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Topic: Whats your favorite hero/heroine dynamic?

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Subject: Whats your favorite hero/heroine dynamic?
Date Posted: 11/7/2009 4:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Meaning - do you like the alpha male virgin scenario, dowdy heroine who the hero thinks is the most beautiful women in the world, hero chases heroine, heroine chases hero etc.....

I really love the not so perfect hero and heroine. I get so sick of the gorgeous, rich, alpha hero and the perfectly breathtaking heroine. Some of my favs include Christian and Maddy from Flowers from the Storm - Kinsale, Melisande and Vale from To Seduce a Sinner - Hoyt and Edwina and Mick from The Proposition - Ivory. I find that as I read more and more romances, I gravitate towards a more beta male character. I also love Stan and Teri from Over the Edge - Brockmann. In fact I like a number of Brockmann's heroes. They are often a mix of alpha/beta characteristics.

My guilty pleasures still include some of the bodice ripper type of scenarios - they are intriguing lol

Last Edited on: 11/7/09 4:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/7/2009 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I also like the not so perfect hero/heroine.  Give me an "ugly" guy and make him lovable!  LOL  I still need my alpha but they don't have to be perfect.

Date Posted: 11/7/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
Posts: 1,407
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I agree, give me not-perfect any day for both hero and heroine. I do prefer for them not to be actual criminals, especially the men. :) I like my heroines to have some experience or maturity - not necessarily sexual experience, but not a clueless debutante.

Date Posted: 11/7/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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I like a tortured hero with alot of emotional distance and a heroine with enough maturity to understand what's going on and the inner strength to put the effort into a man she loves.

Date Posted: 11/7/2009 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I enjoy stories where there isn't an instant phsyical attraction but one that grows over time. (The Gilded Web by Mary Balogh is a good example.)  Stuffed-shirt heroes and heroines who loosen them up. (Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase.)

Date Posted: 11/7/2009 11:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,673
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I like a bad-boy hero and a heroine that's smart and sexy.  Don't have to be beautiful people and the guy's not necessarily an alpha male and the girl's not an innocent virgin.  I like a hero and heroine that know what they want and go after it.

Date Posted: 11/8/2009 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I have a wide range & tend to be open to just about any of the above - it's all in the story & whether or not the author can do something fresh & original with it.  They can be imperfect or drop-dead gorgeous; it doesn't matter one way or the other to me.  Rich, poor, whatever - again, I don't care, as long as the story is good.  I'm like Willa in that I love the perfect, stuffed shirt hero who just gets dragged through the mud by his worst nightmare of a heroine.  You can't beat it for humor.  Definitely adored this in Lord Perfect, The Bridal Season by Connie Brockway & Since The Surrender by JAL.  Margaret also mentioned Winnie & Mick from The Proposition.  They're a very memorable couple for me too.  Loved the dynamic between them as well - which reminds me of another Cinderella story, Delicious by Sherry Thomas.  I loved that hero carries a ten year torch for the heroine thing too.

Date Posted: 11/8/2009 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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I ditto everything that Rubberducky said.  Humor gets me everytime.  And I love the imperfect H/H ones.  Lord of Scoundrels, Mr. Impossible, To Beguile a Beast, To Love a Scottish Lord.....   I also have a fondness for the older Heroine stories:  The Kissing Gate by Fiona Carr was one of my favorites, and Autumn in Scotland, The Rake and the Reformer, Not Quite a Lady.....  My favorite H&H relationship, tho, was the one in Broken Wing by Judith James.  Very interesting, believable and unique main characters. 

Last Edited on: 11/8/09 4:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2009 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2005
Posts: 1,103
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I tend to like the marriage-of-convience stories and the ones where the woman is pregnant and they are separated but it's the guy's fault. So - of course - they get together eventually and - of course - he's still at fault but there are mitigating circumstances so he's not a total jerk!

Exception - I don't like the ones where woman comes back into the guy's life after having his child because she can't make it on her on, is on welfare, living in some crummy bedsit. I like where she goes on and succeeds on her own -  not where he "saves" her.

Date Posted: 11/10/2009 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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I have a thing for Alpha males, but agree that the "perfect" (i.e. rich, handsom, cocky, god's gift to women) stories get old.  The books depend on my mood, but I do like the "imperfect" Alpha males - tortured male with a strong, independent female who can handle a man with a past.

I also like the stories where the Hero/Heroine have a past.  I have been reading Sherry Thomas's novels lately and I like how her characters are dealing with a past that they have together.  So it isn't a traditional romance.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 8:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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Love a dowdy but strong heroine with the alpha male......See Jane Score by Gibson.......The Gamble by Lavyrle Spencer.

Date Posted: 11/11/2009 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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It all depends on my mood. I enjoy the older man/young woman dynamic,not necessarily having the heroine being virginal but not tons of experience either.

I like the Emotionally scarred Hero and the understanding heroine that shows him he is lovable after all.

I also like the love from afar.....or unrequitted love. Maybe the hero or heroine has always loved the other but life circumstances kept them apart or from telling each other how they have always felt. Then at the end they are there for them, the other person realizes they had their backs the whole time. Something sweet about that. Doesn't everyone want to be that special in someone's life?

Sylvia W. (Sly1) - ,
Date Posted: 11/19/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 14
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I too love the tortured male/patient, nurturing female romances.  But my all time favorites, are when the H/H initially dislike each other, and verbal fireworks ensue with witty dialogue.  To me, there is no better foreplay!!!  I especially loved Lord of Scoundrels, because this kind of covered both of those plot lines.  Patricia Oliver's An Unsuitable Match is another where there is a feisty heroine.  And my all time favorite Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  I like my Heroines to be strong willed, but I like the Heros to be even stronger!

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Those are good, if the author is actually able to write witty banter, like Chase!

Date Posted: 11/19/2009 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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I like it when the H&H are friends before lovers. Usually there is some sort of emotional conflict in romances, so it is nice to see it when the conflict is external to the relationship, or is emotional, but not directly pertaining to the H&H's relationship. It's always nice to see couples that actually enjoy each others company, instead of the "I hate you, now kiss me" thing.

Loretta Chase comes to mind once again, but in Miss Wonderful. Which incidentally was my favorite of the Carsington series. I know I am alone in that, as mass opinion seems to favor the others. But I adored the fact that they actually LIKED each other.

Last Edited on: 11/19/09 9:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/22/2009 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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 I want to read about glamorous people, a complete  fantasy.  

Hot, alpha hero, a beautiful, strong heroine.   Most importantly though, I expect  to see some  out of this world attraction between the H/H,  a hero who wont cheat, a heroine who won't act like a doormat, a love that is enduring and everlasting. 

What I dont like seeing:  

People constantly saying how plain and "almost" attractive the heroine is.   The hero thinking how plain the heroine is every 10 sentences.... this just kills the chemistry for me.    I don't mind having a plain H/H ( one of my  fav romance novel has a plain heroine -  Heaven Texas by SEP)...what matters is the attraction, and most authors can't  deliver a believable sexy story using a butt ugly heroine.  lol 

Date Posted: 11/22/2009 8:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Oh I love the plain heroine  who is devloped over time and becomes beautiful to the hero for who she is inside. I really like the ugly duckling dynamic as well like in Susan Wigg's Charm School. I also recently finished Kinsale's Seize the Fire, which is now officially my second favorite Kinsale, and I really liked that dynamic.