, he becomes truly scary.
    I liken it to the lure of big cats – the almost irresistible urge to reach through the bars and pet. All that wildness and power are beautiful and you just want to wallow in it. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    Reply
  41. I have seen entirely too many bad examples of thuggish dominating behavior to have any interest in such a male, unless there are extenuating circumstances. That’s a nice point about the addiction to an adrenaline rush, and that could make such behavior understandable and exciting in a military man. And I can see, in historical times when women were in actuality fairly helpless, a woman wanting an alpha male to stand between her and the world. But to me, that fantasy requires a heroine who may be internally strong, but externally powerless. Otherwise, she’s likely to kill him.
    Alas, though, my favorite heroes are the strong, intellectual ones who don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ll do the alphas when the story calls for it, as Jo’s does, but my heart is already taken. “G”

    Reply
  42. I have seen entirely too many bad examples of thuggish dominating behavior to have any interest in such a male, unless there are extenuating circumstances. That’s a nice point about the addiction to an adrenaline rush, and that could make such behavior understandable and exciting in a military man. And I can see, in historical times when women were in actuality fairly helpless, a woman wanting an alpha male to stand between her and the world. But to me, that fantasy requires a heroine who may be internally strong, but externally powerless. Otherwise, she’s likely to kill him.
    Alas, though, my favorite heroes are the strong, intellectual ones who don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ll do the alphas when the story calls for it, as Jo’s does, but my heart is already taken. “G”

    Reply
  43. I have seen entirely too many bad examples of thuggish dominating behavior to have any interest in such a male, unless there are extenuating circumstances. That’s a nice point about the addiction to an adrenaline rush, and that could make such behavior understandable and exciting in a military man. And I can see, in historical times when women were in actuality fairly helpless, a woman wanting an alpha male to stand between her and the world. But to me, that fantasy requires a heroine who may be internally strong, but externally powerless. Otherwise, she’s likely to kill him.
    Alas, though, my favorite heroes are the strong, intellectual ones who don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ll do the alphas when the story calls for it, as Jo’s does, but my heart is already taken. “G”

    Reply
  44. I have seen entirely too many bad examples of thuggish dominating behavior to have any interest in such a male, unless there are extenuating circumstances. That’s a nice point about the addiction to an adrenaline rush, and that could make such behavior understandable and exciting in a military man. And I can see, in historical times when women were in actuality fairly helpless, a woman wanting an alpha male to stand between her and the world. But to me, that fantasy requires a heroine who may be internally strong, but externally powerless. Otherwise, she’s likely to kill him.
    Alas, though, my favorite heroes are the strong, intellectual ones who don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ll do the alphas when the story calls for it, as Jo’s does, but my heart is already taken. “G”

    Reply
  45. Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.
    I think readers probably split on that one. I’m pretty sure I’m in the other camp, except that I don’t even identify with the heroine that much. I just enjoy the show.
    It’s not much fun to watch an unequal contest, and if the heroine is strong and smart, she needs an exceptional man to keep things hopping.
    I do wonder if the idea that rom readers wanted “kick-ass” heroines wasn’t off key. Not that we mind them, but that it’s the couple that’s key.The right match, the right chemistry.
    There’s an old guideline for romance writing. What does this woman have that he needs? What hoes he have that she needs? What makes the match-up unique?
    Jo

    Reply
  46. Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.
    I think readers probably split on that one. I’m pretty sure I’m in the other camp, except that I don’t even identify with the heroine that much. I just enjoy the show.
    It’s not much fun to watch an unequal contest, and if the heroine is strong and smart, she needs an exceptional man to keep things hopping.
    I do wonder if the idea that rom readers wanted “kick-ass” heroines wasn’t off key. Not that we mind them, but that it’s the couple that’s key.The right match, the right chemistry.
    There’s an old guideline for romance writing. What does this woman have that he needs? What hoes he have that she needs? What makes the match-up unique?
    Jo

    Reply
  47. Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.
    I think readers probably split on that one. I’m pretty sure I’m in the other camp, except that I don’t even identify with the heroine that much. I just enjoy the show.
    It’s not much fun to watch an unequal contest, and if the heroine is strong and smart, she needs an exceptional man to keep things hopping.
    I do wonder if the idea that rom readers wanted “kick-ass” heroines wasn’t off key. Not that we mind them, but that it’s the couple that’s key.The right match, the right chemistry.
    There’s an old guideline for romance writing. What does this woman have that he needs? What hoes he have that she needs? What makes the match-up unique?
    Jo

    Reply
  48. Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.
    I think readers probably split on that one. I’m pretty sure I’m in the other camp, except that I don’t even identify with the heroine that much. I just enjoy the show.
    It’s not much fun to watch an unequal contest, and if the heroine is strong and smart, she needs an exceptional man to keep things hopping.
    I do wonder if the idea that rom readers wanted “kick-ass” heroines wasn’t off key. Not that we mind them, but that it’s the couple that’s key.The right match, the right chemistry.
    There’s an old guideline for romance writing. What does this woman have that he needs? What hoes he have that she needs? What makes the match-up unique?
    Jo

    Reply
  49. Zits.
    Is anyone reading this comic strip? It’s so on topic at the moment. Unfortunately they don’t show recent ones on line.
    But one of the teenagers is so shocked to be described as a “good boy” by the other’s mother that he sets about changing his image.
    Today, he’s there in his ripped muscle shirt and a girl goes all gooey over him. It’s so appropriate for this topic.
    There’s a song somewhere about a guy who does all the right things. He’s got a good job, he’s clean,fairly good looking, respectful of women, taking it slow etc.
    Then one day she runs away with a guy on a motorbike.
    Not that I’m getting at bikers. It’s just code now for the dangerous guy, isn’t it? Does that bother anyone here? If it does, I’ll stop.
    But we women do mostly have this quirk. At Curves the other day, one of the women was chatting about her dating, and she sighed that one of the men was “just too nice.”
    Crazy is us!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  50. Zits.
    Is anyone reading this comic strip? It’s so on topic at the moment. Unfortunately they don’t show recent ones on line.
    But one of the teenagers is so shocked to be described as a “good boy” by the other’s mother that he sets about changing his image.
    Today, he’s there in his ripped muscle shirt and a girl goes all gooey over him. It’s so appropriate for this topic.
    There’s a song somewhere about a guy who does all the right things. He’s got a good job, he’s clean,fairly good looking, respectful of women, taking it slow etc.
    Then one day she runs away with a guy on a motorbike.
    Not that I’m getting at bikers. It’s just code now for the dangerous guy, isn’t it? Does that bother anyone here? If it does, I’ll stop.
    But we women do mostly have this quirk. At Curves the other day, one of the women was chatting about her dating, and she sighed that one of the men was “just too nice.”
    Crazy is us!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  51. Zits.
    Is anyone reading this comic strip? It’s so on topic at the moment. Unfortunately they don’t show recent ones on line.
    But one of the teenagers is so shocked to be described as a “good boy” by the other’s mother that he sets about changing his image.
    Today, he’s there in his ripped muscle shirt and a girl goes all gooey over him. It’s so appropriate for this topic.
    There’s a song somewhere about a guy who does all the right things. He’s got a good job, he’s clean,fairly good looking, respectful of women, taking it slow etc.
    Then one day she runs away with a guy on a motorbike.
    Not that I’m getting at bikers. It’s just code now for the dangerous guy, isn’t it? Does that bother anyone here? If it does, I’ll stop.
    But we women do mostly have this quirk. At Curves the other day, one of the women was chatting about her dating, and she sighed that one of the men was “just too nice.”
    Crazy is us!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  52. Zits.
    Is anyone reading this comic strip? It’s so on topic at the moment. Unfortunately they don’t show recent ones on line.
    But one of the teenagers is so shocked to be described as a “good boy” by the other’s mother that he sets about changing his image.
    Today, he’s there in his ripped muscle shirt and a girl goes all gooey over him. It’s so appropriate for this topic.
    There’s a song somewhere about a guy who does all the right things. He’s got a good job, he’s clean,fairly good looking, respectful of women, taking it slow etc.
    Then one day she runs away with a guy on a motorbike.
    Not that I’m getting at bikers. It’s just code now for the dangerous guy, isn’t it? Does that bother anyone here? If it does, I’ll stop.
    But we women do mostly have this quirk. At Curves the other day, one of the women was chatting about her dating, and she sighed that one of the men was “just too nice.”
    Crazy is us!
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  53. Speaking solely for myself, I need the “adrenaline rush” of loving a “bad boy” who lives on the edge.
    We ladies need it too. ;o)

