The strong, silent hero has long been a favorite of women. The Gary Coopers and James Deans. John Wayne and Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar. Men who can’t seem to articulate what they feel, but whom you know you can count on. To me, the majority of these characters seem to be cowboys. I guess there’s something about riding horses and working outdoors that make those characters less likely to spill their guts to you.
In my own backlist, the most obvious strong, silent type is Declan Antaeus in Shifting Winds. At six foot five, Declan is a big man. He’s the guy who makes his brother Sean’s edicts happen. Sean relies on Declan because his brother always gets the job done. For years, Declan carried a torch for a woman he could not have. He stood in silence and watched as her fiancé broke up with her in a very public and humiliating manner. Then he swooped in and rescued her, taking her away from all the eyes on her. Years later when he’s given an opportunity to be with her, he grabs it with both hands, eager to give her the love and commitment the other man would not.
Other than Declan, the rest of my strong, silent heroes seem to all be gay. Or bi-sexual in the case of Garret Renquist in Fire Season. Zander from Where There’s Smoke is the epitome of the strong, silent type. He doesn’t mince words. He’s a warrior first and everything else second until he meets his mate. Then he uses his warrior skills to ensure nothing and no one lays a hand on Voth. Not that Voth is weak. He’s actually physically bigger than Zander, but he’s more cerebral and less prone to shoot first and ask questions later.
Caine Carruthers in Rousing Caine (Love Me Dead anthology) is also a strong, silent type. Not so much verbally because he’s forced to talk a lot about his past and his emotions by the circumstances he finds himself in (dead.) But Caine is an athlete, more at home with action than words. His love interest, Jason Rockham, is a restaranteur. Jason deals with people all day long, talking to his employees and his customers. He and Caine are polar opposites in many ways, but it’s obvious Caine is the strong, silent type.
In Christmas Catch I pair two men of this type together, a former Air Force pilot and a former rodeo star. Both men aren’t really the type to be comfortable spewing their guts, yet they do it because of the force of the attraction between them. Men like this are more comfortable with action. They prefer to let their actions show how they feel. For the recipient of those actions there is nothing better. Who wouldn’t want to be the center of this hero’s world? To have all that masculinity focused on your pleasure and well-being should make any heroine (or hero) feel completely adored. And that’s just want readers want and authors strive for, making the reader feel as if she was right there with the hero.