I'm in the middle of revising my latest WIP, Beacon of Love, and I'm finding it interesting that my hero, Lucas, has really become the central character at this point in the novel. Don't get me wrong, the heroine, Sophie, is holding her own, but Lucas has somehow developed this complex backstory that (for me anyway) is enriching him as a character. I hope this doesn't turn off some readers; I know that usually in a romance the heroine is the one with the central conflict and journey. But this time, it seems as though it's going to be the guy.
Here's an excerpt from the chapter I revised last night, and even though it's told from Sophie's POV, it's still more about Lucas than about her:
She stopped in her tracks, halfway between the kitchen and the parlor. “Damn, Walker. Looking good.” The combination of dark blue button-down shirt and faded jeans suited him well.
He colored. “You ready?”
She nodded. He reached for her hand, and her fingers tingled as he tucked it into the crook of his elbow. Scratch that. Her whole damn arm – okay, the entire right side of her body, spreading fast to the left and all parts south and lonely – tingled. Could we maybe skip dinner and go right to dessert? she wanted to ask. Instead she just breathed in his cologne and led him lead her down the front steps.
“Hey, no hat!” she realized as they walked to his truck. To be fair, she’d only looked up a few seconds earlier. The parts of him on her level – broad back, wide shoulders, ass that filled out his jeans in just the right way – were more than tempting. But the rest of him up top was pretty nice too.
“No hat,” he admitted.
“I like it. I can see your face.”
He grinned but didn’t say anything, just helped her into the cab of his truck and closed the door behind her.
“So what’s the name of this place again?” she asked as they headed for the highway. He adjusted the radio to a jazz station.
“The Cove.” At the cross out by the city limits – for Barbie Collins, Sophie remembered after a minute – Lucas slowed. For a minute she thought he was going to stop, maybe say something or get out and pay respects. But he didn’t even glance at the cross, and then she wondered if the slowing was almost subconscious, a reflex that happened every time he went near one of the memorials without even realizing it.
How do you measure grief? Watching Lucas, Finn, the Walkers, even Shannon O’Brien, the answers were beginning to come to her: in little pieces, minute actions, the slightest change in the everyday ways people adjusted their lives after a loss.
What do you think? Do you have a certain expectation when you read a romance novel that the heroine is going to be the focus? Do you want her story to be the focus? And, would you care if the hero had at least as central a role as the heroine?