    Reply
  54. Speaking solely for myself, I need the “adrenaline rush” of loving a “bad boy” who lives on the edge.
    We ladies need it too. ;o)

    Reply
  55. Speaking solely for myself, I need the “adrenaline rush” of loving a “bad boy” who lives on the edge.
    We ladies need it too. ;o)

    Reply
  56. Speaking solely for myself, I need the “adrenaline rush” of loving a “bad boy” who lives on the edge.
    We ladies need it too. ;o)

    Reply
  57. Like your style WandaSue…
    Trying not to be repetitious, but I like heroes that *choose* to be nice or good or noble….but have the potential or even the inclination, to be bad/dangerous.
    Not those who are ‘impossibly’ good….mind you, that type wouldn’t appreciate a heroine with a bit of spice to her either.(-;
    In reading over the responses here, I think we’re all defining dangerous or alpha males etc differently…. I’d never go for nasty (but those are often wimpy types anyway) underhanded, wilfully destructive, abusive….
    but those who are potent, powerful or potentially dangerous, are absolutely attractive in my book. (They often have charisma too – really affects the chemistry, doesn’t it.)

    Reply
  58. Like your style WandaSue…
    Trying not to be repetitious, but I like heroes that *choose* to be nice or good or noble….but have the potential or even the inclination, to be bad/dangerous.
    Not those who are ‘impossibly’ good….mind you, that type wouldn’t appreciate a heroine with a bit of spice to her either.(-;
    In reading over the responses here, I think we’re all defining dangerous or alpha males etc differently…. I’d never go for nasty (but those are often wimpy types anyway) underhanded, wilfully destructive, abusive….
    but those who are potent, powerful or potentially dangerous, are absolutely attractive in my book. (They often have charisma too – really affects the chemistry, doesn’t it.)

    Reply
  59. Like your style WandaSue…
    Trying not to be repetitious, but I like heroes that *choose* to be nice or good or noble….but have the potential or even the inclination, to be bad/dangerous.
    Not those who are ‘impossibly’ good….mind you, that type wouldn’t appreciate a heroine with a bit of spice to her either.(-;
    In reading over the responses here, I think we’re all defining dangerous or alpha males etc differently…. I’d never go for nasty (but those are often wimpy types anyway) underhanded, wilfully destructive, abusive….
    but those who are potent, powerful or potentially dangerous, are absolutely attractive in my book. (They often have charisma too – really affects the chemistry, doesn’t it.)

    Reply
  60. Like your style WandaSue…
    Trying not to be repetitious, but I like heroes that *choose* to be nice or good or noble….but have the potential or even the inclination, to be bad/dangerous.
    Not those who are ‘impossibly’ good….mind you, that type wouldn’t appreciate a heroine with a bit of spice to her either.(-;
    In reading over the responses here, I think we’re all defining dangerous or alpha males etc differently…. I’d never go for nasty (but those are often wimpy types anyway) underhanded, wilfully destructive, abusive….
    but those who are potent, powerful or potentially dangerous, are absolutely attractive in my book. (They often have charisma too – really affects the chemistry, doesn’t it.)

    Reply
  61. I read an article last week that made me think about alpha heroes and what makes them alpha. The article dealt with the fact that killing is not “natural” to us, so the soldier has to be conditioned to do it. The old method of target practice using pop-up silhouettes of the “enemy” weren’t effective because they lacked realism. So now they are having soldiers shoot at cabbages filled with ketchup. *shudder*
    In romances, as well as true life, the warrior hero has always been popular. He’s courageous, death-defying, bigger than life, dangerous, admired. This has been so since the dawn of man. So I think there’s some genetic hard-wiring involved that allows us to be attracted to the dangerous alpha hero.
    I’m a huge fan of dangerous heroes. Jo, I read your excerpts in chapters 1 & 2 and was hooked. A darkly mysterious alpha. How delicious. *g*

    Reply
  62. I read an article last week that made me think about alpha heroes and what makes them alpha. The article dealt with the fact that killing is not “natural” to us, so the soldier has to be conditioned to do it. The old method of target practice using pop-up silhouettes of the “enemy” weren’t effective because they lacked realism. So now they are having soldiers shoot at cabbages filled with ketchup. *shudder*
    In romances, as well as true life, the warrior hero has always been popular. He’s courageous, death-defying, bigger than life, dangerous, admired. This has been so since the dawn of man. So I think there’s some genetic hard-wiring involved that allows us to be attracted to the dangerous alpha hero.
    I’m a huge fan of dangerous heroes. Jo, I read your excerpts in chapters 1 & 2 and was hooked. A darkly mysterious alpha. How delicious. *g*

    Reply
  63. I read an article last week that made me think about alpha heroes and what makes them alpha. The article dealt with the fact that killing is not “natural” to us, so the soldier has to be conditioned to do it. The old method of target practice using pop-up silhouettes of the “enemy” weren’t effective because they lacked realism. So now they are having soldiers shoot at cabbages filled with ketchup. *shudder*
    In romances, as well as true life, the warrior hero has always been popular. He’s courageous, death-defying, bigger than life, dangerous, admired. This has been so since the dawn of man. So I think there’s some genetic hard-wiring involved that allows us to be attracted to the dangerous alpha hero.
    I’m a huge fan of dangerous heroes. Jo, I read your excerpts in chapters 1 & 2 and was hooked. A darkly mysterious alpha. How delicious. *g*

    Reply
  64. I read an article last week that made me think about alpha heroes and what makes them alpha. The article dealt with the fact that killing is not “natural” to us, so the soldier has to be conditioned to do it. The old method of target practice using pop-up silhouettes of the “enemy” weren’t effective because they lacked realism. So now they are having soldiers shoot at cabbages filled with ketchup. *shudder*
    In romances, as well as true life, the warrior hero has always been popular. He’s courageous, death-defying, bigger than life, dangerous, admired. This has been so since the dawn of man. So I think there’s some genetic hard-wiring involved that allows us to be attracted to the dangerous alpha hero.
    I’m a huge fan of dangerous heroes. Jo, I read your excerpts in chapters 1 & 2 and was hooked. A darkly mysterious alpha. How delicious. *g*

    Reply
  65. Here’s the question: Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary?
    It is “thrillingly dangerous” to have a “bad boy” hero who respects the heroine enough — and has the confidence — to allow her to make her own choices. He knows what he is, yet still allows her to choose him — or not. “Thrillingly dangerous” has a lot to do with the hero’s innate confidence that she WILL choose him, which is the hallmark of a pure alpha hero. IMO.
    It is “truly scary” when a hero makes every choice for her … say, abducts her, forces himself on her, controls her life, every aspect of it — because he isn’t at all sure the woman WOULD chose him. That isn’t “beta hero” material either. That is TRULY SCARY material.

