This wasn't my original idea for a topic this week, but I watched Looper this weekend and it just cemented my love for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Who would have ever thought the long-haired kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun would turn into a Hollywood badass?
Then I looked up his work on IMDB and he has been in everything! Seriously, dude was in Family Ties and Murder She Wrote, China Beach, Quantum Leap, A River Runs Through It, Dr. Quinn and Roseanne. Everything!
So I’m tracing how nerdy Joe Gordon-Levitt turned into (okay, still admittedly kinda nerdy, but in a good way) upcoming action star JGL who is probably going to have his own Batman movie as Robin. He’s exactly what I think of when I hear the term “beta badass.” Beta heroes are pretty well-known in romance, but I’ve haven’t seen a lot of them in movies. I don’t watch much TV, so maybe I’m missing them all there.
What other beta badasses am I missing? Which actors play an unexpectedly awesome alpha character?
Lately, I’ve become a bit more analytical in my thinking about books. One of the things I’ve considered is what I like in a romance hero and who writes that hero best – in my opinion, of course! Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and I had a short discussion about this a couple weeks ago.
Linda Howard is the first author who comes to mind that writes the heroes I love. They are uber-alpha, supremely capable in every situation, and yet (often) completely befuddled by their attraction to and adoration of females who don’t necessarily make sense to their male minds.
I think my first Howard novel was Midnight Rainbow starring Grant Sullivan, secret operative extraordinaire, and a feisty rich woman. I don’t remember much about her, but I do remember that Sullivan was pretty darned swoon-worthy, especially considering I was a teenager when I read that book. But Sullivan’s not the only one. John Medina, who finally got his own woman in All the Queen’s Men after having cameo appearances in previous books, is another super spy who doesn’t break a sweat while the bullets are flying around him.
Howard’s heroes don’t have to be mercenaries or spies – though I’m certainly not complaining! – but they will be men who can maintain control of 99% of their environment. And they just might shoot the other 1%. Ben Lewis, the Amazon guide in Heart of Fire, and James Diaz from Cry No More, are two men who may occasionally take questionable moral stances in extenuating circumstances, yet they are 110% devoted to the safety and health of their women, even when they don’t understand what the women are planning or why.
She has also written two of my favorite cops (though I do adore Nelson deMille’s John Corey, but those aren’t romance, so we’ll save that for another day) in the hilarious Sam Donovan from Mr. Perfect and Dane Hollister in Dream Man. Honestly, how can you not love a man who ends up with sympathy labor pains?
And speaking of Danes, or Dains as it were, I have to add Sebastian Ballister, the Marquess of Dain, from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels to my list. Not only is Dain another uber-alpha male completely confounded and besotted by Jessica Trent, LoS is simply one of the best romance novels ever written. Ever. Seriously. I’m pretty sure there are scientific papers quantifying that.
Who writes your favorite male characters, romance or not?
Remember MySpace? Of course you do. Remember those silly surveys with random questions that everyone would fill out? Of course you do. Well, I decided to bring them back.
On January 1st, 2013, we're going old skool! We're blogging up in here like it's 2005!
What is your favorite Kool-Aid flavor?
I like the green colored ones.
Do you have a wireless keyboard and mouse?
Do you like it when toothpaste bubbles in your mouth?
No! I use the Arm and Hammer brand to ensure I don’t get the bubbles.
How many songs are on your iPod or MP3 Player?
I would have to find my iPod to know that and I lost it months and months ago. I’ve lost every iPod I've ever owned since the first one in 2007.
Do you save Bed Bath and Beyond coupons?
Yes. The real question is whether I ever remember to use them.
When did you last eat waffles?
I don’t remember, though I did buy a waffle iron a few years ago.
What color is your bed comforter?
What is your favorite radio station?
DC101 in Washington DC; there used to be a great rock station in Savannah when I was stationed there in the late 90s.