Our week-long celebration of love and romance concludes today with the wealth of information found between the pages of a romance novel. Men are forever trying to figure out a way to pluck the right emotional string to reach that mystical realm of a woman's heart. It's hardly mystical, often uncomplicated and intuitive. Men need only to look to the heroes who populate romance novels for a compass. Who else but women who write for women are experts at the vast terrain of a feminine heart?
Romance Heroes understand there are regions of a woman's heart he may never see. A woman's collective experiences form a deep labyrinth of emotions: worry, hurt, triumph, truth, and thoughts she shares with no one. Heroes know that with respect and patience, a map to navigate the maze becomes apparent.
Romance Heroes are gentlemen. Chivalry may be a dead art in modern society, but the romance hero knows simple gestures place them at a serious advantage over other red-blooded males. This can be difficult terrain, especially for women who embrace feminism with an iron grip, but even a woman with a strong sense of her modern role in society can grow weary at times.
Romance Heroes recognize strength is not measured in pounds or arm-wrestling trophies. While heroes may be good at setting course for a specific goal and reaching it, women burden themselves with details and sacrifices and the whole of life such that they become the very fabric that allows others to reach their goals. Heroes never doubt there is a strong woman behind every great man.
Romance Heroes do not have body functions. Only the dicey romance writer will expound on his need to take a piss (ahem...guilty. The Lost Highway), but on the whole he is far too preoccupied with saving the heroine, child, world to engage in pull-my-finger antics. This is why he gets the girl and the only ones who appreciate your armpit noises are your drinking buddies.
Romance Heroes are out saving the world. They live by the others before self creed. They rescue dogs from hot cars, women who drop their purses, elderly who need a seat and step up without being asked.
Romance Heroes never smother. They're diffusing a bomb that could annihilate the entire northern hemisphere. They don't have time to call a woman's cell phone seventeen times a day.
Romance Heroes embrace defining moments. When called upon during emotional peaks that life dishes out to us all, they react with character and integrity. They know their legacy carries on after three hundred pages.
Romance Heroes are scarred. Some of the best heroes in romantic literature are less-than-perfect men who sport limps or disfigurements. It is the same reason the Beauty and the Beast legend has been reinvented in alternate forms for centuries. Yes, some women like the idea of taming that which cannot be tamed; but mostly, we understand a hero is not always found beneath a Hollywood face.
However you decide to celebrate Valentine's Day (or not) this week, I wish you all one glaring moment of peace where you feel the love around you and give it back in return.
Kim Lenox's second book in her Shadow Guard series, So Still the Night will be a May 2009 release. Kim's books are perfect specimens to study the ideal dark alpha hero. Love her writing. LOVE it.
Monday: Double blog-award day!! Thanks, Vesper.