    Reply
  66. Here’s the question: Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary?
    It is “thrillingly dangerous” to have a “bad boy” hero who respects the heroine enough — and has the confidence — to allow her to make her own choices. He knows what he is, yet still allows her to choose him — or not. “Thrillingly dangerous” has a lot to do with the hero’s innate confidence that she WILL choose him, which is the hallmark of a pure alpha hero. IMO.
    It is “truly scary” when a hero makes every choice for her … say, abducts her, forces himself on her, controls her life, every aspect of it — because he isn’t at all sure the woman WOULD chose him. That isn’t “beta hero” material either. That is TRULY SCARY material.

    Reply
  67. Here’s the question: Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary?
    It is “thrillingly dangerous” to have a “bad boy” hero who respects the heroine enough — and has the confidence — to allow her to make her own choices. He knows what he is, yet still allows her to choose him — or not. “Thrillingly dangerous” has a lot to do with the hero’s innate confidence that she WILL choose him, which is the hallmark of a pure alpha hero. IMO.
    It is “truly scary” when a hero makes every choice for her … say, abducts her, forces himself on her, controls her life, every aspect of it — because he isn’t at all sure the woman WOULD chose him. That isn’t “beta hero” material either. That is TRULY SCARY material.

    Reply
  68. Here’s the question: Where’s the line for you between thrillingly dangerous and truly scary?
    It is “thrillingly dangerous” to have a “bad boy” hero who respects the heroine enough — and has the confidence — to allow her to make her own choices. He knows what he is, yet still allows her to choose him — or not. “Thrillingly dangerous” has a lot to do with the hero’s innate confidence that she WILL choose him, which is the hallmark of a pure alpha hero. IMO.
    It is “truly scary” when a hero makes every choice for her … say, abducts her, forces himself on her, controls her life, every aspect of it — because he isn’t at all sure the woman WOULD chose him. That isn’t “beta hero” material either. That is TRULY SCARY material.

    Reply
  69. I agree, WandaSue. Your thrillingly dangerous equates with my ‘strong’… a preferred flavour…and that’s what I think of when ‘alpha’ is mentioned.
    And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.
    (And I love Zits. Always good for a laugh, even though I don’t own any teenagers.)

    Reply
  70. I agree, WandaSue. Your thrillingly dangerous equates with my ‘strong’… a preferred flavour…and that’s what I think of when ‘alpha’ is mentioned.
    And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.
    (And I love Zits. Always good for a laugh, even though I don’t own any teenagers.)

    Reply
  71. I agree, WandaSue. Your thrillingly dangerous equates with my ‘strong’… a preferred flavour…and that’s what I think of when ‘alpha’ is mentioned.
    And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.
    (And I love Zits. Always good for a laugh, even though I don’t own any teenagers.)

    Reply
  72. I agree, WandaSue. Your thrillingly dangerous equates with my ‘strong’… a preferred flavour…and that’s what I think of when ‘alpha’ is mentioned.
    And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.
    (And I love Zits. Always good for a laugh, even though I don’t own any teenagers.)

    Reply
  73. I have always thought that part of the lure of the “dangerous” hero in books (and the bad-boy in real life) is the idea of “only for me”–ie, he only responds to me, he only loves me, I’m the only one he allows to see his soft/human/relaxed/unguarded side, only I can tame him, etc. He is unattainable and unreachable–but he lets me in because he loves me.
    I love the idea that I–er–a heroine, I mean!–could be The Only One to get through to a Bad, or aloof, or incredibly smart (etc) man–like Mr Darcy, or Mr Spock(!), or Justin Alastair (or Dominic), or Damerel, or Rothgar, or Wulfric Bedwyn, or Dain–or Cave. It’s a powerful fantasy.

    Reply
  74. I have always thought that part of the lure of the “dangerous” hero in books (and the bad-boy in real life) is the idea of “only for me”–ie, he only responds to me, he only loves me, I’m the only one he allows to see his soft/human/relaxed/unguarded side, only I can tame him, etc. He is unattainable and unreachable–but he lets me in because he loves me.
    I love the idea that I–er–a heroine, I mean!–could be The Only One to get through to a Bad, or aloof, or incredibly smart (etc) man–like Mr Darcy, or Mr Spock(!), or Justin Alastair (or Dominic), or Damerel, or Rothgar, or Wulfric Bedwyn, or Dain–or Cave. It’s a powerful fantasy.

    Reply
  75. I have always thought that part of the lure of the “dangerous” hero in books (and the bad-boy in real life) is the idea of “only for me”–ie, he only responds to me, he only loves me, I’m the only one he allows to see his soft/human/relaxed/unguarded side, only I can tame him, etc. He is unattainable and unreachable–but he lets me in because he loves me.
    I love the idea that I–er–a heroine, I mean!–could be The Only One to get through to a Bad, or aloof, or incredibly smart (etc) man–like Mr Darcy, or Mr Spock(!), or Justin Alastair (or Dominic), or Damerel, or Rothgar, or Wulfric Bedwyn, or Dain–or Cave. It’s a powerful fantasy.

    Reply
  76. I have always thought that part of the lure of the “dangerous” hero in books (and the bad-boy in real life) is the idea of “only for me”–ie, he only responds to me, he only loves me, I’m the only one he allows to see his soft/human/relaxed/unguarded side, only I can tame him, etc. He is unattainable and unreachable–but he lets me in because he loves me.
    I love the idea that I–er–a heroine, I mean!–could be The Only One to get through to a Bad, or aloof, or incredibly smart (etc) man–like Mr Darcy, or Mr Spock(!), or Justin Alastair (or Dominic), or Damerel, or Rothgar, or Wulfric Bedwyn, or Dain–or Cave. It’s a powerful fantasy.

    Reply
  77. Rev Melinda, I think you’re right on: the rake/bad boy’s appeal is his un-tame-ability and the boost it gives a woman’s ego (I mean the reader who’s identifying with the heroine) to be The One Who Can. In a way, a nice guy is like a promiscuous woman… no challenge, no suspense = no romance. Nobody values what comes too easily. Kind of stupid of us, really… or is it? Seems like we’re following a fundamental law of the universe that says you’re either developing or decaying, never just holding still. Would this mean that romance readers live longer, due to the vicarious challenges of their reading material? I smell a thesis topic!

