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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Emily Bryan's Hunky Heroes

photo courtesy of Fortin & Sanders

When the lovely ladies of Royal Reviews asked me to write a bit about hunky heroes, I know they expected me to pick one of my guys and rave about him.

But how can I choose? There’s Trevelyn Deveridge from DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, a cool, deadly-dangerous agent in Her Majesty’s secret service. Or Gabriel Drake, my PLEASURING THE PIRATE hero, a man who knows what he wants and takes it. Or Lucian Beaumont, my vexed Viscount, a smart, driven nobleman, who starts the story as a virgin but is a remarkably quick study! And what about Ian Michael MacGregor, my man-of-all-work hero in A CHRISTMAS BALL (due out Sept 29th)? Or Crispin Hawke, the brilliant, talented sculptor in my current WIP--STROKE OF GENIUS (summer 2010). The yummy Fortin & Sanders picture is my inspiration for Crispin, my tortured artist!

But I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all.

I think I’d rather talk about what makes a hero.

Of course, a romantic hero is easy on the eyes. That’s a given. But what constitutes masculine beauty is different in every age. Believe it or not, the Victorian ideal required a man to have very small hands and feet!

And every woman has her own favorite male type. How’s an author to choose? Dark or fair? Muscle-bound or swimmer’s build? Deep-set dark eyes or icy gray ones?

No, a hero isn’t defined by his looks.

Some might be attracted to the flashy sort. The powerful Thomas Crown in-charge type. Leaders are very attractive. Others like the quiet guy who gets things done without caring who gets the glory. Some want a protector—a man who can handle himself and anything life throws at him. And what woman doesn’t love a man who can make her laugh?

There are so many different types of heroes—how’s a writer to choose?

Personally, I have to make sure all my heroes share one very important trait. They have to be willing to give up everything for the heroine. He has to love her so deeply, nothing else matters. Self-sacrifice is the strongest heroic trait I know. I can’t write a hero without it.

Who’s your favorite hero and why? ~ one lucky person will win one of Emily's novels.

Day 3 winner - Luann

Day 2 winner - I heart Book Gossip
Day 1 winner - The Book Resort


Blodeuedd said...

Hard one cos there are so many out there, but I do have a soft spot for Z from JR Wards BDB, he is so tormented and broken. I just want to heal him

Jane said...

I'm a fan of the tall, dark and handsome alpha hero. One of my favorites is Robert Knight from "The Duke" by Gaelen Foley. What's not to love about a tortured hero?

CrystalGB said...

One of my favorite heroes is Elizabeth Hoyt's Edward de Raaf. I love how he is with Anna and how he treats his dog. I couldn't help but love him.

etirv said...

I just finished reading Elizabeth Hoyt's To Beguile a Beast and I'm still feeling Sir Alistair Munroe -- scarred and damaged but he sure knows how to love! Of course, my real hero is my hubby because he loves me for real... and he's even OK with constantly getting teased by the female librarians or Borders or Barnes & Noble cashiers every time he picks up historical romance books for me from the local library or bookstores!

By the way, Emily, speaking of sexy book covers, do you have final approval of your book covers before publication?

PS: You're too humble about your Rosalinde photo!

VampFanGirl said...

Fantastic Guest Post Ladies!

My favorite hero?? Hard one. But I guess I'm pulled toward the charismatic heroes that have that magnatism that sucks you in. Add to that a sprinkling of tall, dark and handsome and I'm a gonner. Banallt from 'Scandal' by Carolyn Jewel embodied these traits. Also, Lindsay from Charlotte Featherstone's 'Addicted' fits this type of hero as well.

Sometimes the heroes that have world domination added next to their name really reves my motor. I fell in love with Raphael, Nalini Singh's ultra powerful and otherwordly archangel in 'Angels' Blood'. His oozes sexual prowress and I loved how he was taken aback by his emotions for Elena.

I don't have a fave of favorites. Perhaps like Emily and her heroes, I love all the heroes I read in some way or another. I'd almost feel guilty only picking one.

;) VFG

EmilyBryan said...

I'm hearing a common thread here. We love tormented heroes and long to help them heal. I think that need to nurture is hard-wired into the female psyche. But we also love the take-charge, take-care-of-his-woman type as well. To know and be known, to love and be loved, it's what we all aspire to.

Heather D said...

I love my tormented hero as much as the next lady does, but I have to say that my all time favorite hero... one that has stuck with me for the entire 15 years that I have been reading romance, is James Mallory from Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsay. He is an ex-pirate-- gotta love them pirates-- and he is just yummy. He is a heck of an Alpha male and when he finally decides that he can't live without his woman he stands up to her brothers (if I remember correctly there were 4, maybe 5), he gets his butt handed to him but that was all part of his plan! LOL

There are so many other heros that have a special place in my heart, but James will always top the cake. I think he was actually the first man I fell in love with.

booklover1335 said...

