© Terese Ramin, March 2013
It’s a given that every romance novel hero is sexy. Whether he’s
• an alpha (a guy who is often both a natural leader and physically strong, and who takes control of the situation and, essentially, dominates it from the get-go);
• a beta (a guy who is most likely kinder, gentler, and more sensitive than an alpha, and can often be counted on to take the back seat to a strong, hell-for-leather heroine, or who is second in command to the leader, often his best friend, who disseminates the leader’s orders or acts as a ‘go between’ between management and staff);
• or a gamma (a guy who is essentially a cross between the alpha and beta heroes, being both strong and kind-gentle-sensitive — and often more of a loner, in terms of “pack” hierarchy. He may act as an advisor to both alpha and beta heroes while holding onto his own values, strengths and weaknesses. In romance novels, the gamma hero may be maimed or disfigured, which has caused him to learn a different way of being and doing)
the romance hero is always sure of himself and his appeal regardless of the role he takes (by choice or design) in his interactions with others.
Regardless of his designated position in “pack” hierarchy (alpha, beta, or gamma), each romance hero is protective of his potential mate and his and children — or he finds the protective gene within himself that allows him to willingly do whatever it takes to keep his mate and offspring safe from harm.
Of course it’s also possible for romance heroes (especially alphas ) to be obnoxiously overprotective, especially where the heroine is concerned. My romance heroines have discovered this on more than one occasion, but they’ve fallen for the hero anyway. Why? Because he has a sense of humor and can take everything they dish out, from a passel of kids (some of whom need the “facts of life” explained to them), to an overabundance of dogs, to severely eccentric siblings, to… A song illustrated with dancing condoms. 😉 The hero, himself, tends to put up with the heroine’s… peculiarities because to him she’s the sexiest, most beautiful, most desirable, and most exciting creature he’s ever come across. And, while she may get them both into trouble, she will never, ever bore him. In turn, he will never bore her — or me, while I live with these people for the six months to a year it might take me to finish writing a book.
Protective heroes have other things going for them as well. They allow us, the reader, to wrap ourselves up in someone who would readily die (and sometimes kill) to protect us. To fall in love with, and be loved by, him. To know that we — in the guise of the book’s heroine — are the only ones who can tame this wonderfully exasperating guy, stand toe-to-toe with him and…
Make him understand reason. ;-D