Having so much male influenced stuff around you does tend to set you apart from your friends blessed (or cursed occasionally) with girls. Dance class or ballet? It looks good on the TV. Dress ups - I mastered ghouls rather than princesses long ago. I listen to my girlfriends who have girls with nostalgia sometimes. The problems the new generation of girls face haven’t changed much since I was young.
But my life is boy-centric, something I work to balance constantly in my writing. I solved part of the problem for some stories by writing gay historical romance - much less personal conflict that way. But I do love het romances, too, so now I get to write both.
So what exactly do I love about romance heroes? Here’s my short list in order of preference.
- Sense of Humor - Nothing is sexier to me than a hero who knows how to laugh, tease and make others feel at ease around them. Not all characters are comedians on a stage, some are quieter, delivering pithy one-liners at the exact right moment.
- Clever - Brains and the ability to use them wisely. One of my favorite characters on TV is Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. He is weirdly sexy to me, smart but with lots of odd personal quirks to offset the abundant brains.
- Capable of Love - Blood sucking vampire to shy nerd - a man capable of showing his emotions gets me every time. Even if it’s only their grandma they dote on, or even a pet, who wouldn’t want a man who knew how to treasure something.
- Lusty - I write erotic romance so a lusty, action orientated man is a given. But I also love sweet romances where the hero is restrained. Regardless of their approaches to finding the love of their life, I want a man who still very clearly wants the love interest, even if it’s off the page.
- Strength - I’m not talking about a ‘strong enough to bite steel without breaking a fang’ type of hero, although physical strength is often necessary for compelling world building. I’m talking about the inner strength to do the right thing and earn the respect of me and his love interest.
Every male character I write has these traits, but often in different quantities. Every one is different, unique, just like the real men in my life. What do you think? If you are drawn to different traits in your heroes than I have listed here, add your thoughts in the comments section.
Heather Boyd ~ Lady Wicked