Fiction Book Reviews

I Need A Hero – Strength and Tenderness


Cathy Marie Hake, author of romantic historicals, is not only a fabulous writer but a great mentor too. Her personality is full of encouragement and wisdom. Her books – well, they have deep emotional touches, romance, conflict, and humor. Hallmarks of good books. To check out more about her books, visit her website at

Now, Cathy, what are your top three hero characteristics?

That’s EASY.

Devotion to God, family and friends
Strength tempered by tenderness

Which is true in real life, but in real life, there’s one more thing: HUMOR. My books have the humor factor come from the heroine, but that is fiction…… sort of. Because in real life, the quality of humor is irresistable in a man.

 Okay – so let’s check out a movie that has not ONE, but TWO characters that dispaly2 of the 3 characteristics Cathy mentioned PLUS humor. I have SO many pictures I want to place on the site regarding this subject.

 I LOVE the trait she mentioned here: ‘strength tempered with tenderness’

Who doesn’t like that? Tenderness. There’s an older song entitled Try A Little Tenderness that is beautiful and especially makes me melt inside when Michael Buble sings it. You can listen to it here:

 So – the movie?

Both heroes on the movie The Holiday show tenderness and strength of character. Now, neither one of these ACTORS might exemplify these characteristics, but the characters they pretend to be do.

Graham and Miles are both good guys, tender-hearted, and gentle. Also – they’re FUNNY. There’s an immediate connection with Miles because he shows such sweetness. Graham draws us in with humor…and a politeness to his personality.

 Here are a few quotes from the movie:

Miles: Iris, if you were a melody… I used only the good notes.

Graham: I have another scenario for you – I’m in love with you. I apologize for the blunt delivery, but as problematic as this fact may be, I’m in love… with YOU. I’m not feeling this because you’re leaving, and not because it feels good to feel this way… which, by the way, it does, or did before you went off like that. I can’t figure out the mathematics of this, I just know I love you. I can’t believe how many times I’m saying it! And I never thought I’d feel this way again, so that’s pretty phenomenal. And I realize that I come as a package deal: 3 for the price of 1. I know my package, perhaps in the light of day, isn’t all that wonderful, but I finally know what I want and that, in itself, is a miracle. And what I want is YOU.

Graham: Well, I cry all the time.
Amanda: You do not.
Graham: Yeah I do. More than any woman you’ve ever met.
Amanda: You don’t have to be this nice.
Graham: It happens to be the truth.
Amanda: Really?
Graham: A good book, a great film, a birthday card, I weep.
Amanda: Shut up.
Graham: I’m a major weeper.

Miles: Okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kiss you twice… and then linger a long time on the second kiss.

 So, if you’ve not seen this movie, it’s really worth one view – especially Iris and Miles’ love story. I LOVE Jude Law in this movie, but the plotline for his and Cameron Diaz story is a bit…um….PG-13….THEN the relationships becomes sweet after all the…er…stuff.

 Graham is a widower with two girls and he’s incredibly romantic. Their first few kisses are …very tender. Oh my! Btw – it’s a pretty PG-13 scene, so…just a warning…

 Okay, sorry, got stuck on kissing scenes again.

Heroes are strong, it’s true, but what makes them even more three dimensional is the tenderness woven within that strength. Most memorable heroes must show signs of tenderness to truly win the reader or viewer’s affections. I’m particularly fond of Austen hero, Colonel Brandon – the gentle, quiet man in love with Marianne Dashwood.

 In Jamie Carie’s novel Love’s First Light her hero, Christophe, is a strong and gentle character.

In a nonromantic way, Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings is a strong and tenderhearted character.

 Ultimate Hero Note:

Strength of character melded with gentleness is a feature Jesus Christ exhibits throughout the Gospels. His bold defense of the truth against the Pharisees and Saduccees, but his consistent patience with the disciples. His rebuke of the proud, but his grace to the woman caught in adultery. He admonishes the pretenders, but opens his arms to the children and needy. Those who are seeking, hungry, broken, alone, and in need – he welcomes. His grace forgives our sinfulness and His strength secures our membership in His family.

 Hero Quote:

I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Christopher Reeve

Inspirational Quote:

 16 But I will sing of your strength,
       in the morning I will sing of your love;
       for you are my fortress,
       my refuge in times of trouble.

 17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
       you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

Psalm 59:16-17

4 thoughts on “I Need A Hero – Strength and Tenderness”

    1. Thanks Edwina,
      There are lots of really good parts in that movie. I just wish the cursing wasn’t so frequent. Sweet story


  1. Oooo, I love the Holiday and found both heroes to be such a mixture of fun and sweet. I was always rooting for them. 🙂 I love heroes who are strong and know who they are, yet exhibits a “protector” and “gentle lover” (not a lover in the sense of immoral, but in the sense of someone who woos his love) within the bold package.

    Great post!!!


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