Thursday, November 21, 2013

Top Ten Hero Types

What is it about romance novels that make them so appealing? For some, it's the feisty heroine. For others, it's the Happily Ever After ending. Then there are those who love romantic stories because of the heroes. Heroes in romance novels combine awesome physical prowess with an overwhelming need to protect and care for their lady love. The package is often topped with an intriguing emotional vulnerability. Romance book heroes combine all the best traits, and are truly the best men we can imagine. Here are the top ten hero types:


Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
The Vampire Diaries (2009-)

The Bad Boy hero is in a league of his own. More heroines and readers/viewers have fallen for the Bad Boy than any other hero. He is the ultimate rebel: mysterious, seemingly indifferent, and hard to get. He starts off behaving badly and unrepentant. His inner good is revealed however by the end of the novel due to actions of the heroine or circumstances that force the Bad Boy to become the knight in shining armor.


Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
Supernatural (2005-)

Oh the Alpha Hero… how we love to hate and adore him. The innate leader in any situation, all look up to him and want to be him. He’s cool, confident, steady, strong, and sure. His ultimate role is to take care of the heroine. 


Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Mad Men (2001)

Our poor tortured lonely Brooding Hero, how we love to torment him! Aloof, angry, wounded, and ultimately one of the most vulnerable heroes out there, the Brooding Hero has captured the most hearts in very recent history with Edward Cullen and Stefan Salvatore. The Brooding Hero is a perfect foil for the Paranormal Hero.


Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella
Hart of Dixie (2011)

The Rogue, who by any other time period outside of Regency, is a promiscuous cad in need of a physical. Utterly charming, completely dashing, and carelessly carefree about life and love, the Rogue is ready to live life to the fullest. Commitment is not a word in his vocabulary until the heroine sweeps into his sphere of influence.


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes
Elementary (2012-)

Another name for the Nerd Hero is the Beta Hero. He’s kind, sweet, and decent. He’s the best friend or the slightly awkward gentleman. The Nerd Hero almost always meets his full potential because of the heroine. He rises to the occasion… in more ways than one!


Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
The Great Gatsby (2012)

This hero type literally litters Harlequin presents. He can be a millionaire, billionaire, prince, sheik, or wealthy boss. Ninety percent of the time the Tycoon starts out isolated and jaded in the novel only to wind up happy and easygoing by the end.


Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead (2010-)

The Protector Hero comes in many disguises and professions, most are obvious, but some not so much. You can find him playing the role of a cop, firefighter, spy, detective, bodyguard, part of the military, etc. The plot behind many Protector Hero stories involves a mystery where he almost loses the heroine while trying to save her.


Colin O'Donoghue as Hook
Once Upon a Time (2011-)

Pirates and superheroes compose the majority of the Daredevil Heroes. They love action, they love fights, and they love thrills. Give them a damsel in distress and they’re all over that like white on rice.


Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
The Walking Dead (2010-)

The Warrior Hero, funnily enough is a very reluctant hero. He thinks himself above it all. His mission in life is to fight and protect his home, his country, and his men. Then a woman gets thrown into the mix all kinds of chaos and havoc ensure and he fights it every step of the way only to get conquered by the heroine.


Tyler Hoechlin as Derek Hale
Teen Wolf (2011-)

Oh yes, the Paranormal Hero, when a normal man just won’t cut it the Paranormal Hero steps in prepared to win hearts and steal our very souls. He oozes sex with his otherworldly good looks and quickens our imagination with images of the extraordinary. Call him a vampire, a wizard, a lycanthrope, or any other kind of superhuman being it’s all the same to him.

Which Hero Wins Your Heart?

-- Courtesy of Keira from and from --


  1. All of them.

    *sighs happily*

    Okay, but to be honest I don't tend to like the Tycoon hero as much. The stories just don't appeal to me (and they tend to be more contemporary). Unless, of course, the hero is a rich duke or something, but I don't quite see those the same way.

    I'm also not huge on completely brooding heroes. If done correctly they're wonderful, but I often find writers make the hero too much of a jacka** who doesn't redeem himself. But like I said, if done correctly it's really, really fun to read.

    Most of these are combined in books, so I like aspects of all of them.

    1. I thought the same thing when I first read this list, Nat. All of them! =D

      I have to agree with you on the Tycoon hero. I prefer historicals over contemporary romances, so the Tycoon hero doesn't really appeal to me.

      I adore broody heroes who have to battle their inner demons to gain their HEA with the heroine.

      Bad boys are my least favorite hero type. Bad boys are definitely sexy and make things more interesting, but for the most part they tend to annoy me. Well, unless we're talking about Sawyer from LOST, Damon from TVD, or Klaus from THE ORIGINALS. I *love* those TV bad boys. <3

      I also like aspects of all of these hero types, so it's nice when they are combined in books.

  2. I love beta heroes!! They are my faaavvvooorite!! But I see you used some of these pics to confuse me!! I do like how you separated bad boys and alphas. Bad boys are my least fave too. I just don't go for that.