Hello! Happy Labor Day to those who are celebrating today!
Though I am here posting most days under my real name I thought I would start donning my author’s hat and appearing as my alter ego Alyssa Aaron the author of His Perfect Submissive every couple of weeks. I’ve tentatively set that to be every other Monday but there will undoubtedly be times when my Monday post conflicts with another scheduled guest post. In those instances I’ll just move my posts forward a day or two. Today I thought I’d ramble about the “perfect” romance novel hero. I’d love to hear your thoughts on romance novel heroes so please leave your questions, comments, opinions, and insights in the comments section following this post. You do not have to be subscribed to the blog or logged in to leave a comment. Your first comment will however need to be approved before it is posted. If you enjoy this post please share it with your friends and followers using the buttons below the post.
The Making Of The “Perfect” Hero
What is it that makes a perfect romance novel hero? Are there certain traits, behaviors, skills, or a certain psychological outlook on life that you find appealing in the heroes in the romance novels you read? What is it that elevates a hero from just a nice guy to drool-worthy perfection in your opinion?
Can a hero be flawed…even severely flawed and still be a perfect hero?
I’ve thought long and hard about perfect heroes and about different kinds of heroes…and what it is that makes a hero “perfect?” What I’ve come up with is that “perfection” when it comes to romance novel heroes is a shared reality. What’s “perfect” isn’t just what I as an author think is “perfect” or what you as the reader think is “perfect.” To be a “perfect” hero a hero needs to be “perfect” for the heroine who ends up sharing her life and love with him.
In writing Slade the hero in His Perfect Submissive I tried hard to create the “perfect” hero for my heroine Kara. Finding the ideal hero for Kara was a challenge because of who Kara is and how she became who she is. Kara has a really icky backstory. She was kidnapped and raped as a child. She never received counseling. Her family imploded after the attack. For her the attack and its aftermath didn’t just impact how she feels about men…it doesn’t just cause panic attacks…it impacts how she feels about herself…how she feels other people are going to see her…
She needed a hero who would be many things…a hero kind, gentle, compassionate enough to deal with her panic attacks and her fear of them but also a hero dominant enough, strong enough, and confident enough to help her grow beyond the safe box she’s enclosed herself in since the attack. Slade who is a Dom is less controlling and less bossy than the dominants in many of the BDSM related erotic romances I’ve read. But to be “perfect” for Kara he needed to be a different kind of hero…an intriguing mix of strong and understanding…someone ultimately worthy of the trust he wants Kara to place in him. It means he doesn’t bark orders and demand sexual submission at every turn as the heroes in some BDSM romances do. His brand of dominance needs to be more subtle in order for him to be “the perfect hero” for Kara.
I’ve received many reviews and letters from readers who have identified Slade as “the perfect hero” for Kara. There’ve been a handful of other reviews from readers who didn’t like Slade because they didn’t think he was dominant enough or kinky enough. I think if I’d made him more dominant, more bossy, more kinky, he might have fit the fantasies of the readers who preferred a kinkier hero but he would have lost it in terms of being “the perfect hero” for Kara.
In the novel I am working on now my hero is much different than Slade. He is more the order issuing, boundary pushing, sexual powerhouse that are more common fare in erotic romance. I think Trent in Dominant’s Regret is an equally perfect hero for his heroine, Lacey. But he is an entirely different kind of hero. Lacey is a different kind of heroine. She was not abused as a child, does not have that kind of baggage. She is much more sexually adventurous than Kara and craves submission even though she fears it because of things that happened in the characters’ relationship prior to the story’s opening.
There are things that are common to both heroes. Slade and Trent are both strong, dependable, and have their own stuff together, at least by the opening of their stories. Both men are fair in their treatment of other people, at least by the opening of their stories. Both men care deeply about their heroines and use their dominance to nurture them.
Though I think that being mentally and emotionally strong, being dependable, and having their own stuff together are necessary ingredients for a “perfect hero” beyond that there are a lot of variables…and what constitutes “perfect” is as much in the eye of the heroine as in the eye of the author or the reader.
What say you? What makes a “perfect hero” in your opinion?
Blurb From His Perfect Submissive
Kara was the victim of a brutal rape that occurred when she was seven. The event destroyed her family and left her fearful and distrustful of men. When Kara’s brother embezzles $30,000 from Slade’s company, Kara goes to Slade’s office determined to talk him out of going to the police.
Slade wants a peaceful, obedient, submissive with whom to share his life and in Kara he glimpses what he wants. He seizes the opportunity and makes Kara an offer she can’t afford to refuse. The only way she can save her brother from certain prison is to accept Slade’s marriage proposal and become his submissive.
Kara faces her wedding with anxiety. She can’t tell Slade she can’t submit sexually without risking her brother’s freedom, yet she doubts she’ll be able to keep her promise to be a submissive, obedient wife.
This romance explores the role of trust in even the most mismatched of partnerships and explores the complex connections between dominance and submission while it demonstrates the power of real love to heal even the deepest wounds.
Check out the free 3 chapter excerpt here.
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