Hot as Hades?
I have to admit, when reviews started coming in for Persephone talking about how hot Hades is, I was shocked. I don’t know why I was shocked, I described Hades as drool-worthy, and my mental image of him certainly counts as hot, but the idea that I’d written a guy that readers claimed to be in love with/obsessed with was just insane to me! In a good way. I love those reviews 🙂
So what makes a hero in a fiction book hot? Here’s what my readers seem to like:
Minimal (good looking) description. Let’s face it, what readers can conjure up in their heads is much more enticing than words on a page. All I said about Hades was that he looked good, had black hair, electric blue-eyes, an angular face, skin that could have been carved from marble (What? He’s a Greek god, I had to pay homage to all those statues somehow), is tall, and that he had a strong build.
That’s it. And that description didn’t pop up all in one place. It was peppered over chapters, one or two details would repeat, hair and eye color mostly, but that’s all I wrote. There are a billion different ways Hades could actually look based on those descriptions. Tall for instance is largely a matter of perspective. Persephone mentioned barely clearing 5 feet (my height), to me there’s not a huge difference between someone who is 5’6 and 6’5. When you’re already craning your neck to look up at someone a foot doesn’t make that much of a difference. But I’m willing to wager my readers that are 5’6 picture someone taller than they are.
I’ve seen writers over-do it. I’ve read characters who were 6’2 1/2 inches, with hair the color of burnt umber paint by Blic Art, oil #3541. They get slammed for it to in reviews. I had a writer friend (who to be clear did NOT over-do the description of his character to that degree, or any degree actually) get a two-star review because the reader didn’t like facial hair.
On the other hand, don’t under-do it. I remember being shocked in book 4 of the Left Behind series when the writer casually mentioned Buck was blond. For some reason I’d pictured him to be like Kirk Cameron. His description might have included that earlier, but not often enough for me to not be jerked out of the book when that detail was dropped. I remember a bunch of other people mentioning that to, so it wasn’t just me. Have you ever series a book pronouncing the characters name one way, then heard the author say it another? It’s jarring, and for me, it ruins that character forever because I actually get stressed when I see there name on the page because I know I’m reading it “wrong” but habit is hard to break.
A reader’s imagination is a powerful thing. Leave them the room to picture their dream guy, but give them something to picture.
Over protective tendencies:
I don’t know what this says about me as a woman, and I don’t particularly care. Guys that try to protect their significant others are hot.
Unless of course they go so far as to disable the protagonists car so she can’t leave her house to visit the neighborhood warehouse, mentally stalk her, or watch her while she sleeps without her knowing. That’s just creepy.
For some reason anger plays really well into overprotectiveness. When someone tries to hurt the main character and the hero gets really, really mad, that’s very attractive. Not sure why, and again, there is a delicate balance, but if the goodreads status updates are any indication, angry Hades scenes make my readers happy, and tend to be my favorite moments in the book.
Barriers This is one I love in books and movies but hate in real life. When the guy is rude, and condescending, and hard to read to everyone except the main character who breaks through his cool tough guy exterior. She’s the only one who can really understand him, and boy do the two of them share some biting one-liner arguments as they argue/build up sexual tension. Often there’s a scary darkness to these characters that they want to leave behind to be worthy of the main character, who appreciates their darkness because it reflects a side of themselves they’re afraid to express.
There’s an element of that to Hades, though he at least is also portrayed as a nice guy to everyone with sarcastic tendencies. See, in real life, these guys would be so irritating that to me it wouldn’t be worth dating them. But for some reason that borderline-condescending sarcasm with all the dark layers of wounded whateverness is really attractive in fiction.
Describe your favorite fictional hot hero and what you like about them.How do they fit into the big three trends of hot heroes I’ve mentioned above? Did I leave out any trends you’ve noticed? Comment below for a chance to win your choice of one of my books and of course keep hopping for more chances to win a Barnes and Noble Gift Card!
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50 thoughts on “Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop”
I think Torment from Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille fits. The way he’s written/described will never equal me dreaming him up in my head, he’s insanely over protective, to a fault, making him much hotter than ever and he definitely doesn’t act like a jerk to everyone except the main character. He’s an all around hot, bad ass man! email@example.com thanks for the giveaway!
You’re welcome! Ooh, I need to read that!
Griff Muir from Damon Suede’s HOT HEAD is an m/m hero, but a lot of this applies. He is fiercely protective of his best friend (and secret unrequited love) Dante, and sometimes rushes in to save him without thinking. The physical details given are few (big guy with pale, flawless skin and red hair), but they are distinctive. It takes a long time for him to reveal the tender emotions he has.
