Guest – Rue Allyn

Rue AllynHeroes in Stetsons, Top Hats, and Helmets

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.


roses2One Day’s Loving (Nov. 18, 2013) is the third book in my Wildfire Love series and tells the story of Mae Alden and James Collins.

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?

The first two books in the series One Moment’s Pleasure and One Night’s Desire are available here or you may pre-order One Day’s Loving  here. You may read an excerpt from One Day’s Loving here.


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.

TrueAndPerfectKnightBaron 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.


Connect with Rue Allyn online:

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26 thoughts on “Guest – Rue Allyn”

  1. Hi Rue! Welcome to the Junction. I love your subject. Hats really do make the man and can relay things about their character. Wasn’t it in a James Bond film where someone uses their hat as a weapon? I seem to remember that.

    I love hats on men. I think hats make them sexier no matter which kind it is. I live in cowboy country and my heart still skips a beat when one of them tips his hat to me. And when he adds the word “ma’am” with the gesture….oh man!

    Your books sound so good. I can relate to Mae Alden since I’m always in the background and love being there. Great covers. Wishing you lots of success!

  2. Welcome to the Junction, Rue! What a fascinating blog post. The distinction between good and bad, black and white has always fascinated me. I especially loved your exceptions. What’s the old saying? The exception makes the rule. Both of your books sound wonderful. Wishing you much success!

  3. I loved this interesting post on hats! As a Texas gal, I always enjoy a guy in a cowboy hat on the cover of a book.

    Wishing you much success with your upcoming releases!!

  4. Sherri,
    Your comment about keeping a white hat clean is inspiring. I love giving my heroes little quirks. (I don’t do this for every hero but now and then with a guy who needs softening.) Having a hero who’s mildly obsessed with his hat seems like a fine idea to me. Thanks.

  5. Linda, that was Odd Job–henchman to Goldfinger–in the movie of the same name. (Sheesh the things I remember!) I couldn’t agree more about the cowboy hat.

  6. Hmmm, guys with or without hats… never really paid attention, especially if they are shirtless, lol. Well I guess I love the men in cowboy hats, but also the ones in period dress for the Regency period…

  7. I confess I’m a Stetson junkie. Simply eating breakfast at a little place in Glenwood Springs Colorado week before last and some guys at the next table wearing cowboy hats: be still my heart. And hubby totally gets it LOL…don’t know if anybody else watches Justified but when the producers played with Raylan’s character shedding the Stetson and wearing more henley tee-shirts (seriously?) they took a LOT of flak and the hat was back…great post, Rue, and welcome to the Junction today.

  8. Nothing like a guy in a cowboy! Thank you for a great post. We have a few hats around our house so I never know which hat will be the choice of the day.

  9. Welcome to the Cowboy Hat club, Tanya and Melanie. That one article of clothing does so very much for the wearer (bucket, sunshade, insulator, and sexy as all get out).

  10. I guess I always picture my cowboy hats as well worn and on the brownish side. Unless they’re black.
    Because if they start out as white, it’s a really good bet they’re going to get dirty before long in the wild west.
    I’m not even sure if Stetsons came in a variety of colors.
    Anyone know?

  11. Mary – yes, Stetsons have a variety. My cowboy just bought an Outback hat. Very sexy…

    And the hat was what brought us together.

    Great post Rue.

  12. Mary, your question provides more inspiration. I’ve never even bothered to wonder before what cowboy hats were made out of. I think I assumed felt, but that wouldn’t be very sturdy and cowboy hats are nothing if not sturdy. I would imagine that the early Stetsons came in whatever colors were available among the materials made to use the hats. So probably more than one color but not a huge variety. By the way, LeFors white hat in the movie was a straw boater.

  13. Fascinating post! I love a hat on a man – particularly a cowboy hat. I swoon for those men! My hubby won me over with one and I made him wear it for our wedding. 🙂
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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