heroI read romance novels. Disparage if you like, but really, what’s not to love about romance novels? You get to experience the joy of falling in love, the pain of heartbreak, the many facets of love and you’re guaranteed an ending that will not make you want to drown yourself in the nearest body of water… unless you think happy endings are stupid and unrealistic and the basest form of art, in which case we probably shouldn’t hang out, ya grumpy-pants.

Know what else is awesome about romance novels? The heroes. They’re the men who are sometimes flawed and often damaged, but who are good human beings, and full of the kind of love we always hope to receive.

You might think those men don’t exist in real life– romance novels are fiction, after all– but you’re wrong. I’ve been privileged to know and love some heroes in my life.

Joe was the boy who noticed me when I’d convinced myself that no one ever would. And after he noticed me, he took the time to see me– to ask me about my hope and dreams, such as they were at that age.

Shane spoke to me like no one ever had before– poetically, charmingly, like a dream. Of course, it helped that most of our “talking” was written. I suppose it’s easier to be poetic when you can edit yourself. But still. He was hero-worthy as a conversationalist and woo-er (even in person).

Luke was the boy next door who turned into something more. Reunion love stories are a favorite of mine, and Luke always felt sort of like a reunion story because we were friends for so long before we were more.

And I guess Matt was my rebellious rake, not-so-much reformed, but definitely sexy.

Of course, these are my four exes, so you know “happily ever after” isn’t part of their hero legacy, but I’m here to tell you that heroes do exist.

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