Who is Jake Diggory and why am I so excited about him?
Jake "Daddy Diggs" Diggory is the hero of Renee Rose's The Devil of Whiskey Row and if you haven't read it yet, then you are missing out.
I've given some thought to why I particularly liked this hero vs. spanking stories heroes that I've read about and here's what I've come up with. Basically, I think this list creates the ultimate hero for any romance. See if you agree.
1. He's brave.
As the story opens, Jake risks his life and climbs into a burning building to save Cora, despite the fact that they are essentially strangers. There are a couple other examples of his bravery in the book, but I don't want to give too many spoilers.
Why do we like brave heroes? Because no woman wants to wonder if, when push comes to shove, the man she's with will be hiding under the bed while she's left to fend off attackers, the plague, or pushy neighbors.
2. He's loyal.
Since his fiancee's death fifteen years before, Jake has been celibate. This may be taking loyalty to an extreme, but when he finally gives in to his desire for Cora you know it's special.
Why do we like loyal heroes? Because we'd like to think that he'd be that loyal to us as well.
Just think, if there were more men who were both brave and loyal, there wouldn't be much to watch on afternoon TV. No more shows devoted to finding out who really is the baby's father or whether her man slept with her sister and her brother.
3. He knows what's right and does it.
Jake doesn't sit around wringing his hands thinking "Gee, someone should do something about that". He jumps in and does the right thing, whether it's to protect his girls or those who can't protect themselves.
Why do we like a hero who does the right thing? Because a man who knows right from wrong and is willing to stand up for it is sexy. And we know that if he'll stand up for a stranger, he'll skin a tiger to protect us and not even think twice about it. Also---see my afternoon TV/Jerry Springer reference above.
4. He's willing to discipline but is also compassionate.
There are a couple of times when Cora crosses the line (imagine that!) and Jake punishes her, but he also changes his plan if need be. Again, don't want to give out too many spoilers.
Why do we like a compassionate hero? Because we all screw up and we want a man who understands that and even if we deserve to be punished, he's not a jerk about it.
5. He's not motivated by money.
Sure, Jake is running a successful brothel, but he treats his employees fairly and pays them well. He doesn't use money to manipulate others and he knows that money can't buy him happiness or peace of mind.
Why do we like heroes who aren't motivated by money? Because that means he doesn't get his identity from what he makes or owns. He's a man who is secure in his own skin and doesn't need to flaunt his wealth to feel superior to others.
What about you? Do you agree with these characteristics of a good hero? Any that you'd add?