How Do You Like Your Heroes?

Hi Everyone! My latest Eclipse Heat title is rolling out next Friday, March 8th. I am so excited. Charlie Wolf McCallister is one of my favorite tough men in the series. And that leads me into my reader question today.

Edge Grayson, my hero in River’s Edge ( available here) is a sweet, shy and gentle hero though he’s a retired gunslinger. Charlie Wolf McCallister, on the other hand, is arrogant, domineering, and well, he’s not gentle.

So how do you like your heroes? Tough or Tender?  

As an author of both, I’m curious about what readers like in their heroes. Leave a comment and tell me what you prefer–and go in the drawing for an ecopy of River’s Edge.


wolfstender_300 x490


Charlie Wolf is half Kiowa, all bounty hunter and a no-nonsense man—until he meets a schoolteacher with cornflower-blue eyes. After marauding outlaws attack Naomi’s school and kidnap her students, she’s desperate and will do anything to rescue them, even seduce the best tracker in Texas to secure his help.
Naomi offers one night of sexual favors, underestimating the power of Charlie’s predatory charm and his determination to claim her as his mate. She’s impatient with his decisions, questions his authority and generally ignores his warnings. But she melts in Charlie’s arms when he makes love to her.
Blood is spilled, past murder avenged, desperadoes captured and lust assuaged as the two set out to rescue Naomi’s young ladies.
A Romantica® historical Western erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


“There’s a catch basin of water down below. Bathe.” He handed her linen and a bar of soap.

Grateful for the chance to soak, she left comment about his dictatorial behavior for another time and hurried to the water.

“Watch out for snakes,” he advised.

Naomi didn’t like snakes or other slithering critters but she did like being clean, so she watched her step, shed Charlie’s clothes and plunged in the water, wallowing like a kid in the semi-warm pool. Her hair hung in rough strands that would become snarled balls when dry. She worked ineffectually at one tangle until she felt his gaze on her.

 “I wish my hair was straight like yours,” she muttered.

He held out his hand, indicating it was time for her to quit the water.

 “Just gawk at something else besides me,” she told him, exasperated at his boldness when he didn’t look away. She covered her breasts with one arm, her triangle of lower curls with the other and grimaced at him as she emerged.

He snorted at her attempt at modesty and wrapped the blanket around her, rubbing the drying cloth across her hair. Then he handed her a tin.

“Work that into the snarls, then rinse it out of your hair.”

“What’s in it?” she asked suspiciously, sniffing the mixture. It smelled like him, or at least the spicy wood scent she associated with him.

“Bear grease.” He grunted impatiently. “Now rub it on your hair.”

It was odd how right away her hair felt different. It hung in soft wet strands that felt like silk when she rinsed his concoction from her head.

“It feels like when I was a child and rinsed my hair in rain water.” She let her hands play down the silken length and looked at him doubtfully. “Bear grease?”

“No. My mother makes it for me to use on my hair,” he growled.

She’d noticed how shiny his hair was. “It’s indecent for a man to have hair that hangs down his back and is prettier than a woman’s.” The tart words escaped her before she could stop them. Then she fastened on the important part of his sentence, excusing her own rude comment.

“You have a mother?” She was surprised. He didn’t look like a man with a mother, let alone one who made him beauty products for his hair.

 “Did you think I was born in a cave with wolves?” He capped the tin and stuck it in his pocket.

“Does your mother live with the Kiowa tribe?” she asked politely, ignoring his sarcasm because frankly, she could picture him in a cave with wolves.

“My mother is Rachel McCallister of the MC3 Ranch. She’s a white woman, like you.” While she digested that information, he did one of his silent maneuvers, moving much closer, leaving Naomi very conscious of his nearness.

“Sun ointment—should make your face quit burning.” She could feel the heat from his body as he rubbed a different salve on her cheeks.

His nearness and gentle application of the medicine flustered her. No one had taken care of her since her sister had left. Naomi had grown up taking care of others. Now this man leaned over her and squinted as he dabbed another kind of cream on her cheeks.

 “It does soothe the burn.” She couldn’t resist touching his hand as he carefully applied the balm to her burned cheeks. “Why are you being nice to me?”

She suspected that Charlie Wolf never made a move that didn’t benefit him, but at this moment she didn’t care. It was wonderful that he was showing her kindness during the day.

 “Your skin’s too chapped. I want it soft under my lips when I taste you,” he drawled.

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About Gem

Author of contemporary women's fiction, paranormal urban fantasy, and historical western romance. Hermit by choice.
This entry was posted in Excerpts, New Release, Upcoming Releases, Westerns. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to How Do You Like Your Heroes?

