Or the good guy doesn’t always wear a white hat.
The good guy’s white hat isn’t just a cliché it’s an icon. Think back to that classic western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (or check it out on-line if you’ve never seen the movie). Robert Redford (he played Sundance) wore a black hat. Paul Newman (he played Butch Cassidy) wore a dirty off-white hat with a black band. Even thought Butch and Sundance were the nominal heroes of the movie (protagonists is a better word), they were NOT the good guys. They robbed and killed for money alone—good guys don’t do that—no noble motives excused their actions. The guy in the white hat in this move was a character named Joe Lefors who headed the posse that trailed Butch and Sundance. The few times the Lefors character was on screen it was always at a distance. The audience never saw his face. What the audience did see was Lefors’ white hat gleaming in the circle of the spyglass Butch and Sundance used to keep track of their followers. Lefors’ hat had a purpose, to remind the audience that as engaging as the Butch and Sundance characters were, they were not good guys.
As fascinating and iconic as that white hat is there are notable (and not so notable) exceptions. Bat Masterson wore a bowler. Maverick (both Bret and Bart) wore a black hat, as did James West. I’m not certain what color Marshal Dillon’s hat was, but it wasn’t white. So a white hat may be iconic but it isn’t universal. If we leave the American West, the hero’s chapeaux are less and less often white. Take a look at the top hats worn in My Fair Lady. Higgins and the Colonel wear black. Freddy’s is a very pale dove grey—the closest we get to white. And guess what. Freddy is the closest thing to an innocent ‘good’ character in the story. Go farther back in history and the style of head gear becomes more varied. Color varies along with it. The black knight is as often the ‘good guy’ as the white knight. Yet we all recognize when that white hat (be it Stetson, top hat or helmet) is being used to convey it’s iconic meaning.
The covers of my November releases show two examples of good guys without white hats. James from One Day’s Loving wears a black top hat (in deference to the period—1870—and place—Boston MA). Sir Haven De Sessions from A True and Perfect Knight is hatless. (Metal helmets aren’t considered romantic.)
Leave a comment and let me know if you prefer the guys on romance covers with or without hats? If you like a hat, what kind is your favorite? One lucky commenter will receive a free download of either One Day’s Loving or A True and Perfect Knight.
Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable. The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog. She’s not happy about it, but what can she do? She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.
A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?
A True and Perfect Knight (Nov. 19, 2013)is a re-issue of one of my favorite books and relates how love grows between two enemies.
Baron Haven De Sessions knows a hundred reasons despise the widow Dreyford. The widow is entirely too independent, and a suspected traitor. Worst of all, she had been married to his best friend—a man Haven arrested for plotting against the king. Haven believes the treacherous widow should have given up her head, not his childhood friend. Now an oath to that same friend forces him to protect a woman he does not want and cannot trust.
Genvieve Dreyford has her own reasons to detest De Sessions. The man is far too handsome, and his reputation as Edward I’s most ‘true and perfect’ knight has swelled the baron’s head. Worst of all, Gennie believes he betrayed his friendship with her husband to curry favor with the English king. Now, because of Haven De Sessions, Gennie has lost her home, her title and nearly everything she held dear. Only for the sake of her family, will Gennie place herself in the power of a man she fears and mistrusts.
You may read an excerpt and get more information about A True and Perfect Knight here.
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