Friday, August 29, 2014

Are Rebels Really Romantic?

Have you ever wondered why so many romance heroes are described as rebels? What is there about
Bad Boys that attracts so many woman?
Oh, I know in books they're always really good guys, just misunderstood a little. Or a lot. Rebels in books have always had a troubled past, clash with overbearing authority, or generally have hearts of gold hidden beneath all that angst.
Don't get me wrong - I love a moody Heathcliff type character as much as the next woman. Yep, all warm and tingly.
What is not good is when the idea of the dark, romantic rebel spills over into Real Life.
We've all met them. Those handsome, brooding characters who seem to need to challenge everything, who play the lone hero card all the time, who get in trouble without any good reason, thumb their noses at authority and generally create mayhem in our lives (and in our hearts, if we let them).
 They always need the love of a good woman to save them and bring out the hero, right? And isn't that the big attraction? We women need to nurture as much as these guys need to be nurtured.
But I think we've got it all wrong. Maybe the idea of 'saving' a rebellious hunk is a way of proving that we are so feminine, we can create miracles :-) We, alone, can rescue them.
Or maybe they don't need to be nurtured or rescued, they need to grow up!
Imagine a lifetime of living with all that moody angst, all that unreliability, all that simmering, thanks.
But in books and movies, it's just fine.
James Dean played the classic young, tortured rebel in Rebel Without a Cause - all that brooding sexiness would melt the heart of most of us. Put up your hand if you didn't want to save him - there, see, no show of hands at all :-)
I prefer to write about heroes who, although they may be a bit moody and maybe even commitment shy (there's a difference between being commitment shy and not being able to commit!)
In my newly published book, Another Man's Son, hero Ben Asher is more the sort of guy you'd like your daughter to meet: Born to an impoverished family, he joins the military to serve his country and because he wants to learn a trade to give the woman he loves 'everything a man wants to give to the woman he loves'.
When he believes she's chosen a rich husband over him, he's cut to the quick. The betrayal runs deep with a wound that never seems to heal - until he learns the truth about Kathryn Morgan, her son, and her shotgun, loveless marriage.


Kathryn drew in a sharp breath. How could she possibly explain all this to Ben? What words could she use to convey the nightmare her life had become, the sense of burning shame within her that she’d made this choice? There was no way she could bear to see the contempt in his eyes when he saw how trapped she was, like a fox in a leg trap. But, like that fox, she’d be capable of gnawing off her own leg for the sake of her son. If she had to, she’d bear the humiliation.

“What the hell is wrong with this family?” Ben exploded. “There’s a missing child whose parents are too busy fighting between themselves to co-operate with law enforcement in finding him. Dammit all, Kathryn, it seems neither of you can say for sure the boy is really missing!”

His anger sparked her own. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Ben Asher! Especially not now, not when…”

“Not when what, Kathryn?” His voice was gentler and he moved to stand beside her, close enough so she could smell the clean masculine scent of him that shone through the light citrus aftershave she remembered so well. She swallowed, then stood to face him. He didn’t step back, even though there were just inches between them.

She ran her tongue over her lips to moisten them, but even so her voice sounded cracked and dry to her own ears. “Not when I need you. Need your help.”

She needed more than that. She needed Ben to take her in his arms, to kiss her; to let her taste his mouth and find out if it was as magical as her heart remembered. But she was another man’s wife and the hard planes of his face told her without words that he would never forgive her betrayal. Kathryn sighed and began to turn away, but his next question stopped her.
Another Man's Son is now available as an ebook at most online retailers, including Amazon and the publisher's website, The Wild Rose Press


Jannine Gallant said...

What a great excerpt, Glenys. Way to leave us with a cliffhanger! Yeah, I have a feeling real life rebels would get old fast. Best of luck with sales.

Alicia Dean said...

Love this excerpt. I agree, depending on just how bad the boy really is. :) Great post! So fun that you're doing a Lobster Cove story. Looking forward to featuring you all on my blog.

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was a powerful excerpt. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

glenys said...

Thanks, Jannine - I agree, I think real life rebels would be just too high maintenance!

glenys said...

Alicia - The Lobster Cove series does promise to be fun, doesn't it? Thank you for the opportunity to be on your blog. :-)

glenys said...

Raquel - glad you liked the excerpt :-) Thanks for dropping by and commenting. If you wish, you can read the first chapter of Another Man's Son at my website,

Leah St. James said...

Good analysis, Glenys! It's nice to have "normal" heroes, the kind you'd like your daughter to meet, once in a while!