Romance Readers Reading Challenges discussion

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Archive (general & ongoing) > I'm looking for a hero....

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message 1: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (last edited Jan 28, 2009 06:32PM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments As romance readers, I'm sure we have come across different type of heroes in our reading. I'm planning to launch a series of weekly discussions about popular hero type in the romance genre starting next week.

To help me out, I'd like to get your contributions on what type of heroes you have come across that you like, dislike or gets no reaction from you.

Some of the heroes that I like to read would include:
Alpha, tortured heroes
Rakes/Rogues/Playboy heroes
Nerdy/Intellectual heroes
Boy-Next-Door/Bestfriend type

How about you guys?




message 2: by ♥Tricia♥ (new)

♥Tricia♥ (siddie) | 407 comments I really like them all.

I have to have a variety though in order for me not to get bored reading them :D


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments I need a variety but can always get into a good cowboy or cop story. So however you define a cowboy or cop.


message 4: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Cowboys make great hero material.

Cop/Policeman/Detective/Military Officer/Navy Seals/Special Forces...also great.


message 5: by new_user (last edited Jan 28, 2009 07:48PM) (new)

new_user There's also the alpha, overbearing type, LOL. I think I like a variety, but mostly alphas and the friend type (who stands by and supports the heroine and now and then chips in with his sly, sarcastic humor and patiently waits until she realizes he's the one-- what's that type? LOL).


message 6: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments LOL..i like that second type you describe...as I said before I love bestfriends romance story.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cheryllaflammegmailcom) | 86 comments I like them all.

new_user I like that type as well.. there has got to be a name for it!LOL!!


message 8: by tosca (new)

tosca (catatonichataholic) | 742 comments if there isn't a name for it you guys should give it one! I'd use it :-)


message 9: by Unapologetic_Bookaholic (last edited Jan 29, 2009 01:06AM) (new)

Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments Yz wrote: "Cowboys make great hero material.

Cop/Policeman/Detective/Military Officer/Navy Seals/Special Forces...also great."


sfrwerw...Oh sorry Yz, had to mop the drool off my keyboard, lol. I LOVE ALL those types you listed right there! I think it is from growing up watching action movies.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments new_user wrote: "There's also the alpha, overbearing type, LOL. I think I like a variety, but mostly alphas and the friend type (who stands by and supports the heroine and now and then chips in with his sly, sarcas..."

Laura Stamps knows her men well. Alpha Beta Gamma. They all have a certain personality type.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments I have only read I think ONE best friend scenario. But it was more a friendly neighbor. It was an American Romance and it was CHEESY! LOL! So I do credit the author for great writing but that whole sub-genre of All American romance kinda washed out on me real quick. I found my calling in romance suspense w/ cops and whatnot real quick after that =)


message 12: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 1243 comments I usually don't like the best friend hero either. I'm all for the one that got away and they find each other again. I love the cop type and the tortured hero the most though.


message 13: by new_user (new)

new_user Yeah, I don't know if it's the best friend type because that leads me to think of a girlfriend, LOL. Kind of like something out of My Best Friend's Wedding, LOL. So maybe it's a partner or a past flame or something, as Melissa said. They can be blended, LOL.


message 14: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I like that idea of the one that got away..like the local bad boy when they were growing up...or the high school sweetheart that could not entirely be forgotten.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments The handyman....I read a story about where the man had a rumored past in the town and whatnot. But his being a handyman had some sort of appeal for me, lol.


message 16: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Oh yes..the local handyman..Reminds me of Cover of Night by Linda Howard, where the hero was a shy, quiet handyman who has a crush on the heroine, but turned out to be a trained military guy when trouble came visiting the town...

In this story, shy and quiet worked!


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments Yz: Great discussion. Reminds me of some great hero's I have read =)


message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) I like very alpha, masculine heroes who also have a tender side when it comes to their women, children and animals.

Not really in the hero category but I also really like the "gay for you" story line where the "straight" guy has had a few failed relationships with girlfriends and then meets a guy who totally sweeps him off his feet. Convincing him he's gay is always so much fun.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments In the m/m romances I have read I liked Jet Mykles "gay for you" theme in the Heaven series. I also like the in the closet/out of the closet theme. Because you get to see two sides of the decisions made.


message 20: by new_user (last edited Jan 29, 2009 03:23PM) (new)

new_user Yeah, I like the former flames and I have to admit, I'm always curious about working class heroes, like handymen and whatnot, maybe because their work is physical or maybe we're attracted to competence. I have a book about a trucker on my TBR, LOL. That should be interesting (no one ever thinks romance when they think trucker, right?)


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments new user: That made me laugh. Trucker? Hmmm...interesting. There is conventional sexy then there are author's that come out of left field with a hero you would have never thought of, if you had not read about it =)


message 22: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 1243 comments There's always the bar owner/bartender. I like those types too. I read a book called Handyman (by Linda Nichols) a few years ago about a single mom who goes to a therapist for the first time and starts pouring her heart out only to realize that it's the handyman she's talking to, not the therapist. It was a good book. I also liked Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep a Secret. That was the new boss/owner of the company kind of hero.


message 23: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments That reminds me of most of the romance books I read when I was younger when some of the common pairings are boss/secretary, doctor/nurse, guardian/ward. The men were so arrogant, almost stuffy, quite remote. It's interesting how romance heroes have evolved with time.




message 24: by new_user (new)

new_user Yeah, I like it when they work together.

