In Search of a Hero...

Monday, 21 August 2017

Harlequin has been putting out some pretty funny commercials over the last couple of years staring typical hero material—most recently the Viking and the Cowboy and it has got me to thinking…

Strangely, my past loves read like decades worth of hero inspiration. I’m not claiming they were all devastatingly handsome. I mean, they most likely were to my teen or young adult self, but I imagine I’d feel differently now. What strikes me as strange—or maybe just comical—is the fact that you can nearly pick out the series or Harlequin line I was reading throughout my dating history based on who I was dating.

My early high school years followed the examples set in the Cheerleaders and Sweet Valley High series. I leaned toward sporty, popular boys. God, how I loved a basketball or baseball player! Football was good, too, but being tall, myself, I had a serious soft spot for tall guys, so basketball seemed to win out. As for baseball? I mean who doesn’t like a guy who isn’t afraid to get dirty sliding into home? I still love baseball. Check out Tracy March’s The Practice Proposal if you do, too.

Later in high school, the boys of summer started to catch my eye and I just couldn’t get enough of the sun-kissed surfers who frequented our local beach. There was just something so damn sexy about sun-bleached hair and those rippling shoulder muscles paddling out to catch a wave. I loved surfers so much, I almost married one—I was engaged to one for 4 years back when I was way too young to be thinking of marriage. Want to fall in love with a surfer now? Give Zane Hollister from Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman a try.

University saw me take a good look at careers and venture into the exciting world of emergency Flashpoint by Jill Shavis is definitely one to read if you need a book to light your fire.
medicine. Not only did I work in the ER, I spent a good deal of time on an ambulance as well. And where there is an emergency, there will also be a fireman… oh yes. Once I had laid eyes on my first college guy in turnout gear, I forgot all about the boys who played the field. Firemen were truly hot. During this time, I also started reading more Harlequin Intrigue, Blaze, any line which dared put a fireman on the cover.

In my mid-twenties, I became enamored with all things Scottish. I had a best friend who was born in Scotland and told me tales of growing up there, making it seem all the more delicious. It was also around that time that I started to notice more ‘men in kilts’ on the internet and, well… have you ever actually looked at their thighs?! Jesus! Suddenly the Highland Games were terribly interesting. Of course, the fact that I love all things fairy tale and that Scotland had not only hot men, but also gorgeous castles and magical lore didn’t hurt. Like castles and magic, too? Get your fill of magical lore plus a hot Highlander in Diana Duncan’s Sword of theRaven.

As you can imagine, Scotsmen weren’t exactly easy to find in the southern US at the end of the 1990s. In fact, I only knew one...

Thirteen years ago today, I married my hero—a dashing Scotsman in a kilt! 

Where did I find him? He sat behind me in French 2 when we were 14. He wasn't the sporty type; he was into ROTC instead. He spent a lot of time partying ant the beach with me, but he barely picked up a surfboard. He was more interested in architecture than emergency services when we were in university.

He was nothing like the guys I had dated in the past. 

He was better.

He stood beside me while I worked my way through a series of Mr Wrongs and let me cry on his shoulder when things didn’t work out. He shared with me stories of Scotland and even took me to see the castles in person. 

On August 21, 2004, I married my hero. I married my best friend.

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