    Reply
  78. Rev Melinda, I think you’re right on: the rake/bad boy’s appeal is his un-tame-ability and the boost it gives a woman’s ego (I mean the reader who’s identifying with the heroine) to be The One Who Can. In a way, a nice guy is like a promiscuous woman… no challenge, no suspense = no romance. Nobody values what comes too easily. Kind of stupid of us, really… or is it? Seems like we’re following a fundamental law of the universe that says you’re either developing or decaying, never just holding still. Would this mean that romance readers live longer, due to the vicarious challenges of their reading material? I smell a thesis topic!

    Reply
  79. Rev Melinda, I think you’re right on: the rake/bad boy’s appeal is his un-tame-ability and the boost it gives a woman’s ego (I mean the reader who’s identifying with the heroine) to be The One Who Can. In a way, a nice guy is like a promiscuous woman… no challenge, no suspense = no romance. Nobody values what comes too easily. Kind of stupid of us, really… or is it? Seems like we’re following a fundamental law of the universe that says you’re either developing or decaying, never just holding still. Would this mean that romance readers live longer, due to the vicarious challenges of their reading material? I smell a thesis topic!

    Reply
  80. Rev Melinda, I think you’re right on: the rake/bad boy’s appeal is his un-tame-ability and the boost it gives a woman’s ego (I mean the reader who’s identifying with the heroine) to be The One Who Can. In a way, a nice guy is like a promiscuous woman… no challenge, no suspense = no romance. Nobody values what comes too easily. Kind of stupid of us, really… or is it? Seems like we’re following a fundamental law of the universe that says you’re either developing or decaying, never just holding still. Would this mean that romance readers live longer, due to the vicarious challenges of their reading material? I smell a thesis topic!

    Reply
  81. So many smart comments here.
    Yes, domination and abuse are signs of weakness, not strength, aren’t they?
    Yes, to that being the ONE for this hard-to-impress man. Georgette Heyer, for all that some people regard her as an author who didn’t have any of “that stuff” in her books, could be very sexy and she knew just how this worked.
    In the book about her by Jane Aiken Hodge she’s quoted as describing her hero mark 1 as something like, “a dangerous man who can be tamed by only one woman — as it were, oneself.”
    I think it has a lot to do with the prize. If we regard a romance novel as a contest between hero and heroine, then we want our heroine to “win” the best prize.
    And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  82. So many smart comments here.
    Yes, domination and abuse are signs of weakness, not strength, aren’t they?
    Yes, to that being the ONE for this hard-to-impress man. Georgette Heyer, for all that some people regard her as an author who didn’t have any of “that stuff” in her books, could be very sexy and she knew just how this worked.
    In the book about her by Jane Aiken Hodge she’s quoted as describing her hero mark 1 as something like, “a dangerous man who can be tamed by only one woman — as it were, oneself.”
    I think it has a lot to do with the prize. If we regard a romance novel as a contest between hero and heroine, then we want our heroine to “win” the best prize.
    And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  83. So many smart comments here.
    Yes, domination and abuse are signs of weakness, not strength, aren’t they?
    Yes, to that being the ONE for this hard-to-impress man. Georgette Heyer, for all that some people regard her as an author who didn’t have any of “that stuff” in her books, could be very sexy and she knew just how this worked.
    In the book about her by Jane Aiken Hodge she’s quoted as describing her hero mark 1 as something like, “a dangerous man who can be tamed by only one woman — as it were, oneself.”
    I think it has a lot to do with the prize. If we regard a romance novel as a contest between hero and heroine, then we want our heroine to “win” the best prize.
    And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  84. So many smart comments here.
    Yes, domination and abuse are signs of weakness, not strength, aren’t they?
    Yes, to that being the ONE for this hard-to-impress man. Georgette Heyer, for all that some people regard her as an author who didn’t have any of “that stuff” in her books, could be very sexy and she knew just how this worked.
    In the book about her by Jane Aiken Hodge she’s quoted as describing her hero mark 1 as something like, “a dangerous man who can be tamed by only one woman — as it were, oneself.”
    I think it has a lot to do with the prize. If we regard a romance novel as a contest between hero and heroine, then we want our heroine to “win” the best prize.
    And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  85. “Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.”
    I read that many years ago and at the time it didn’t make sense to me at all. But then several years later I was actively involved in Buffy fandom, trying to explain on a dicussion board why I was a Spike/Buffy ‘shipper. I realized that Spike’s character was the one that resonated with me because he represented the freedom to express everything I normally have to control. (Of course, being a Spike fan violates what I said above about not liking actual cruelty in my alphas, but he’s an exception, at least in part because James Marsters sold the role so well as an actor.) And since then I’ve noticed that if I’m having an especially bad week at work, I’ll reach for my Sharpe books or my Firefly DVDs, because Mal and Sharpe make it all better with their grumpy heroic mayhem.
    But really when it comes to identification it’s more both/and than either/or. Both being the powerful warrior character and having him on my side as my champion are appealing fantasies, and I can enjoy both within the context of the same story. I think you’re right that it’s all about the couple and their chemistry. And there are few things more appealing to me than a hero, alpha or otherwise, who’s confident enough in his own strength to respect the woman’s strength and capability and work side-by-side with her rather than treating her as a damsel in need of rescue. This is getting away from alphas, but I love to re-read HAVE HIS CARCASE and GAUDY NIGHT because Peter’s respect for Harriet’s abilities and her autonomy are just so *sexy* to me.

    Reply
  86. “Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.”
    I read that many years ago and at the time it didn’t make sense to me at all. But then several years later I was actively involved in Buffy fandom, trying to explain on a dicussion board why I was a Spike/Buffy ‘shipper. I realized that Spike’s character was the one that resonated with me because he represented the freedom to express everything I normally have to control. (Of course, being a Spike fan violates what I said above about not liking actual cruelty in my alphas, but he’s an exception, at least in part because James Marsters sold the role so well as an actor.) And since then I’ve noticed that if I’m having an especially bad week at work, I’ll reach for my Sharpe books or my Firefly DVDs, because Mal and Sharpe make it all better with their grumpy heroic mayhem.
    But really when it comes to identification it’s more both/and than either/or. Both being the powerful warrior character and having him on my side as my champion are appealing fantasies, and I can enjoy both within the context of the same story. I think you’re right that it’s all about the couple and their chemistry. And there are few things more appealing to me than a hero, alpha or otherwise, who’s confident enough in his own strength to respect the woman’s strength and capability and work side-by-side with her rather than treating her as a damsel in need of rescue. This is getting away from alphas, but I love to re-read HAVE HIS CARCASE and GAUDY NIGHT because Peter’s respect for Harriet’s abilities and her autonomy are just so *sexy* to me.

    Reply
  87. “Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.”
    I read that many years ago and at the time it didn’t make sense to me at all. But then several years later I was actively involved in Buffy fandom, trying to explain on a dicussion board why I was a Spike/Buffy ‘shipper. I realized that Spike’s character was the one that resonated with me because he represented the freedom to express everything I normally have to control. (Of course, being a Spike fan violates what I said above about not liking actual cruelty in my alphas, but he’s an exception, at least in part because James Marsters sold the role so well as an actor.) And since then I’ve noticed that if I’m having an especially bad week at work, I’ll reach for my Sharpe books or my Firefly DVDs, because Mal and Sharpe make it all better with their grumpy heroic mayhem.
    But really when it comes to identification it’s more both/and than either/or. Both being the powerful warrior character and having him on my side as my champion are appealing fantasies, and I can enjoy both within the context of the same story. I think you’re right that it’s all about the couple and their chemistry. And there are few things more appealing to me than a hero, alpha or otherwise, who’s confident enough in his own strength to respect the woman’s strength and capability and work side-by-side with her rather than treating her as a damsel in need of rescue. This is getting away from alphas, but I love to re-read HAVE HIS CARCASE and GAUDY NIGHT because Peter’s respect for Harriet’s abilities and her autonomy are just so *sexy* to me.

