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Thursday, February 1, 2024


By Caroline Clemmons

When you pick up a romance, what do you expect from the hero? Let’s talk about the main components of a hero, shall we?

 First, let’s get his appearance out of the way. Do you require a thick head of hair and perfect physique before a man can be a hero in your eyes?  Does he have to be a certain height, have a particular color of eyes, and wear his hair a certain way? If he’s bald, are all bets off? What if he’s a geek who wears glasses and isn’t that fit? What each of us means by “perfect” hero physically probably differs from one reader to the next. Not that I’m turned off by a handsome man, mind you, but I don’t care as much about his physical aspects as about his character.

For instance, I remember a friend who dated a wonderful man wo was crazy about her. She stopped seeing him because his hairline was receeding. She ended up marrying a nice looking guy who was an alcoholic who beat her.

Gregory Peck, one of my
favorite actor heroes ever


There are several qualities that are necessary for a hero, at least IMO. These qualities might not exist at the first of the book, but they’d better be there by the end or I want my money back.


[1] He has to be trustworthy. In our part of the country, you hear “His word is his bond.” That means if he says it, he’ll do it and you don’t need a contract to hold him to his word. No man with that reputation would risk losing it.


Chris Hemswrth

[2]  Loyalty. If he’s your friend, you don’t have to worry about him stabbing you in the back, figuratively or literally. He will defend you to others and, as the saying goes, have your back. Another saying from the Southwest along this line is “ride for the brand,” and it doesn’t just mean cowboys who work on a ranch.  If he takes a man’s money for a job, he won’t cheat his employer.


Michael B. Jordan

[3] Not afraid of commitment. Not just in romance, but I’m reminded of a man with whom man I once worked. He was in his thirties but still lived in the rented apartment he moved into for grad school, rented his office, leased a car, had the same girlfriend for five years—yet wondered why no one took him seriously as an adult. His lifestyle was still grad student. Talk about arrested development! 

Liam Hemsworth
(Are there any homely people
in their family?)

[4] Takes a stand. This may be a part of commitment, but I list it separately. It means he won’t be a “yes” man to anyone. He is not afraid to state his opinion about a course of action, and not afraid to follow up on that opinion.

 I’m sure you can think of more qualities you look for your heroes. Tell me what they are, and which you think are most important.



  1. A sense of humor goes a long way with me!

  2. For hero material, I go with my mother's advice. First, always pick a man who treats his sisters well because that's a good indication he'll treat you well. Second, good sleeping shoulders are a huge bonus.

  3. You certainly picked your hero well ;)


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