My Three Favorite Heroes…
by Molly O’Keefe
I didn’t have to think about this list. For years I have actually been dying to write this list. These heroes since the moment I read their books made a huge impact on me. But while thinking about WHY I loved them, I had a real moment of truth about myself. I like my men wounded. Like seriously messed up. Deeply scarred and troubled.
I’m worried about what I might not know about my husband.
That said, back to the heroes. Every time I start to create my characters for a new story, these three heroes are the benchmark I use to measure my own heroes. Their arcs, the strength of their love, their heroism – it’s all so vivid and alive for me as a reader, I try to copy a little of that magic for my own books. I also love the fact that when these men are cruel, and they are, it’s in an effort to protect themselves or the heroine. They are never cruel to be cruel. Or thoughtless in their cruelty – it is pointed and purposeful like so much of what they do.
So, here they are in the order of when I read them:
- Samuel from The Shadow and The Star by Laura Kinsale. Oh, so wounded. After a childhood of torture, he’s so unable to connect on any deep level, but he WANTS to. He wants to so badly, that when he meets the person that truly speaks to him, speaks to his fear and desire and pain – he’s helpless not to act on it, without truly understanding what’s going on. It’s his innocence that’s so striking. And it causes so many problems. I read this book in high school, I remember staring at that Fabio cover at the bookstore for months before getting the nerve to buy it.
- Gabe Bonner from Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Oh Gabe. I’m not sure, here, if my love for Gabe isn’t partly because of my love for Rachel the heroine. Gabe has been backed into a corner by grief, and when he comes out swinging Rachel and her son get the worst of it. But the depth of Gabe’s pain, past and present – is spellbinding. Watching him get healed makes for one of my favorite romances of all time.
- Zadist from Lover Awakened by JR Ward. Again, totally tortured. What I love about him, is his arc from cruel, predatory and callous, to being truly heroic. Putting his life on the line for a woman he can’t really expect to love him, or love in return – isn’t totally new in romance, but I felt like it had never been done better. His redemption is not easy or pretty. It is however, very very sexy. But that scene at the end, when he’s learning to read – the most romantic ending ever.
So, how about you guys? Do you agree with this list? What are your favorite heroes and why?
Molly O’Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.
She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring every character’s road towards happily ever after.
Dishing It Out, her last Harlequin Flipside won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for best Flipside in 2005.
Her Superromance Baby Makes Three won the RT Reviewer’s Choice for best Superromance in 2006 and her novella, “The Christmas Eve Promise” in The Night Before Christmas was nominated for a RITA in 2009.
June 26th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
In Molly O’Keefe’s captivating new contemporary romance, a woman with a past and a man without a future struggle to find a place where they belong.
A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Tara Jean Sweet knows that opportunity will never knock; she’ll have to seize it. Elderly Texas rancher Lyle Baker has a dying request: He will give Tara Jean a stake in his leather business in exchange for a little family subterfuge. All Tara Jean has to do is play the part of a gold-digging fiancée to lure Lyle’s estranged children home. The mission is soon accomplished.
Now Lyle’s gone—and his ridiculously handsome son, Luc, an ice hockey superstar sidelined by injuries, is the new owner of Crooked Creek ranch. He’s also Tara Jean’s boss. But being so close to sinfully sweet Tara Jean does crazy things to Luc’s priorities, like make him want to pry her deepest secrets from those irresistible lips. But when Tara Jean’s past demands a dirty showdown, will Luc stay and fight?