    Reply
  88. “Ah, Susan. Wanting to be the dangerous hero. That was Laura Kinsale’s thesis in her essay in DANGEROUS MEN, ADVENTUROUS WOMEN.”
    I read that many years ago and at the time it didn’t make sense to me at all. But then several years later I was actively involved in Buffy fandom, trying to explain on a dicussion board why I was a Spike/Buffy ‘shipper. I realized that Spike’s character was the one that resonated with me because he represented the freedom to express everything I normally have to control. (Of course, being a Spike fan violates what I said above about not liking actual cruelty in my alphas, but he’s an exception, at least in part because James Marsters sold the role so well as an actor.) And since then I’ve noticed that if I’m having an especially bad week at work, I’ll reach for my Sharpe books or my Firefly DVDs, because Mal and Sharpe make it all better with their grumpy heroic mayhem.
    But really when it comes to identification it’s more both/and than either/or. Both being the powerful warrior character and having him on my side as my champion are appealing fantasies, and I can enjoy both within the context of the same story. I think you’re right that it’s all about the couple and their chemistry. And there are few things more appealing to me than a hero, alpha or otherwise, who’s confident enough in his own strength to respect the woman’s strength and capability and work side-by-side with her rather than treating her as a damsel in need of rescue. This is getting away from alphas, but I love to re-read HAVE HIS CARCASE and GAUDY NIGHT because Peter’s respect for Harriet’s abilities and her autonomy are just so *sexy* to me.

    Reply
  89. Jo’s quote: “And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?”
    Yes.
    You nailed it, Jo.
    It may not have the appearance of “political correctness” these days.
    But it’s the truth and the bottom line.

    Reply
  90. Jo’s quote: “And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?”
    Yes.
    You nailed it, Jo.
    It may not have the appearance of “political correctness” these days.
    But it’s the truth and the bottom line.

    Reply
  91. Jo’s quote: “And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?”
    Yes.
    You nailed it, Jo.
    It may not have the appearance of “political correctness” these days.
    But it’s the truth and the bottom line.

    Reply
  92. Jo’s quote: “And our old brain, the cave remnant, wants a mate who can be out there killing enemies and wild beasts while we and the children are safe in the cave. So strong, a good fighter, but also gentle so he doesn’t hurt us, and trustworthy so he’ll stick around.
    Isn’t that the definition of a prime hero?”
    Yes.
    You nailed it, Jo.
    It may not have the appearance of “political correctness” these days.
    But it’s the truth and the bottom line.

    Reply
  93. MJ wrote: And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.**
    What I love about “dangerous” heroes is that they’ve had to face challenges, take risks, walk on the dark side, and they passed the test, they emerged with strength, depth of character and integrity.
    Not all pass the test. Those are the scary ones.
    And I think Kalen got it exactly right when she spoke of INTENT. We can’t be responsible for other’s feelings but we can be responsible for the intent of what we say and do. And that’s sexy in a hero who’s faced the fire.
    One of my favorite such heroes is Jo’s Fortitude Ware. By the end of the book he so deserves Elf.

    Reply
  94. MJ wrote: And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.**
    What I love about “dangerous” heroes is that they’ve had to face challenges, take risks, walk on the dark side, and they passed the test, they emerged with strength, depth of character and integrity.
    Not all pass the test. Those are the scary ones.
    And I think Kalen got it exactly right when she spoke of INTENT. We can’t be responsible for other’s feelings but we can be responsible for the intent of what we say and do. And that’s sexy in a hero who’s faced the fire.
    One of my favorite such heroes is Jo’s Fortitude Ware. By the end of the book he so deserves Elf.

    Reply
  95. MJ wrote: And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.**
    What I love about “dangerous” heroes is that they’ve had to face challenges, take risks, walk on the dark side, and they passed the test, they emerged with strength, depth of character and integrity.
    Not all pass the test. Those are the scary ones.
    And I think Kalen got it exactly right when she spoke of INTENT. We can’t be responsible for other’s feelings but we can be responsible for the intent of what we say and do. And that’s sexy in a hero who’s faced the fire.
    One of my favorite such heroes is Jo’s Fortitude Ware. By the end of the book he so deserves Elf.

    Reply
  96. MJ wrote: And your ‘truly scary’ is truly creepy…and actually very weak. It takes strength to take risks and accept the outcomes from allowing equality and freedom to those we care about.**
    What I love about “dangerous” heroes is that they’ve had to face challenges, take risks, walk on the dark side, and they passed the test, they emerged with strength, depth of character and integrity.
    Not all pass the test. Those are the scary ones.
    And I think Kalen got it exactly right when she spoke of INTENT. We can’t be responsible for other’s feelings but we can be responsible for the intent of what we say and do. And that’s sexy in a hero who’s faced the fire.
    One of my favorite such heroes is Jo’s Fortitude Ware. By the end of the book he so deserves Elf.

    Reply
  97. I’m glad you like Fort, Jane.
    Sometimes I put characters into terrible situations simply to make some dramatic plot point, so it was great to see Fort pull himself back from the edge. 🙂
    On topic, I think. I’ve just put up part of Chapter 3 on my web page. Comments?
    http://www.jobev.com/lbexc3.html
    Jo

    Reply
  98. I’m glad you like Fort, Jane.
    Sometimes I put characters into terrible situations simply to make some dramatic plot point, so it was great to see Fort pull himself back from the edge. 🙂
    On topic, I think. I’ve just put up part of Chapter 3 on my web page. Comments?
    http://www.jobev.com/lbexc3.html
    Jo

    Reply
  99. I’m glad you like Fort, Jane.
    Sometimes I put characters into terrible situations simply to make some dramatic plot point, so it was great to see Fort pull himself back from the edge. 🙂
    On topic, I think. I’ve just put up part of Chapter 3 on my web page. Comments?
    http://www.jobev.com/lbexc3.html
    Jo

    Reply
  100. I’m glad you like Fort, Jane.
    Sometimes I put characters into terrible situations simply to make some dramatic plot point, so it was great to see Fort pull himself back from the edge. 🙂
    On topic, I think. I’ve just put up part of Chapter 3 on my web page. Comments?
    http://www.jobev.com/lbexc3.html
    Jo

    Reply
  101. This is such an interesting topic…
    The new excerpt tends to confirm how I saw Darien based on the first two….alpha but honourable, dangerous, thrilling but under control…. definitely not scary or twisted or overly dominating. He allows her to make her choices although he certainly tries to influence them, he exercises some restraint, negotiates…etc! An even more interesting character now and I’m more curious about him. Can’t wait to read the book!
    And I loved Fort too…
    And Jo – your ‘cave remnant’ comment…surely it’s politically correct as long as we don’t only see the male role as the ONLY defender of the cave/family/etc while we cower in the background and hope for the best….But that we are also willing to take on the defender role… and just want someone reliable, with a different type of strength, to share it with.