M/m heroes definitely apply. They are still heroes and love interests, after all. It’s a fun genre. My writer’s group has two writer’s that write m/m fiction and m/m erotica, Adrian Wilder and Michael Rupured. You should check out some of the heroes they’ve created 🙂
I like a little bit of description but yeah, physically speaking I like to leave things to my imagination instead of stereotyping 🙂
justjanhvi at gmail dot com
The imagination is so much more vivid. I’ve noticed even when characters are described to the nth degree, 9 different reader’ will still imagine 9 different characters.
thanks for the wonderful giveaway!
I think Acheron from the Dark Hunters fits those trends though not as much rude that is more like Zarek but. what I do love is that they are protect to a fault, stubborn, sarcasm is a big plus for me. Something about that sarcastic tone is just so sexy to me.
Me too. I’d hate it in real life, but in books I love it.
Thanks for the great giveaway!
I like a bit of description, but then I let my imagination take over.
Thanks for the giveaway.
skpetal at hotmail dot com
You’re welcome. And I agree. I think that’s the best way to write heroes.
Eric Northman. I am sure what I picture in my head is different than what Charlaine Harris pictures. He can be overprotective of Sookie and He certainly can be rude and condescending.
He’s popped up on in these comments a few times! I’ve only read the first Truu blood and watched an episode or two of the show (both great, just not for me) and I’m curious, does having an on-screen version impact what you get to imagine? For those of you who read the books before the show and now have the show, which version do you “see” now?
I agree with you that protective men are hot. I like a man with manners too. He can have a real tough side but sensitive and protective the ones he loves. sonsethues at yahoo dot com
I like Eric Northman, and he also fit into the cathegories: his description is minimal, but enough to imgine him hot,. he’s really protective, and although has few to no barriers, when it comes to Sookie, he doesn’t force himself on her, although he’s strong enough for that and he definitely wants her.
spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com
My hot hero is my fiance she is the most amazing women a guy can have, She has been their for me through thick and thin, supporting me, loving me for who i am and not for what i have. That is a hot hero to me someone that looks at you for who you are not for who you aren’t. firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s possibly one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read. YOU belong in a book 🙂
Yes, I like a description.
magic5905 at embarqmail dot com
But how detailed a description?
Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series is one of my favorites.
He can be a bit overprotective.
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com
You’re welcome! Funny how that over protective thing comes off so well in fiction. Outside of a book I think I’d find it irritating but inside a book I love it
I think you’re spot on….when I started thinking of some of my faves (Curran from Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death) the rules held.
Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com
Thank you, and you’re welcome. Love the In Death series!
I love Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster and he definitely fits into the trends you described.
I’ll have to check that one out
Zarek from Dance with the Devil fits in the three trends you mentioned and I’ve reread that book so many times.
bituin76 at hotmail dot com
I love books that never get old no matter how many times you read them 🙂
For me an hero must be persistant, loyal and protective ( but not controling) nothing is more hot than that
That not controlling thing is a place I’ve noticed a lot of writers have trouble
Zsadist; he’s caring
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
You are right; I like to create my own image. I do like my heroes tall and have been quite disappointed when the author has come back and said something about him being 6′ tall, which to me isn’t particularly tall. My image of him being drool-worthy was gone in a millisecond. Some details are great: height (tall, hair color, eye color, build, etc.). Otherwise, let me sculpt him. My brain does a might fine job. It’s always amazing to see the differing standards of “handsome.” I think it’s great, but only when it doesn’t ruin my perfect book. That’s why movies can’t ever get things right. email@example.com
Agreed! Height is a funny thing anyway. To me 5’4 and up is tall because I’m so short. It’s all relative
As a reader, I commit a sin to not imagine the writer’s description. like my favorite Roarke, I tend to ignore his long hair. I like a clean cut hair, personal taste. But that not makes me imagine Roarke less hot ;p
shinigami_light @ ymail.com
I don’t think that’s a sin at all. I’m sure people picture Hades different than I’ve described him
yeah. I’m as a reader sometimes just ignore the description. Forgive us, but we love the story….
I do the same thing, lol
maybe we’ll be rot in writer’s hell together? glad I’m not the only one ;p
Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series is my perfect hero! Strong, fierce and loves hard! Thanks for the great hop!
ehaney578 at aol dot com
I really like Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster just reading this one and loving it also love Nicole Edwards books so good can’t pick just one. What a great blog hop I love Alpha males who are strong and protective. Thank you for the great giveaway!
Hi! Great post, i do love all three, but i do tend to go more for the males with protectiveness. I love alpha heros! Kinda why i stick more to Shayla Black, Laurann Dohner, Lora Leigh, Diana Palmer, etc. 🙂 Thank you for sharing and for the awesome hop & giveaways!
There is something about the alpha male 🙂
I really like Aiden from the Covenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout and Dean Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Both of them are so swoon worthy..and pretty attractive in my mind. xD
Thank you for the giveaway too!
I need to read that one. It keeps popping up on my amazon recommends