Monday 12 April 2021

Two steps behind...

Contemporary romance heroes who have no problem walking behind their heroines

Following the passing of Prince Philip a few days ago, one of the photos that keeps popping up is one of him dressed in full Grenadier Guard regalia as the Queen passes him by, and the Queen is giggling like a schoolgirl. You know the one. You can see a copy of it (and get the story behind it) here.

The photo had me thinking about the relationship between he and the Queen for the some seventy odd years they were together. For all of Prince Philip’s failings, and I’m sure there were a few, he seems to have happily taken on the role of always being a few steps behind his Queen (unlike the another Prince Consort who "threw his toys out of the cot" and absconded to France for a bit). There was never any suggestion that he strayed and, despite some expressed concerns about not giving his name to his children and his predilection to "put his foot in his mouth", he seems to have been a wonderful partner.

It got me thinking about romance heroes who would have absolutely no problem with walking a step or two behind their partners. This is what I came up with:

Officer Reuben Price from Amy Andrews’ All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate

Reuben is a police officer in Marietta, a small town in Montana and Viv Dawson is a successful businesswoman who brings her chocolates to town.

Reuben is a Good Bloke™ who is confident in his own skin. He makes pasta for his woman while she soaks away a hard day in the tub, knows how to show a lady a good time (both in and out of bed) and is prepared to make the tough declarations of love first when required… even if it takes his woman a little while to come around.

Reuben would have NO issue walking a few steps behind Viv and would absolutely enjoy the view.

Oscar Mendoza from Alice Clayton’s Cream of the Crop

Oscar is a small town, boutique dairy farmer who looks a lot like Jason Momoa and Natalie Greyson, a curvy, big-city advertising exec is assigned to a project designed to put his small town back on the tourism map.

Oscar has a particular love for – his words – Natalie’s great big ass… in fact, at an early meeting he tells her that the first best part of his Saturday is watching her walk away from his city farmers’ market stall where she buys her cheese. He’s also absolutely ready to compromise with her make their relationship work… and to give her the time she needs to wrap her head around what the word compromise looks like.

Oscar is absolutely comfortable sitting back and watching Natalie be the life of the party… and, like Reuben, he’s definitely enjoying the view.

And this was not meant to be a hymn to all the men who love booty but, it kinda turned out that way! 

Jafar from Katee Roberts’ Desperate Measures

And then, there’s Jafar.

If you’ve not read Katee’s Wicked Villains series… it’s a ride. She’s created a world in which characters based more or less on Disney villains have a LOT of sex while running various crime syndicates in one city. It’s the best kind of madness and, in her first book, we meet Jasmine and Jafar…just after Jafar has ordered Jasmine’s father be killed so he can take over the syndicate.

It’s not giving too much away to say that…Jafar has no issue with Jasmine ending up as the head of the crime syndicate, and being known as her second-in-charge, provided that she submits to him in the bedroom. It’s hot. And quite the contrast given that some sex play (albeit in future books) happens at a neutral club called the Underworld where everyone knows that she’s running the show but Jafar is her Dominant.

And, just a warning, this one is spicy, and contains some consensual non-consent.

Which of your favourite romance heores (or heroines) are happily walking a step behind their loves?


  1. Kristine, I'm a little sad the Duke of Edinburgh didn't make his 100th birthday. What a legacy he leaves behind, and a faithful partnership to the Queen. These books look absolutely fun! And oh dear, more for my towering TBR pile! To be honest I can't think of another example, I might be having a slight brain freeze from too many Easter eggs... But I'm looking forward to reading others' examples!

  2. Hi Kristine. I love the sounds of these and have never thought about this concept but it has so much scope for future works. Thank you.

  3. Gosh, Kristine, tough question. I tend to read romances where the hero and heroine are in equal partnership (both bringing their individual traits to the party) to support each other, rather than have one lead the other. Jamie and Claire Fraser from Outlander are a good example of this, I think.

  4. Hi Kristine,
    I cannot think of a romance novel that fits with the premise of your post. It's a really interesting and thought provoking idea. Thanks for the reading recommendations.

  5. Hi Kristine, this is very thought provoking! I think I might have written a couple of heroes who fit that description. Logan in Roses for Sophie was successful in his own right, but also fully supported Sophie as she went on to head up a successful mining company. Prince Khalid was also happy to play a supporting role to the queen he married in The Defiant Princess, although I guess he was always going to be a king of his own country one day.
    As far as Prince Phillip goes, what an incredible role he carved out for himself. My younger daughter has just finished her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award last year. It was a fantastic undertaking with community service, hikes, self-development etc and I think that was just one of the incredible ways he made a positive impact on the lives of others in his lifetime.
    May he be remembered for all the wonderful contributions he made in his own right as well as the fabulous support he gave to Queen Elizabeth.

  6. Hi Kristine. Very interesting discussion here. Don't think I've read a romance with a hero as you describe. The romances I like have both hero and heroine as equals in the relationship and in life.


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