My Top 5 To-Die-For Romantic Heroes by Patience Bloom
As a romance editor, I sometimes find myself mulling over my favorite heroes from 25 years of dating. I never did date the rock star, the mogul, or Jane Austen’s brainchild, but my top five dream heroes provided that extra boost:
Any Harrison Ford Character: A complex man with a sense of adventure—and so irresistible he could seduce a deeply religious woman in Witness. A savvy businessman, yet sensitive enough to offer Melanie Griffith herbal tea in Working Girl. Where does one sign up? Maybe I didn’t want to fight on a plane or go to the Temple of Doom, but a multi-faceted hero like Han Solo went a long way.
Duran Duran: What is it about men with eyeliner and fedoras, or rockers in general, that make them so swoon-worthy? I have no idea but this love has endured over 30 years. The 80s rocker seemed the most heroic, the most handsome and soulful of any artist to me. And I wasn’t fussy—I just wanted to marry John Taylor (or Simon Le Bon or Nick Rhodes—okay, all of them).
Lord Beta, i.e. Bingley, Bill Pullman or Hugh Grant from Notting Hill: Isn’t it nice when your date is nice to you? He takes you out, thinks you’re the cat’s pajamas, and you don’t feel any pain? You never get that call to pick him up from jail. He shares his Oreos and brings you chicken soup when you’re sick. Lord Beta can be a sweetheart, as long as he has some edge.
Mr. Darcy: He is that better-than-you-ever-imagined hero—impossible to fathom, handsome, smart, has true goodness along with some well-maintained baggage. When I read Pride and Prejudice as a teen, I didn’t think this hero existed. Decades later, he was still my ideal. But I realized that true love often arrived in unexpected ways. One usually expects Mr. Darcy now that he’s in such demand.
Mr. X is the hero you don’t plan for, the guy right under your nose, or far away who winds up on your doorstep. He may not be your type, in that you need a completely new category for him. You had no idea anyone could be this amazing. Mr. X seemed the most interesting to me for the sole reason that his identity was a mystery.
And Mr. X is absolutely the hero I wound up marrying.
Since writing Romance Is My Day Job (did I mention it’s out in time for Valentine’s Day?), I’ve had the chance to do a thorough inventory on those outstanding heroes, the ones who inspire a person on the search for true love. Now, I will always bet on Mr. X. He’s the one I didn’t count on, but the one who keeps me believing in great love.
Patience Bloom is the author of Romance Is My Day Job (out now from Dutton) and a senior editor for Harlequin Books since 1997. She lived in Connecticut, Ohio, France, and New Mexico before moving to New York City and the wild world of romance publishing. Patience found her Prince Charming in her forties, which shows that, as in Harlequin’s novels, true love can strike at any time.
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