When you think of a hero, what criteria do you use?
Brave? Well that’s a given. Whether I’m wearing my female hat or writer’s hat, a man has to have certain qualities to rank up there with our nation’s military finest.
Other than being strong, fast, courageous, and fearless, I like a hero who carries himself with confidence. The kind of confidence that says he’s doing the right things for the right reasons. His inner strength must be so ingrained that tenderness is freely given and isn’t a threat to his masculinity. Secure in his masculinity, he’ll allow himself to rescue an abandoned kitten or dog without feeling a display of kindness might jeopardize his reputation as a hard-ass.
Have you ever seen a firefighter drop to his knees and resuscitate a dog or cat that had been overcome by smoke inhalation…hero.
Take Bonnie Tyler’s hit song from the 60s, “Holding Out For A Hero” for example. (All you youngsters who haven’t heard this song, download it. It will be the best .99 you ever spent.) Lyrics are copyrighted so I can’t use them here, but she nailed what every woman dreams of in her hero.
Need a real life example? How about Payton Manning, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos? His prowess on the football field is well known, but for me, the class he demonstrates when he’s not playing makes him a hero.
I read a news article about him the other day. If I hadn’t been a fan, I would’ve been by the time I finished reading. After Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens dealt Manning and the Broncos a devastating loss, Manning went to the Ravens locker room. You see, Lewis is retiring this year. But it was after he’d showered, changed into his suit, and finished with the press conference, he learned Manning and his family were waiting for him.
Manning might have been defeated on the football field, but didn’t pick up his toys and go home. He stayed long after his teammates had left just to shake Ray Lewis’ hand and wish him the best.
That’s class with a capital C. And I want my hero’s to have that kind of classy confidence.
What qualities do you look for in a man? Are they the same expectations you have for a hero in a romance novel?
Bio: A student of creative writing in her youth, Jerrie set aside her passion when life presented her with a John Wayne husband, and two wonderful children. A career in logistics offered her the opportunity to travel to many beautiful locations in America, and she revisits them in her romantic suspense novels.
But the characters went with her, talked to her, and insisted she share their dark, sexy stories with others. She writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other. She likes to torture people, make them suffer, and if they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after.
Jerrie lives in Texas, loves sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her heroes and heroines.
Blurb from Hell or High Water
When ex-SEAL Nate Wolfe learns a woman from his past is in danger, nothing will stop him from protecting her. Not even her.
Dallas Child Protection Services Investigator Kay Taylor doesn’t want or need Nate in her life. But he doesn’t seem to understand the word no. He seems to also have forgotten the brand he left on her heart.
When Kay is taken and sold to a monster, the devil himself couldn’t stop Nate from doing whatever it takes to find her…but will he be in time?
Excerpt Hell or High Water -
A chill slammed into her. Again, somebody’s eyes on her sent a shiver up her arms. She whirled.
A black Harley was parked down the block. She paused at the rear of the car and stared at the rider. Odd that he’d parked away from the funeral crowd and sat there watching. Damn, the black visor didn’t stop the burn as his gaze bore down on her. Her breath caught. Was this the man who’d saved her? Wearing a black leather jacket and matching helmet, the man sat motionless.
She started toward him, and the rider stepped off the bike. If this was her ninja, she’d demand answers after she thanked him. He turned his back to her and then removed the helmet. His fingers wound through shoulder-length black hair, tying the strands together with a piece of leather. There was something vaguely familiar about him. His movements. His shoulders. His hands.
He turned to face her, and her heart rate raced toward the ozone.
Ten years of missing Nate Wolfe boiled over. He was here. Really here. She sprang into his arms, clutched his broad shoulders and leaned into his hard-as-a-rock chest. God, his scent, a mixture of leather, woodsy cologne and virile man washed over her. Damn. Her body betrayed her by melting into him.
“Nate,” she whispered into his neck. “You saved me.” Her flesh heated when his large hands flexed against the small of her back and drew her closer.
“Come hell or high water,” he whispered, his warm breath sending heat streaks across her skin.
A split-second passed before memories of his lying tongue using that same phrase so many years ago hit her. A volcano of heartbreak erupted and spewed forth.
“Don’t touch me,” she spit the words at him while scrambling out of reach. “And don’t you dare say that to me. Ever.”
“You hugged me.” His eyes went wide and he held his hands up in surrender.
Damn him and his Cheshire cat grin. Kay plowed her right fist into his jaw. God, pain shot up her arm. His head barely moved. Still, she relished the snap of his teeth. Obviously, she didn’t hit him hard enough. He rubbed his scruffy jaw while that sexy little smile inched right back up his cheeks.
“Why are you following me?” Her knuckles hurt like hell, but he’d never know.
“What?” He held his hands in front of him, palms up. “No good to see you, Nate? No how you been? No nothing.”
“I’ll try this again, slower. Why. Are. You. Fol—”
“We need to talk.” The fun left his gaze. The sparkle dimmed to seriousness.
She stepped further away and sent him a glare designed to blister his flesh from head to toe. Unaffected, he picked up the cell phone earpiece she’d knocked off and reattached it to his ear while never taking his navy blue eyes off her.
“No, we don’t. Thank you for saving my life. Now do what you do best. Go away.” She spun on her heel. Rubbing her now swelling hand, Kay stalked straight to her waiting friend.
“You okay?” Holly asked over the top of the car before she slid behind the wheel.
“If I didn’t break my fist on his cement jaw, I will be.” Kay stabbed her seatbelt a second time before fastening it properly. She cursed the tears welling. Cursed the feel his warm body imprinted on her breasts. Cursed the memories that sent her heart spinning.
Holly dropped her .380 in her purse.
“Did you take that in church this morning?”
“Yep. God knows I carry. And the law gave me a permit. Glad I had it, because I didn’t know what the hell was going down when you hit him. Who was the hunk?”
“Holy shit. The guy from college?”
“The same. He’s been watching me. I’m sure of it.”
“I should’ve shot him.” Holly punched the gas pedal, ignoring the speed bumps.
“Thanks for having my back. And for getting the concealed carry license.”
“I’m never without protection. Or a gun.” Holly chuckled at her own joke. “Where to?”