Friday, May 25, 2007

The Naughty Hero

"Why would you want me to inflict pain, Mr. Swift?"

The governess had returned—cool, composed, the perfect servant who would accept any bizarre, scandalous, ridiculous thing he said and carry on regardless.

"But you sorely want to, don’t you, Serena? Don’t you strap naughty boys who misbehave?"

Serena crossed her arms beneath her lush breasts. "I do not believe in corporal punishment."

"You’ve never spanked a charge? I find that hard to believe."

He grinned as a little smile came to her lips—a crack in her cool demeanor, a wry smile that changed her from perfect servant to human woman.

"It leads to escalation, Mr. Swift. What do ten lashes of the strap lead to? Twenty, I assure you. A child will push boundaries, and then what is a governess to do? Keep making worse and worse threats? And once a threat is issued, it must be acted upon. Children know at once when they have taken control."

"So you wouldn’t spank me in punishment."

"You are a grown man, Mr. Swift."

"Would you spank me in fun?"

A blush. He’d expected her to blush, to be a little embarrassed. Instead, Serena walked calmly to the edge of the bed and picked up the whip. She curled her fingers around the grip, weighing it. "If I were to spank your bottom, Mr. Swift. I would be tempted to do it with the flat of my hand."
--Excerpt from "Blood Rose" by Sharon Page (coming August ’07)

I love to create the naughty hero. My hero in Blood Rose, Drake Swift, is naughty and oh-so-wicked because he wants to lash out at the rules of a society that he feels he can never belong in. So, of course, I paired him with an ex-governess, Serena, a woman fired from her post because of an indiscretion (she was foolishly in love). A woman determined not to be led astray again. It was tremendous fun to have Drake challenge Serena with his wicked fantasies, and have her knock him back on his heels.

And who is a better foil for the wicked naughty hero than the tormented responsible one?
On the TV show LOST we get responsible leader Jack, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, competing for love against tempting bad boy Sawyer. I’ve used those archetypes in my books Blood Red and Blood Rose, and took on the challenge to make them fresh and unique and explore why they have become the men they are.

Which led me to writing a menage book, the fantasy of a heroine with two heroes. Interestingly, I learned the challenge of writing a menage book with two heroes is that you must be fair to both men. You, as the author, can’t fall in love with one over the other. Or at least, you can’t focus on one man’s angst to the point where he’s not even having sex, while the other is a wicked playmate who is having wild sex with the heroine in every chapter. Hmmm, something I’d never thought of until I realized I was so entranced with one of my hero’s tragic pasts that I’d forgotten to let him have some carnal fun.

What type of man is your favorite hero? Your fantasy man? And if you’re a writer, is there one hero you’ve written who is unforgettable and will always be your favorite?

7 comments:

Lucinda said...

I'm a Warrior Poet person. I like my men to be MEN. Tough, strong, aggressive, arrogant, charming, insolent, overbearing, as well as caring, kind, loving, and devoted.

My favorite hero so far is Sir Phillip from Julia Quinn's To Sir Phillip, With Love.

I have one character created (I'm not sure if he'll be used in a Romance book or not - he's picky) that I positively adore. He is, in essence, the perfect hero for me.

Celia May Hart said...

That's funny, you just described a secondary character in my current WIP. He's very much that strong, indolent, leering type ... and then he falls in love, gets a sense of responsibility and it all goes to hell.

But not before he gets a good whipping himself...

Kate Pearce said...

I love the Alpha male, dark domineering and driven by deep inner demons that only the heroine can help him face. I wouldn't want to live with one in real life of course but as a fantasy, oh yes please!

I love all the heroes I've written and happily plot out the rest of their lives in my head. I suppose my favorites are the more ambivalent ones to whom sex is very complicated :)

Pam Rosenthal said...

I like brainy, brooding men. But this being romanceland, that responsible thing does tend to creep in.

After he read The Slightest Provocation, My Son The Victorianist sent me this quote from the literary theorist Georg Lukacs"

[the] average English gentleman... generally possesses a certain, though never outstanding, degree of practical intelligence, a certain moral fortitude and decency which even rises to a capacity for
self-sacrifice, but which never grows into a sweeping human passion.


Which might be why my favorite of my romance heroes is the French Viscomte Joseph Dupin.

Jane Lockwood said...

Embarrassingly I have to admit my current hero has just complained about getting a splinter.

Sharon Page said...

Hi all,
Thanks for posting up your intriguing heroes.
I loved Julia Quinn's Sir Phillip. The opening of the book made him so completely real for me, and I loved how he had no idea how to cope with the kids.

I'm looking forward to seeing your WIP in print, Celia--to see that good whipping :-).

That's a great point Kate, about heroes for whom sex is very complicated, because I find I'm holding my breath all during the foreplay knowing how intense it is for him.

I loved Pam's quote and must admit, that based on that, I take a lot of licence with my British heroes. I like them to be swept into grand passion.

I laughed at that one, Jane!

Kathryn S said...

Sharon! You never told me you had a blog! Well, I'm glad I found it.

As for men, like smart asses. Can't help it. And if he's pretty to look at, I'll like him even more. But usually I write the broody types. I really should try to write a smart ass, I think.