06-18 Sarah Raplee – WHY PSYCHIC AGENTS?

Monday, March 14, 2016

In Search of a Hero!

By Marcia King-Gamble

The dictionary defines heroes as men admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

In romance novels, the hero is the main male character in the book. He is usually bigger than life and gorgeous, (at least he is to the heroine) and he usually comes with baggage. This is where conflict comes into play. And he is flawed, but by the end of the book, he changes in remarkable ways and the heroine is the only woman he truly wants. By then he’s climbed a mountain to get her.

A recent survey lists the qualities women found to be most endearing in heroes. Surprisingly, at least surprisingly to me, the number one quality a woman is looking for is protectiveness.

Even today, women still want their men to take care of them. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s looking for her knight in shining armor, or she sits at home waiting for him to bring in the bacon.  This is about emotional support.  And as one woman puts it, “What it comes down to is a hero's ability to make the woman feel cherished, and safe, without doing anything that would qualify for a restraining order.”

Second up, he needs to be intelligent. Smart men turn the ladies on.  It’s not about qualifying for Mensa; it’s what led up to his success that makes him so appealing. Intelligent men have curious minds. They are eager to learn new things, and that includes finding out everything about the woman who has his attention. Smart men make their heroines feel important, cherished, respected and loved.

A sense of humor comes in third.  We all love to laugh, and laughter in a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously, is particularly appealing.  When times get tough, break out the sense of humor.

Our hero has to be in control. Note, I did not say controlling.  This is a man able to make decisions. Some may call him alpha, I call it taking the lead, and going after what he wants, both personally and professionally. There’s nothing sexy or attractive about a namby pamby man.

Generosity of spirit is another big turn on.  And that’s not about buying the heroine, diamonds or furs. It’s more about providing her with the things money can’t buy. It’s about his willingness to give of himself and share thoughts and feelings with her. In other words it’s called selflessness. 

And surprise, surprise, it’s definitely about sex. At least 62% of readers want it hot and steamy, and this is where all the qualities of the hero tie in. In matters of the bedroom, proactive as the heroine might be in getting him there, the hero needs to take the lead. He’s protective of the heroine in bed, and despite how kinky they get, he makes her feel safe and cherished.

He’s also intelligent enough to know how to please a woman. This is not all about Neanderthal sex. Me Tarzan you Jane. You will submit. He takes his time making her feel special and really wanting him. He’s smart enough to know the sex will be off the charts this way and they’ll both feel fulfilled
The hero breaks out his sense of humor. His sense of adventure comes to the fore when things don’t go smoothly. If they fall out of bed,  he laughs with her. If his leg cramps when they are in a compromising position, despite his discomfort, he makes fun of himself.  He’s in control and generous with his attentions.

Not so surprisingly, and as mentioned before, he’s flawed. He’s human after all.

Take Zach Mayo, our lovable hero in the oldie but goody, An Officer and a Gentleman.  It took him a while to come around, but come around he did. Women also fell in love with Jack Dawson in the Titanic because he took care of the heroine though he died in the end. Both were Cinderella stories, and although the second ended in tragedy, both celebrated love in its purest form. Both are reminders that men and women are made stronger by loving each other. 

Over the years women’s roles have changed as they have taken on more “manly responsibilities,” yet sensitive, take charge men with the characteristics of  heroes, still reign.


Who are your modern day heroes and why? 

Is it someone like Alexander Neale, survivor of a personal tragedy, and the hero in my book, Just You?   Or is it the person you’re with?

 I’d love to hear the qualities  you've found in your hero. Please comment.

Romantically yours,


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Courtney Pierce said...

Great post! You hit all the biggies (no pun intended).

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thank you, Courtney!

Judith Ashley said...

I don't necessarily think of 'protectiveness' but if I don't feel safe with the guy, I'm gone. Also, if I find I'm not laughing (not at someone), I don't stick around. So my top two would be safety and humor...then intelligent (although that comes in many forms because a man can be intelligent as in able to fix anything but not college educated). Loved "An Officer and a Gentleman" and also "Pretty Woman". So, I'd add an ability to be introspective and grow as a person.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thanks, Judith. Intelligence for me has huge appeal. Intelligence I define as an inquisitive mind. Adventurous is also high on my list and open minded. I enjoy men who are willing to try different things.

Kathleen lawless said...

I loved this blog,MArcia. It was bang on, and it described my fiancee to a T. Which is why we are a wonderful couple and so darn happy. He was definitely worth the wait!

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thanks for stopping by Kathleen. I know we are usually right in sync. Your fiance would have to be a special man or he would not be your fiance. It takes a hero to be with a smart, intelligent, attractive, confident woman! Definitely worth the wait indeed!