Here we are already at the first Wednesday in the month of February! Today I’ve decided to shake things up a bit on WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY by turning over my blog to the fabulous J.M. Stewart. She’s talking about heroes and sharing the blurb and excerpt from Her Knight in Black Leather which recently released from Crimson Romance.
Please join me in welcoming J.M.
What’s my favorite type of hero? The one I love? Who captures my heart and makes it beat a little faster? I have to admit I’m not an alpha girl. In fact, I hate the alpha. He’s arrogant and in the real world, I’d probably roll my eyes at him and move on. Guys like that aren’t sexy to me. I like a guy with a little heart.
My ultimate hero, the ones that really stick in my mind, are a mixture of alpha and beta. This hero is strong minded. He knows what he wants and what he likes. He’s strong in his principles and he isn’t afraid to tell you about it or stand up for them. He isn’t afraid to protect the heroine, to stand up for her or stand in front of her and take a bullet for her.
He’s also part beta, oft around the edges. He’s a nice guy, makes a good friend, a good brother and neighbor. He’ll never tell the heroine what to do unless she asks. He isn’t afraid of talking about his feelings. Now, he’s not perfect. He has flaws, but he knows it. He may not like them, but he accepts that they’re a part of who he is. When the heroine needs something, he goes out and gets it for her. Or goes out of his way to do it.
This might seem a little too perfect. The alpha often gets depicted in stories where the heroine softens him up. She changes him. But we’ve all got our romantic fantasies and this is mine. These are the guys who make me swoon.
Michael Brant, my hero from Her Knight in Black Leather is an alpha/beta mix. He’s quiet. Michael’s a brooder, a thinker, which means he’s up in his head a lot. He normally isn’t much of a talker. He’s more of a doer. Michael knows who he is, and he’s comfortable with himself. Michael is my reformed bad boy. He doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of him. He’s the type of guy who isn’t threatened by allowing the heroine, Cat Edwards, to have the choice. He also isn’t afraid to take charge when it’s necessary.
In the story, Cat is being threatened. Pictures of the two of them are ending up in the town newspaper, and with every set that shows up, the threats to Cat escalate. Her friends and family get pulled into the ring with her. Her father’s bookshop is vandalized, and her roommate ends up in the hospital, due to a case of mistaken identity. The excerpt, below, is the moment Michael puts himself in charge of keeping Cat safe.
I’d love to know what your favorite hero is. Are you an alpha or a beta? Or are you like me and like a mix?
Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.
When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.
As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?
Lisa regarded him carefully for a moment. “I appreciate that. Thank you. What about Cat? She’s the one they’re really after.”
“She’s not going to be alone.” He turned to Cat, reached for her hand and stroked his thumb across her knuckles. He prepared himself for an emphatic denial. “I can stay at your place or you can stay at mine. Either way, you’re going to be seeing a lot of me because, from now on, where you go, I go.”
Cat stood staring at him. He didn’t have to ask to know what she was thinking. Fear and uncertainty shimmered in her searching eyes. She was afraid to be seen with him lest they end up in the paper, triggering more repercussions to be heaped on her. The whole notion left a bad taste in his mouth.
He shook his head as he caught and held her gaze, imploring her. “I’m not taking no for an answer. I’m not going to sit around and wait until something worse happens. The only way I can really be sure of that is if you’re with me at all times.”
Michael held his breath. He didn’t want to push her, didn’t want to force himself into her life, but this was one area he wasn’t willing to budge on. She was being threatened, and he was the cause. It killed him to think it could be Cat lying in that hospital bed. It brought up things he didn’t want to remember anymore but that stared him in the face all the same. Namely that he cared about her. More than he wanted to. In the short time he’d known her, she’d gotten under his skin, and he liked her there. She’d become important to him. The thought of losing someone else he cared about ripped open an old wound inside him.
J.M. writes what she likes to call sweet and spicy contemporary romance. She’s a stay-at-home mom who lives in Seattle Washington, with her husband, two boys and their two very spoiled puppies. She’s been devouring romances for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.