My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Rebecca E. Grant. If you enjoy a contemporary cowboy romance, check out her latest release, Liberty Starr. Today Rebecca is talking about one of my favorite things–the romance hero. Tall, dark and a shuttle driver?
What do you think—would a shuttle driver make a good romance hero?
I hope you’ll leave a comment about your idea of a good romance hero here on Shelley’s blog today. All commenters will be included in the drawing for a free copy of my contemporary cowboy romance, LIBERTY STARR.
While you’re thinking about that question, last week I was taking an 8:00 AM shuttle bus from the Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel in Orlando where the Romance Writers of America conference had just wrapped up, to the airport. It was crammed full of romance writers. I should have been exhausted—we all should have been exhausted. But the energy on that bus was high—even though the temp topped out at over 100—the humidity was beastly, and the hour was early, after a late night—all because it was a great conference, and romance writers love what they do!
Even the ride to the airport was fantastic. I had the best seat on the bus—first seat on the passenger’s side with a bird’s eye view of our driver—a fabulously sexy, man from the Caribbean with amazing eyes, a tall, slender body and the sexiest…well, you know…sexiest everything!
I will admit I was unabashed about staring blatantly at him because physically, he was the perfect model for a romantic hero. He must have felt me watching him because he turned around and gave me a slow smile.
“Hot,” he said.
Too bad he was talking about the weather.
“Yes.” I agreed. “And that was a lot of luggage you slung under the bus.”
He ripped a paper towel off a roll he took from under the seat and wiped his forehead and the back of his neck. “I’ve never seen so much luggage. Must’ve been a lot of free giveaways at this conference.”
I smiled and nodded, seriously not trusting my voice—he was that good looking. He turned away and picked up a gallon jug of water, snapped the cap off and took a long pull. I watched the way his mouth fit over the opening of the jug—the undulations of his throat as he swallowed, and couldn’t help but imagine what his mouth would feel like—taste like.
He caught my eye in the mirror, lowered the jug and said, “Vodka.” He winked.
I chuckled. It wasn’t original, but it was entertaining. Encouraged, he picked up the microphone and treated us to a running diatribe of interesting facts and stories about the area. He was so engaging, someone called out from the middle of the bus, “you should do stand-up.”
He smiled at me through the mirror and said, “What do you think this is?”
About half-way to the airport he asked me, “What conference was this?”
This time I grinned—I haven’t met anyone yet who is indifferent to a romance writer. “Romance Writers of America.”
He reached for his jug, swallowed spectacularly again for me, and asked, “All of you are romance writers?”
“How do you conduct your research?” He asked. Again, not original—what romance writer hasn’t heard that one? But he was beyond sexy. He was compelling.
I decided to play with him a little. “Exactly as you imagine.”
He took another swallow and was momentarily quiet. I could see his mind working. Finally, he picked up the microphone and began to talk again, this time tailoring all his fun facts and stories to romance writers. Much of it centered around how romance authors conduct their research—and where. He was just short of crossing the line, with extraordinary timing, and an engaging laugh.
Needless to say, it was a fast ride to the airport, and I’m confident his tips attested to the fact that not only was he relentlessly sexy, he had a razor-sharp wit.
So, back to my original question. Do you think a shuttle bus driver would make a good hero?
When I got off the bus he asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” (only slightly different from the research question, but this time I knew he was serious).
I was serious too, when I answered, “Sometimes they come to me in dreams. Sometimes they just show up when I put my fingers to the keyboard. And sometimes,” I grinned, “it happens when I’m taking a shuttle to the airport.”
“Really? I could be a character in one of your books?”
“Trust me,” I told him. “You already are!”
Thanks for joining me at Shelley’s blog today. Don’t forget to leave a comment about your idea of a compelling hero, and why. You might just be the lucky winner of a free copy of LIBERTY STARR.
Click here for an excerpt from LIBERTY STARR
Click here to read reviews of LIBERTY STARR
Visit my website to read excerpts from books coming soon.
