However, something that transcends these differences between are heroes are the type of heroes they are. A few weeks ago, I posted over at my place, Renee's Book Addiction about a couple of my favorite hero types, the Misfit and the Smart Ass. Since writing that post, I've been thinking a lot about the kinds of heroes that I enjoy reading about.
Here are a few more hero types that I really love:
The Smart Ass
The Smart Ass hero is another independent type. He has loads of confidence and a strong independent streak.
He usually has a sense of humor (though not always appropriate). Often, he gets the best lines, using everyone around them as the straight man. And, he's typically extremely intelligent. (Brains=Sexy.) Usually, their mouth gets ahead of their better judgment (or they ignore it all-together) and they wind up in situations that are so fun to read about!
One of my favorite scenes with a smart ass hero, is in Natural Born Charmer, when Dean first meets Blue as she's walking down a rural road in a beaver costume. Their dialog, their separate internal monologues, and the circumstances make up one of my favorite scenes in a book.
Some of my favorite Smart Ass Heroes: Izzy Zanella (Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann); Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher); Dean Robillard (Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips); Cal Leandros (pictured on right) (Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman).
The Tortured Hero
This is a man who has been through hell and back. He has darkness in his soul and needs the love of a good woman or man to heal him. One thing I love about a tortured hero is that if his story is done well, there is lots of character growth as he opens up to his significant other. One of my favorite tortured hero scenes is in To Seduce a Sinner when it's revealed what Vale, who was tortured while a prisoner of war, needs to do to feel safe when he sleeps at night. My heart hurt when I read that scene.
Some of my favorite Tortured Heroes: Zadist (Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward); Lord Ian Mackenzie (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley); Viscount Vale (To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt); Belimai Sykes (Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale).
The Guy Next Door/Caretaker
Originally when I started writing this post, this was 2 separate hero types. But, they had so many qualities in common, I just had to bring them together. These are the guys that you can bring home to mom. The ones that you go to when you get into a jam or need a shoulder to lean on. Yet, they are never boring, and usually someone you would want to hang out with on a Saturday night (watching a DVD and eating popcorn).
Right now, I'm re-reading the Adrien English Mysteries (getting ready for Dark Tide!), and one thing I'm noticing is how people are drawn to Adrien. For all his drama with Jake and assorted murders, he is the port in the storm for his sister, for Claude, and for Angus.
Some of my favorite Guys Next Door/Caretakers: Adrien English (pictured on right) (Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon); Cam Rohan (Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas); Jeremy Danvers (Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong); Lord John Grey (Outlander & Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon), Devil Cynster (Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens); David Cooke (Happy Ending by LB Gregg).
The Reformed Rake
This is an old favorite of mine. Some of the first romances I read were Regencies (Barbara Cartland, anyone?) where rakes were thick on the ground. I love reading about a jaded, cynical hero is slowly transformed by their love, and allows himself to be vulnerable. Also, there is usually a great grovel when the hero realizes the error of his ways.
In Scandal, Banallt has already reformed when the book opens. Seeing how he struggles to convince Sophie that he has truly changed (and is not just trying to get her into bed) makes for such compelling reading.
Some of my favorite Reformed Rakes: St Vincent (Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas); James Durham, Viscount Sanburne (Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran); Banallt (Scandal by Carolyn Jewel); Dain (Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase).
I have a total soft-spot for the misfit hero. A few reasons I love them? They walk their own path, regardless of what everyone else is doing or expecting of them. They’re usually loners, which makes their connection with their significant other really meaningful. And, what often sets them apart is that their intelligence. (Again, Brains=Sexy in my book.)
My favorite recent misfit revelation was in Men of the Otherworld. I LOVED hearing Clay's voice in this anthology. After his being in so many previous Otherworld books, it was great to really "get" why he is so out of step with everyone around him, including the other members of his pack.
Some of my favorite Misfit Heroes: Dave Malkoff (Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann); Wildcard Karmody (Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann); Clay Danvers (Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong); Victor Bayne (pictured on right) (PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price).
A man of mystery, I'm typically turning the pages as fast as I can to discover what I can about this guy. His past tends to be murky, and sometimes discovering what he is is (Jericho, Dante) part of the mystery. Usually, his motives are questionable, and it's not always clear whether his actions are in the significant other's best interests. When he gets close to his love interest, he must reveal parts of himself that he never allows anyone to see.
In Zero at the Bone, D opens himself to Dr Jack, and small acts which most people would take for granted, are monumental acts of bravery for D. These scenes are so emotionally charged and fraught with significance, that I had a lump in my throat when I read them.
Some of my favorite Enigmas: Jericho Z Barrons (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning); Dante (The Maker's Song series by Adrian Phoenix); Jack Winter (Black London series by Caitlin Kittredge); Jack (Nadia Stafford series by Kelley Armstrong), D (pictured on right) (Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville).
Well, these are some of my favorite hero types. I deliberately avoided the Alpha and Beta (and, even Gamma) hero in this discussion, because any of these individual heroes can be an alpha or a beta hero. For example, both Zadist and Lord Ian are tortured heroes, but their individual personalities (and how they've reacted to their respective abusive experiences) are extremely different.
What are some of your favorite hero types?
Please join me tomorrow for my last visit of 2009 to the Island.