    Reply
  102. This is such an interesting topic…
    The new excerpt tends to confirm how I saw Darien based on the first two….alpha but honourable, dangerous, thrilling but under control…. definitely not scary or twisted or overly dominating. He allows her to make her choices although he certainly tries to influence them, he exercises some restraint, negotiates…etc! An even more interesting character now and I’m more curious about him. Can’t wait to read the book!
    And I loved Fort too…
    And Jo – your ‘cave remnant’ comment…surely it’s politically correct as long as we don’t only see the male role as the ONLY defender of the cave/family/etc while we cower in the background and hope for the best….But that we are also willing to take on the defender role… and just want someone reliable, with a different type of strength, to share it with.

    Reply
  103. This is such an interesting topic…
    The new excerpt tends to confirm how I saw Darien based on the first two….alpha but honourable, dangerous, thrilling but under control…. definitely not scary or twisted or overly dominating. He allows her to make her choices although he certainly tries to influence them, he exercises some restraint, negotiates…etc! An even more interesting character now and I’m more curious about him. Can’t wait to read the book!
    And I loved Fort too…
    And Jo – your ‘cave remnant’ comment…surely it’s politically correct as long as we don’t only see the male role as the ONLY defender of the cave/family/etc while we cower in the background and hope for the best….But that we are also willing to take on the defender role… and just want someone reliable, with a different type of strength, to share it with.

    Reply
  104. This is such an interesting topic…
    The new excerpt tends to confirm how I saw Darien based on the first two….alpha but honourable, dangerous, thrilling but under control…. definitely not scary or twisted or overly dominating. He allows her to make her choices although he certainly tries to influence them, he exercises some restraint, negotiates…etc! An even more interesting character now and I’m more curious about him. Can’t wait to read the book!
    And I loved Fort too…
    And Jo – your ‘cave remnant’ comment…surely it’s politically correct as long as we don’t only see the male role as the ONLY defender of the cave/family/etc while we cower in the background and hope for the best….But that we are also willing to take on the defender role… and just want someone reliable, with a different type of strength, to share it with.

    Reply
  105. Jo — Having read the three excerpts you have so graciously posted, the question is: how will I wait the few weeks until this book is out?
    Very entertaining dialogue. I put myself in Thea’s shoes and very much felt the adrenaline rush. And that’s what it’s all about.
    (I smiled … “Horatio”. I love a dark, handsome, intelligent hero with an unexpected name.)

    Reply
  106. Jo — Having read the three excerpts you have so graciously posted, the question is: how will I wait the few weeks until this book is out?
    Very entertaining dialogue. I put myself in Thea’s shoes and very much felt the adrenaline rush. And that’s what it’s all about.
    (I smiled … “Horatio”. I love a dark, handsome, intelligent hero with an unexpected name.)

    Reply
  107. Jo — Having read the three excerpts you have so graciously posted, the question is: how will I wait the few weeks until this book is out?
    Very entertaining dialogue. I put myself in Thea’s shoes and very much felt the adrenaline rush. And that’s what it’s all about.
    (I smiled … “Horatio”. I love a dark, handsome, intelligent hero with an unexpected name.)

    Reply
  108. Jo — Having read the three excerpts you have so graciously posted, the question is: how will I wait the few weeks until this book is out?
    Very entertaining dialogue. I put myself in Thea’s shoes and very much felt the adrenaline rush. And that’s what it’s all about.
    (I smiled … “Horatio”. I love a dark, handsome, intelligent hero with an unexpected name.)

    Reply
  109. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  110. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  111. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  112. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  113. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  114. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  115. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  116. RevMelinda asked, “Is this why Snape is sexy? Or is it just the Alan Rickman factor?”
    It might be why Snape is sexy. I have to confess to not “getting” Alan Rickman. As an actor, yes, but sexy?
    Now Piers Brosnan, especially in his youthful prime. There’s sexy. 🙂
    I wonder if people who find AR sexy go for a certain sort of hero, and ones who don’t go for another. ‘Twould be an interesting research topic!
    Jo

    Reply
  117. Well… personally, the only thing I find sexy about AR is his voice. (Similarly – I freely admit to a long affair with Colin Firth’s eyes….the rest of him isn’t all that remarkable) Snape as a character isn’t sexy for me at all…he’s smarmy and malevolent and would be downright evil if he were smarter…
    Just MHO.

    Reply
  118. Well… personally, the only thing I find sexy about AR is his voice. (Similarly – I freely admit to a long affair with Colin Firth’s eyes….the rest of him isn’t all that remarkable) Snape as a character isn’t sexy for me at all…he’s smarmy and malevolent and would be downright evil if he were smarter…
    Just MHO.

    Reply
  119. Well… personally, the only thing I find sexy about AR is his voice. (Similarly – I freely admit to a long affair with Colin Firth’s eyes….the rest of him isn’t all that remarkable) Snape as a character isn’t sexy for me at all…he’s smarmy and malevolent and would be downright evil if he were smarter…
    Just MHO.

    Reply
  120. Well… personally, the only thing I find sexy about AR is his voice. (Similarly – I freely admit to a long affair with Colin Firth’s eyes….the rest of him isn’t all that remarkable) Snape as a character isn’t sexy for me at all…he’s smarmy and malevolent and would be downright evil if he were smarter…
    Just MHO.

    Reply
  121. I’ve never really understood the Alan Rickman love either. And I had a BIG crush on Pierce Brosnan back when REMINGTON STEELE originally aired, but he doesn’t do it for me now. I can see that he’s handsome, of course, but my response is “Yes, he has pleasing and symmetrical features and attractive coloring” rather than “Break me off a piece of THAT!” Of course, I’ve also never really understood the appeal of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, or Viggo Mortensen, just to name a few, and while I think Colin Firth was the definitive Darcy, he’s never pinged my hotness meter. So y’all can have my shares in them, and I’ll be over here playing with Sean Bean, Ioan Gruffudd, and Nathan Fillion. And maybe Christopher Eccleston. Also Stephen Colbert, Alton Brown, and John Oliver, because I need some geek boys for variety. 😉

    Reply
  122. I’ve never really understood the Alan Rickman love either. And I had a BIG crush on Pierce Brosnan back when REMINGTON STEELE originally aired, but he doesn’t do it for me now. I can see that he’s handsome, of course, but my response is “Yes, he has pleasing and symmetrical features and attractive coloring” rather than “Break me off a piece of THAT!” Of course, I’ve also never really understood the appeal of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, or Viggo Mortensen, just to name a few, and while I think Colin Firth was the definitive Darcy, he’s never pinged my hotness meter. So y’all can have my shares in them, and I’ll be over here playing with Sean Bean, Ioan Gruffudd, and Nathan Fillion. And maybe Christopher Eccleston. Also Stephen Colbert, Alton Brown, and John Oliver, because I need some geek boys for variety. 😉

