Me, a Harlequin hero?

You’ve all seen those hunky heroes on the covers of romance novels. Washboard abs. Handsome as hell. Allergic to wearing shirts.

That is not me.

And yet,  in a way, I’m a real live Harlequin hero.  For I inspired the hero in a romance novel.  Truth, I swear.

It happened years ago when I was in a writer’s group with Vicki Lewis Thompson, who has written gobs of romance novels.  I think she’s up to around 100. Another member of the group and I were kidding around about writing contests and about me being a male romance writer–when all of a sudden Vicki went still and her expression became very intent. A light bulb appeared over her head. (Figuratively, of course.) Inspiration had sprouted in her fertile imagination.

The resulting book, Mr. Valentine, stars Jack Killigan, who submits a steamy romance to a contest–but, figuring a man would be at a disadvantage, submits it under the name of his friend, Krysta. When he wins the contest, he and Krysta are thrown together on a trip to the New York publisher. After a string of mishaps, the truth comes out and he is crowned ‘Mr. Valentine.’ Oh, and he gets Krysta, too. Of course.

It’s a great book, in my (ahem) humble opinion. Vicki thought so too, as you can see at the end of this article. I love the book’s tagline: He’s the perfect lover–on paper.

And the hero is to die for. As one Amazon reviewer described me–uh, I mean Jack:

The real gem I think for this story is just with knowing that Jack ISN’T your typical romance hero who is a “He-Man” or that he’s incredibly rich and successful, as so many romance hero are. He’s just not that “dashing prince” or the “rough cowboy” or the “cut Fabio-esque historical man ” but that he’s “that guy” you know from down the street who seems like a pretty nice guy, and once he had a shave and a haircut, well, he cleaned up pretty doggone good!

That sounds like me, all right. Not even a great writer like Vicki would try to depict me as a he-man. I even look a teensy bit like the guy on the cover. Okay, looked, past tense. Except I wear shirts.

So call me Mr. Valentine. And buy Mr. Valentine (Harlequin Temptation)! Heck, buy all of Vicki’s books. If you haven’t read any of them, you’ll thank me for the tip.

Mr Valentine, by Vicki



  1. Love this, Ed! And I think you should walk around without a shirt anyway so we can all adore you as is proper for a hero such as yourself.

  2. This is such a great story, Ed. Who wouldn’t want to read romance novels written by a man? Even being the perfect lover on paper is more than most men can say!!!

  3. What a great story! I think more romance novels should feature the guy down the street.
    Carla (FFP)

  4. I remember when this came out, it was great!

  5. Samantha MacDouglas · · Reply

    I quite enjoyed your story, Ed. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to trundle off to the store now and pick up that book…

    1. The book came out several years ago, so I don’t know how good your luck will be. It is available on Amazon, though.

  6. Damn. On top of List Daddy we have to call you Mr. Valentine? So not fair.

    1. If you don’t like calling me both, just think of all the sugary sweets traditional on Valentine’s Day and call me Sugar Daddy, instead.

      1. You’re enjoying this too much, sir! LOL!

  7. Wow, I’ve never had a critique buddy who was featured in a romance novel. How cool is that?

  8. Hahaha, loved this and the review you included. He may not be a ten, but he cleans up nicely. Will look for this book.

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