Writing the Perfect(ly Flawed) Romantic Hero
by Shira Anthony
Thank you, Blogger Girls, for hosting the first stop on the Swann’s Revenge Book Tour! I’m so happy to share my latest entry in the Dreamspun Desires line of romance-forward, tropey love stories from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post about how to enter to win a cool unisex leather heart bracelet to celebrate the book tour and read an excerpt from the story.
No matter how you look at it, there’s no denying that romances are all about the characters. It’s about falling in love as you read. Dreamspun Desires, like any great category romances along the lines of a Harlequin, are full of wonderful tropes: the arranged marriage, the secret baby, mistaken identify, or, as in the case of Swann’s Revenge, the ugly-duckling.
But characters, too, have their tropes. The damaged hero with the heart of gold. The once-burned, now closed-off man who doesn’t think he’s ready to love again. The playboy who hide his loneliness. You get the picture. Each of these characters, and the million variations on them, are what live and breathe at the heart of every romance.
So what’s the common denominator here? They all have flaws, just like real human beings. A story about a perfect relationship with no challenges is boring. The same is true for our MCs. Perfect isn’t fun, and it isn’t realistic, so we don’t buy in to the characters or root for them when life, and love, present them with challenges.
Swann’s Revenge is the love story of two very different men, Graham (our ugly-duckling-turned-hotter-than-hell-swan) and Dan, the former high school star quarterback. Both have flaws, although the story is mostly about how Graham comes to terms with his past. Dan is easy to love. He’s sweet, he’s figured out who he is, and he’s confident without being overbearing. Graham, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to love. But Dan sees the heart hiding behind Graham’s carefully built walls, and he doesn’t give up easily.
Who’s my favorite of the two? Graham. In a heartbeat. And not because he’s drop-dead gorgeous. It’s because I absolutely love a flawed hero who hides his heart. I’ve written more than a few of them over the years, my favorite of which is David Somers, the conductor from the Blue Notes Series, who’s heart begins to thaw when he hears the beautiful music coming from Alex Bishop’s violin. Sure, Alex is easier to love, just as Dan is in Swann’s Revenge, but I personally adore seeing love do its healing work.
Not to say that Dan doesn’t have his own issues (spoilery, so I won’t talk about them here), but watching Graham Swann blossom into a truly happy man is what Swann’s Revenge is all about.
Happy reading, and don’t forget to comment on this post to be entered to win the cool unisex “Follow your heart” bracelet I’m giving away at the end of the tour! -Shira Continue reading