Exit Strategy by Lena Diaz – Guest Post + Giveaway


EXIT_STRATEGYExit Strategy by Lena Diaz
EXIT Inc. #1
Published by Avon on 6/30/2015

Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble…

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he’s there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn’t expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks… or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina Mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT’s lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on… but it’s nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.

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Why I Don’t Write Blond Heroes
by Lena Diaz

With ten books published so far, I’ve written nine brown-haired heroes. One blond hero did manage to sneak in, Nick from Undercover Twin. But that was an anomaly, a mistake. You see, I never intended to make Nick a hero. He was the hero’s brother in Explosive Attraction. But things happen, and I ended up writing a book for Nick. But if I’d planned it out, if I’d known all along that he’d end up having his own book, I’d have given him brown hair.

The question, then, is why the bias against blond heroes? Because if you look around, skim a best-seller list on Amazon or walk the aisle of a Barnes and Noble bookstore, you’ll see I’m in the majority. Most romance authors stick to dark-haired heroes. Why is that?

I performed an informal poll on some fellow-authors and most of them said they just prefer a dark-haired hero, that in real-life they’re attracted to brown-haired men far more than to men with lighter-colored hair. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t pretend to understand that. But it’s true for me as well. Still, it does seem kind of funny since the opposite appears to be true for men–that they really like blondes (I’m basing that on my also-unscientific observation of how many women dye their hair blonde!)

Natural preferences aside, is there another reason? Blond is certainly a more rare hair color in men–possibly because not as many of them dye their hair. So I suppose it makes sense that if there aren’t a lot of them around, we get used to seeing brown-haired men and develop a natural affinity to them.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the blond men aren’t heroes rules, like in movies. Brad Pitt for one. In Troy. Naked. Enough said.

And what about that Thor guy? Chris Hemsworth? Blond. Buff. Drool-worthy. His hair could be purple and I wouldn’t care.

But as I sit here trying to think of blond heroes in romance novels that I’ve read…hm…thinking…thinking…thinking. Nope, can’t think of any. But I’m sure they’re out there. Apparently I just don’t gravitate toward them.

It also dawned on me that my father was blond. So was my son, until his hair turned darker as he got older. That, honestly, could explain part of my own personal bias about preferring dark-haired men. Because I definitely don’t want to think about family members when considering my romance heroes. Ick. So, whatever the reason, I’ll continue to write my dark-haired romance heroes. But don’t be surprised if I throw a blond one in every tenth book or so, just to shake things up.

What about you? Do you care about hair-color when reading a romance novel? Or do you just picture your perfect guy in place of the hero and not care how the author describes the character? Would seeing a blond hero on a book cover make you NOT pick up that book? Curious minds want to know.

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