YOUR AVERAGE HERO…or not – by Lynne Marshall

As romance readers, we’ve gotten used to reading about heroes who light up the room when they enter. They’re gorgeous and little birdies go tweet tweet tweet around their heads whenever they smile. Without spending any time at the gym, and while eating anything they want, they still manage to be cut and wash-boarded. Did I mention they are moguls, top-notch surgeons, millionaires and/or undercover cops, and even though every woman on earth drools over them, they only have eyes for the heroine?

Ah, the power of romantic fiction. Sigh.

What about regular guys? Aren’t they worthy of our undying love, too?

A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest at A.J. Nuest’s blog, Tattered Pages, talking about this topic. I’d like to share that blog here today and talk a little about alternative heroes, the less than perfect men who still manage to win over our hearts in our favorite books.

Anyone ever read Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer? Will Parker was skinny, homeless, and out of work at the tail end of the great depression when he stumbles into Eleanor Dinsmore’s life by answering her ad for a husband. She thinks Will is a bag of
bones and as the story plays out, she helps fatten him up, and turn him into the man he is destined to be. Did I mention she is a widow, pregnant, and has two other children, and is in great need of a man to help her work her land?

That scenario doesn’t sound very sexy does it? Well, I’m here to tell you that book will grab you by the collar and pull you into its depth faster than any Stetson clad Texas billionaire.

Suzanne Brockman wrote a guy named Ken “Wildcard” Karmody who was only five-feet-eight, in Out of Control, one of her Navy Seal Series. Not your average hero material, you suggest? Let’s just say you’d be wrong about that statement, too.

Recently, I read a fun book called Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts, where the hero turns out to be a cross dressing nightclub entertainer in Vegas. This was a harder stretch for me because I kept imagining him with waxed eyebrows whenever he and the heroine got up close and personal. However, he was a hero to that heroine just the same.

I’ve got one more alternative hero I’d like to tell you about. His name is Tyler White, and he is an over forty, has-been singer on his comeback tour in One for the Road,
my current release with The Wild Rose Press.

He’s big, six-feet-four, a bit out of shape, he smokes, and has blood pressure issues. Is that your idea of a hero? Probably not. The last thing he’s interested in doing is falling in love with a forty-six year old widow while renting her forty-foot RV for his cross country tour. Without spoiling the story, I’ll just mention that while challenged by D’Anne and the trials and tribulations of being on the road twenty-four-seven with his band and a picky widow, not to mention a mystery he needs to help solve, he becomes the man he was meant to be…a true hero.

I don’t have any problems with dreamboats as heroes, but once in a while I like to spice up my reading life with grittier characters who have realistic flaws, guys like Will, Ken, and Tyler White. How about you?

Tell me who your favorite alternative hero is from either a book or a movie, and get your name in a drawing for an e-book gift coupon for One for the Road from Amazon.          To read an excerpt from Chapter One go here.

Until next week, make it a great one!


I believes it’s never too late to fall in love, and that second chances are gifts from life which are not to be squandered.

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7 Responses to YOUR AVERAGE HERO…or not – by Lynne Marshall

  1. robena grant says:

    I love a hero who is less than perfect. One of my favorite authors is Patricia Gaffney. She writes amazing heroes. Wiry underfed guys, a professor with allergies who is a hyphochondriac, and even a hero raised in the wild with no social, and few speech, skills. You fall in love with the quirkiness of the characters and because they’re so well written after a while you forget what they look like because you love the person. Isn’t that what truel love is all about? ; )

  2. So true, Robena! What’s not to love about Monk? 🙂

  3. Nas says:

    Hi Lynne,

    Tyler White from ONE FOR THE ROAD was a realistic hero with realistic everyday problems. To be truthful, it grounded me reading his story!

  4. Hi Nas –
    Thank you for your kind words regarding Tyler White. One reviewer at Amazon put Tyler White in her favorite hero list. I was both happy and flattered by this.

    I agree with you that realistic heroes with everyday problems can be refreshing from time to time.

  5. Hi Lynne,
    Just reading the description about your hero and a few facts makes me want to read your book! I love a flawed hero and a flawed heroine as well.

    • admin says:

      Christine – since I know both Robena and Nas already have my book, if you’d like a copy (an Amazon gift certificate for the book) contact me via my website on the Contact page.

      thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. Hi Christine – thanks for reading the blog. Yeah, I enjoy the fantasy of romance books, but once in a while I like a more down-to-earth hero. I’m glad you do too! I hope you’ll give One for the Road a chance. I had lots of fun writing. 🙂