    Reply
  123. I’ve never really understood the Alan Rickman love either. And I had a BIG crush on Pierce Brosnan back when REMINGTON STEELE originally aired, but he doesn’t do it for me now. I can see that he’s handsome, of course, but my response is “Yes, he has pleasing and symmetrical features and attractive coloring” rather than “Break me off a piece of THAT!” Of course, I’ve also never really understood the appeal of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, or Viggo Mortensen, just to name a few, and while I think Colin Firth was the definitive Darcy, he’s never pinged my hotness meter. So y’all can have my shares in them, and I’ll be over here playing with Sean Bean, Ioan Gruffudd, and Nathan Fillion. And maybe Christopher Eccleston. Also Stephen Colbert, Alton Brown, and John Oliver, because I need some geek boys for variety. 😉

    Reply
  124. I’ve never really understood the Alan Rickman love either. And I had a BIG crush on Pierce Brosnan back when REMINGTON STEELE originally aired, but he doesn’t do it for me now. I can see that he’s handsome, of course, but my response is “Yes, he has pleasing and symmetrical features and attractive coloring” rather than “Break me off a piece of THAT!” Of course, I’ve also never really understood the appeal of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, or Viggo Mortensen, just to name a few, and while I think Colin Firth was the definitive Darcy, he’s never pinged my hotness meter. So y’all can have my shares in them, and I’ll be over here playing with Sean Bean, Ioan Gruffudd, and Nathan Fillion. And maybe Christopher Eccleston. Also Stephen Colbert, Alton Brown, and John Oliver, because I need some geek boys for variety. 😉

    Reply
  125. What I loved about Alan Rickman (whose voice I *don’t* like) in “Truly, Madly, Deeply” was the way he looked at the heroine. What I loved about Viggo Mortensen in the Ring trilogy was the way he really *looked* at Arwen. I suspect that what I love about the romantic heroes that I love is that they really *look* at the heroines. It’s kinda funny, really, that simply by *looking* at somebody we can be violating a social barrier. In romantic novels written in the late 18th and early 19th C. the heroines are hardly allowed to raise their eyes from the pavement! All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.

    Reply
  126. What I loved about Alan Rickman (whose voice I *don’t* like) in “Truly, Madly, Deeply” was the way he looked at the heroine. What I loved about Viggo Mortensen in the Ring trilogy was the way he really *looked* at Arwen. I suspect that what I love about the romantic heroes that I love is that they really *look* at the heroines. It’s kinda funny, really, that simply by *looking* at somebody we can be violating a social barrier. In romantic novels written in the late 18th and early 19th C. the heroines are hardly allowed to raise their eyes from the pavement! All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.

    Reply
  127. What I loved about Alan Rickman (whose voice I *don’t* like) in “Truly, Madly, Deeply” was the way he looked at the heroine. What I loved about Viggo Mortensen in the Ring trilogy was the way he really *looked* at Arwen. I suspect that what I love about the romantic heroes that I love is that they really *look* at the heroines. It’s kinda funny, really, that simply by *looking* at somebody we can be violating a social barrier. In romantic novels written in the late 18th and early 19th C. the heroines are hardly allowed to raise their eyes from the pavement! All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.

    Reply
  128. What I loved about Alan Rickman (whose voice I *don’t* like) in “Truly, Madly, Deeply” was the way he looked at the heroine. What I loved about Viggo Mortensen in the Ring trilogy was the way he really *looked* at Arwen. I suspect that what I love about the romantic heroes that I love is that they really *look* at the heroines. It’s kinda funny, really, that simply by *looking* at somebody we can be violating a social barrier. In romantic novels written in the late 18th and early 19th C. the heroines are hardly allowed to raise their eyes from the pavement! All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.

    Reply
  129. Hi Jo – haven’t read the excerpts yet because for me that is like eating dessert first… just can’t do it.
    BUT, I loved Fort (but had I been Elf I wouldn’t have just tied him up – I would’ve smacked him upside the head too!) and of course, I would swoon for Rothgar. And I loved Mikhal Khanauri in Mary Jo’s ‘Silk’ series. I am not sure he would fit some of the definitions above because I am not sure he had lines he wouldn’t cross – his lady had to tell him where the lines were.
    And, while I meandered thru these posts I spent a lot of time trying to think of ‘nice guy’ heroes – Loretta has written two that immediately pop to mind – in “Delilah” and “Lord Perfect”. In yours I think of Stephen Ball amongst the Rogues. In MaryJo’s I think of Lord Ross – just nice guys who become heroic under provocation.
    while all of these guys were perfect for the heroines of those books – you are correct – not one of them made my little heart go ‘pitter pat’ – not like an encounter with Rothgar would have done!

    Reply
  130. Hi Jo – haven’t read the excerpts yet because for me that is like eating dessert first… just can’t do it.
    BUT, I loved Fort (but had I been Elf I wouldn’t have just tied him up – I would’ve smacked him upside the head too!) and of course, I would swoon for Rothgar. And I loved Mikhal Khanauri in Mary Jo’s ‘Silk’ series. I am not sure he would fit some of the definitions above because I am not sure he had lines he wouldn’t cross – his lady had to tell him where the lines were.
    And, while I meandered thru these posts I spent a lot of time trying to think of ‘nice guy’ heroes – Loretta has written two that immediately pop to mind – in “Delilah” and “Lord Perfect”. In yours I think of Stephen Ball amongst the Rogues. In MaryJo’s I think of Lord Ross – just nice guys who become heroic under provocation.
    while all of these guys were perfect for the heroines of those books – you are correct – not one of them made my little heart go ‘pitter pat’ – not like an encounter with Rothgar would have done!

    Reply
  131. Hi Jo – haven’t read the excerpts yet because for me that is like eating dessert first… just can’t do it.
    BUT, I loved Fort (but had I been Elf I wouldn’t have just tied him up – I would’ve smacked him upside the head too!) and of course, I would swoon for Rothgar. And I loved Mikhal Khanauri in Mary Jo’s ‘Silk’ series. I am not sure he would fit some of the definitions above because I am not sure he had lines he wouldn’t cross – his lady had to tell him where the lines were.
    And, while I meandered thru these posts I spent a lot of time trying to think of ‘nice guy’ heroes – Loretta has written two that immediately pop to mind – in “Delilah” and “Lord Perfect”. In yours I think of Stephen Ball amongst the Rogues. In MaryJo’s I think of Lord Ross – just nice guys who become heroic under provocation.
    while all of these guys were perfect for the heroines of those books – you are correct – not one of them made my little heart go ‘pitter pat’ – not like an encounter with Rothgar would have done!

    Reply
  132. Hi Jo – haven’t read the excerpts yet because for me that is like eating dessert first… just can’t do it.
    BUT, I loved Fort (but had I been Elf I wouldn’t have just tied him up – I would’ve smacked him upside the head too!) and of course, I would swoon for Rothgar. And I loved Mikhal Khanauri in Mary Jo’s ‘Silk’ series. I am not sure he would fit some of the definitions above because I am not sure he had lines he wouldn’t cross – his lady had to tell him where the lines were.
    And, while I meandered thru these posts I spent a lot of time trying to think of ‘nice guy’ heroes – Loretta has written two that immediately pop to mind – in “Delilah” and “Lord Perfect”. In yours I think of Stephen Ball amongst the Rogues. In MaryJo’s I think of Lord Ross – just nice guys who become heroic under provocation.
    while all of these guys were perfect for the heroines of those books – you are correct – not one of them made my little heart go ‘pitter pat’ – not like an encounter with Rothgar would have done!

