Monday, August 23, 2010

Male on Monday: Sam Worthington and Paul Marron

Harlequin Historical authors Michelle Willingham and  Diane Gaston reveal who inspired their latest sexy heroes.

World-weary. Tormented. And incredibly sexy. To me, THAT’S a hero. Sam Worthington, my Male on Monday, strongly resembles my hero from Surrender to an Irish Warrior because he has that fierce warrior quality in his role of Perseus in the remake of “Clash of the Titans.” This is a man who’s driven to succeed, who won’t let anyone stand in the way of his goal.

My medieval hero, Trahern MacEgan, is tormented by the death of his betrothed wife, and he’s out for blood. He’ll stop at nothing to take down the men who killed her. When he learns that the heroine Morren also suffered at the hands of Vikings, this alpha warrior is incensed.

Sam Worthington shares that protective sense in his other well-known movie “Avatar.” When an alien species closely connected to the earth is threatened, Sam’s character Jake Sully, must fight to save them.

Any man who protects the weak, who demonstrates courage in the face of danger, is a hero in my book! And Diane and I share a cover model hero, who appears on my Rita®-nominated book Taming Her Irish Warrrior. Diane’s going to tell you about her Male on Monday, Paul Marron.

Yep, Michelle, my Male on Monday not only reminds me of the hero of my September Harlequin Historical, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress, but he actually graces the cover. He is model Paul Marron, and there seems to be no biographical information about him on the internet.

Marron does have a website where you can great deal more of him. And there are two sites featuring his romance bookcovers, one on Amazon, and another fan site. Most fun, though was this YouTube video of an UnderGear photo shoot.

(Editor's note: there are a number of good Undergear photoshoot videos...)

Marron has that quality so special in cover models: the ability to take on many different characters and looks. He can appear like the perfect Regency gentleman, as he does on Elizabeth Rolls' Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride, a dangerous western gunslinger, like on Stacy Kayne's The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride, or downright sexy and uncivilized on Michelle's Taming Her Irish Warrior. On the cover of Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress, Paul Marron appears strong and resolved--just like my hero, Allan Landon.

Marron, standing tall and powerful in a British army uniform (open in the front, of course!) appears just as I imagined my hero, Captain Allan Landon would look during the battle of Waterloo. Allan stood on a hill during a lull in the fighting and saw the farmhouse of Hougoumont burning, where he’d told the heroine, Marian Pallant to stay put. Had he trapped her in an inferno? Or can he save her?

Both of us are giving away one copy each of our September books to two commenters, selected at random. Just tell us your favorite heroic quality in a man, and you could win a signed copy of Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress or Surrender to an Irish Warrior!

Thanks, Pink Heart Society, for having us as guests!

Michelle and Diane
You can learn more about Michelle Willingham and Diane Gaston's wonderfully sexy books at their respective websites.


  1. 963My favourite quality in a hero, the tenderness behind the tough exterior!

    BTW, many thanks for the link to the Paul Marron site.... Has certainly brightened up a dreary Monday morning here in blighty!

    H x

  2. Selflessness is a rare quality! Devotion to family doesn't seem a common trait now, but it was vital in the past.

  3. Heidi--I love men who have a soft heart beneath a rugged, strong exterior. Sigh.

    Alison--very true!

  4. Oh, my! Yummy! Thank you!

    A man who takes care of his family with his wealth is a provider. A hero is a man who takes care of his family in all circumstances, especially when wealth is unavailable or unattainable. A man with a compassionate heart, strong principles, honor and humor will always be heroic to those who love him. Money cannot buy those qualities. What makes a man most attractive is a quiet confidence, a definite masculinity, that shows itself in thought and action. Handsome men are sometimes merely "pretty", nice to look at, but not always substantial in personality. When you find a man who is strong, smart and sensitive, sweet and sensual, you don't want to look at anyone else.

  5. Compassion and loyalty are two of the greatest qualities a man can have. With compassion will always come tenderness. Of course looking like either Paul and Sam adds to it. lol
    Carol L.

  6. Wow, Sam Worthington amazingly resembles the hero on the cover of Surrender to an Irish Warrior. And then when I saw Paul, I was going to remark how amazing you gals did finding doppelgangers -- only to find that he was the model. LOL.

    I have a question: Do you ever send pictures to your editors with hero suggestions for cover art?

  7. Heidi, I was glad to expand the awareness of the Pink Heart Society et al this Monday!

    Heidi, Alison, Virginia and Carol, you have provided a great list of heroic traits! I personally love a man who does the right thing, no matter the cost to himself.

    Jeannie, I do often provide a photo of the inspirtation for my heroes. Sometimes it works... but, I have to say, Harlequin Historical provides great heroes on the covers!

  8. Others have mentioned great heroic qualities! I agree with intelligence, compassion, devotion, loyalty, and would also add determination and a sense of humor. Sometimes situations aren't difficult to resolve, and I want a man who's willing to wade in and get involved when necessary and who will stay the course. If he can also make me laugh, he's golden! ;)

  9. Oops--just reread my comment, and I meant that some situations aren't EASY to resolve! So, uh, a hero who can read my mind would work, too ;)

  10. Ladies, my goodness! Thank you for those pictures! Gracious!

    My favorite quality in a hero is the ability and willingness to bring me a cuppa joe first thing in the morning. So far, only one guy has come through... ;-)

    Very fun post! Loved reading the comments!

  11. Being honest and true to oneself. Being there when needed and willing to go the extra mile for those he loves...a knight in shining armor!

  12. flchen, a man willing to do the difficult things...that works for me!

    Susan C, honesty is a must!!

    And, Kirsten, you only need one man who will bring you a cuppa joe!

  13. Jeannie--I used to send pictures, but lately they've come up with such great stuff on their own, I haven't had to. My son is on a Greek mythology kick, and when he wanted to watch the new "Clash of the Titans," I was floored when I saw Sam Worthington. All I could think was...wait a minute...that's my hero from Surrender! :) Hard to say what inspired him, but I do love his shaved head.

    Kristan--any man who will bring coffee in the morning is worth keeping, definitely!!

    Fedora--when I met my husband, he was always making me laugh. He still does. :)

  14. My favourite heroic qualities are dependability, loyalty & compassion.

  15. My favorite qualities in a hero are quiet strength underscored with restrained patience. A man who is fiercely protective yet recognizes when to let go.

    Love the model on those books.

  16. I am just loving all these excellent qualities in Heroes!

    Michelle, my husband makes me laugh, too

  17. I won't compete for the books, but just say thanks so much Diane and Michelle for telling me who the gorgeous model for Lord Braybrook was! I had no idea.

  18. I actually like essence of the world-weary, a bit tattered around the edges... more beta than alpha. My number 1 Beta would have to be Nathan Fillian playing Capt Reynolds in Firefly series / Serenity film.
    So sexy, great humour, and a little windswept by life.

  19. Michelle and Diane, you definitely have keepers :) I'm thankful to have one myself :D It's a blessing to be able to laugh together!

  20. I love when a hero is rough and tough, but has some kind of silly weakness. It just makes him that much more real!

  21. And the winners are:

    Winner of Michelle Willingham’s Surrender to and Irish Warrior – Nicole email Michelle at

    Winner of Diane Gaston’s Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress – chey email Diane at