Not your mother’s hero

I have been thinking about how heroes have changed in romance books over the years….

When I first started reading romance as a teenager, the formula for romance was pretty simple:  One older, incredibly rich, handsome man and a barely out of her teens virgin.

What was up with the heroes back then?  Looking back they were often mean and cranky.  Yes! I said it!  Mean and cranky.  Somehow these incredibly successful men always seemed to get confused about the heroine and assume that she was (Fill In Blank) – a gold digger, a tramp, mean to small animals, etc.  I’m not sure why men of this era were in such a bad mood.  Was it disco?  Polyester?  Rock and roll laser shows?

Of course, said heroine was always a paragon of virtue (cue gagging).  But despite all evidence to the contrary, these heroes would spend 95% of the book being a total a**hole to this teenage virgin.   Only in the last few pages, would the hero finally get hit with a clue by four and (maybe) admit to being wrong.

Don’t get me started on how these girls would swoon and fall in love…. that’s for another post.

Enter today’s heroes.  They’re sexy, they have six-pack abs, and the actually seem to like women.  The heroes of today are in love with women who have jobs.  They are in love with successful women, opinionated women, women who have sex!  Gasp!  They like a woman who can stand on her own and take care of herself.  They don’t feel the need to punish her for being independent.

Today’s heroes are fun, too.  In my upcoming book, the heroes take the heroine to a drive in to see monster movies, they go for bike rides, they take her to parties, and for pizza.  They do stuff together, because they actually like each other.  That’s why they fall in love.

So, I guess you won’t hear me reminiscing about the good old days in romance books.  I think the present is just fine.  What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Not your mother’s hero

  1. Mean and cranky aren’t my style, but the strong silent type is. Of course I like to see them try to protect the heroine even when they know damn well she can take care of herself.

    • I like the strong, silent type too. Bonus points if they are protective. I actually went back and read some really old Harlequin’s and was surprised by how cynical and jaded the male’s were. I was also surprised by how little fun the couple had together – outside of the sack. But I still loved them back then. LOL!

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