Heroes are vital to a romance book. For me to love a book, I have to fall a little bit in love with the hero. Back in the olden days of romance books (when my nanny read them to me in my crib, lol), the heroes were silent Alpha brutes who mostly infuriated me. But the heroines were doormats, so maybe that's what appealed to readers then. For myself, I cried till Nanny threw them against the wall for me. (Is anyone buying I was that young? Oh. Well, I tried.)
Did y'all note in Shelley's post about heroes on Sunday, her first hero listed is her dad? My friend has a H.S. freshman daughter who has to do an English project gathering pictures and writing about her first love (really, I don't make this stuff up), and she's writing about her dad.
Maybe that's why I love writing the "Hero as New Father" character. In The Fake Fiancee, the hero gets involved with a woman who has two children--children who don't like him at first. Now, I could have written him not caring, as his relationship with their mom is a business deal, but that's not a guy I'd want to be with. So Joe takes on the challenge of becoming a Dad. I haven't written a baby-on-the-doorstep type book (yet) where two people are instant parents of a newborn/toddler, but I love that idea. There's something so manly and appealing about a guy falling under the spell of a child. Something so masculine and romantic about a guy crooning lullabies or walking the floor with a cranky baby.
Becoming a parent changes a person, man or woman. I believe it always makes that person "more," that parenthood adds dimension and depth to his or her basic character. I hope everyone feels the same, as I love writing about new dads. My husband, btw, is an awesome father. When we were dating, we babysat my sick niece, who almost immediately vomited chicken noodle soup all over him. His calm response and loving reassurances to the four-year-old distraught girl assured me he'd be the perfect dad for my kids. And he is.
Yes, it's almost Mother's Day here in America, but I'm tipping my bonnet to the fathers of the world. Here's to you.