All the best to you,
Rebecca E. Grant
Love is Unstoppable!
follow me on Twitter: @RebeccaEGrant
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ROTFLOL — do I have that right? Rolling on the floor laughing out loud — what a RIDE you were on & I’m guessing … you find that type of entertainment everywhere you go. Think I’ll go to Disney :)
Question – did you go out west and meet a cowboy before you wrote Liberty Starr – or did he come through the fingers?
Thanks for sharing!
Hello Joyce! I met Rafe, the hero of LIBERTY STARR just as I was falling asleep one night–he walked into my half-sleep state wearing nothing but a Stetson! Love it when that happens! :-)
Thanks for dropping by Shelley’s blog today!
Now that’s an image I can drift off to sleep thinking about!!
cowboys yaaaah :lol:
Hi April, as my sister would say… “cowboys… yippee ki yay!”
My idea of a compelling hero is not tied to what he does for a living but what he is as a person. It does help if he has a great body but I’d like a great mind and a great sense of humor with a nice dose of kindness too…oh and since I’m sure it would sure be nice if he could be at least 6 feet 2 inches tall :grin:
Hi Maria. Love it! I have to agree that one of the most intriguing things about the shuttle driver (aside from his drop-dead looks) was what a quick wit he had–especially once he learned that he was driving a busload of romance writers :grin:
Sounds like a very sexy read. What the hero does for a living is never a deciding factor for me. Its always the story and the writing.
Hi Rasha, thanks for dropping by! I love your comment abaout not caring what the hero does for a living. A couple of my friends are trying to talk me into writing a romance about a logger… you know, plaid shirts, beards, rugged wilderness… what do you think? Do loggers have any appeal?
It sounds like the shuttle bus driver was quite a character. It was fantastic that he had a quick wit and was humorous. From your description of him, he sounded like he was easy on the eyes too. I never come across good looking bus drivers. Sounds like he made the ride to the airport fly by.
Hi Jean. Yes, he was a treat in every way and so unexpected–I think that’s why the memory has stayed with me (5 days later). I usually get the “can’t you load/unload your bag by yourself” guy who looks like he’s one breath away from a heart attack :smile:
What a fabulous, fun story! :smile:
I thought it was a great story, too. Your shuttle driver sounds so cool.
Would he make a good hero? It sounds as if he has buckets of charm and charisma. Intelligent, too. They’re all good qualities in a hero.
I think he’s really an undercover cop….
Thanks for dropping by, Heather.
Shelley, LOL. He was under-cover something! :grin:
I agree with the majority — what a hero does for a living is unimportant. What’s important is that he is strong, intelligent, loyal, and he loves his heroine with a fierce passion and is willing to move the world for her :).
Great blog post! Loved it! I don’t think what a hero does for a living is as important as his personality. And yes, a logger could definitely be sexy. Think of all those days out in the hot sun, building muscles by working hard, beards can be sexy as long as he has all his front teeth. lol ;)
Helen, I love your mention of loyalty. Thanks for dropping by!
Mary, LOL–yes all his teeth is a must! Thanks for commenting!
Great blog! As for a shuttle driver, why not? Now the question is why is he? Motivation–the driving force. I think motivation in the hero is what makes him a hero–shows why he’s worthy of the heroine, besides his compassion and love. He has to have a passion driving his actions. Perhaps the driver is a comic at night? He wants to be an actor? He simply wants a good tip so he can go to med school? What is his driving force?
Thanks for entertaining me,
Definitely doable! Would definitely love a peek into a shuttle driver’s personal life! For me, a compelling hero would have to be a man of character, flaws and all. Like the night guardman of a building although it would be difficult to find a heroine for him since his day is her night!
Why do I never meet the cute bus drivers etc. Most would just eat you alive if you spoke to them.
Hi Bobbye, great point about motivation!
Tamsyn, thanks for dropping by. I agree—flaws are important—otherwise we might as well just read fairy tales.
Mary, thanks for commenting. There’ve been times when I’ve been in a cab or shuttle and wondered if I was being taken to my requested destination, or being delivered to a slaver’s ring… just my way of saying that I agree, drivers aren’t typically known for their people skills…
And the winner is….Rasha!
Congratulations. Rebecca will email you. I hope everyone will return to visit my upcoming guests, and don’t forget your comments give you an entry into my quarterly draw for a $25 Amazon voucher.