Thursday, July 22, 2010


Don't you just love a good hero? Delicious muscles in all the proper places. Piercing eyes--any color will do. Dark hair, blond, red, salt-and-pepper, gray, long, short, doesn't really matter. A smile that can knock you off your feet. A man who can crush the enemy, yet hold a newborn baby with reverent gentleness. A CEO who can clinch a deal without a shred of emotion, yet will cry quietly at the death of his dog. Of course, I am writing this from a completely biased woman's point of view. But if there are any of you men out there brave enough to read this particular blog, and if you want a step-by-step way to a woman's heart, then read on.

Oh, boy. And how about al those stereotypes we tend to seek out like hungy, hormonal bees to nectar? The boy next door, a tortured soul, the bad boy who is strictly off limits, a loner with secrets. And my personal favorite: the brave soldier who is willing to sacrifice his life for the lives of his fellow soldiers, a man who loves his country enough to die for it, who fights through the terror to take care of business, and understands the true price of freedom.

Even when I was a little girl, instead of watching cartoons on early morning Saturday TV like the rest of my firends, I was watching old reruns of The Lone Ranger, Tarzan, Wagon Train--gotta love that Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood for all of you too young to have a clue who I'm talking about)--Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Old John Wayne movies, and any black-and-white war movie I could find.

My first love (keep in mind, I think I was probably ten years old at the time) was Audie Murphy. He starred in an old war movie about his life as a soldier. That did it for me. I was hooked on military heroes. Strong (in every sense of the word), loyal, brave, tough on the outside yet vulnerable on the inside, and most important of all, they were men of honor. They fought for what they believed in. They always wore white hats, even when those hats were black. And they always saved those weaker and more vulnerable than themselves. any wonder why I write romance?

So tell me, who are some of your favorite heroes? What are some of the traits or qualities you value in a hero?


  1. I have to admit, I'm not too picky! He only needs to sweep me off of my feet :) He can be tortured or easy-going, rich or poor with a desire to make something of himself, any number of traits will do. His only true job is to make me sigh with happiness when I read of his long awaited for declaration of love to the heroine. Sigh - it gets me every time :)

  2. Ooh, I remember Audie Murphy -- and Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda -- no wonder I married a dark-eyed, dark-haired (although not so much any more) man. Although Fonda's eyes were blue... I love the little bit of mischievous boy still in the man, and the little hint of danger that promises adventure beyond my safe, secure life. Most of all, I love the man who sticks around when the going gets tough. He doesn't have to save me from a burning fire, just be there when I need a shoulder to cry on.

  3. Oh, Diane, heroes are my favorite topic! I'm particularly fond of a man of mystery, a man who (like your favorite soldiers) saves people on a regular basis but keeps it secret for everybody's safety -- the Peter Parker and Clark Kent kind of hero. :) And I love love love flawed heroes, heroes that are strong and noble but driven by something less noble and struggle with it until love for the heroine helps them become entirely noble -- like Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, or Frances Crawford in Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles.

    Above all, he must be totally, thoroughly, and desperately in love with his lady. ;)

  4. A hero is a man who will sacrifice himself for family or country. An emotionally strong man who is not afraid to show he cares and is not afraid to laugh. Personally, I like a man with wit and humor. A man who can throw out one-liners in the most tense moments to lighten the mood. A man who can make me laugh when I'm feeling down or just want to laugh with him. Maybe that's why I've always liked Bruce Willis in the Die Hard series. I also loved Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma. And Gerard Butler in...anything!

  5. Oh heros are what make the world go around! Or our love for them, anyway. My favorite is the defeated, stubborn solitary hero with a chip on his shoulder who refuses to care about anyone or anything. And then finds himself falling in love with the heroine. I love a good tortured hero. :)
    My absolute favorite is Jericho Barrons in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. Oh love me some Barrons!!!

  6. My father always told me to be aware of the man in the corner with the smile on his face, not the one bragging about his many conquests. Heroes take a bad situation, box it up, give it a good shake, and roll it out like a pair of dice. He accepts a woman as an equal, and she does not need to mask her natural intelligence.

  7. Loved all the comments and totally agree! Thanks for responding to my blog.

    LOL! Erin, I'm so glad you sigh over a good hero, too. I'm a total sucker.

    Sandy, I can't believe you know who Audie Murphy is! I think you just told me how old--oops, young--you are. And Roman Holiday was my mom's favorite, so it was always special to me.

    Ooh, I live a man of mystery and flaws, too, Katie. I have a secondary character who I plan on making a very reluctant hero in his own story.

    Gayle, I, too have to say that Bruce Willis is one of my fav's. His role in Tears of the Sun is who I based Rio on. Loved that movie. If you haven't seen it, he's a Navy SEAL hero.

    Andris, I love your description! It's perfect!

    Anonymous, I love your comment about the bad situation. I can see a hero doing exactly that in his head, especially the hero in my current WIP.