Publisher/writer, Suddenly You from Lisa Kleypas is an example. I really liked that book. :)


message 25: by Lori (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) There's a thread in the PNR group that has me baffled. A member is looking for books with "Straight Male Protagonists in Urban/Contemporary Fantasy". Why would that be a problem? I haven't read a lot of fantasy but I would think that finding gay protagonists would be the challenge not the other way around. As much as I love m/m romance I'm wondering if I've missed the boat on this. Is there a lot of fantasy with gay male characters?


message 26: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Good point, Lori. Just from what I know, I don't know any gay male protagonist as a lead in an urban fantasy series. I mean, I understand, looking for a male lead because there are many UF series with female leads. But as for sexual orientation, I would say, straight is more common than gay, as male leads in a UF book.


message 27: by Lori (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) Yea, no offense to the person who started the thread, I just thought it was a little strange. I'm overly sensitive to the whole gay thing though because I sing with a GALA chorus and we are very active gay rights supporters...obviously. To me it kind of smacks of asking for PNR books featuring thin, attractive women. Uh...is there anything else?


message 28: by new_user (last edited Jan 30, 2009 03:08PM) (new)

new_user LOL, I didn't really understand it either, but maybe she had a reason. :? At first I thought she meant straight fantasy, which is just high or epic fantasy lit. But maybe she's come across some gay leads, who knows, LOL.


message 29: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I'm currently reading Heaven and Earth, 2nd book in Nora Robert's Three Sisters Island trilogy. I like the hero in this book, a sexy, adorable, nerdy, absent minded scholar. Those kind of heroes if written well, can be cute and lovable, too.


message 30: by Sarah (last edited Jan 30, 2009 05:00PM) (new)

Sarah  | 367 comments I guess I like quirky, broody heroes. One of my old favorites is the guy from Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale. The hero is actually a rake (don'tca love the word?) who had a stroke. His family committed him to an institution for the insane because he couldn't speak or act like a proper wealthy gentleman. Of course it took the clever Quaker nurse to pull him back from the brink...

Now normally you wouldn't think of a stroke victim as a romantic protagonist, but it worked.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments I think if an author can pull from real life, just about anything can be sexy b/c it's realistic. When Alex met Michael in IF ANGELS BURNS, oh this is a spoilers for those who haven't read it...................................................
he is deformed, his face GONE, bue she is still attracted to him somehow. The more realism the better connected I feel, no matter how "out here" the plot seems.


Unapologetic_Bookaholic | 1986 comments Lori: I saw that to about the Straight guy thing. I kind of rolled (at the title not the person. Please don't let anything jump off b/c I said that, lol) my eyes b/c I don't like labels or boxing anything into neat little rows. If it is a theme or genre to be specific, fine. There will be a whole lot of missed m/m love stories, that's for sure. And probably some of the rec.'s won't be nearly as satisfying =) I tell ya I need to much variety in things I do for labels.


message 33: by Keta (new)

Keta (ketadiablo) What paranormal group was this? I belong to many and this has me baffled.

Did this come from a reader request?

I write Male/Male for Phaze and Noble Romance and I have no idea what this means.

Keta Diablo
www.ketadiablo.com



message 34: by new_user (new)

new_user It was in the Paranormal Romance group here on GR, Keta. It was a little bit pointless since most UF/PNR features straight men, but I didn't really see a problem with her asking. It's just her preference, just as someone else might inquire about m/m romance and so on.

Kenjii, I have to agree, it takes some talent for the writer to convince us of the attraction between this woman and a faceless man. I ilke that Viehl doesn't shrink from challenges, she's constantly pushing herself and the boundaries, like John when he's drugged. A lot of authors wouldn't have written that, or all the business about Angel (?) and her problems.


message 35: by Keta (new)

Keta (ketadiablo) Blog post from IN SEARCH OF HEROES. Read more here:
http://www.dellejacobs.blogspot.com/. Leave a comment that you were there. Thanks!

Written by Keta Diablo, www.ketadiablo.com

Statistics tells us the majority of romance readers are women, so it stands to reason the majority of heroes in romance novels are alpha males. You know, those strong, heart-throbbing, larger-than-life men who are anything but ordinary. The more tortured they are, the more the heroine and the readers fall in love with him. And yet, the best-loved hero will have a few minor faults or weaknesses that a gifted author will capitalize on. Who can resist a man that shows kindness and patience to animals, children or his mother and, contrarily, can wield a sword with the utmost precision, out-ride, out-shoot and pummel his enemies to death in the blink of an eye?

Character faults in our hero intrigues readers and encourages them to stick around to find out if the heroine will still love him as the layers are peeled away. More importantly, will the hero realize his vulnerabilities and come to terms with them? If he grows and changes from the beginning of the book to the end, the author has done a fine job in this regard.

Yes, we want our hero to be handsome, tall and financially secure, but there must be some mystery thrown into the package, some measure of susceptibility in order to make him real. And humor never hurts. I’ve always admired the hero who laughs at himself, or offers a witty retort while staring down the face of death. For me, this does not detract from his manliness, but enhances it.

We all love our Sheiks, our Highland warriors and take-no-prisoner mercenaries, but we love them more if once in a while they fall off their horse or trip over their own feet while chasing down the villain, don’t we?

I know I do. Give me a hero who is confident enough to own up to his shortcomings, laugh in the most dire situations and comfort a bereaved child, and I’ll ride off into the sunset with him any old time . . . white charger or not.




message 36: by new_user (new)

new_user Well said, Keta. I agree. :)


message 37: by Laura (new)

Laura (laurapo) | 8 comments I like all kinds of heroes. Just need some variety. I try to skip from contemporary to prn to historical, so I don't get bored. The only kind of hero I stay away from if I can is the 'duke of slut' so common in historicals - I used to like this character, but it seems that practically EVERY regency story has this hero. Here's to hoping authors and editors are willing to try something different


message 38: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments LOL.."the duke of slut" ...yes, sometimes we do get a surfeit of heroes that seems have visited every ladies bed before he meets the heroine.


message 39: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL, true, true. It wouldn't hurt for a little creativity.


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