Watching my black Labrador lunge outside to protect our property from an approaching feline, "restrained protectiveness" popped into my mind.
Tippy was being anything but restrained while pounding on the patio door, begging for release. I watched the grey and white cat saunter across the winter barren field behind our property. As she reached the bottom of our hill, she must have heard Tippy's attempted release because she began bounding toward the neighbour's hill. I released the protective hound, who leaped full-speed ahead to investigate her land. Sniffing the property line, her spine slowly softened. Satisfied, she returned to the door for reentry.
Isn't that what most heroines want from their hero? Only, more subtly.
Do you weave an element of protectiveness into your hero's character?
How can you use your hero's protective nature (or lack there of) to create conflict without losing integrity?
As you write or edit today, if romance is your genre, see if you can incorporate some manner of protectiveness within your crafted scenes. Does it add a layer? Does it achieve empathy from the reader?