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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who’s Your Daddy: In Praise of the Domesticated Hero

I am pleased to once again welcome Kendra Leigh Castle, writer of paranormal romance, to the Wet Noodle Posse Blog!

When Theresa invited me over to blog, she gave me a general theme: MEN. Fortunately, as a woman, a romance writer, and someone who lives in a house filled with decidedly more testosterone than estrogen, this is a subject I know something about. Probably more than I’d like, actually! But since Father’s Day has just passed, and since I spent a very nice one with all the wonderful men in my life, I thought I’d talk a little about a feature of romance novels I always enjoy seeing: the epilogue featuring the hero as a father.

I’ve talked to a number of people about this, and I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It may actually be an old-fashioned predilection, but in the 80s when I started reading romance, it was a common thing. I’m a sucker for epilogues anyway…I want to see what happened with the hero and heroine I’ve grown to love. I’ve been known to wail at books that, while great, stop short at the end with no glimpse of the future, which I’m sure is why each of my books has an epilogue of its own. But my favorite thing is to see, in the end, the hero (who has undoubtedly been as obtuse and difficult as a male can be for the duration of the story) turned to absolute mush by either his beautiful wife’s burgeoning belly or a baby with whom he has formed a mutual admiration society. It’s so sweet, to see the final transformation. The hero has fallen so deeply in love that he’s closed the circle and formed a family with his heroine.

For me, making a family was always part of the perfect happily ever after, but I think it resonates even more with me now that I have children of my own. Watching my husband fall in love with the kids, as cheesy as it may sound, made me fall in love with him all over again. I suppose it’s always in my mind as I wrap up each book, and several of my characters in the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy have found themselves expecting (you’ll have to read them, though, to find out who!). Even the most difficult rogue is made vulnerable by the innocent smile of his own child, and in a way, it’s the most gratifying to see the toughest heroes cuddled up with their wives and admiring their children. The wild love affair may be over, but for me, there’s a special warmth in knowing that they’ve found, and love, their home.

So what about you? Do you get mushy over seeing heroes snuggle their babies, or would you rather leave the story before the procreation begins? And if you love this sort of epilogue, who was your favorite hero to watch? I think one of the most satisfying for me was seeing Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, through Evie’s pregnancy and then fussing over his (of course) gorgeous baby in the Wallflowers books. He was so tough to reform, seeing him actually become domesticated was awfully sweet.

Thanks so much to Theresa and everyone for having me back…I always love to come over!

Kendra Leigh Castle is the author of the MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, which recently wrapped up with the May release of Wild Highland Magic. She also has an upcoming series, The Fallen, coming from Silhouette Nocturne. You can visit her online at her website and her blog.

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At 6:51 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Under labels I somehow ended up with NCAA men's basketball! LOL!

Welcome, Kendra! I love epilogues, too! And yes, I love watching a hero try and play or hold a baby, especially if he never has before.

Thanks for being here!

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Christine said...

Love epilogues for the same reason as you do. I just love to see them form a family and "come home." I love the baby bits as well. Call me mushy, but I grew up chewing on the old HQN Presents stories and I loved the pictures they painted for me about the possibility of having a normal, loving family. After all, romance is an escape for many, especially now.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Morning, ladies! And thanks again, Theresa:-)

Hi Christine! Yes, I admit it, I'm a big mush too. Seeing them start a family is like closing the circle, and I love it. And you're right, the scenes the epilogues paint are a lovely escape because of the comfort and security they depict. Lots of people need that, and I never stop enjoying it!

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Thanks for joining the posse again. I totally agree with you on those epilogues. I think what appeals to readers like me is also that they show us that the love and commitment is lasting.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Mo! Yes, I think that's exactly it:-)

At 9:21 AM, Blogger donna said...

I so agree ladies. We want these HEA endings. And Kendra you've given me some of the Best Endings. To see those Big Strong Scottish Men turn to Mush and domesticated. It can't get much better than that.
I like it also when they get second chances to make it right and find that happiness they missed or messed up the first go round.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kendra! Great post. Actually I prefer an anthology for a follow up. An epilogue is just too dang short for stories of characters I really love- I want more!

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Thanks, Donna! I love that my stories keep you happy:-)

Hi Ms. M.! LOL, you're right, I think I would prefer an anthology-length epilogue too!

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Marie Force said...

I love me some baby daddy, Kendra!! I'm with you!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Judy said...

I have actually heard some romance readers say that they hate epilogues, which I find absolutely baffling. I, too, like to see those I'm-not-capable-of-love men demonstrating just how truly capable they are! There is something so powerful about those big hands tenderly holding that fragile little piece of humanity. I also have to agree that I prefer to see characters in later books, checking up on them, seeing how they're doing, but an epilogue will do.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Caroline said...

Hi Kendra!
Another vote here for epilogues! Taking it one step further maybe an epilogue should be a prerequisite like a HEA for romance. Well, maybe that’s a little too radical, but I do love them.

Men and babies are like Breyers vanilla ice cream and hot fudge with mixed nuts. Just yummy!!

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

oh I LOVE an epilogue where we get to see the hero turn to mush when he holds his child. I loved the scenes with Sebastian St. Vincent and his little daughter too!

Dain in Lord of Scoundrels when he boasts of how his son thinks him King Arthur and all of the Knights and you can see that it is true, but more important you can see that it means EVERYTHING to Dain.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Marie! YAY for the baby daddies!

Judy, I'm shaking my head over that one too:-) NO clue why someone wouldn't love the epilogues! And this is probably why I love to read AND write connected stories, so I can peek in on characters I've loved:-)

Hi Caroline! LOL, I will concur on the Breyers with hot fudge, but I'll pass on the nuts (allergic, ugh!). Good epilogues are just as yummy:-)

Hi Louisa! Yay, another Wallflowers fan! St. Vincent definitely deserved a daughter, and I loved how he was with her. Of course, we didn't get to see the teen years, LOL...

P.S. Anyone who tries to visit my website in the next 24 hours will find that it's down. I'm switching hosts, and it has turned out to be a bigger pain than anticipated. *sigh* The blog is always up, though:-)

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Kendra, I hope your website is back and running very soon! Can't wait to read your newest book!

Thanks again for blogging today!


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