Holding Out For a Hero

When it comes to heroes in women’s literature popular types do exist.  I wonder if this is because they really reflect women’s fantasies or whether it’s just because society thinks they do.  I don’t yet know the answer but perhaps you can help.

Clearly we’re all different so what is attractive to some, isn’t at all to others.  However, perhaps there are some commonalities out there in what we look for in a romantic fictional hero.

That’s why I thought it would be interesting to get your opinion and ask – what are women really looking for in a literature hero?

I’ve found a few images of possible heroes, some of which are popular types.  These are depicted in the picture and are as follows:

Hero 1: Gaining popularity in recent years is the Russian.  A lean machine, he’s fair-haired and blue-eyed, with a tendency to be serious and intense, that is, until you get to know him better…

Hero 2: The Sheikh can be moody and mysterious and always has an interesting back story. A great lover, he likes life in the fast lane and is always ready to take a risk.

Hero 3:  I’d love to be able to describe how the black hero is depicted but I don’t recall reading a book from any publisher of romantic literature in which the hero is black!

Having said that, Mills & Boon do a series featuring African-American heroes and heroines, called Kimani


Do mixed relationships in modern romance exist?  I haven’t come across any – have you?

Yet, in order to be reflective of real life there should be mixed race relationships depicted in the genre, so why is this not often the case?  A separate blog topic in itself, perhaps..?


 Hero 4:  The Spaniard, Italian or Greek hero is probably the most common.  Smooth and refined, he is well dressed and has impeccable taste in just about everything!


In any experiments we need constants, which are true of all our heroes.  Here are the constants you are safe to assume:

  • They’re all perfectly solvent and won’t rely on you for petrol money or to shout them a kebab.  A kebab? – as if!
  • Goes without saying that they’re all amazing in bed – no fumblers here, thank you!
  • They’re attentive without being needy.  Although it’s good to talk, to stalk is bad
  • You are far more important to them than football / the Play Station /fishing / beer (enter any relevant male obsession)

So, please share – which hero would you most like to read about – 1, 2, 3 or 4?

Or perhaps none of the above and your vote is for an entirely different type of hero: a rugged outdoors type, a posh English gent, or – can I say the ‘g’ word? – the ginger!  Think Prince Harry, Ed Sheeran, James Norton (yum!).  Or maybe you prefer the long-haired alternative type, or the blonde surfer dude?

Whatever your preference please let me know – would be useful when creating my next love god of a male character!

2 thoughts on “Holding Out For a Hero

  1. Hero 5: Hunky Mancunian with the physique of a sun-kissed Greek god and muscles like rippling bands of steel; over-developed downstairs so consequently like a raging bull in the boudoir. Flippancy aside, there is a school of thought which holds the view that a person’s first novel is largely (sub-consciously) auto-biographical in action & thought. In other words, all the ‘action scenes’, shall we call them, will be your own sub-conscious fantasies. Yikes! I notice that the men in all 4 photographs you have chosen have beards/stubble. I rest my case m’Lud.


    1. Very astute, Alfie. I do like a stubbled Adonis, yes. The hero in my current story is Italian, dark-haired and olive-skinned – much like Hero 4. Don’t tell my very English husband though or I’ll be in trouble if he’s aware of this autobiographical theory!


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