Margo Maguire


avon, Historical Romance, Jaunty Post, Margo Maguire

2 book cover

The best part of being a romance writer is writing heroes who are manly and powerful, but sweet and tender. It’s also the most challenging task. But we romance writers have had great role models. We’ve seen all kinds of wonderful heroes between the pages of our favorite romance novels — from the men whose words make us melt, to the silent types whose actions speak louder than any words they might say.

Do you remember the heroes of Julie Garwood’s early books? How about Lord Royce, Nicolaa’s hero in The Prize. He was a gruff Norman knight but there was a kind and gentle side to him that was irresistible. And the heat they generated between them… :shock: Oh baby.

Then there was Katherine Woodiwiss and all her wonderful heroes: Lord Saxton, who buys Erienne at an outrageous auction in A Rose in Winter, and Ruark Beauchamp, who is saved from a wrongful execution in Shanna. These were unquestionably
drool-worthy heroes. And what about Jude Devereaux? In Sweet Liar, Jude wrote a hero for everybody’s tastes – Michael Taggert. And Stephen Montgomery, the Englishman who – against all odds – fell in love with Bronwynn, a highland lass. Their larger-than-life3 book cover love gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

Along came the Clan of the Cave Bear series, which was more about the heroine than the hero, but Jondalar came through, quite amazingly. These books were original and incredibly imaginative. Who would have thought a story about a prehistoric woman would be so fascinating? Or so romantic?

Does anyone remember Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of Dreams? The conflict and the hero’s love for his woman nearly cost him his life. He was willing to give it in order to prove his love for her. It was maddening and brutal, and yet one of the most powerful love stories I’ve ever read.

Karen Robards wrote some truly fabulous historicals before switching to contemporary romantic suspense. Nobody’s Angel and This Side of Heaven were two sensual historicals set in colonial America. Very hot, very emotional.
WarriorLaird[1]Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find a romance set in pre-Revolutionary America any more, and it was such a vast, ‘anything is possible’ time with plenty of opportunity for adventure and romance. And heroes in buckskin? :grin: Daring rescues from dangerous situations? 

My two Highlander books have heroes who are more apt to do something than talk about it, which is really my favorite kind of hero. I want him brawny and brash – a man’s man – but I also want him to be gentle with the heroine. I want her to get under his skin, and make him willing to sacrifice anything for her. (The Highlander’s Desire will be out later this year).

Now that I’ve told you some of my early favorites, what are the books that brought you over to the romance genre? Did you start with historicals like I did? Or was there something else that grabbed you?

11 thoughts on “Romance Heroes

  1. Shana Shana says:

    I was working on a blog last night, and saw these book covers in the media, and was like, who is blogging about those books? Love them! The Prize is one of my favorites. Lord Royce is fabulous and I think for a period of several years, Jondalar ruined me for any real boys. Jamie from Outlander also comes to mind.

  2. Beebs says:

    My first HR was Stephanie Lauren’s A Rake’s Vow, which I had bought not realising it was second in a series. Needless to say I immediately went and bought Devil’s Bride and have been hooked ever since. Devil is still one of my faves, right alongside Dain, Rupert Carsington, Ian Mackenzie, Charming Mickey O’Connor and Shana’s Armand Harcourt.

    Looooove those tortured heroes 😀

  3. Margo–I love historicals and did start reading them first. I devoured Johanna Lindsey, Julia Garwood and Jude Devereaux. Now that I’m living in England I’m re-reading some of them as we travel around to different places. 🙂

  4. Lorelei says:

    Sigh… Twilight brought me into the romance genre, then Nicholas Sparks, but most of his are too heart wrenching and sad. Then Kristan Higgins really swept me off my feet with her romances. 😀 I’m not a big fan of historicals-YET. I have listened to Lisa Kleypas’s books and now I’m acquiring a taste for this genre. I will look into the ones mentioned by you and the lovely ladies here. I’ll probably end up loving them as much as contemporary romances. 😉

  5. Karin Anderson says:

    I was reading Fantasy, to begin with. Terry Goodkind, to be specific. Then I saw Laurell K. Hamilton (on the shelf below) and picked that up. So I moved from Fantasy to Urban Fantasy. The next time I was looking for new authors and picked up Patricia Briggs and PC Cast. The next book in PC Cast’s Goddess Summoning book was in the Romance section, so I had to look through those books to find it…and the rest is history. 😀

  6. Lorelei – I’m so glad you’re open to trying new romance genres – you’ll find there’s a lot out there to love!

    Beebs – you’ve mentioned some great heroes!

  7. LOL, Karin – that’s the way it often goes!

  8. catslady says:

    I read a little of everything but romance started with gothics and Woodiwiss hooked me completely. I love all the authors that you mentioned above!!

  9. Deb says:

    I finally got into JQ website tonight. The snowstorm we had today was playing havoc with my computer/wireless connection.

    I started out reading Harlequins when I was 13 because my mom read them. They were sweet romances and appropriate for a young girl. I even remember the very first one I read. It was THE GENTLE FLAME by Katrina Britt. 🙂 I began reading historicals several years ago when the owner of the indie bookstore I frequent suggested a Julia Quinn book. I would have to say that I was quite hooked on historicals and my fave hero is Colin Bridgerton from ROMANCING MR. BRIDGERTON because he was kind, funny, and warm. Julie Garwood did have some great heroes as well and I like Lord Royce as a hero. Auel’s CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR series was really good and I think Jondalar is also a good hero.

  10. Laurie G says:

    LaVyrle Spencer- Forgiving(a Western) First book found on vacation at a poolside bookcase

    I started reading Good Housekeeping magazines novels- 1980’s someone left them in the work lounge I was introduced to Nora Roberts and LaVyrle Spencer had Morning Glory in it.

    Catherine Coulture- Devil’s Embrace & The Wyndham and Valentine Legacies

    Cynthia Wright & Laurie McBain- historicals

    Sandra Brown (Rachel Ryan), Nora Roberts, Joan Honl, Janet Dailey , Joan Johnston, Jayne Anne Krenz, Penny Jordan, VLT, Margaret Way, Helen Biachin, Debbie Macomber-category romances

    Elizabeth Lowell’s Medieval trilogy- Untamed, Forbidden & Enchanted

    Linda Howard’s Dream Man and MacKenzie’s Mountain

    Julie Garwood – The Gift

    Diana Palmer’s- Lacy, Trlby & Noelle

    Karen Robards – Tiger’s Eye

    Cathy Maxwell – The Marriage Wager

    Johanna Lindsay YES!

  11. Terri Brisbin says:

    Margo —

    Julie Garwood’s THE PRIZE was my first historical romance!! It dragged me kicking and screaming over from horror and mysteries and into romance novels!

    “Checkmate.” Sigh…I still remember it! and the way he carves a new chesspiece for her when the villain destroys the one her father had made… double sigh!

    And yes, again, A ROSE IN WINTER and THE WOLF AND THE DOVE were/are my favorites of Woodiwiss’s — when I had the chance to meet her, those were the only words I could get out! LOL!

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