Over the weekend I read Calico Ball a story collection that reminded me why I write and what sort of stories I hope to create. I bought it because I can never resist a Carla Kelly story, particularly her Westerns. Why? Aside from great storytelling—her heroes. Her regency novels are full of ordinary middle-class men going about their business until forced to work their way out of difficult circumstances—no dukes, no billionaires, no pirate captains, no brooding spies. They have conflicts and weaknesses, but they never shirk duty or let down those who depend on them. I said “ordinary,” but these heroes are always men of extraordinary courage, unflagging loyalty, and steadfast character. Tough and strong, they can be extraordinarily gentle as well. Simply put, true heroes are decent me
She isn’t the only author who writes about decent men. The second author in Calico Ball, Sarah Eden, is new to me, but I’ll look for more of her work. Jude Knight’s Redepennings, Jessica Cale’s Southwark heroes, Sherry Ewing‘s hero in The Piper’s Lady fit the definition. Jude says hers can be “Dense possibly, mistaken often. But they mean well.” Many of Grace Burrowes’ or Mary Balogh‘s heroes are basically decent men—though they often also have titles.
If you read my books, you know that the Earl of Chadbourn, the hero of A Dangerous Nativity appears in all my Dangerous and Children of Empire Series books. Will may be an earl, but he is above all a decent man. He tends his fields, cares for his family, and enjoys his friends. When called upon, however, he can do extraordinary things. He is an example to the younger generation, who have, I hope, grown up to be good men as well, none of them more so than Charles, the hero of The Unexpected Wife. If you want to know more about my heroes, you’ll find them all in my new Facebook group, Caroline Warfield’s Fellow Travellers,set up as a platform to allow me to outline background for them.
I can only hope you enjoy heroes who are decent men as much as I do. This week I’ll be busy promoting The Unexpected Wife. Watch for Charles having tea with the Duchess of Haverford on Jude Knight’s blog today, catch me at Tea with Susana and Cerise on Facebook at 5PM on Wednesday, and come and enjoy A Midsummer Ball on Thursday anytime between 2 and 8 PM EDT. I best get busy—but first, coffee!