I did a poll a month or so ago on my blog asking readers what their favorite type of hero was; bad boy, paranormal, gentleman, nice-guy, old-world charm, the player, ect. Not surprising, the results came back with paranormal and bad boys beating out every other hero type. And this got me to thinking, what makes a good hero to begin with?
Well the first thing our heroine in every book notices is the hero’s dashing good looks. Am I correct? So, a good hero must have that. Being well muscled is mandatory. Though you can either be lean or broad. Usually musicians, assassins, snipers and the English are lean. While warriors, on the other hand are almost always broad and bulky, the better to wield large swords. Now these warriors do not have to be classified as such per se, but they must be in some kind of all male or mostly male organization. Order, brotherhood, ect. Light and dark skin is equally desirable as long as it is well toned, smooth and flawless except in the case of battle scars, which are acceptable and usually tell a story of their own. Bodily hair is a matter of opinion but I’d rather a smooth chest with just the hint of a happy trail.
A good hero must also be taller then their heroine. An acceptable height to start out with is 5’ 10’’, but the taller the better. 6’ 2’’ is perfect for heroes but this can range up to 6’ 6’’, depending on the heroine’s height. As long as a height difference doesn’t impede on any bed sports, again, the taller the better. Speaking of bed sports, said hero needs to be well endowed. You need to 1. Be able to feel it pressing against your stomach while wrapped in your hero’s arms, 2. Be able to tell through his pants when he is ‘happy to see you’ and 3. Be concerned during your first sexual encounter with him on whether the key will fit the lock. Here is a common line describing the desired physical feature; “Their hard member jutted straight up their abdomen, reaching the belly button.” And they also have to know how to work it, of course; this ability is most likely from past promiscuity but that changes when he meets his heroine.
So with that done we move to coloring and facial features. You know the saying tall, dark and handsome? Well that actually holds true for most romance heroes. Yes, we do get the golden good looks here and there but the majority is dark. Though this can range from a rich chocolate brown to a midnight black with hair, length may very, and a deep piercing blue to, blazing green, warm brown and a depthless black in eye color. I myself prefer the longer midnight black hair and nearly black or the blazing blue eyes. The turquoise color of the ocean is always a good option too, especially for pirate heroes or reckless sea captains.
You will almost never hear a hero described as having chubby cheeks, even if the baby-like, squeeze worthy can be cute at times it does not make for a wet-your-panties, drop-dead-gorgeous hero. No, good heroes are required to have sculptured features and well-defined, chiseled cheekbones. A long, proportioned nose is a must as well; it cannot be overly long or bulbous. A strong chin, swoon-worthy lips good for nibbling, eyebrows are thick but maintained, broad but not overly large forehead and eyes framed with lush dark lashes that make woman jealous. Think Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. And depending on the type of character I enjoy a bit of khohl around the eyes, say for musicians. But this wouldn’t work for a warrior or soldier.
Now that we have the physical characteristics down of a good hero it is time for the personality. There are two main personality types, the bitter & sarcastic hero or the quiet & mysterious hero. Either hero needs to be tormented in some way or another. Whether this comes from guilt, loss, past betrayal or trust issues, matters naught. As long as the hero is jaded, a loner, trouble maker, bitter, dislikes himself or has decided that they will never find love. As women, we are natural nurturers so we are attracted to these qualities because we want to ‘fix’ them and help the hero move forward.
Despite his issues though a good hero is strong, loyal, protective, smart, brave, etc.
I enjoy the possessive alpha heroes, who are the personality of most heroes in adult romances, but there is much to be said for beta heroes as well, and you find a lot of these in young adult books.
With alphas, the hero and heroine tend to butt heads more. They are arrogant but not an ass, aggressive but not abusive. They push the limits but never cross that line. Alphas are pushy and sometimes domineering but the reason behind this behavior is usually what they feel is in the heroines best interest and for her own safety, even if said heroine disagrees. From the outside they appear to be rough around the edges and hard as rock but on the inside they have a big ole’ mushy heart just for the woman they love that only she can make him realize he has.
With beta’s you find more of a partnership, they tend to be laid-back, calm and the nice-guy who is exceptionally romantic. You know what you are going to get up front, though they will surprise you every now and then. They aren’t afraid to show their vulnerable, softer side either.
But I just love the challenge of an alpha; the sexual prowess, the growl that rumbles deeps in their chest during passionate moments and the piercing stare from across the room that you can feel run over your body like electricity. *sigh*
I can go on but I don't want to get too long-winded and bore you, I think that about sums up the main points anyways. *G*
So what do you think makes a good hero? Do you like dark or golden good looks? Alpha or beta?
Leave me a comment and let me know, and I’ll give one lucky commenter a copy of J.R. Ward’s Lover Unbound, which features one of my favorite alpha heroes- Vishous. Make sure to leave your email address! Open internationally.
Thanks so much to Crystal for dropping by with this oh-so-sexy post! The giveaway runs from today through this Sunday (the 20th). I'll pick a winner using Random.org on Monday morning. Be sure and leave your comment and your email address so we can contact you if you win. -- Rhi