It got me thinking, because the answer is: Mostly, yes.
Without exception my heroes are hottest men on two legs. They have broad shoulders, tight butts, and smiles that can melt a woman to a puddle. Their masculinity, beauty and vigour are never in doubt. After all, these are my ideal fantasy men. :-)
Want an example? Here’s how Mitch from HER IRRESISTIBLE PROTECTOR is described when Tash answers the knock on her front door:
Officer Mitchell King stared back at her like some upright holy warrior. From the top of his close-cut blond hair to the tips of his scrubbed-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives boots. Even out of uniform he looked like he should be wearing one. Everything about him shouted clean-cut hero—the strong square jaw, the not quite even teeth and the direct blue of his eyes. A man on a mission. A man who knew right from wrong. No shades of grey here, thank you very much.
There’s a lot a reader can unpick from that description, but one thing is clear—Mitch is masculinity personified.
As a rule, these are the kind of characters we find in romances, but there are exceptions.
What about LADY OF QUALITY by Georgette Heyer? The heroine describes the hero as one of the ugliest men she’s ever met. It doesn’t stop him from also being the one man who can make her laugh and feel alive. She isn’t the kind of woman to be swayed by physical beauty or she’d have been married long ago. So the hero has to use his wit and intelligence to win her over.
Then there’s Liz Fielding’s THE BRIDESMAID’S REWARD with its plus-size heroine who is desperately trying to lose weight before her sister’s wedding. Her struggles touched a chord with me…and probably hundreds, if not thousands, of other women. A woman that many would describe as “fat” discovers her own beauty and comes to accept the love of a seriously hot hero. A hero who appreciates her for who she is… who finds her irresistible.
I love these stories. I love them for their quirkiness and I love that they force the characters to address any self-esteem issues they may have and to grow. I love that these stories refuse to package beauty up into a neat little box, but explore the greater meaning of beauty. I love these stories because truly heroic souls, who are often overshadowed by those more physically beautiful who surround them, win happiness and that once in a lifetime love.
So, tell me, do you enjoy a romance where the heroes and heroines may not be necessarily beautiful by society’s standards? Do you enjoy reading stories with plus-size heroines? And, if so, let me know if you have any favourite books exploring these themes because I’d love to read them? :-)
Her Irresistible Protector is on the shelves now!
"Are you here to arrest me, Officer King?"
When Officer Mitchell King--her ex and the only guy Tash Buckley has ever loved--arrives on her doorstep, claiming she needs his protective custody, Tash is more concerned by the heart-fluttering, pulse-racing effect he still has on her!
Confined to Mitch's beachside cabin, Tash finds it increasingly difficult to resist her delicious protector...