The Grown-Ass Man Blog Hop

grownassman-bannerI’m joining with other Omnific authors this week to celebrate what we love about adult male characters, as opposed to young ones or new adult ones, or those who just act juvenile :-)

Together, we’re giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card–just think how many books about grown-ass men you can read if you win that!

So here’s what I love about a grown-ass man:

He has a career, passions, a purpose, and responsibilities.  He’s lived, he’s lost, he’s loved. His character is rich, complex, and not without flaws.  He may simply be an ordinary guy, but he knows himself  and he knows what he wants, and that’s enough to make him a hero.

When he meets a woman who makes it through his defenses, we know this connection is not impulsive or adolescent.  We delight in the love interest who can bring a grown man to his knees, and adore her when she shows him love instead. 

Of course every grown-ass hero has his inner obstacle, which he must overcome to be with his heroine (or his other hero), but he probably knows what it is.  The decision to change after years, decades, (or in the case of my vampires) centuries of living a certain way–I find that choice poignant and profoundly romantic.

When I think about my favorite grown-ass male characters, I think about Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain in Loretta Chase’s beloved Lord of Scoundrels, or J.R. Ward’s Vishous, who I happen to love. It’s funny to me that both of those characters were abused by their fathers, and their internal conflicts revolve around those past traumas. I think I may have a real soft spot for that issue.  A grown-ass man might have a dark past, which makes his survival and successes all the more heroic.

Andre Maras, the patriarch of my Blood Vine series, is a grown-ass vampire, and one of the things I enjoyed most about his character was the many ways he expressed his fatherly care for those in his household–it’s a wide range of dad-like behaviors, from shit talk to grave sacrifice. Perhaps that’s no coincidence, since I began writing the series shortly after my kids were born, and was falling even more deeply in love with my husband as I watched him become a father.

The grown-ass man has a sense of duty. He may be gruff, he may even be a bad-boy, he may pretend to be a loner, but deep down, he takes his responsibilities to others seriously and I love that!

If you want to read about Andre and the other grown-ass vampires of the series, leave me a comment on this post.  I’ll give away the first book in the series, Blood Vine to one commenter.

What I really want to know is, who is your favorite grown-ass hero? Is there one guy that stands out as the most wise, self-aware, mature, or fatherly? If you have one, tell us his flaw too.  And if you’re a writer, I’d love to hear what you find challenging about writing a grown-ass man?

The grand-prize giveaway is hosted on the Omnific Publishing blog and these are the other participating authors:

Autumn Markus, author of The Art of Appreciation

Feather Stone, author of The Guardian’s Wildchild

Jennifer Lane, author of the CONduct Series

Julianna Keyes, author of Just Once

Nicki Elson, author of Divine Temptation 

Rachel Brimble, author of 16 Marsden Place

This entry was posted in Blood Vine, Books, vampires, Writing by Amber Belldene. Bookmark the permalink.

About Amber Belldene

Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. Amber is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco


The Grown-Ass Man Blog Hop — 28 Comments

  1. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a pretty cool Grown-Ass Guy. He’s probably my favorite—especially because of what you say about the decision to overcome his obstacle for the sake of a woman. He overcame his pride to be with her…and she got over her prejudice to be with him.

    Thank for this most excellent contribution to the hop!

  2. One of my favorite books (I’ve had this book since 2000) is Sweetbriar Summit by Christine Rimmer. I’m in love with this story and the Patrick Jones. He’s a reformed bad boy who takes custody of his two daughters and is hell bent on making a good home for his daughter, and that includes a mother. So he sets his eyes on prissy Regina Black, his neighbor.

    I love the way he just goes after what he wants. He’s logical about it but also passionate. He isn’t perfect, which I love even more – flaws make a story even more real. Both characters get married thinking it’s only an arrangement and has nothing to do with love. Of course, they’re both in love with each other, and when Patrick finally tells Regina he loves her…*sighs* I just love this book, and this character.

    • Oooh! I just read a book by Christine Rimmer and I really liked it–Marooned with the Maverick. In that one, the hero is also redeeming his bad boy image in the aftermath of a flood! This one sounds great too. She does a good small town romance, I think!

  3. One of my favorite books is Sweet Nothings by Catherine Anderson, and in it is Jake Coulter. I love how self-aware he is and how strong and protective and loving he is over the heroine, Molly. Plus, Molly is a plus-size woman, and I love how he goes about showing her how he loves her body even when she can’t. He is such a great character, a real Grown-Ass Man, and the series is one of my very favorites.

    Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! I’d love to win, so fingers crossed. ;-)

    • Ooh! Lindsey, this is awesome. Coincidentally, something at work made me think about self-awareness as a quality for grown-ass men today! Thanks for sharing. I love that I’ve gotten two totally new recs out of this post!

  4. First let me say I would love to meet Andre Maras; somehow I’ve missed out on your books and that needs to be rectified. ;)
    Secondly, I come from a very matriarchal family and there were truly no male role models to be had, hence my love of the fantasy men I find in books. I’ve always enjoyed watching a character grow and reach their true potential.
    One of my favorite grown-ass men is Wulfgar from Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove. Wulfgar was jeered at, ridiculed and ostracized by society and was treated no differently by his family. Wulfgar cared for nothing other than his horse, sword and honor until he gained a household and lands (complete with a beautiful virgin lol) as spoils of war. This is where his character begins to stretch and grow. Being loved by said maiden opens his heart and pulls out those fabulous qualities of a responsible, caring, nurturing Grown-Ass Man and Wulfgar was all the happier for it.

    • Hi Elise-Maria, thanks for those kind words! It sounds like you and Andre will get along just fine! And that trope you’ve described of being loved into being human never gets old to me! Wulfgar sounds great!

  5. “…both of those characters were abused by their fathers, and their internal conflicts revolve around those past traumas. I think I may have a real soft spot for that issue.”

    Me too, for sure. Men who bravely recover from trauma are special guys.

    “A grown-ass man might have a dark past, which makes his survival and successes all the more heroic.”

    Absolutely! I love men with dark pasts.

    My favorite grown-ass hero is Alexander from The Bronze Horseman series. He’s an American whose parents defected to Russia in the 1920s, and he has to use his wits to stay alive. He is domineering, funny, and flawed, and completely devoted to his Russian bride Tatiana.

    Great post, Amber!

  6. OOH, Darcy was such a good choice, Nicki! He definitely manned up repeatedly.

    And V is my favorite of the Brothers, Amber. He’s complex.

    My favorite would have to be Inman, from Cold Mountain. He did what he had to do, never gave up on getting home to his love, saved a girl who was about to be killed for love,and at the end even gave the guy trying to kill him a chance to back off–he had mercy as well as love. *sigh* And Jude Law played him in the movie–definitely doesn’t hurt his case.

  7. Hi Amber,
    What I find challenging in writing about a grown-ass man is they tend to have more baggage. Which can be good.
    But they tend to look juvenile if they don’t react to a situation properly.

  8. The first grown-ass man I thought of was Rhett Butler, but he is NOT my favorite. We was manipulative and controlling, and bordered on emotionally abusive. But we was certainly a grown-ass man in literature. (I just finished listening to that book 24 hours of audiobook!!!) He angled for years to get Scarlett by his side, but unapologetically continued his bachelor ways, and really doesn’t change until he has a daughter. As a character, he has so many blind spots, but it’s funny–he also had father issues.

    Next I thought about grown-ass men in children’s books. Atticus Finch raising two kids alone and being completely even-handed in his life as a lawyer, despite the segregated times he was living in.

    There’s the father in a Wrinkle In Time, a grown-ass scientist who embarks on space travel for his country, and then gracefully accepts that his own children need to save him. In the end, he has to let Meg do the hard work. Not many father’s would be able to let the adventure belong to the kids.

    Nice to meet you, Amber! And nice to meet your blog!

    • Liz, I’m a big fan of audiobooks too! Right now I am listening to Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the storm, about a rakehell Duke debilitated by a stroke who falls in love with his quaker nurse. He’s a mathematical genius and the book is wonderful. It does a good job exploring what happens to a grown-ass man when he is humbled. It’s kept me awake many nights this week.

  9. Not only do I like a guy who’s got his act together but what’s more appealing is a guy who has genuine faults and is not afraid or reluctant to admit them. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a vampire as well. Enjoy your blog.

  10. I can’t really think of any literary grown ass men off the top of my head (could have something to do with the head cold I’m dealing with…). At least not from anything I’ve read recently…

  11. Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series is my grown ass man go-to. Not in the first book as he’s a young buck there, but in the later ones when he hits his man-stride.

    I write mostly late twenty somethings, and I find a challenge in writing first real loves. they don’t react the same as in YA. Grown Ass Heroes tend to be more reserved, and I kind of dig that. there is a slow simmer to be explored with them.

  12. I would like to introduce you to Doc Ford from the novels by Randy Wayne White. Marine biologist, former government agent, protector of the abused, and a man who loves women, genuinely and respectfully.

    I’d sail away with him any day!

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