    Reply
  133. Severus Snape had me from Book One. Casting Alan Rickman as Snape fizzed the potion. I’m a goner. *swoon*
    There’s no telling what will blow some readers’ dresses up and leave the others’ flat. tee-hee
    **All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.**
    LOL! Dear Elaine, Yes, the eyes have it!!

    Reply
  134. Severus Snape had me from Book One. Casting Alan Rickman as Snape fizzed the potion. I’m a goner. *swoon*
    There’s no telling what will blow some readers’ dresses up and leave the others’ flat. tee-hee
    **All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.**
    LOL! Dear Elaine, Yes, the eyes have it!!

    Reply
  135. Severus Snape had me from Book One. Casting Alan Rickman as Snape fizzed the potion. I’m a goner. *swoon*
    There’s no telling what will blow some readers’ dresses up and leave the others’ flat. tee-hee
    **All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.**
    LOL! Dear Elaine, Yes, the eyes have it!!

    Reply
  136. Severus Snape had me from Book One. Casting Alan Rickman as Snape fizzed the potion. I’m a goner. *swoon*
    There’s no telling what will blow some readers’ dresses up and leave the others’ flat. tee-hee
    **All a man has to do to seem dangerous is *stare*.**
    LOL! Dear Elaine, Yes, the eyes have it!!

    Reply
  137. Ah, the look. This is why my gay friends insist that women fall for gay men so often, because they LOOK at us when we talk. *sigh*
    And I’m a sucker for Alan Rickman AND Pierce Brosnan (and Sean Bean, and Hugh Jackman, and pretty much any man with an accent. LOL).

    Reply
  138. Ah, the look. This is why my gay friends insist that women fall for gay men so often, because they LOOK at us when we talk. *sigh*
    And I’m a sucker for Alan Rickman AND Pierce Brosnan (and Sean Bean, and Hugh Jackman, and pretty much any man with an accent. LOL).

    Reply
  139. Ah, the look. This is why my gay friends insist that women fall for gay men so often, because they LOOK at us when we talk. *sigh*
    And I’m a sucker for Alan Rickman AND Pierce Brosnan (and Sean Bean, and Hugh Jackman, and pretty much any man with an accent. LOL).

    Reply
  140. Ah, the look. This is why my gay friends insist that women fall for gay men so often, because they LOOK at us when we talk. *sigh*
    And I’m a sucker for Alan Rickman AND Pierce Brosnan (and Sean Bean, and Hugh Jackman, and pretty much any man with an accent. LOL).

    Reply
  141. Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. 🙂

    Reply
  142. Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. 🙂

    Reply
  143. Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. 🙂

    Reply
  144. Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. 🙂

    Reply
  145. From Jo’s Chapter Three: “Yes! A gentleman who jilts a lady is ruined, but a lady who jilts a gentleman is not a true lady. Unless she has an excellent and known reason. Are you willing to provide an excellent and known reason why I should not marry you?”
    Laughter faded to wryness. “Almost inevitably. So? We are engaged?”
    That self-deprecating self-awareness is our clue that there’s more to Horatio than a manipulative cad. Fun, fun, fun. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  146. From Jo’s Chapter Three: “Yes! A gentleman who jilts a lady is ruined, but a lady who jilts a gentleman is not a true lady. Unless she has an excellent and known reason. Are you willing to provide an excellent and known reason why I should not marry you?”
    Laughter faded to wryness. “Almost inevitably. So? We are engaged?”
    That self-deprecating self-awareness is our clue that there’s more to Horatio than a manipulative cad. Fun, fun, fun. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  147. From Jo’s Chapter Three: “Yes! A gentleman who jilts a lady is ruined, but a lady who jilts a gentleman is not a true lady. Unless she has an excellent and known reason. Are you willing to provide an excellent and known reason why I should not marry you?”
    Laughter faded to wryness. “Almost inevitably. So? We are engaged?”
    That self-deprecating self-awareness is our clue that there’s more to Horatio than a manipulative cad. Fun, fun, fun. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  148. From Jo’s Chapter Three: “Yes! A gentleman who jilts a lady is ruined, but a lady who jilts a gentleman is not a true lady. Unless she has an excellent and known reason. Are you willing to provide an excellent and known reason why I should not marry you?”
    Laughter faded to wryness. “Almost inevitably. So? We are engaged?”
    That self-deprecating self-awareness is our clue that there’s more to Horatio than a manipulative cad. Fun, fun, fun. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  149. “Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. :)”
    Amen, Janga! I love writing about nice guys because they don’t have to angst about their behaviour, or grovel, or be reformed, or any of that stuff.
    Jane, Darien and Thea are fun, IMO. There’s a lot of dark stuff swirling and some real trials to survive, but they have great spirits.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  150. “Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. :)”
    Amen, Janga! I love writing about nice guys because they don’t have to angst about their behaviour, or grovel, or be reformed, or any of that stuff.
    Jane, Darien and Thea are fun, IMO. There’s a lot of dark stuff swirling and some real trials to survive, but they have great spirits.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  151. “Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. :)”
    Amen, Janga! I love writing about nice guys because they don’t have to angst about their behaviour, or grovel, or be reformed, or any of that stuff.
    Jane, Darien and Thea are fun, IMO. There’s a lot of dark stuff swirling and some real trials to survive, but they have great spirits.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  152. “Maybe I am just lacking in proper discrimination, but I like dangerous heroes (if they have a highly developed sense of honor), and I like nice guys. I can’t think of a single reason why I should choose between Rothgar and Francis, Reggie or Robin, Dain or Benedict. One of the great joys of reading romance is that I can enjoy them all. :)”
    Amen, Janga! I love writing about nice guys because they don’t have to angst about their behaviour, or grovel, or be reformed, or any of that stuff.
    Jane, Darien and Thea are fun, IMO. There’s a lot of dark stuff swirling and some real trials to survive, but they have great spirits.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  153. OOps… mea culpa – I maligned Severus Snape unfairly – for some reason, I read Snape as Slope – was thinking Barchester Chronicles (AR was brilliant in that as Obadiah Slope, who WAS smarmy and malevolant)… rather than HP/Snape – who wasn’t. (But I don’t find Snape sexy either).
    (You must have wondered!) (-; MJ

    Reply
  154. OOps… mea culpa – I maligned Severus Snape unfairly – for some reason, I read Snape as Slope – was thinking Barchester Chronicles (AR was brilliant in that as Obadiah Slope, who WAS smarmy and malevolant)… rather than HP/Snape – who wasn’t. (But I don’t find Snape sexy either).
    (You must have wondered!) (-; MJ

    Reply
  155. OOps… mea culpa – I maligned Severus Snape unfairly – for some reason, I read Snape as Slope – was thinking Barchester Chronicles (AR was brilliant in that as Obadiah Slope, who WAS smarmy and malevolant)… rather than HP/Snape – who wasn’t. (But I don’t find Snape sexy either).
    (You must have wondered!) (-; MJ

    Reply
  156. OOps… mea culpa – I maligned Severus Snape unfairly – for some reason, I read Snape as Slope – was thinking Barchester Chronicles (AR was brilliant in that as Obadiah Slope, who WAS smarmy and malevolant)… rather than HP/Snape – who wasn’t. (But I don’t find Snape sexy either).
    (You must have wondered!) (-; MJ

    Reply

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