As an angst-ridden teenager, I read the classic, Jane Eyre. I fell in love with poor Mr. Rochester, dark and wounded as he was, and for me there’s been no going back. Ever since then, the much-older, brooding hero is my hands down favorite.
Those were definitely my “Gothic” years. Not that I dressed in black and wore heavy makeup, but meaning that I read every gothic romance I could get my hands on. Nothing stirred me as much as a plucky young governess – they have to be plucky – losing her heart to a much older, much more worldly and often emotionally damaged master of the estate.
So a few months ago I decided to write a story that explored this type of pairing in a modern environment. In Macy’s Awakening, I created a naïve young black women, wrongly accused of a crime, and a divorced, jaded attorney over twice her age. Not only does Jerrod come to Macy’s rescue by representing her legally, he gives her a temporary home in his “estate”, just like the gothic heroes I adore. Once she is under his roof, they are drawn inexorably into a spell of mutual attraction that --- well, I won’t spoil the story. Suffice it to say, it’s a timeless theme updated for the twenty first century and expanded to include the full range of romantic expression, right down to toe-curling, eplicit sex.
In my next story, I’m looking again at the same theme. Heart-broken widower Nathan, and plucky, beautiful young Delsy are thrown together in close proximity for an extended period of time. Long enough for sparks to fly, bosoms to heave and toes to curl.
What is it about older, wounded heroes? Are they your favorite too? Leave me a comment and tell me why or why not you love them.