Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who’s the Hottest Hero of Them All?

In the world of romance fiction (both adult and YA), at least five types of heroes dwell among us.

The Alpha

He’s the dominant male who walks into the room and takes charge. Not the best person for you if you’re a take charge kind of gal (of course this makes for great conflict in fiction).  He tough and rugged, and most often in a leadership position. His career path often lies in the world of the military, espionage, corporate CEO. He’s definitely hot in romantic suspense since saving lives is what he lives for.

The Beta

He’s the complete opposite to the alpha. He won’t tell you what to do, but that doesn’t mean you can walk all over him either. And talk about a world of jobs open to him. He can do anything. Whereas the Alpha won’t tell you what’s bugging him, the beta will. But he won’t dump all his woes on you all at once. In YA, he covers a number of types including the sweet boy next door and the slightly nerdy classmate.

The Bad Boy

A favorite in YA, apparently. There’s something appealing about him, especially the edge of danger that seems to be part of him. Of course in real life, this is one guy you want to avoid. He’s usually not tameable like he is in fiction.

The Tortured hero

Something bad has happened in this guy’s past that has put him emotionally at a distance . . . until the right girl comes along. Like the bad boy, this is one guy you want to avoid in real life, but he’s a real hottie in fiction.

The Playboy

This guy has tons of girlfriends, or at least flirts a lot, but when the right one comes along (aka the heroine), he’s more than happy to settle down.

My question for you is: Which is your favorite romance hero(es)? And if you read both YA and adult romances, do you prefer the same type of guy for each?

(This list was adapted from Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies.)


Tracy said...

I'm a sucker for the tortured hero and beta in both adult and YA fiction. I think Alphas can be extremely sexy if they are a more subtle alpha. The "in your face" types don't do it for me at all -- except the sex in adult romances can be scorching hot with the alpha types.

The Bad Boy doesn't usually grab me (Damon Salvatore being the lone exception). But I do enjoy reading about a good Playboy who's had his world turned upside down by an unexpected woman . . . especially, if she doesn't want him back.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

In romantic suspense, I'm adore the Alpha types, like those by Maya Bank and Lora Leigh. For YA, I'm the Beta boy fan. That's the type of character I tend to write. The Bad Boy doesn't do much for me.

Linda Kage said...

Oh, sigh. Lovely pictures. Wait, what? There were words with those pictures? My favorite YA bad boy right now is Caleb in Pretty Little Little. Oh, yum. But seriously, I think I love a little about all five different types of guys. I really like how you so neatly organized them!

Anya S. Winter said...

Yummy Pictures! I can't choose though, it all depends on the mood I'm in. Although right now, the bad boy looks good :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

In rom suspense, I like alphas too.
In regular romances I like the playboy and the beta.
And in YA, I like betas, tortured, and the bad boy.
Fun question!

Christine Danek said...

I'm a sucker for the tourtured hero in both genres. The bad boy sometimes strikes my fancy too. :)

Janet Johnson said...

I think I'm all about the Betas. :)

Sherrie Petersen said...

I love tortured heroes and beta males. I guess I've known too many of the other kind in real life to fantasize about them in a novel :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I think I always write the beta. That's what I enjoy reading and seeing in films. (Definitely Colin Firth...woo-hoo!)

Linda Gray said...

Took me until my thirties to get past that magnetic pull from the Bad Boys and the Alphas. Still, I can't not watch them with fascination. But now it's the Betas I find irresistible. I love making them the quiet heros in my writing. They not only have some interesting synapse action going, they tend to respect women. Ladies, if you're still in your twenties, there's hope for variety in your future!

Joanne Brothwell said...

I love them all. I do. Every single one appeals to me on some level. Lovely picture of Ian Somerholder. He is a smokin' hot bad boy!

Angela Ackerman said...

One word: NOM.


Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Angela Ackerman said...

Stina, did you see I posted a link to a Erotic Thesaurus on my @writerthesaurus account? Sounds like something maybe you ladies here could use, if you weren't already aware of it. I know where to come if I have to write romance scenes now--so happy!

Anya S. Winter said...

Angela, I'm totally placing you on our blogroll ;)

Angela Ackerman said...

Hey awesome, thanks! :)

Margo Berendsen said...

OMGosh what great fun! I will LOVE this new blog. Awesome idea. And I want to know who the pictures of the beta, the bad boy and the tortured soul are! (I have ideas, but not sure).

What about the downhome boy? the guy that you think is just a friend... until you discover something unexpected about him. I really like this kind of character... but I also love betas and tortured souls.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Margo, the hotties are as follows:

Beta: Colin Firth
Bad boy: Ian Somerholder
Tortured soul: Ben Barnes. Not that he looks tortured very often.

I have no idea who the alpha guys are. I google "military guy" and that's what I got. ;)

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