By: Heather Ashby
Congratulations to "Kristen R", the winner of Heather's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.
I hear this question frequently. Philip is the hero in Forgive & Forget, the first book in my “Love in the Fleet” series. Philip is a Navy Lieutenant, but he is not a Navy SEAL. He is an engineer, an officer, and most definitely a gentleman. Not that Navy SEALs aren’t gentlemen, but Philip is a beta hero. A nice guy. The kind of guy who, after he meets the heroine, does the following:
He lay awake thinking about what his mom had told him for years, “Just be yourself, Philip. Be your sweet, wonderful self.” She didn’t get that guys didn’t want to be thought of as sweet or wonderful. They wanted to be men. But when he watched his buddies in action, he realized that his mom might be right, because apparently he hadn’t acquired the asshole gene. “Don’t worry,” she’d say. “When the time comes to settle down, the smart women will be looking for a man like you. The kind they can count on.”
Maybe I have a Clark Kent thing going, but I’ve always had a thing for hot nice guys. I find dependable men who behave like gentlemen to be extremely sexy and that is certainly what I’d be looking for were I in the marriage market. Back in my Navy days, my female shipmates and I had two categories for men: Nice guys and bad boys. We dated plenty of bad boys and had lots of fun, but deep down I always knew that when the time came to settle down, I would be looking for a nice guy to spend the rest of my life with. A man like my hero, Philip. Someone I could count on.
This is why I chose to put a hot nice guy in my first romance, since most heroines are looking for a happily ever after. I receive two types of letters concerning Philip. The first are from married women who write and tell me they adore Philip because he reminds them of their husbands. They swoon over the tender things that Philip does for Hallie, although when pushed to his limits, he is not a pushover and can even uncharacteristically kick butt when necessary.
The other group of readers are the single women who are looking for a stable, responsible, tender, gentle-yet-strong man to share their lives with. They are thrilled to find a romance novel that features this kind of hero. And then they ask the question: Where is Philip? I want to marry him.
To which, I’m sorry, I have to answer: “I already married him.”
Join Philip and Hallie below as they end their first date. (Hallie had jumped at the chance to go sailing with him and had failed to mention she was an enlisted sailor from his aircraft carrier, since it is against regulations for officers and enlisted personnel to fraternize.)
The didn’t talk in the car on the way home from the river. Just held hands and listened to classic jazz. Philip’s mouth tipped up at the corner, as if he had a secret tucked away. Probably the same one she had, with her heart thrumming like it was. Every glide of his thumb on her wrist sent shock waves through her.
Hallie liked that he was a good driver. So many guys tried to prove their manhood behind the wheel of a car; speeding, taking chances, letting the world know they were in charge. He did things like use his turn signal to change lanes, even when there was no one around. When she mentioned it to him, he shrugged and said, “Laws are there for a reason, Hallie.”
Just her luck to fall for a rule follower.
All the way home, she worried about what she’d do when he invited her to his apartment. After those kisses during the storm and the way she’d responded, she didn’t know a guy who wouldn’t push for more. Deep down Hallie wanted to go up to his place, but no way was she going to. For starters she barely knew him and more importantly, she simply could not get any more involved. She’d use schoolwork as an excuse.
But he never invited her up. He walked her to her door, took off his sunglasses, put his hand against the wall, and leaned close. He gave her a slow, sexy smile and said, “Thanks for going today. It was…” He paused, his eyes shining as he searched for the word.
“Magical,” she said finishing his thought.
He leaned down and kissed her quickly and sweetly on the lips, then his eyes narrowed with confusion. Putting his finger under her chin, he tipped it into the light. “Did I do that? I’m sorry if I hurt you.”
He rubbed his stubble. Then he freaking planted a kiss on her chin and said goodnight. The kiss on the chin was even more of a turn-on than the kisses in the rain.
Oh, she was in deep. Philip was a perfect gentleman.
And an officer.
From her ship.
Thanks so much for inviting me today, Maureen! I’d like to leave this question with your readers: Do you have a favorite Beta hero in fiction – or real life? What makes him special?
A free copy of Forgive & Forget will go to one lucky reader who comments. Anchors Aweigh!
Readers can contact me at HeatherAshby.com.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 16th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustParanormalRomance.com with a subject title of JPR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.