One of the most important parts of a romance for me is The Hero.
Sure, I want a great heroine as his counterpart, but if the Hero doesn’t cause my heart to race or produce audible sighs of satisfaction, I feel like I’ve been gypped.
I found myself thinking about romance novel Heroes the other day and what makes one worthy of the title. I decided there are two main ingredients: physical attributes and character traits. A pleasing blend of the two can be a most delectable concoction.
So, what am I looking for in a Hero? Perhaps some of the same things you are. Here are some qualities, although these lists are by no means complete . . .
Eyes ~ I’m not particular about the color. Warm brown works as does brilliant blue or glittering green. What is essential is that a Hero’s eyes be expressive. They are, as many have said, windows to the soul. Since I wanna know what’s happening deep inside him, he can’t be one of those stoic types who keeps the curtains closed. He may not show emotion with the rest of his features, but I want the heroine to be able to get a glimpse of the real man when she gazes into his eyes.
Hair ~ Thick and lots of it. Color is optional, but my real-life preference is brown. I like wavy, but I’m not into curly. (Um, after checking out Ioan below, curly is looking mighty good. :-))
Height ~ Tall. Since I was the shortest girl in my eighth grade graduating class (an “honor” that meant I got to walk in first, since they put us in order by height) and ended up a whopping 5’ 1¾”, I’ve gotten used to looking up to men. (OK, I look up to many people. There was even a girl in my daughter’s second grade class who was taller than I am—and I’m not kidding.) My hubby is a whole foot taller than I am. I’m not saying a Hero has to be quite that tall, but he does have to be taller than his heroine.
Jaw ~ I don’t know about you, but I’m partial to strong jaws. Angular, chiseled, firm . . . They all work for me. Even well rounded does the trick. But weak chins? Nope.
Shoulders ~ Broad. ’Nuff said.
Consideration ~ I want the Hero to be thoughtful and show sensitivity when dealing with the heroine. Now, I realize this may not be the case initially, but I certainly want to see this aspect of his personality come into play as the story progresses.
Integrity ~ I want a Hero to be a man of honor. Even if he begins the story as a scoundrel in need of reformation, I want to see him possess a code of conduct that guides him. I want his word to mean something.
Self-restraint ~ I like a Hero to have control of himself and be willing to put his desires aside for the sake of others on occasion, especially the heroine.
Strength ~ Of course, I want a Hero to be physically strong, but that’s not as important to me as strength of character. He has to be able to face foes, fears, and his own feelings without wimping out. He needs to have backbone, courage, and a fair amount of protectiveness. When the heroine is in danger of losing it, her Hero has to be her rock.
Voice ~ Deep, rich, resonant. No squeaky or high-pitched voices, please.
These are just some of the traits I like to see in a Hero. And lest you think I’m shallow, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t apply all these “requirements” to real men. The Heroes in romances are, after all, pure fiction. I realize they’re bigger than life. Let’s face it. How many men look as hunky as the actors we watch on screen? Why, even they don’t look that good without their makeup, right? 🙂
I wanna know . . .
What traits do you like to see in a hero?
Do you look for some of the things I do, or is your list entirely different?
Do you think there are certain attributes and traits that have universal appeal?
This is Frabjous Friday, a day to have some fun and celebrate our successes. If you have good news, be sure to share it in a comment so I can join in your happy dance. ~ Keli
I have two classic DVDs featuring two of my favorite heroes, Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping and Harrison Ford in Sabrina.
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment by midnight October 23rd (Pacific time) and enter your email address when prompted during the comment process. (You don’t have to leave it in the body of your comment this way.)
On October 24th I will hold the drawing and post the two winners’ names here as well as in a comment and will contact them via email to get a mailing address. (I don’t share your information with anyone, and I don’t add your name to any mailing lists.)
Congratulations to Carol Ann Hoel, winner of Sabrina.
Congratulations to Melissa Murphy, winner of While You Were Sleeping.
Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.