That’s a big dude.

My Nora coverI’ve got a thing for big guys. “Big” as in tall and a bit broad. I’m pretty shrimpy, so I’m sure I’m compensating. My husband is 6’5″, 6’6″, 6’7″ (depending on which form of identification you look at) so it all balances out.

There’s just something really sexy about being physically picked up and carried off for some fun. When I was in college, I briefly dated a guy who was about my height, and I suppose not much heavier than me. I’m 5’2″. I just…well. I don’t know. He was cute. He was really cute, but the cavewoman in me had to throw him back. I think I saw him years later and he was working as a police officer. So, he was certainly fit enough, but jut didn’t ring my bells.

When I see a big guy, I think “VERILE!” and I get all giggly. That’s why most of my male protagonists tend to be tall and athletic even if American men tend to average 5’10”.

Nora, in My Nora (coming Monday), is a small-framed woman with an attitude that makes up for her size. Her love interest, Matt, is a big dude: around six and a half feet tall and over two hundred pounds. He’s powerful, but, uh…flexible. He’s not the typical oaf.

What can I say? I like what I like. Blame it on the estrogen. Here’s a bit of Matt in action.

Matt looked down into her piercing gaze and ground his teeth to fight off the smirk that was his longtime nervous tic. It wouldn’t do for her to think he was off his rocker during their first encounter. He didn’t even know her name and she’d lived on that property for several weeks.

“Mr. Vogel, did you hear anything I just said?”

Matt nodded slowly. “Yep. I heard you. No guns.”

“Good. I’m glad we understand each other.”

Oh, he understood her. “So, crossbows are okay? I’m not such a great shot with bow and arrow but my little sister has crackerjack aim.”

She just blinked those big brown eyes at him.

“Okay, so that’s ‘no,’ I’m guessin’.” He let a broad smile soften his face, hoping it’d put her at ease.
The very corners of her luscious lips twitched. That smile always worked on the ladies, but she was fighting hard.

She squinted at him and crossed her arms over her chest. “You guess right.”

“Okay, Miss … well, you have me at the disadvantage here. I don’t even know your name.”


He waited for her to offer her first name, but when she just stood there glaring up at him with her lips pressed tightly together, he gave up on it. “Miss Fredrickson —”


Matt looked down at her ring finger and found it empty. “Okay. Ms. Fredrickson, our parcel of land abuts yours on the back border. We can try to stay on our side of the property line, but sometimes when you’re stalking a buck you lose track of where are. If you could just give us permission to hunt over here, we’ll try not to abuse it.”

“You’d better do more than just try to stay off my property, Mr. Vogel,” she hissed, eyes going to narrow slits and voice dropping about half an octave.

Matt thought the woman seemed extremely uptight and that he could probably fix that little problem for her with a couple of hours and a soft bed. Hell, he could probably do without the bed. It’d been a long time. He was a big guy. They could probably do it standing with no sweat off his back. He thought she looked like a screamer and chuckled at the thought.

“Mr. Vogel?” she pressed, looking annoyed now.


“Do we have an understanding?”

“Oh. Sure thing,” he said, smiling wider so his dimples showed.

She didn’t look convinced, but unclenched her jaw and unfolded her arms all the same. “I imagine I don’t need to show you the way out, then.”

“No, ma’am. I can find my way to the road plenty by myself.”

“Have at it then.”

“All right,” Matt said in a singsong voice, crossing through the open doors into the late-day sunshine and clasping his large hands behind his back. “Just holler if you fall again and need some help getting up,” he called back, chuckling while his new quarry fumed.

So how ’bout you? Do you like your heroes to fit a certain physical archetype? Does they match your real-life preferences?


Meet Lady in Red Holley Trent

Author Holley Trent

Holley Trent

Hey there! My name is Holley Trent, and I’m not bashful about admitting that’s a pen name. I write under a pseudonym for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is that the writer me has a much more outgoing personality than the real-life me. In person, I’m the sort who’ll listen a lot and not say much because I’m observing the world around me. Inside my head, I’m talking a mile a minute. “Holley Trent” is an amalgamation of my grandmothers’ maiden names, and I have no idea whether or not they’d be proud of what I write. It’s a little bit durty.

I’m a married mother of two currently residing in Colorado. I’m a Carolina girl at heart, however, and have roots going back a hundreds of years on my maternal side in The Tarheel State. I’m a full-time writer, full-time mom, and full-time cat box-scooper.

If you ever meet me in person, you’ll find that one of my most prominent features is my hair. The way it looks in that picture up there is actually atypical for me. I fought with it for twenty-five years and decided my energy was better spent doing other things than straightening the hell out of it. My hair is really curly—it’s so curly that when it’s wet it can shrink about eighty percent. So, I can basically go from having flat, body-less hair down my back to having hair that looks like a fuzzy microphone cover with one small squirt of shampoo. Self-acceptance was slow for me, but now my big frizzy halo is just a part of me (even when the halo has a hair elastic holding it down).
My Nora cover
The female main character in my upcoming 11/26 release My Nora inherited some of my hair grief, and I think she’ll always be sensitive about the way her hair looks (I’m obviously pretending Nora is a real person.). Society says there’s this “ideal woman” and being outside that norm can cripple self-confidence, especially when a woman is still growing into herself. I think I’m past that point, but creating Nora’s character was still rather cathartic for me.

I write romance novels because I love reading the last sentence of the last page of a book and feeling like, “Gosh, love is beautiful.” I’ve never read a romance novel that’s put me in a bad mood, and that’s why I write them.

After My Nora, my next Crimson title will be an April release called Sold As Is. Like My Nora, it’s set in rural Chowan County, North Carolina, but is a bit campier. It’s a hot, sassy story about a hapless used car saleswoman who’s unlucky in love…that is until the governor’s son literally runs smack dab into her on her stepfather’s car lot. Writing that book was a lot of fun. It has a few laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the characters may or may not be based on real people. (Ahem.)

If you hang out on Twitter, I’m there all the livelong day as @holleytrent. I also blog at and sometimes I update my Facebook fan page. (Having “fans” is a weird phenomenon.)