How to employ your hero…

So, I’m doing  a major re-think of my heroes in both of the rough drafts that I recently finished, including their jobs.  In romance novels, it seems like the heroine can have just about any job or none at all, but heroes have more limitations in terms of employment…

Popular hero employment in romance novels:

  • Construction – a hero typically owns the construction company or runs it, preferably with his hot brothers.  Regardless, he’s never the low man on the totem pole.  But, he still knows how to work his tools and often slings on a tool-belt (which hangs low on his hips) to help with the work.
  • Police – If you’re reading a mystery romance novel, then there’s a damn good chance that the hero is a cop.  But generally, he’s not just a patrol officer, this stud is at least a detective – with a sexy shoulder holster – raaaaawr.  Extra points if he’s a FBI agent, has a gruff voice, sexy stubble, or a secret mushy side.
  • Spy – oh yes!  Like you even need to ask! :p
  • Military – Of course.  Extra points if he’s a ranger, fighter pilot, or a seal.  Extra, extra points if he’s got aviator sunglasses, stubble, and a tan.
  • CEO or Heroine’s Boss – You can’t get far into the romance genre without coming across a CEO or boss romance.  Ugh.  I’m not really a fan.  Why?  Well, when was the last time you saw a single, hot, fit, CEO/boss with a full head of hair and sexy stubble? NEVER! Talk about fiction. 🙂

*Side note:  If you are a fit, single, sexy, full head of hair CEO and are annoyed with me, I say this:  Why are you mad?  You’ve won the life lottery.  Go count your money and brush your hair.  :p

  • Billionaire playboy – bitch, please.  Of course this is a suitable occupation in romance novels.
  • Doctor – Yes, especially if he’s a surgeon.  If this is your hero, he’s got to have long, probing fingers….but no calluses.
  • Thief – Yep.  It kind of seems counter-intuitive, especially alongside billionaires, CEOs, owners of businesses, and cops….but it’s still rather popular as long as he: 1) has plenty of witty banter, 2) a dashing smile, 3) eyes that can see into the heroine’s soul, 4) plans to go legit…oh, and did I mention sexy stubble?
  • Politician – Ugh.  You can try, but it will be messy.  Just remember how low Congress’ approval rating is…
  • Random Office Worker – Well, this is the category that most of us fall into.  Pencil pushers, was what my grandmother used to say.  There are a few heroes that fall into this category, but there could be more.  Writing opportunity here, people. 😉  Your hero could be an accountant..or, better yet, the hero could be the heroine’s underling. 🙂 Don’t knock it! It might be nice to change-up the typical romance tropes….maybe that’s what I’ll do with my romance novel heroes or maybe not.  I’ll just keep you guessing.  :p

And hey, you can always buck the trends of the romance novel industry and make your hero have any job… That’s the beauty of being the author, you get to build whatever you want. 🙂

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19 thoughts on “How to employ your hero…”

    1. Well, in my first and weaker rough story, I don’t clarify what he does for a living. I alluded to him being a thief and started off thinking of him as one. And then the story took a sharp turn and now I don’t know what he should do. To be fair, he was the hero in my first finished book, so he did suffer a bit of an identity crisis, as I tweaked and fiddled with the story.

      In the second story, I gave my hero maybe too many interests/jobs. So I’m thinking of going with owner of small construction company, since it fits better with the story’s premise and also because guys who know how to build/fix things are awesome. 🙂

      In short – editing is painful. :p

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      1. LOL! Yes, it is for sure. How about if they have more than one job? Such as a construction worker by day and a musician in a bar band by night? So the one with the thief, is that a bad boy romance?

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  1. Love this! Well, the military, police and thief positions are my favorites – I simply can’t stand rich boys in my romance. But hey, how about ranchers, aka the hot cowboys? By the way, do I sense a certain preference for sexy stubble, or was it just my imagination? 😀

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    1. Oh excellent point on ranchers and cowboys…totally forgot about them. Also left out vampires, as that’s not really a job.

      As to your question…who doesn’t have an affinity for sexy stubble? 😉

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      1. Can’t argue with that 😀
        And no, vampires don’t count as a job. I wish other writers could get this… I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen a vampire hero, and I keep wondering where on Earth he gets his funds, when there is no job announced…

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      2. And vampires are really tricky since they live for such a long time. Billionaire playboy vampire doesn’t make sense after a few hundred years. :p I’d love to see some vampire fiction where the vampire has an office job for the last 70 years…would be amusing :p

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      3. Hehehe. Most likely a romantic comedy…maybe Human Resources can lecture the vampire hero about the inappropriateness of his asking ladies if he can suck their blood. :p hehe

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