Male Bonding in Romance
First off, thanks so much for having me as a guest on Muse Interrupted, Cindy. It’s such a thrill to be celebrating my debut novel and sharing my excitement with the blogworld.
One of my favorite parts of romance novels are those little glimpses you sometimes get of the hero is spending some one-on-one time with other guys. Most of the time, I’m like everyone else, desperate to read the next part when the hero and heroine are engaged in clever repartee—I’ve been known to skip over secondary romances in a book just to get back to the main couple. But those moments the hero spends with other men are ones I rarely skip.
I think it’s because I feel like I’m getting the insider view—a brief peek at what really makes the men in the story tick. The hero is usually relaxed in these scenes, just being himself and not trying to win the day. Although I love my heroes to be larger than life, I like to see them handling the smaller slices of life, too.
There’s usually some humor in those scenes, too, and I enjoy a few lighter moments—especially if the overall story is dark. An example? Okay, I’m going to steal from TV and not a book, just because I know it’ll resonate with most of you: Scenes involving Angel and Spike in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The push and pull between those two very determined male vampires is both fun and funny to watch, even when there are lives at stake. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).
When it comes to my own writing, I find myself including some of that same interaction, in part to round out my characters, and in part for the sheer pleasure of it.
Here are a few moments between my hero, Lachlan MacGregor, and his friend Brian:
Lachlan wiped his practice sword with an oiled cloth and leaned it up against the stone fireplace. “This would be much easier had you begun training when you were a lad.”
“Yeah, well, I was too busy skateboarding and blowing my eardrums out with Pearl Jam, so that wasn’t an option.”
“Your combat skills need a lot of work.”
Brian deposited his sword and shield on the floor. Looking more like a walking sportswear advertisement than an immortal warrior, he used his arm to wipe the faint sheen off his brow and gave Lachlan a rueful smile. “All those years of corporate backstabbing and deep-sixing the competition don’t count, huh?”
“But I’m young and I’m agile. You told me that when we started. And last week, you said I’d come a long way in five weeks. So why the long face?”
“Because you know just enough to get yourself killed.”
“Hey,” the former stockbroker protested, “I thought you said I had good instincts?”
“You need more than good instincts. You need skill.” Lachlan rubbed his shirt front to halt the trickles running down his chest. “And you need more bloody endurance. You should be training every spare minute.”
“No way. Unlike you, MacGregor, I have a life.”
“Read the cards, Webster. Things have changed.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. A year ago, the chances of being ambushed were one in fifty and now it’s more like fifty-fifty. But I’m already doing my bit. I work out with you three times a week. That’s more than most Gatherers can say.”
“Three hours a week is not enough.”
“Why not? I’m learning from the best.” Brian smiled. “Word on the Gatherer grapevine is that you once single-handedly took down a pair of martial demons.”
“Don’t believe everything you hear.”
“Oh, come on. You were ambushed by elite soldier henchies from the inner rings of hell and lived to tell the tale. I know it’s true, admit it. With you as my coach, there’s no question I’ll eventually own some demon ass.”
Shaking his head at the young man’s bravado, Lachlan strode into the kitchen.
I’m offering up a copy of DRAWN INTO DARKNESS to one lucky person today—all you need to do is comment. Do you have a favorite book or series that in your opinion does ‘the guy thing’ really well? Tell me about it.
P.S. This is also a stop on my “Cross into Darkness” blog tour, so feel free to visit my website at www.annettemccleave.com for a chance to win the tour grand prize. If you’ve been following the tour from the beginning, here’s the clue….
Muse Interrupted clue: First word of the two-word answer is the Scottish term for valley.
Thanks for joining me today—I’ve really enjoyed my visit. Good luck in the draw!
To read the back cover copy of DRAWN INTO DARKNESS and Annette’s bio, please visit yesterday’s post. To learn more about Annette, please visit her website.