It’s hard out here for a
Writing duke heroes over the course of four books, as I have in the Dukes Behaving Badly series, is hard. Not because the heroes aren’t all distinctive in their own way; they are, from Matthew’s confused bemusement about inheriting the title, to Nicholas’s arrogance he should always get his own way, to Lash’s refusal to step across any line, to Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?’s hero Michael, perhaps the most dukely of all my dukes.
It’s hard writing dukes because dukes are like CEOs. It’d be like constantly writing billionaires who remain in charge and in command over companies that support thousands of people. That takes a certain amount of sameness if you are always writing such a powerful person. In my duke view, there’s no possibility of a duke dashing off to become a spy; a duke has too many responsibilities to be that feckless. Dukes are second only to the royal family, only dukes, unlike princes, aren’t waiting around for someone to die so they can assume full command of their position. Dukes are at the pinnacle of their own possibility, and with that possibility comes an enormous amount of responsibility.
At one point during Why Do Dukes Fall in Love?, the heroine Edwina is pondering the vast mystery that is Michael, the ducal hero.
She didn’t think many men would have all that power and still be committed to doing something more with it. Most would be content to settle, to do what they had to, or what they thought they had to, but nothing more.
But not him. It was as though there was a force inside him, propelling him forward, into action beyond what most men would do.
What I like about Michael is that he understands what a duke should do, and he knows he is smart enough to do more than that. He feels compelled to do more because he thinks it is a waste of humanity to just be and accept the position that was given to him.
I always want my dukes to bring more than just their utter dukeliness to the table, and I love writing such powerful and ultimately responsible heroes.