Monday, February 20, 2012

I Cannot Tell A Lie...

I like imperfect heroes. Since this is Presidents' Day, it's a perfect time to be thinking about heroes. Today honors two of our most famous leaders: "The Father of Our Country" and "The Great Emancipator." George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both have monuments dedicated to them in our nation's capital. Legend has made them larger than life. But neither man was made of marble. Biography reveals their humanity.

Being human means being imperfect. The question is, how imperfect can a hero be and still be a hero? That's what I had to deal with when writing my second erotic romance, "Take This Man." The man in question is Adam Vostek, who appeared as a secondary character in my first book. In that story, Adam was a cynical loudmouth who didn't have anything good to say about love. Though I liked Adam, I wasn't sure I could make him sympathetic enough for readers. How could I go about doing that? Well, put him through the wringer of course! Emotionally, that is.

The biggest mistake of Elyse Zemanski's life was falling in love with Adam. When a night of sexual fantasy went too far, she was crushed and couldn't leave town fast enough.

The biggest mistake of Adam Vostek's life was letting Elyse go. He'd been afraid of the love she promised, and pushed her away—into another man's arms…and bed.

When Elyse returns to Summit to help a friend, Adam wants a second chance to prove he’s worthy—in and out of the bedroom. She claims she's over him but one look from those smoldering eyes, and she throws caution to the wind. Elyse offers him seven days of wild sex, hoping to get him out of her system.

Adam's good to go on the sex. But will a week be enough to win back Elyse's love and trust?

Adam needs to prove himself to Elyse—prove that he loves her after letting her down. She doesn't make it easy for him, because she's just as hard-headed as he is. But she needs to face a few truths about herself, too. They both need to let go of the past in order to forgive and move forward.

Today I'm giving away an e-copy of "Take This Man" to a random commenter. Please leave a comment today about what qualities you think make a good hero. Or about a special hero in your life! Thanks so much.

Nona Raines

P.S.—George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree. ;-)

To read an excerpt or to purchase "Take This Man", click here
To learn more about Nona and her books, visit


Harlie Reader said...

For me, I think that a man needs to show me that he can show emotions, tell me what he thinks and doesn't leave me quessing. In other words, just be honest with me. I can handle the truth.

My hubs cries at the drop of a hat. Seriously....he's the more emotionally one of either of us.

Marika Weber

DanicaStComo said...

After getting a taste of Adam in his brother Matthew's story, One Good Man, it was interesting to follow Adam as he woke up to the fact that he loved Elyse -- and realized what a flaming idiot he'd been. The flawed hero draws in the reader -- can he make it, or not?

Nona Raines said...

Hi Marika and Danica,

Thanks for commenting! Marika, your husband sounds like a real life hero. It's great when a man can express his emotions. That takes courage, which is something a hero definitely needs!

Danica, it was fun trying to turn Adam from a "jerk" to a good guy. Alas, not everyone thought I succeeded, but that's the way it goes. I like flawed heroes, because there's always a chance for growth.

DanicaStComo said...

I think the emotionally wounded heroes have the tougher journey, and I become more invested in those characters. Adam did seem like an arrogant SOB in ONE GOOD MAN, but I believe he redeemed himself in his own story, TAKE THIS MAN. As a writer, it's tough to find the balance that makes the heroes come alive--as a reader, I cheer when he comes out stronger at the end.

Em said...

For me a man who can be selfless and observant is a true hero, even when you are the recipient and may not want the help.

Em said...

For me a man who can be selfless and observant is a true hero, even when you are the recipient and may not want the help.

Nancy Jardine said...

I need my heroes to be dependable. They need to show they're strong characters even in the face of adversity. They need also to show they're really understanding their female counterpart by the end of the novel...but not necessarily at the beginning!

Nona Raines said...

Danica, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you thought it was worth following Adam on his journey!

Em, I agree that a hero is observant to what a woman needs. That means he's thinking of her instead of himself. Sometimes we women want to be so independent we think we shouldn't ask for help. But knowing that someone is there ready to help makes all the difference.

Nancy, you're so right that a hero should be dependable. What good is a guy who bails when the going gets tough? Of course, his learning to understand the heroine is part of the story's fun!

Thanks for commenting, all!

Katherine said...

I have a special hero I'd like to tell you about. He's my nephew. He works as a firefighter for the city we live in and calls me his second mom. I am unfortunately unable to have children and call him my son I'll never have.

Most 23 year olds are engrossed in their own lives but he calls just to talk, he stops by just to visit on any given day, and on Valentine's day, even though I don't celebrate the holiday, stopped by to drop off a box of chocolates because in his words--"every special lady in my life deserves chocolates on Valentine's Day."

I plan on modeling a hero on him one day.


Nona Raines said...

Katherine, your nephew sounds like a wonderful man! Not only is he a courageous firefighter, but he's thoughtful and makes those considerate gestures we women so love! Some woman will be very happy to have him. He is the perfect inspiration for a romance hero! Thanks for sharing!

Nona Raines said...

Marika, congratulations! You've won a copy of "Take This Man"! I'll contact you to find out what e format you prefer. Thanks for commenting and thanks to everyone who commented.