Creating Sexy Heroes, Inside & Out
What makes a hero sexy really depends on the reader, not the author. As the author, I can choose what is sexy to me, but I'm one person. If I choose what's sexy to readers, that's thousands of folks who get a dose of yummy!
So while my hero, Sam Fields, in my Romantic Suspense An Eye For Danger is definitely sexy to me, I used various traits to help him be sexy to you, the reader. Sure, I made him tall, muscular and tough, with all-American handsome features akin to a guy in an Outdoor magazine article. He's that rough-around the collar cop with a wicked sense of humor. A man even other men would want to have a beer with.
SEXY IS NOT JUST ON THE OUTSIDE
More than this, I made him internally sexy by giving him 3 important (and very human) traits: 1) a deep desire to love and be loved, because we all want that; 2) redeem-ability of his negative side, despite how far he's gone (this requires the power of self-awareness); and 3) the source of light to help heal the heroine's heart. In other words, a flawed bad boy with a soft heart.
Sam's character has grown dark after years of undercover work. Even when he worked "above cover" he was betrayed by his partner and his wife and lost his remaining family in the 9/11 tragedy. This is not a man who trusts easily, if at all, and he's self-destructive in relationships. So he's a hero because he can save the day, but he's still a cut-and-run kind of guy.
EVERY MAN WANTS LOVE
However, Sam deeply WANTS to be in love and be loved. He wants to be "the one" right man to a woman, not just find "the one" right woman for himself. He longs for loyalty, stability, that depth of love and trust. He just thinks such rewards are for other people.
When he meets the heroine, Jules Larson, under duress, Sam realizes she has the same beliefs. She's cut herself off from the world and given up that dream of true love. Again, that's something that happens to "other people." Not only does Sam call her out on her negative attitude, saying she's living "like she's already dead," he pushes her toward finding a desire to live again, to control her panic attacks, to pursue happiness and friendships. To find someone and fall in love. In Jules he sees hope. Hell, if he can't find happiness, maybe she can.
So, despite the terrible moves Sam makes early in the novel, treating everyone (including Jules) like they are disposable in his fight against law enforcement corruption, we WANT to give him a second chance. He's fighting against the bad guys, so we cut him slack. But his wrongs against Jules...well, that is another story. He's teaching her the same lessons of distrust and betrayal he's experienced. How could he do that to her?!! Again and again, she's risked her neck to save him and to save his case. To do what's right. Just the kind of honorable person he didn't believe existed anymore. That's harder to redeem.
EVEN BAD BUYS CAN REDEEM THEMSELVES
Almost too late, Sam realizes his mistake, and we see him change directions. He can't and won't risk Jules' life. Even if he has to lose his own head in the process of protecting hers. Hence, he goes after the bad guy with a vengeance and puts Jules into protective custody till he can get her into Witness Protection Program. He'll never see her again, but he'll know she's safe.
Sam's willingness to lay down his life to care for another human being, no questions asked and no strings attached, makes him highly redeemable. Moreover, his ability to put her happiness and future above his own proves he's capable of love again, capable of hope. He's redeemed his own beliefs, which makes him redeem-able in our eyes.
But saving Jules' life from bad guys, and from herself, is not quite enough to make us drool over him. After all, a guy's gotta have something to offer. He has to be a source of light too.
And Sam's got that in spades. Sam can make Jules laugh, can make her knees go weak in bed, can see deep into her soul and reflect back to her what makes her so special. Even in dark times, he's playful, adventurous, curious, and finds happiness in small acts of kindness. That's just the kind of guy most of us would want as a friend and even a lover!
So what do you think makes a hero sexy?
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win a $10 gift card to Amazon AND a free copy of my book, An Eye For Danger. Good luck!"
When former war photographer Jules Larson braves a panic attack to jog beyond her five-block safety zone in Central Park, she runs right into a murder scene. Jules finds herself caught between a persistent NYPD Detective, Stone McCarthy, and the rogue undercover cop, Sam Fields, who both vie for her affections at any cost.
But Jules can’t grow too close to Sam, even when his touch melts her armor, or accept Stone’s increasing advances, even though he's twice the gentleman Sam is, for fear either man might discover her true role in her fiancé’s death.
Christine M. Fairchild, aka the Editor Devil, is a former journalist with 25 years' experience as a writer/editor, from technical to marketing to exec communications to entertainment. She specializes in "tactical" editing and storytelling techniques for authors, offering writing tips and tricks at http://Editor Devil.blogspot.com and through her Editor Devil Guides. She's currently working on book II of The Goliath Conspiracy series, a follow-up to her popular debut romantic suspense, An Eye For Danger
You can follow Christine at:
http://EditorDevil.blogspot.com for free writing tips & tricks
BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
An Eye For Danger
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-eye-for-danger-christine-fairchild/1113917840
All Romance eBooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-aneyefordanger-1057492-152.html
The Editor Devil's Guide to DIALOGUE (http://amzn.com/B007K1PZZC)
The Editor Devil's Guide to CHARACTERS (http://www.amzn.com/B007PTQKXA)