Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Romantic Suspense Heroes

I got the idea for this blog topic from the February Intrigue Authors Newsletter.  All the authors said what they were looking for in the hero of a romantic suspense novel.

This was my answer:

For me, he’s got to be tough on the outside but tender at his core.  A take-charge kind of guy who has his own inner strength and a strong sense of right and wrong–which might not dovetail with the conventional wisdom.  I mean, he might bend the law, if he thinks the ends justify the means.  And in a fight, he probably won’t stick to Marquess of Queensberry rules.

He’s got good instincts about people, a good sense of humor, a strong streak of personal loyalty.  He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he confronts problems head-on, which is good because danger has a way of catching up with him, sooner rather than later.

He’s a complicated guy, with something in his background that makes him wary of relationships.  A woman who’s going to win his love must get past the protective wall he’s built around his emotions.

But he enjoys sex, and he’s an excellent lover, sensitive to his partner’s needs.  And if he has something extra–say the ability to change into a wolf, like Cole Marshall, the hero of my Decorah Security novel, DARK MOON, that’s a definite plus.

And one more thing.  He looks a lot like my husband.  Only younger, thinner and taller.  If I describe him as anything besides dark-haired and dark-eyed, with a five o’clock shadow, I’m lying.

These are the kind of alpha males I write about.

What do you want in the hero of a romantic suspense novel?  Comment for a chance to win two of my favorite Harlequin Intrigues--autographed.  If you want a chance to win, please include an e-mail address in your comment.


Anonymous said...

I like a good strong man. Someone who goes out of his way to protect those he loves.Sexy and Smart. I like a average guy sometimes, not a police, firefighter. Just like a average guy who would come out to help someone in need. Someone who if story needed likes kids or animals. If i win contact me at

gpangel said...

I like a man who is decisive, has respect for women, and a moral code he lives by. I like the "hero" occupations like Seals and I like cowboys too. (Think: Raylan Givens). He doesn't have to be over the top Alpha male. But, I like the protectors, guys who will risk themselves for people they love, and stand up for what is right, even if it means they have to pay a price. Romantic suspense is probably my favorite genre. We not only get strong, protective men, but also brave women, and always a happy ending. My email is Thanks!

Joya said...

Rebecca, I think it's so awesome that each of your heroes is your husband. Great post about what makes a romantic suspense hero tick.
I totally agree about the need for a sense of humor. That's on the top of my "must have" list for a hero (and my personal hero, my hubb). I think it balances the intensity of a suspense.
Thanks for sharing. :)

Linda W. said...

Your blog leads me to think about the variations in heroes that I've read and loved - how strong is strong enough, how sensitive is sensitive enough, etc. The variations make each hero unique and interesting. And how they blend or balance the heroine makes for good chemistry and a riveting read.

Chassie said...

A good portrait of the ideal romantic suspense hero! When I think of my favorite romantic suspense books, the hero fits your definition to a T, every single one of them. Pit them against an independent and intelligent woman - with a problem, of course - and you've got the making of a dynamite, fingernail-chewing story. Woo-hoo!!!

Rebecca York said...

Great answers! Helps me know what you want.