It’s been said that romance readers are out of touch with reality. I suggest my HEA-loving sisters and I just like to fantasize about the male ideal, but know and appreciate the actuality of real-life guys' imperfections. Romance fans, I’ve long said, don’t live in fantasy worlds; we just dream in them.
I was reminded of this today while reading a guest post by author Stephanie Tyler, whose exciting, intense and aggressively erotic back2back romantic suspense trilogy about three adoptive brothers who are Navy SEALs is heating up shelves right now.
In her post, Tyler writes about how no less than three of her readers wrote to tell her that one of the brother/characters, Chris Waldron, is a man they dated in real life, and they wonder whether she has any contact info so they can track him down. Apparently this guy, a hot seaman from Cajun country, made quite the impression, just like his namesake whose story is told in the Jan. 26 release, “Hold On Tight .”
Chris Waldron is intro’d in Tyler’s current release in the trilogy, “Too Hot to Hold,” in which we meet his bro, Nick Devane, a hot ticket whose life on/off the job is pretty much one, enormous, long-standing covert op. While he’s rarely able to let down his guard for more than a few hours of aggressively sought hook-ups excised of any kind of intimacy, it only takes a few shifts of the controlled reality he’s tried to create to allow his past to come barreling at him full-force – and dead center.
Serving up the shake-ups is none other than ace reporter Kaylee Smith, who’s desperate to find her dead ex-husband who also was military. Her trying to uncover her ex’s possible war crimes in Africa – and why the bad guys want info about them -- threatens hers and Nick’s lives by tossing them in the paths of unprincipled mercenaries and rogue agents who don’t care much that Kaylee and Nick have got it goin’ on.
Yet Kaylee and Nick are quite the memorable romance couple because they own some layers, some hidden depth that Tyler reveals as her story unfolds. It’s the “rest of the story,” the weaknesses or mistakes a character makes, or the fears and foibles she is courageous to reveal, which have us thinking back on parts of the book in the future.
But while we – and definitely I – often think with fondness about romance characters, especially heroes, we’re fond of, I’m wondering:
Have you met men in real life who seem as if the heroes of novels could have been based upon them? Tell us about the guys, the heroes and the books. - and - Do you ever fear you’ve lost touch with reality from reading romances, i.e., have the expectation that real-life men should act like romance heroes?
Check out book 1 in the series, "Hard to Hold ," and erotic romance by Steph's alter ego, Sydney Croft .
Click here for Michelle's 2010 advice to the publishing industry.
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