In contemporary romance, the warrior role is usually filled by a soldier, but in paranormal romance it’s often less formal than that. Warriors can be enforcers, knights in shining armor, angels, or demigods. Or they can be characters like warlocks whose fighting ability is primarily craft and mental, not raw physical strength.
But the most important quality of the warrior character is selflessness, and that’s also what makes him so appealing as a romantic partner.
Dragonslayer, my hero is a warrior. Christian rides with the wild hunt twice a month to keep the jötnar who destroyed his home world from invading earth too. He’s been raised to serve and he accepts that burden willingly, but it complicates his life. I found that the biggest strength of the warrior hero—his selflessness—also caused the biggest conflict for the hero and heroine.
Christian had a big responsibility to his clan, and he regularly risked his life to protect them. He wasn’t conflicted about that at all, but as the heroine, Jacey began to fall in love with him, she had a problem with him risking his life so readily. And as she stepped up to try to help, and also watch his back, it made Christian unhappy because then she was placing herself at risk when all he wanted to do was protect her. Of course, that kind of selflessness caused all sorts of sparks in the bedroom. And they do get their happily-ever-after. But it’s hard won. Good thing they’re both fighters.
My favorite conflict with the warrior hero is when he tries to protect a heroine who either doesn’t need protecting or balances his brawn with her wits. Do you have any favorite warrior stories?
Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of fantasy and paranormal romance. Born and raised in New Jersey, she now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction, and they all end with a happily-ever-after.