So what exactly constitutes a romantic hero? Carolyn and I discuss this sometimes and haven’t come to any kind of agreement.
In paranormals the hero is always an alpha male who can look down at the puny 6-foot men. He reaches 7 feet, wears leather and a snarl, his hair is usually long and as much as he’s an absolute asshole, with the heroine he’s a softie and protective and always raging an eleven inch hard-on.
In a standard harlequin he’s ruggedly handsome. His hair isn’t pony-tail long but brushes his collar long. He can wear jeans and look like he’s in Armani. His grin is rakish, his penis averages ten inches and he’s good to his family. Usually that hero has a misunderstanding with the heroine of some sort and so there’s a bit of an asshole factor in effect.
In real life our heroes are … what? For me a good looking man is a pleasure but a funny man has a better chance of getting into my panties. (Despite rumors, not every man can get into my panties, there are one or two standards set.)
The heroes I like to write? I like to write men they way I know them. Not big-ass soppy romantics with Mom issues but men who are as messed up and looking for love as well as a woman, I suppose.
Are they betas? How do we measure it?
The most loving man I’ve ever experienced in my life is my brother. He’s minus a single judgmental bone and will love and accept you for exactly who you are. Now there’s a romantic hero. Of course it took him four tries at marriage to find a woman as awesome as he is. Is that romantic?
When I was being courted a few years back the gentleman in question brought me cheesecake and fans for my hot flashes. Romantic? No. But man, he knew what I needed.
What’s romantic anymore? The Bogarts of yesteryear are the Zac Efrons of today. Do we need them looking like movie stars? Is a bald man sexy? What about a middle aged, bald man?
Would Vin Diesal have been sexy to anyone had he not been a movie star? What about the Ah-nuld?
And if a man with a pot belly and a comb-over showed up at your door, what are the chances he could win your heart?
I don't mind me an alpha hero.
But make him a vulnerable alpha hero, and I'm a puddle on the floor. Lord Ian Mackenzie - need I say more? Christian in Flowers From the Storm. Sebastian in Lord of Scoundrels. *sigh*
I'm married to a tall, slightly pot bellied, bald male, with not even enough hair for a comb-over, lol. There's not a romantic bone in his body, but you know what? You learn to look for the little things.
He leaves the light on low in the bedroom when I come to bed late. He eats every piece of atrocious food I cook and asks for more. He never says a thing about all the books he trips over. He rubs my back and my feet when I'm feeling bad and he thinks a headache is backed up passion and insists on giving me relief. The weird thing is, it works, lol.
I read romances for things I don't get in real life, the grand gestures. But real life dudes, if they really care, don't need grand gestures.
And as I've aged, I've learned that looks are way, way down my list of 'necessaries' in a man. Personality and caring mean so much more and oh, btw, last sooooo much longer!