Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Friday, March 1, 2013

A beast of a hero-- or not

Okay, here's the truth of romance novels. The men matter more than the women. Where it comes to chick lit, the women matter most. I know, I know romances are aimed at female readers (although more than a few men also read them-- a good example of why is found in the Bruce Willis action film, Red where he's reading the romance titles he knows she reads to find out what she wants from a man). 

In romances, yes there are frequently beautiful women but that's not as important as who the hero is. If he's not interesting, often handsome, definitely strong, the book is going nowhere. These are books about men who can do when doing needs doing. The following is a descriptive phrase for the hero in Desert Inferno.
          When a truck finally did come bouncing down the driveway, Rachel sighed with relief. Standing at the top of the step, she waited. Still feeling a little dazed by the death she'd witnessed, she realized she'd forgotten to put on shoes.

          A large man unwound himself from the green Bronco, his eyes hidden behind the brim of a Stetson and reflective sunglasses.  Her immediate impression was of one big man.

          Even shaky from her experience, her artist's eye couldn't ignore the sheer grace with which he moved that long, lean, body as he strode across her yard.  When he reached the porch, he stopped, not climbing the three steps.  He looked at her for a moment, perhaps expecting her to speak; then pulled off the glasses. 

          His face was craggy, with a hawk-like nose, a long scar across one cheek, a square jaw, covered with a day's growth of bristle, and magnificent tawny, almost yellow eyes, rimmed with dark lashes. Nobody could call it a handsome face, maybe some would even see it as ugly, but it was mesmerizing to her. Beneath his Stetson, his hair appeared to be dark blond, a little long on the neck for a Border Patrolman. 

          "You the one who called?" His voice was deep, resonant. Those, golden eyes, appeared to look right through her.
He's the only hero I've described as ugly but he's the kind of ugly that can also be seen as beautiful. He was the most impossible to find images to fit because while most of us know that ugly can appear beautiful, finding a face that fit among the model images is not easy. I adored writing about him, and Rachel fell almost instantly in love. What did she look like? Well beautiful but to that story, it wasn't nearly as important as what he looked like. 

To add to Rainy Day Romances a piece about the inspiration behind each of my books, I realized once again how important men are to the stories. I wrote most of my stories long before I had to find images for them. Then they were described in the books but they were rather dreamlike for how I saw them, the kind of faces we see in dreams. When I went into ePub, there came a need for covers, trailers and that meant real faces. That's when I began looking through model sites for photos I could buy the rights to use.

So for fun, the following are a few of my heroes. These all come either from CanStock or Jimmy Thomas's site. Incidentally for those who find fault with too many Jimmy Thomas images out there on romance books-- does it bother you how many Ryan Gosling characters might be out there in the movies? What about when Clark Gable played diverse heroes? George Clooney? I think not. Thomas is a symbol for romantic heroes and he does a darned good job at being that.