posted on January 20, 2016 by Jeanne Devlin

How do you like your heroes?

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When it comes to writing romance novels, there is one thing an author dare not leave out:  the happy ending . . . usually to a rich, hunk.

Ninety-nine out of 100 books, that is just what the romance doctor ordered, the story demanded, and the reader wanted.

But are there exceptions?

I Still Want to Marry HimCan you recall a rom-con or a romance novel that left you feeling like the wrong couple rode off together into the sunset?

One can understand how Hollywood — run seemingly by boys who never grew up — gets it wrong so often, but most romance novels are written by women.  Smart women.  Successful women.  Funny women.

So why do so many romance novels still cast the mono-syllable, billionaire alpha with the six-pack (abs not brewskies) as the ideal suitor?  Honestly, I don’t think actress Emily Blunt is the only woman in America who wants doughy John Krasinski back right now.

Screen shot 2016-01-17 at 3 56 29 PMSo how about you?  Does your happy ending demand a seven-figure-earning hero?  Washboard abs like the ones Krasinski is sporting in his new movie 13 Hours?  Or, like Emily, would you prefer to snuggle up to a kind, honest, hard-working fellow who can make you laugh, helps with the dishes (one of my measures of sexy) and also makes a nice pillow?

Come one, you can tell me—maybe together we can start a trend for a new kind of romantic lead.

#WeLuvDoughys anyone?

—Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin is editor of The RoadRunner Press, an award-winning traditional publishing house based in the American West. An editor of newspapers, magazines, and books for more than thirty years, she has also worked on national marketing and publicity campaigns with such publishers as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin's and for a number of New York Times bestselling authors, including Robyn Carr, Sabrina Jeffries, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Wendy Corsi Staub. A graduate of the Stanford University Publishing Course, Jeanne is a member of the Children's Book Council, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. She also consults with boutique publishers.

2 thoughts on “How do you like your heroes?”

  1. b. Lane says:

    Truthfully, how about more realistic heroes? Doesn’t the “regular” guy or girl deserve love and happiness?

    I would read more romance novels if they were geared in realism.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I hear you B. Lane. If we could all only learn to watch for that one feature that will be there always in a man: a cute grin, a wry sense of humor, kind eyes, a generous spirit, a Roman nose . . . basically, the attributes that make an ordinary fellow grow more and more handsome in the eyes of the woman who luvs him as the years go by. Breaks my heart to think of all the guys like that living alone … and all the gals wondering why they’re still single … or worse why their chiseled partner no longer seems like such a catch.

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