What women are looking for in romance novel heroes

Romance Novel Heroes

Men. The older I get, the more I love them. And I’m obviously not the only one since there was one-and-a-half BILLION dollars in revenue generated last year from the romance genre. So what is it that makes us take our hard earned dollars and countless hours of our time to read about romance novel heroes who make our hearts lust (among other parts) and leave us wanting more?

In thinking about what we’re looking for when we escape into our eReaders or paper-bound books in our stolen moments (often referred to as ‘guilty pleasures’), I couldn’t help but wonder if it was (1) the story or (2) the sex or (3) the hero that we crave? As a writer of romances that are considered hot and steamy (not erotica), my answer was ‘YES’ to all of the above.

Thunder StruckThere has to be a good story, obviously. And depending on your degree of reading desire, the sex can be anything from first kiss to bondage to everything in between. But there tends to be a consistency in the men we fall in love with, one book at a time.

When I first started writing my novel, Thunder Snow, I took a picture of a man I found attractive and had him all over my computer. He was my Jack, and as I wrote the story, he is what I had in mind. Even though he did not end up on the cover, he physically embodies what many of us are looking for in our romance novel heroes. Here’s what I believe we consistently look for in our Alpha male heroes. I think I did a pretty good job of giving Jack most of these qualities.

  • somewhat attractive
  • intelligent
  • vital
  • confident
  • competent
  • protective
  • clean
  • often older
  • experienced
  • sexy voice
  • tall
  • status
  • expressive eyes
  • kind
  • powerful but tender
  • faithful
  • sense of humor
  • passionate
  • strong
  • becomes vulnerable
  • ends in committed relationship

I would LOVE to know what YOU think should be added to or subtracted from this list.