On Valentine’s Day we think of those
Who make our lives worthwhile,
Those gracious, friendly people who
We think of with a smile.
I am fortunate to know you,
That’s why I want to say,
To a rare and special person:
Happy Valentine’s Day!
By Joanna Fuchs
We’ve posed the question, of all the heroes we’ve written, which hero was our most romantic?
Charlene: Okay, well, first off, this is like asking a momma who’s her favorite child, but if I had to pick one hero, it would have to be Sam Beaumont from Bunking Down With The Boss. Sam’s a wealthy man, but he’s a tortured hero who is running from incredible past hurts and himself. He stumbles upon a job at Caroline’s ranch and pretends to be a down and out drifter. I love the chemistry between Caroline and Sam, two people who are not looking for love again. Sam’s protective and sexy and so grudgingly sweet with Caroline, you can’t help but fall in love with him.
Elizabeth: My most romantic hero would be Latigo, in one of my earlier Harlequin Historicals, Apache Fire. He’s half Apache and works as an army scout, but has been rejected by the whites because of his Indian blood and by his mother’s people as well. Rose, my widowed heroine, finds him wounded and nurses him back to health. He’s called Latigo partly because of the whip he carries and uses, but he can be tender as well. In one of my favorite scenes, he brushes Rose’s hair. The best part was having the great John DeSalvo portray him on my cover.
Kate: “All my heroes are incredibly romantic! Honestly, I can’t choose who’s best between the men I’ve created! <g> Sometimes the most romantic thing about him is his sense of humor, sometimes it’s the chivalrous way he treats the heroine, other times it’s the way he touches her. I have to mention Quinn Rowlan, the hero from my current novel, Wanted In Alaska. One very romantic thing about Quinn is his ability to quote legal passages from the Constitution. It doesn’t sound romantic, but he’s an outlaw and the heroine doesn’t expect it. He kidnaps her and she doesn’t think much of him, so his intelligence is a real surprise to her–and begins a deep attraction.”
Linda: Luke McClain in The Cowboy Who Came Calling was probably my most romantic hero. He loved Glory with all his heart and soul and was willing to take her however she was, even when she lost her eyesight. Luke was so tender and sweet and giving of himself. He recognized that Glory needed some space to deal with her disability and come to terms with it, but he always stood in the shadows watching over her, always ready to protect her. He realized that to keep her, he had to let her go, be that a short while or forever and he was willing to wait. That’s not to say that Luke was a softie. He wasn’t by any means. He had a gritty toughness and could be quite fierce when he had to be. I think it was the combination of deep caring and tough steel that made him really sexy. And he had a sense of humor. I like my men to laugh once in a while.
Mary: My heroes in the first two books in this series, Clay and Daniel, are clueless about women, and that was really fun to write. One, Clay was a mountain man raised completely away from women. Daniel was the father of five sons. All he knew about women was, his wife had died and left him to raise his boys alone, and scarred with the idea that is was his fault, that he shouldn’t have let her have those babies, even though she wanted them. But Grant, in Gingham Mountain, with his tender heart for children in need, has taken many children into his home including a lot of girls and he’s very comfortable around tears and giggling. He’s a pretty good hand at being a father to girls. But, because he started taking in children at a very young age, it’s kept him too busy to ever think much about marriage. Now he’s found a woman he is very attracted to and he has no idea what to do with this feelings. So, he’s pretty sensitive as heroes go, but still a clod when it comes to romantic love.
Pam: Oh, this was a toughie. Perhaps it’s how a hero acts in a certain situation that portrays him as romantic–in a rugged and unconventional way. Following is a snippet from Kidnapped By The Cowboy when TJ can’t bear to be apart from Callie Mae–and defies detection by climbing through her bedroom window late at night. And we soon find out just how romantic he gets!
A sound brought her instantly awake.
Callie Mae’s gaze darted toward the open window; a light breeze played with the hems of the curtains. Moonlight spilled inward, bringing with it . . . silence.
She didn’t move. Didn’t breathe. Yet she sensed something wasn’t right. Something surreal.
Her heart pounded. Suddenly, behind her, the mattress dipped. A hand clamped over her mouth. Locked the scream in her throat.
