In my classical English Literature education, I’ve read about plenty of heroes. Mythical heroes, reluctant heroes, anti-heroes, tragic heroes. Archetypes abound. While I love the battle between Achilles and Hector, the desperation of Jean Valjean, and the tragic lack of forethought from King Lear, I just can’t fix any of that. Give me a hero whose flaws can be complemented and eased by the right heroine and I’m all in. You know this is why you love Mr. Darcy. Because he and Elizabeth have matching flaws. Like towels labeled his and hers. Perfect for each other.
Ahhh. This is why I have a romance novel in my purse. At all times.
My favorite contemporary heroes are those who appear to be doing everything wrong but have a darn good reason. We just don’t know the reason. When we find out, we love them even more. We can’t help it. My novel Will Work for Love, set on the island of St. Thomas at Christmas, is a classic example of my kind of flawed man. Chris Maxwell is a tall blond hunk who owns his own construction company on the island. When Whitney Oliver arrives on the island to prepare a family estate for her best friend’s wedding, she discovers a local construction company has failed to deliver. Although the insurance check was cashed months ago, the damage from a hurricane remains untouched. The estate is in shambles, the wedding in jeopardy. How can a man who looks so fine be hiding so much? When Whitney uncovers his secret, he has to work for her love and much more.
Flaws. They make heroes human. Reclaiming and reforming them is the satisfying work of true love.