I know I say this a lot, but my fav romantic hero is Jamie Fraser. He's alpha without being caveman dominant. He knows how to wield a sword, and protect those he loves, and talk about sacrifice. At the end of Outlander when he sends Clare back to her time, knowing that he is going to his death, but gives her up out of his love for her....OMG. It doesn't get any better than that.

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

Hi Emily, I love the sound of your hunky heroes. My favourite classic hero is of course Mr Darcy, but I also love historical heroes. I very rarely read contemporary romance, since I was 18 (that was a while ago LOL), I have loved historical romance. I couldn't possible name a favourite as there are too many!

EmilyBryan said...

It is hard to choose a favorite, isn't it? We invest our hearts in each of them.

I just never tire of seeing a man walk the hero's path. Driven, strong-willed, not caring a fig what anyone else thinks. Nothing will turn him from his purpose.

One of my favorite definitions of masculine is taking care of those who are weaker. I love a strong man who will provide and protect, no matter what it takes.

Teddyree said...

Good morning Em & our overseas pals, well its morning here in Australia and you are probably all heading to bed. Don't forget to check the end of each post for the day's winner & there is an update on today's post.

Each book I read I seem to fall in love with a new hero, *sigh* they would be sad that I'm not faithful but I love them all!!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Emily,

I want a hero who has flaws and can admit to having them. He needs to feel like he is real and attainable. Have a great day.

ibeeeg said...

I my favorite hero...gosh...Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series. He is a leader, has strength of character, he is loyal and feels responsibilty towards those who he leads. He loves Claire to depths of his soul - he protects, loves and respects her with completeness. He is just absolutely amazing!!!

EmilyBryan said...

Well, actually, Teddy, the DH and I are thinking of cuddling into bed early here just as you are starting a new day. So have a great day . . . and we'll have a great night!

Housemouse--You are so right! I ran across a quote once and I'm sorry I can't remember who said it, but it goes like this:

It is well that there are no perfect people, for he would not have a friend in the world!

ibeeeg--I like Jamie too, but I have to imagine him without red hair. I had a red-haired fellow hound me to the point of almost stalking before I met my DH and it soured me on red-headed men. Imagine how hard it is for me to watch CSI Miami!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

My favorite hero is Kisten from Kim Harrison's Hollows Series. I loved him for his attitude, his cockiness, and the way he managed to save Rachel. Broke my heart, still missing him in the books.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Dottie :)

The Book Resort said...

Congrats, Luann!

The Book Resort said...

As long as the hero is respectful, tan, muscular, straight teeth, smells good & full of energy...

penney said...

I like Margaret Moore's series with the Lord Bromwell in Kiss me quick I just love this series.

EmilyBryan said...

Good Morning all! We are finally seeing the sun here in Boston after a long rainy spell. I'm loving all the hero choices and I agree with Book Resort. Smelling good is very important.

When I was writing my viking romances as Diana Groe, I ran across an English chronicler who bemoaned the fact that the Norse invaders were "undermining the chastity of our English women with their foreign wiles." And what, you may ask, were these Northmen doing?

"Wearing clean under garments and combing their hair."

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a guy in clean tighty-whities!

EmilyBryan said...

If you'd like a peek at a hot Native American hero, please visit www.emilybryan.blogspot.com. I'm hosting Adele Dubois and her DESERT WILD!

EmilyBryan said...

Oh, etirv--No, I do not have final approval on my covers. (Which is why Daisy and Lucian in VEXING THE VISCOUNT look like Victorians instead of Georgians.) But Dorchester did manage to capture the aching longing between them which trumps costume every time!

ibeeeg said...

Sorry about the red-head stalker. I do not imagine Jamie as a full blast red-head rather as an auburn hair color. Mostly though, I do not think of his hair color. His height and strength are the physical aspects that stand out the most to me. :)

I agree with you, as well...I prefer a guy in clean tighty-whities! Heaven forbid if they are "Wearing clean under garments and combing their hair." LOL! You know, that is one thing that stands out to me all the time when I read historical fiction. The lack of hygiene. Man, they must of stunk to high heaven!!! The mouth odor as well...gosh...I cannot fathom.

Goodness, here in northern Illinois - it feels like fall. 57 deg rainy weather. What's up with that?

Nynke said...

I so agree with the smelling good! And oral hygiene - I guess it's a reason to want a medieval hero that's a bit on the young side :).

I also agree with housemouse and Emily, that the best heroes feel real. If they're suffering, they should be suffering from something that could happen to anybody, and that you can actually sympathize with. Those heroes always melt my heart...

Jenny Girl said...

As someone else mentioned earlier, Jaime Fraser from Gabaldon's series. He's tall, rugged, built, and wears a kilt. It's all about the kilt!
He is devoted to his friends, family, and for standing up for his beliefs.

Any hero who is rough and rugged on the outside but sensitive and loving in the inside is my kind of guy.