“Don’t be afraid, Callie Mae.”
She stilled at the low whisper, gently-spoken. Husky.
The hand eased off her mouth. Her head swiveled on the pillow. A dark, rugged face loomed over her, and her eyes widened in recognition.
“TJ!” she gasped.
He held a finger to his lips. “Shh.”
“What are you–?”
She rolled to her back. “Don’t ‘darlin’’ me,” she hissed, though she took care to make it a quiet hiss. “What are you doing in here?”
For a moment, his gaze lingered over her face. The shadows sharpened the angles of his jaw, his chin, making him appear ruthless and dangerous.
He reached out and tenderly threaded his fingers through her hair.
“I couldn’t stay away,” he said.
The words sounded wrenched from him. Her heart tilted and swayed. “You should have.”
She darted a quick look at the closed door. “Woollie will have a fit if he knew–“
“I know that, too.”
“TJ.” She bit her lip. The mattress dipped again. He shifted his position and swung his body around to straddle hers. She pushed on his hard thighs. “TJ, you can’t be in here.”
“No other place I want to be.” He planted his hands near her shoulders, lowered his head and nuzzled her neck. “Don’t send me away, Callie.”
Stacey: Garret Daines has to be my most romantic hero. He tugged at my heartstrings in MUSTANG WILD as a boy trying to protect his older sister. In MAVERICK WILD he’s become a rough-cut cowboy with the heart of a poet and gifts Cora with wild flowers and compliments that make him blush. He suffered a good deal of heartache when Cora chose Chance over him. When we catch up with Garret in Mountain Wild he’s suffered a failed marriage and has sworn off courtship all together. A run-in with cutthroat cattle rustlers in the midst of a blizzard lands him in the healing hands of mountain recluse “Mad Mag”, a woman he calls “Magpie” because of her black hair and the way she flutters just out of reach whenever he moves near. It’s his gentle nature and subtle advances that win her over. Here’s a snippet from Chapter Eight—Maggie finds him in his barn, Garret having been jumped by eight rustlers—he had ‘em whooped, until they got the drop on him by shooting his dog 🙁 Even bloody and bruised, he’s a charmer.
She cut away the spiral of rope along his arm. The bone at his shoulder appeared to be poking up beneath his shirt. His arm rolled from the top of the gate as the rope fell away. He grunted as she eased the limp limb against his side.
Using her body to hold him up, she pressed firmly against him as she cut the rope holding his right arm. Garret’s swollen lips pressed against her neck.
“You smell like heaven,” he breathed against her skin.
“You look like hell,” she said, hoping his frisky move meant he wasn’t hurting as badly as he appeared.
His other arm fell forward and his weight knocked her back. She landed on her butt, her arms banded around his chest. It took all her strength to ease him to the side before she fell on top of him. He groaned and hooked his right arm around her, holding her against him.
“We gotta stop meetin’ like this, Magpie,” he said in a weak voice. “You lookin’ pretty as springtime. Me on death’s door.”
She eased back. Fresh tears hazed her vision at the full sight of him. She’d never seen such a battered face. The bones in his left shoulder pitched up, creating a rise beneath his shirt.
“You are not on death’s door.”
“Am too,” he insisted. “Better strip me nekkid and have your way with me. Do it quick.”
His swollen lips twitched in what could have been a grin. “Worked last time.” He shifted, attempting to sit up, but only managed a deep moan before settling back on the dirt and straw. “Just lay here with me,” he said in a pant. “I’ll get up in a minute. You sure Boots is all right?”
“Yes. And you shouldn’t try to move. Your shoulder is broke. God only knows what the rest of you looks like.”
“Shhh,” he whispered. “I’m tryin’ to impress my girl.”
He’d suffered far too many blows to the head. “I’m not your girl.”
He peered up at her through the swollen slit of one eye. “You will be.”
Maggie tensed, the confidence behind those three words sending a combination of fear and longing shooting through her.
How about you, who’s the most romantic hero that comes to mind when thinking of your favorite romance novels?
How about those real-life romancers – care to share a special Valentine’s Day moment?