  1. Kirsten says:

    Hmmm, that’s like asking what chocolate tastes better. Sometimes I like it dark and bitter and sometimes sweet and smooth. 🙂 I enjoy reading and writing about both tender and tough heroes, as long as he knows what he wants and knows how to get it. All of your heroes are great, Gem, and Edge is a five star hero!

  2. wyndwhisper says:

    i like them to be a mixture of both and to know when to be which. 😛

    tammy ramey

  3. I like my heroes he tough on the outside and tender on the inside. so when we are clothed we can go toe to toe and when we are naked I have a gentle loving man: unless I am wearing a French Maid outfit, then he can get a little tough on me.:)

  4. Rosheen says:

    I like stories where the charaters stay consistent and in keeping with themselves even when they learn and grow (this part of a comment I made mid February on another authors block re romantic cliches and heros’, but i think it is relevant to your question. They don’t have to be ‘nice’ or sweet and tender aka in your book ‘a pinch of naughty’ that I re read last weekend I really do like the hero even though he is not ‘nice’ etc. I’m looking forward to re reading wolfs tender ( the up dated version yah) as the original story and Charlie Wolfe have stayed memorable, today’s excerpt where the heroine questions the hero “you have a mother?”says it all LOL. There are two other authors (three books) that the hero is not nice really not nice( not sure of the eticate mentioning other books in a persons blog so I won’t, but you can Facebook me if you want to know). So TMI way to much but a hero who treats, in the end, the heroine well and with respect and the story and characters stay consistent is what I like. And even if I’m pretty sure that they get together in the end if I can’t guess the plot while reading etc is great. Cheers rosheen

    • Gem Sivad says:

      Good point Rosheen. Consistency within the character as to the time line when love can happen is important. Sometimes my characters just don’t cooperate until they are ready and I have to sit in front of the keyboard all day and twiddle until the right words come. 🙂

      • Rosheen says:

        Ps I don’t need to be in the draw for Rivers edge as already purchased and read. Really liked the title, story and characters. Cheers

  5. Eileen says:

    I like my heroes with a little edge and danger to themselves but gentle with their heroines. They like to push the envelope and be a bit of a tease.

  6. Clare O'Beara says:

    Reliable, intelligent, good with his hands… ahem… good looking to the heroine, he doesn’t need to be an Adonis. A hero should have some sex appeal but not so much that he has women falling all over him, that would just make him conceited and he would not value a good woman. Good with his.. ahem….

    • Gem Sivad says:

      Hi Clare. I agree with the *ahems* 😉 and the rest of your description resonates. Heroes must be RELIABLE. That’s another key element I always look for in good men. 🙂

  7. SheriV says:

    I love tough with a tender side. I want to see them melt for the right woman.

    smurfettev AT Gmail DOT com

  8. Lady says:

    I prefer heroes who are tough. Alphas who are possessive, protective, and want what they want when it comes to their women. BUT, they also know when a “softer touch” is needed. They’re usually harsh, even hard to the rest of the world, but with their women – that toughness morphs into something very enticing, passionate, all-consuming. 🙂

  9. mawmom says:

    I love a hero who is all rough and tough except for his love of his woman.

    • Gem Sivad says:

      Mawmom, we admire the same kind of man. Hope you’ll check out Charlie Wolf McCallister and Edge Grayson and see if the fit your profile for a hero! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. retta l says:

    love your stories. already picked up river’s Edge so do not pick me. Just wanted to say Hi and tell you again how great your reads are.

  11. Hi Gem,
    I have waited forever for Charlie Wolf’s book. ❤
    Can't wait !!!!
    IT comes out the day after my birthday. yayyyy me!!! ❤
    Have it saved in my wish list on EllorasCave!!
    I love it when he is a big bad Alpha who gets taken down a peg by his woman!!

  12. Kristi says:

    I like them tough, but tender in the center – like tootsie pop, LOL!

  13. Mary Preston says:

    I want both. Give me a hero who can be both tough & tender.

  14. I don’t mind tough as long as the man doesn’t call his woman a girl, as in “good girl”. For goodness sake, when does a girl become a woman? And I don’t mind a gentle man as long as he’s not a wimp.

  15. tiss81 says:

    Late to the party again but. I’d like a man who was tender when getting to know me and alittle rough around the edges. Rougher in the bedroom, but can be tender if the moment arrives. So I’d like a little of both. Looking forward to reading the book. Congrats on the upcoming release!

  16. Michelle Levan says:

    I have to say consistency in character is important, as well as the ability to show multiple sides. We are all complicated in our own way!

  17. Gem Sivad says:

    Big thanks to everyone who stopped by yesterday (and today). We have a winner. Mawmom has an ecopy of River’s Edge traveling to her through cyberspace. Congrats. Hope you enjoy!


  18. I like them both ways, congrats to your winner.

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