I have recently discovered the TV show Whitechapel, a blend of historical and modern crime. How I’ve missed this show for the past couple of years I don’t know, because I love it!
Yes, I majored in history in college, and yes, I like detective shows. Those are the qualities that drew me to it in the first place, but
I continue to watch for Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler, the lead character. He’s handsome, of course, but he’s also a little alone in the world, a little different from his colleagues, and a little bit wounded.
One of my favorite kinds of hero.
Here are some others, numbered only because I’m a math teacher and I like lists :-)
1. I swoon for heroes who are willing to work for the affection of the heroine. Barbara Samuel’s Tynan Spenser does just that in The Black Angel. His betrothed is a stranger to him, and a necessary one—her father can help him win the seat in Parliament he covets. But that doesn’t mean they can’t share affection, and he sets out to win hers with a kiss each day. He carefully picks his moments (and body parts), and I love his creativity and the thought that goes into his courtship. What woman wouldn’t?
2. I adore heroes who are/were soldiers. Whatever reason a man decides to join the Army (to serve his country, to feed his family, because he was the second son of a nobleman), I am drawn to a hero who accepts the responsibility of command (however large or small), who does what he thinks is right. These are men who endure hardships both of body and mind, and who suffer damage to both in the process. The Regency period is rife with these heroes (lucky for me!), returning from the Peninsular Wars or the wars in America. My favorite? Grace Burrowes’s Devlin St. Just from The Soldier.
3. I relish heroes who are repentant. That’s right, repentant. They’ve committed a wrong in the past, and mature enough somewhere along the way to regret their actions. Case in point: Courtney Milan’s Evan Carlton from Unlocked. He teased and tormented a girl who was different to win popularity among the other young men and women of the ton. Classic bully, right? Absolutely. Then he leaves London, sees the world, and discovers there is more to life than the opinions of society…realizing what a Class A jackass he’s been. But he doesn’t stop there—he attempts to right his wrong, or at least repair some of the damage he caused. It takes a real man to fess up and apologize, and I applaud Evan for recognizing how badly he screwed up, and forging ahead to fix it.
4. I am utterly devoted to heroes who are the underdog. Maybe I’ve watched too many Disney movies (Cool Runnings is still one of my favorites), or maybe I’ve been the underdog once too often myself. Whatever the cause, I love a man who shouldn’t win the heroine’s love but does anyway. And the award for the most creative plot goes to Reginald Mason in Mary Balogh’s A Matter of Class. I won’t ruin the book for you if you haven’t read it, but it was masterful. And risky. Where most men would have given up the situation as hopeless, Reggie (and his accomplice) used society’s own rules to win a woman far above his station. Take that, Beau Monde!
5. I sigh over the nobleman who presents an aloof, cold exterior to society, but melts (however reluctantly) for the heroine. Mary Balogh’s Wulfric Bedwyn, Duke of Bewcastle epitomizes this category. He inherited his title and vast responsibilities (including the welfare of his brothers and sisters) at the tender age of seventeen. If you’ve read the Slightly series, you know about the glimpses of His Grace in each book. You’ve seen him employ his quizzing glass to
chilly perfection on the impertinent, watched him coerce his siblings into doing what he thinks is best. And in the last book, Wulf’s own story, you saw him melt little by little in the presence of Christine. He’s still the daunting duke on the outside, but his inner self gets to shine. He gets to be caring, sweet, and even a little silly. How can you resist a man like that?
So those are my favorites. What are yours? Are there different types of heroes in contemporary vs. historical romances? Or paranormals?