Good Monday morning! I’m starting the week off on a high note with my blog swapping guest, Bronwen Evans. Bron is sharing her take on what makes for a great hero here and I’m on her blog–way down in New Zealand!–talking about what makes me want to slip on a heroine’s shoes. There are giveaways both here and there so I hope you’ll pop over to see me too! And now, here’s Bronwen…
Waving from New Zealand. Mia, thank you for having me to guest blog today. Mia’s over on my blog talking about heroines. Check out her post and be into win two of her ARC copies.
I love a good hero. Doesn’t everybody? In a movie, on TV, or in a book, every story is the better for having a hero. A romance novel has to have a hero. He should be a man readers fall in love with, and imagine spending their lives with. They should envy the heroine!
I personally love to read stories about alpha heroes. I write Regency historical romances and most heroes in Regency romance (historical in general) tend to be alpha, not all, but most peers of the realm where arrogant, demanding and above all else leaders. Those traits tend to make you more alpha. Plus, woman had virtually no rights, so men tended to be over-protective.
I love to write alpha heroes too! Alpha males are bossy, pushy, trying to be in charge of everything. They frequently annoy the heroine for their ‘take charge’ attitude, thinking she needs his help and protection, when she’s quite capable of managing on her own. That’s what makes most of the stories so tension filled.
An alpha is NOT, what we in New Zealand would call, a dickhead or a wxxker. He cannot be a man who is cruel or demeaning to women. Alphas might be pushy but they use their energy to protect the heroine and those they love, like family. He knows when to graciously admit defeat, and he owns up to his mistakes (with a bit of prodding) and he is not opposed to a bit of groveling when necessary. In other words he’s very human.
An alpha might be hard as nails and arrogant, but when it comes to his heroine, he’s marshmallow inside. THAT is what appeals to me about my latest alpha male, in my May 2012 release, INVITATION TO SCANDAL. Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore is a definite alpha (don’t let the name fool you). Rufus is trying to atone for the sins of his father. His late father was accused of treason and now Rufus works for the Foreign Office catching spies. He’s battle weary, untrusting and deep down inside very lonely, handsome rake. He sees woman as ‘disposable pleasures rather than meaningful pursuits’.
Here’s a taste of how my heroine, Rheda Kerrich, feels about her alpha hero, Viscount Strathmore. She finds him impossible to resist…
He was so beautiful. His chest and stomach glowed golden in the sun. Her hand rose to touch the sparse auburn hair sprinkling his chest. Only when he was silent did she notice the jagged scar that sliced down his left side, destroying the perfection. She couldn’t imagine any woman wanting to mar such beauty. She had to curl her toes up tight to stop herself stepping forward and planting kisses on the scar’s jagged length.
“Who was she?” Rheda asked in a quiet voice.
The pain drained from his eyes. He quickly lowered his shirt. “She is of no consequence.”
“That’s not true. She hurt you.” She tentatively touched his chest. “Why?”
“Why did she knife you?”
He looked away, his mouth set in a firm line. “Because I was a fool.”
“You’re a fool if you judge all women by one bad experience.”
He tugged at his cuffs. “Says the woman who judges all men by her father’s standards of honor.”
She turned away before he could see the pain in her eyes. “You did not know my father.” Then she swung back to face him. “If you had, you’d probably have liked him. He, too, loved bedding as many women as he could, while never engaging any other emotion than lust.”
Rufus’s lip curled up in disgust. “Lust is an emotion men cannot hide. A woman can see and feel a man’s lust. On the other hand, women can fake lust as easily as they can fake every other emotion. That is what makes women so dangerous.”
Rheda watched the play of emotions roaming his features. She saw hurt, pain, and something that looked a lot like guilt. “The woman who knifed you—you loved her.” It wasn’t a question. “You surprise me, Rufus. I never would have imagined a man like you being capable of love. Interesting . . .”
He narrowed his gaze. “I never make the same mistake twice,” he warned. “Don’t play games with me, Rheda. You won’t like the outcome.”
She moved until her hand pressed against his side where he had been wounded. “Only yesterday you were expertly demonstrating how pleasurable games could be. Why the sudden change of heart?” Her hand crept up his chest until she could feel a beat under her palm. She looked into his warm brown eyes and saw her answer. Her heart suddenly seemed to swell and try to own her chest cavity. Did he have feelings for her? Was that why Rufus was determined that she believe he was not sleeping with Lady Umbridge? She could neither help nor hide her victorious smile. “Perhaps with me more than simply your lust is engaged.”
She could feel the rapid rise and fall of his chest under her hand. His breathing increased, and his pulse raced. She licked her lips and stood on tiptoes to place a gentle kiss upon his sensuous mouth. He groaned and pulled her hard against him. Just as he’d stated, Rufus could not hide his lust for her. But was he hiding other feelings? She longed to find out.
Thinking of the books you’ve read recently, who are some of your favorite alpha heroes and why? I’m offering two prizes, for two commenter’s. A copy of my debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin and a copy of my Regency romance released last month, Invitation to Scandal.
The Book Tour Grand Prize – A $200 Amazon, or B&N, Voucher PLUS… A Book Basket of 30 ‘SIGNED by the AUTHORS’ books…
New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Being able to write her characters stories is never work, it’s a dream come true. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and sexy alpha heroes. She’s placed in several romance writing competitions and is a member of several writing organizations, including RWA, RWNZ, and The Beau Monde. Her 2011 debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewers’ Choice awards – Best First Historical.
When not ensconced in her study writing her characters thrilling journeys to their happy ever after, Bron can be found on the golf course.
Readers can contact Bronwen via email at email@example.com For more information on all of Bronwen’s books, including updates on novels yet to come, visit Bronwen’s website at www.bronwenevans.com.
Thanks for dropping by, Bron and thanks for sharing your terrific blog tour with us. Sounds like anyone who decides to follow you through cyber-space is in for a real treat and some great romance blogs! Not to mention your spectacular Grand Prize.
Now, my dears, it’s time for you to leave a comment or question for Bron to be entered in today’s giveaway–2 chances to win! And don’t forget to pop over to Bronwen’s Blog and leave a comment for me there for a chance to win an ARC of either my Lord of Fire and Ice (July 3, 2012) or Touch of a Scoundrel (July 31, 2012)!