What Do You Like in a Hero?

Let’s talk men!


Writers and readers alike get into discussions (sometimes) heated about the greatest romance heroes of all time or their favorites. They argue about what constitutes a great hero. There are huge differences of opinion.

I hear from readers and authors who like a tender man: supportive, emotionally available, gentle, not afraid to show affection, the “strong, silent type.” This is a good man, a solid man, loyal, dependable, committed. He’s there for the long haul, understands you and will got the extra mile to make you happy. In real life, I live with this man–and he’s wonderful. I’ve also written him into Marrok, who is the hero of my first Doomsday Brethren paranormal romance, Tempt Me With Darkness, which released August 26, 2008 from Pocket Books. Another Brethren member, Ice, falls into this category, as well. And Luc from my Berkley Heat erotic release, Decadent.

Some people like the smart ass/bad boy: ever-ready with a smart-alek comeback or a wicked innuendo, he’s quick and clever…and slightly unattainable. You never quite know what’s under the surface, and getting past his facade takes a tenacious woman. Getting him to be serious about anything–especially you–won’t be easy. It will be entertaining, frustrating, exhilirating–and just about any other “ing” you can think of. Another of my Doomsday Brethren, which you’ll meet in Tempt Me With Darkness, falls into this category. Bram is one sharp-tongued devil, master puppeteer, and sexy-as-all-get-out British bad boy wizard… Also Thorn from Dangerous Boys and Their Toy. He’s ALWAYS got a comeback.

I’m personally fond of a hero type you don’t see often: the thinker/scientist. This guy is brilliant with a capital B. His mind is a mysterious and ever-changing place. He’s deep and his mental energy is boundless. He’s often distracted by things that have nothing to do with you, but when he focuses on you… *shiver* He has a dry wit, and once focused on your relationship, will view it with profound depth. He proves that brains are sexy! Duke, another of my Doomsday Brethren, falls into this category. I think his understated sexiness is totally yummy.

Then we have the hero I like to call “the guy”: he’s all about sports and having beers with his buddies. He’s not a skirt-chaser, per se…but he’s not at all adverse to catching what’s underneath. He can be a surprisingly elusive bachelor. He’s not against relationships; they just aren’t for him. He’s got a full life: work, friends, sports, extended family. Why add a wife to the mix? At a glance, he might seem like more trouble than he’s worth. But you’ll have fun with him. He’ll introduce you to activities and people you would have never met otherwise. He definitely digs woman, and once he realizes he’s into you, he’ll find some pleasurable ways to show you. I’m writing this man now in Mitch MacKinnon, who appears in latest Samhain release, A Perfect Match. He amuses me all the time! And Doomsday Brethren member Caden also falls into this category.

Another major hero type you see: Tortured Alpha male. Some readers loathe him. He comes with baggage, doesn’t trust easily, has a thousand reasons not to let you into his life or heart. He’s difficult and cynical. He can be argumentative…and find arguments stimulating. He’s pushy and aggressive and sexual and difficult and will, at times, make you tear your hair out and cry all at once. Personally, I love this guy. But I’m the kind of woman who likes a challenge. I can give as good as I get, and I’d sometimes rather be challenged than coddled. The women who like this hero want to be the one who “tames” him. Dangerous? Yes. Danger is this guy’s middle name. He’s intense…both in and out of bed. Once he’s determined to get his hands on you, you don’t stand a chance. And aren’t you glad? Once you get under that remote facade, however, is the heart of a man who will be forever yours. That always makes me close the book with a sigh. Several of my Doomsday Brethren fall into this category: Shock and Lucan, for sure. Ice has shades of this, as well. Definitely Deke from Decadent and Jack from Wicked Ties. The intensity of this type of man is something I just can’t resist!

You may be able to think of more heroe types. Whatever hero you like, that’s the great thing about romance–there’s a book, and a hero, for every type of reader. Go forth and read!

One thought on “What Do You Like in a Hero?”

  1. I’ve think you’ve done a great job of splitting up the hero category and describing the various types. My favorite happens to be the same as yours. There’s just something so sexy about a man who uses his brain and that intense focus *shiver* absolutely yummy.

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