Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dress Shoes Versus Work Boots – Who is Your Romance Novel Hero?

I’ve had this discussion with lots of women. When you pick up a romance novel or watch a romantic movie, what kind of a hero do you want? Are you looking for the confident billionaire in his tailored business suit and shiny dress shoes or do you crave a rugged outdoorsman in flannel, jeans, and work boots?

Who is your romance novel hero?
Below I’ve created two character sketches representing the two different heroes. Read them both and cast your vote for who you’d most like to read about. You’d be helping me with some valuable writing research and I’d be most grateful for your input. When you cast your vote, if you would leave me just a short reason as to why you picked the guy you did, that would really rock my research world.

Hero 1: Christopher Harrington, III
Occupation: President of Under the Blue Technologies – a company providing solutions for keeping the world’s oceans clean

Financial Status: Multi-billionaire


  • 6’1” tall
  • athletic build
  • blue eyes
  • short, neatly styled blond hair
  • clean shaven
  • wears tailored suits to work with shirt and tie, dress shoes. Weekend wear includes khakis with polo and button-down shirts, boat shoes, expensive sunglasses. Clothes are well matched and fitted.

Home: Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island that he inherited from his parents, lavishly decorated with collectible art he’s picked out himself on his trips around the world

Number of Pets: 0

What He Does for Fun: Sail on his yacht, travel abroad, go to the theater, invest money, hold charity balls at his mansion

Idea of Perfect Date: Send a woman he’s interested in a fancy dress and a theater ticket with a note that reads, “Dinner and show tonight. Limo will pick you up at 7:00. Don’t be late. I hate waiting, especially for someone as exquisite as you.” The limo will arrive, pick the woman up, and drop her off at the theater. An usher – a friend of Christopher’s – will escort her to the first row. The woman will have a seat, but Christopher will not be there. No, instead he’ll be on the stage when the curtain opens, sitting behind a piano, playing and singing her a love song. Then he’ll exit the stage and join her in the first row. They’ll enjoy the real show, holding hands here and there throughout, and afterwards… well, he’ll see where the night takes them.  

Hero 2: Sam Henson
Occupation: Carpenter – builds houses, barns, furniture, pretty much anything he can build out of wood

Financial Status: Enough money to be comfortable

  • 6’3” tall
  • rugged, broad-shouldered
  • hazel eyes
  • thick, black hair that’s always slightly untamed
  • slight scruff of a beard and mustache
  • wears T-shirts and flannel shirts, jeans that highlight his phenomenal ass though he doesn’t care about that. Work boots, year-round. Work wear and weekend wear are the same and he’s usually covered in a fine mist of sawdust.

Home: Log cabin he built himself in the woods of Danville, Vermont

Number of Pets: 4, all dogs he’s raised since they were pups

What He Does for Fun: Building stuff is fun, but he also likes to hike in the woods with his dogs, snowmobile, ATV, and ski.

Idea of Perfect Date: Take a woman on a long hike in the woods with his dogs up to the pond on his property where they’ll get into a rowboat and tour around the pond in the sunshine. They’ll see moose taking a drink at the shore then have a picnic lunch while the dogs splash around in the water. They’ll come back to his cabin and when night falls, he’ll build a fire in the outdoor fire pit and they’ll stargaze until it’s time to… do something else.

So, who would you pick and why? Do you maybe like some combination of the two? I can’t wait to read your responses!

Chris YA Romance Teaching Writing



Margo Hoornstra said...

It's gotta be Sam. Christopher comes off as too manipulative, too distant (according to the date night description.) I also had a hard time with him living in a house he inherited. My two cents.

Jannine Gallant said...

Sam - my hero's are all outdoor guys. Heck, I married a carpenter. But lose the mustache. It's gotta go or I'd give Sam the heave-ho!

Chrys Fey said...

Personally, I'd pick Sam. My heart always goes out to the outdoorsy, flannel-wearing man. To me, they are so sexy!

I wouldn't mind the rich man if he was a mysterious rich man. For instance: Roarke from the J.D. Robb series. But Christopher comes off as the type of man who loves himself and his money more than anything else in the world, which is a turn off!

So my vote would be for Sam. I agree with Jannine though, the mustache has to go!

Alicia Dean said...

I prefer Sam, although I would leave out the 4 dogs. I'm not that much into pets...they're a bit too troublesome for my tastes. I know that makes me a bit of a freak, especially as an author. :-) I would also get rid of the mustache, although I LOVE scruff. My favorite hero, though, is a cop and/or a damaged bad boy. Fun post...thank you for allowing us to play! :-)

Diane Burton said...

My vote is for Sam--if he loses the scruff. I hate whisker burn. LOL Love the dogs and that he raised them from pups. He sounds down-to-earth. My kind of guy. Hubs likes working with wood so I'm drawn to the carpenter. This was fun.

JenaGalifany said...

It would have to be Sam. There's something about a man and his dogs that appeals to me. I like a man who can work with his hands and relax in the quiet of nature.


Christine DePetrillo said...

Thanks, ladies! This was very helpful.

Barbara Edwards said...

I pick Sam. I could live int that cabin with four dogs. sigh

Leah St. James said...

Sam is my pick for pure aesthetics and personality, too....although I love the fantasy of having a guy with money, too. You know, like Roarke in the J.D. Robb "In Death" series? (Now that is a fantasy!)