Elizabeth Hoyt came blazing into my life a few years ago when a friend of mine demanded that I read Raven Prince.
The most remarkable aspect about Raven—and there was a long list of special things in that story of an ordinary woman who goes to great lengths to experience pleasure—was that the gentleman who captured the heroine's fancy, while sensual, desirable, and down-right heroic, was not handsome. In fact, he was ugly.
This week, I've been reading Elizabeth's latest historical romance, Wicked Intentions, and as in many of her previous books, the hero of the story has unusual traits for a romance leading man. In this case it's Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, and he's notorious among both London's titled folk and riffraff for his desires in the bedroom. That's not what really struck me about him, though. What most caught me by surprise is his hair. It's long, unkempt, and silver.
A hero with gray hair? Say it ain't so!
It is so, and once again Ms. Hoyt has created a character who doesn't fit into the mold and yet completely has me hooked. He's not an old man by any means—four and thirty, he says. That isn't precisely young by romance standards, though, is it? So what do we expect in our romance heroes? How old is too old? How gray is too gray? And when do a characters' previous sexual exploits color your belief in him or her as a believable hero or heroine? But most importantly, what are the examples of characters who diverge from our expectations and yet make us fall in love with them right along with the heroine?
Come to Romantic Reads and tell me what you think. And I'll tell you why Ms. Hoyt's heroes break the molds while creating new ones!
Who are some of the most unusual romantic heroes you've ever read about, and why did you like them?
Melanie Murray is the moderator of Romantic Reads, BN.com's all-romance, all-the-time community forum.