What Makes A Hero a True Hero?
Oh, he may have one hot body. A devastating smile. But underneath that alluring package, what makes a man a real man? A hero a true hero?
My top five favorite traits to find in a guy:
5. Patience. When the five more minutes we need to apply makeup turns into twenty (or, okay, an hour) he doesn’t flip out. He remains strong and steady, and okay I’m going to say it–silent!
4. He can cook. He can also wash dishes. And thankfully, his mother raised him to help with both. Nothing says weak to me like a man who believes in “women’s” work!
3. He cares. Not just about himself, or his girlfriend, but the world. The people around us. A man who takes the time to give back embodies HOT in my book!
2. He works hard. Whether he’s a PhD or born and bred on the farm, he invests himself in what he does. He takes pride and his dedication shows.
1. Faith. He isn’t afraid to lead a prayer. He follows his heart. He shows his soul.
Add to that a cowboy hat and boots, and this cowgirl lover is sold! 🙂 So what’s YOUR top five?
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Read the excerpt below for further inspiration then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers! For contest rules please see http://www.inspiredromancenovels.com/contest
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Excerpt from Accident Waiting to Happen by Trinity Hart:
Sand ground under Hope’s sandals as she stood on the boardwalk under the bright, warm sun, surrounded by the laughter of tourists and locals alike as they splashed and played at Serenity Cove’s beach.
“You have to learn to swim sometime.”
“Says who?” Unease spread through Hope at the thought of venturing in the water past her thighs.
Standing on the pavement, Caleb hovered in the open truck door amidst the bing, bing, bing of the interior bell.
“Says logic.” He tugged off a boot and sock, revealing huge, white masculine toes. “Much as I enjoy your company, I can’t spend the rest of my life shuttling you back and forth across the lake whenever you need a lift into town and you shouldn’t be in a boat without knowing how to swim.”
All very valid points, she agreed silently as she recalled her first day in Serenity Cove and the terror she’d experienced in that boat.
If someone wanted to kill her without much question, drowning was certainly a viable option.
But Hope had tried to learn to swim at Neil’s country club. She’d only embarrassed him.
Some people floated, others sank like stones. She was a big boulder when it came to water.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
“Sweetheart, Pa’s collie is thirteen and just mastered the art of fetching a soda from the fridge. That’s what, ninety-one in dog years? You’re how old, twenty-six?” He worked at the other boot. “You should teach Samson that, by the way.”
The knot gripping Hope’s stomach tightened.
“But I’m hungry. I really need to eat something.”
The boots disappeared into his truck and out followed a huge cooler and blanket. “I packed a picnic. We can eat while you tell me about your day then we’ll swim.”
“I’ll get a cramp.”
“We’ll wait thirty minutes. You should take off your shoes, you know.”
“But I don’t have a suit.”
He hitched a thumb toward the beach-themed souvenir shop behind them. “Janice sells a small selection. Go pick one out and put it on in the dressing room.”
“But my ankle—”
“Seemed fine today. You left your crutches home. You’re bruise on your face is almost vanished too. Just a little yellow.” He slammed the door shut and handed over her purse. “Besides, we’ll only approach the very basics this go round.”
She realized she was being whiny and contrary but did the confounded man have to have an answer for everything?
“You need to face this, Hope. Just trust me, okay?”
She opened her mouth to respond then clamped it shut, turning away. He wanted her to buy a suit? Fine and dandy. Wanted her to try to swim? Whatever.
She told herself she didn’t feel like arguing. That a lifeguard was on duty. Even that he had a point after all. She really should learn to swim, if it were possible.
Anything to avoid the warning bells popping off in her mind as she realized how deeply his simple request to trust him in this intimate manner affected her. She did, in so many ways—she had faith he’d protect her. Support her as a friend. Not allow her to drown. But there was still one part she held back.
The important part—her heart.
She wanted to give him her one-hundred percent confidence in everything but Neil still lurked in her mind, proof of the risk she took. Even bigger than learning to swim.
But Caleb wasn’t asking her to marry him. He was asking her to put on a bathing suit, however personal that felt.
“Forget eating.” If she had to do this then she wanted to get it over with. Wanted to take a step toward a new her. “I’m not really hungry after all.”
When he said Janice had a small selection, he hadn’t been kidding. In total, five bikinis and two one-pieces hung on the rack. Her choice was easy—the only one in her size was in a bright aqua blue intended more for a teenager, though thankfully it modestly covered her body. On the front bore a tidal wave rising over the logo, “Double Dare,” for Serenity Cove’s famed waterslide that twisted, looped and dumped young folks in deep water all summer long.
Just another childhood pleasure Hope had pressed her nose against the glass and missed.
Tearing the tag from the bathing suit, she draped herself in the biggest, bluest beach towel she could find then paid some gawky pimple-faced kid for both.
Hiking into the bright day, she locked her clothes and purse in the truck and met Caleb on the seaweed littered sand, heart pattering a mile a minute.
He took her hand anyway, she dropped her towel and together they ventured into the cool water that sent a shiver up her spine. Every step forward felt like a million as the depth crept up her thighs, higher and higher, until waves bobbed at her chest.
“Caleb, wait.” Instinctively, she wrenched back but his grasp refused release. “Wait, I can’t!”
The water touched her chin.
“Trust me,” he insisted again. Whether she liked it or not, he urged her forward. “I have you. God has you.”
Caleb was all the risk she was willing to take.
The ground went out from her feet. “Caleb!” Grabbing at the t-shirt he wore, she bobbed right into his waiting embrace. “Don’t let me go!
“Just relax. Breathe.”
“I can’t.” Hope went straight as an arrow, certain as soon as he released his hold she was going straight to the bottom. “Put me back, please.”
“Sweetheart, I’ve got you. I swim this everyday, remember?”
“Yeah, but not with my added weight.”
“You’re a feather.” His hand felt huge and powerful as it cradled her waist while the other swished back and forth in the water. “Listen to me, we humans float naturally. It’s one of God’s gifts and I’ll prove it.”
“I don’t float.”
“Your fear is that you’ll sink, so your muscles go rigid and you lose your buoyancy.”
“I promise you, if you relax, work with me, you’ll be amazed.”
“I’ll try,” was all she could provide.
Because she was counting on his support—and completely at his mercy—she’d no choice as he guided her onto her back.
“Can you straighten your body? Relax into my hands.”
“You said you’d try. Just lay on my hands as if you’re lying on a bed. Breathe. Let the water carry you.”
“How deep is this water right here?”
Obviously he wasn’t going to relent, so she gave loosening up her very best, an effort Caleb seemed content with, continuing to soothe and encourage her.
One minute ticked into two into three. The water bobbed and swished her body. Above her, white clouds glided by lazily. Her protests slipped away.
“That’s it. Just breathe,” he murmured. “In, out, slowly. That’s it. Remember, air floats.”
A soothing tranquility washed over her fear. Caleb had her. She was safe. Fine.
Then with striking alarm she realized Caleb had moved his hands and she was on her own. “Caleb!” Panic struck swift and strong and she folded, instantly caught by him.
“Easy there. I have you.”
“Don’t do that ever again!” Lassoing her arms around his neck, she clung for dear life, breathing hard. “You let me go!”
“But you had it. You were floating. Until you panicked, that is.”
His words hit her forcibly. He was right. She’d been floating.
Just imagine! She, Hope the Sinking Rock Lady, could lie upon the water.
Sudden confidence bolted through her. This dog could learn new tricks, after all!
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