May 12 2014 2:00pm

Spandex, Lint Rollers, and Sonnets: The Pros and Cons of Our Favorite Romance Novel Heroes

All Lined Up by Cora CarmackToday we welcome author Cora Carmack to Heroes and Heartbreakers to talk about the reality of falling for your favorite type of hero. Cora's latest, All Lined Up, launches the Rusk University series, the hero of which is a college football player. Rippling muscles, focus, and the probable chance that he will be larger than anybody that might want to hurt you is an appeal—but what about the downside? Cora, very sensibly, is weighing in on the pros and cons of our favorite types of heroes.

If there’s anything that can be said about romance readers, it’s that we know what we like. We latch onto a trope and devour every book in sight. If you’re anything like me, you go through cycles. I binge read on one type of book for several weeks (or months) on end before switching gears to something else. (In case you were wondering, I’m on the tail end of a shapeshifter romance binge. It remains to be seen what will capture my attention next).

So, with that in mind, today I’m giving some thought to the various kinds of heroes we love. Got a thing for musicians? Actors? Sports players? It’s so easy to romanticize these kinds of men because they represent a fantasy that we’ve all had at some point or another. But what about the not so romantic aspects of dating those typical heroes? I make it a habit in my books to cultivate realistic characters—the good, the bad, and the awkward. And now I’m taking that realism to our book boyfriends. And what better way to do it than with a list of pros and cons!

Football Player (or any Sports-inclined hottie really):

Pro: He's agile, strategic and can think on his feet. Plus he works out all the time, so you know his body is going to be drool-worthy.

Con: Dating a football player means dating his laundry...while those tight football pants show off his butt in a glorious way, they also smell. Like, REALLY smell.


Pro: You'll be his muse - he'll write you songs and serenade you all the time! Plus, those guitarists have some pretty talented hands. ;)

Con: Be prepared to stake your claim against hoards of groupies. Also, middle of the night jam sessions and let’s face it—musicians’ mood swings make PMS seem like a walk in the park.


Pros: He's in touch with his emotions and can recite Shakespearean sonnets on command. Acting out your own little balcony scene? So romantic.

Cons: Don't be surprised if he starts borrowing your makeup.


Pros: He's smart, kind-hearted and good with kids—the stories he can tell will crack you up and/or send your ovaries into overdrive.

Cons: The dude grades people for a living. Talk about pressure to perform.


Pros: He appreciates good lighting, and he takes beautiful candid pictures of you...

Cons:...while you're sleeping.


Pros: He's driven, determined, and passionate—seeing him get all worked up over a case gets YOU all worked up in a different way. Plus he can help you dispute that speeding ticket you've been avoiding.

Cons: Seriously, would it kill him to let you win an argument every now and then?!

Personal Trainer:

Pros: Working out is always easier with a partner! Plus, exercise releases a bunch of feel-good endorphins, which means that getting sweaty with him at the gym will usually lead to getting sweaty with him in between the sheets.



Pros: Incredible body and stamina and that captivating bad boy mystique.

Cons: What’s the point in him being mind-numbingly gorgeous if he’s always going to be bruised, bloodied, and/or swollen. You’re never going to get any good couple selfies for your Instagram.

An ACTUAL Superhero:

Pros: Superpowers, expensive cars, high-tech gadgets, a selfless nature, and good looks to boot? You'll be his damsel in distress ANY day.

Cons: I mean...he'll be wearing Spandex 24/7. And probably looking better in it than you do.

And because it’s my current obsession…


Pros: Strong, protective alpha male with a wee bit of magic and a reputation for very, ahem, passionate bedroom skills.

Cons: There will never be enough lint rollers to get your house or clothes clean. Ever.

What type of hero do you love to read about? And what pros and cons would a real relationship with him entail?


Learn more or order a copy of All Lined Up by Cora Carmack, available on May 13, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound



Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life—retail, theatre, teaching, and writing. She loves theatre, travel, and anything that makes her laugh. She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love too.

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1. Skye-Writer
I love heroes that might just live next door, the kind of guy I might actually meet in my lifetime.

Pros: he can be a hunk, he plays and works hard, works up a sweat and looks great doing so, he's good with kids and dogs and faithful as a lover.

Cons: He's sweaty half the time and yes, his clothes might get scattered everywhere, he forgets anniversaries, sometimes needs to be nagged to get the chores done. And he might be a shy lover, not so fluent with words, but what he does find a way to say, always comes from the heart.
2. Scarlettleigh
@Sky-Writer . .. Awwwwwwww.

@Cora Cormack --- cute. The only one I really fantasized about was the personal trainer and but that fantasy died a quick death - Who wants to live with exercise and diet police.

I still see the appeal of a Veterinarian especially with the number of dogs I have. As long as he didn't bring home reptiles. That would sure be an fantasy buster.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
Pros: can afford to wisk you off to fantasy places and indulge your every whim.
Con: most seem to be workaholics who don't really look all that great and are, ahem, a bit older. Prepare to do a lot of shopping by yourself.
4. wsl0612
@bungluna - from my working life I would also add as cons: most of them come with a very unrealistic attitude about money and don't understand "privilege".
5. JacquiC
I also see the appeal of a veterinarian. In fact, Cal in Meg Benjamin's Venus in Blue Jeans is one of my favourite heroes.
6. Bianca
I don't think I have a specific type. It really depends on the heroine, doesn't it?
They need to fit together somehow.
Cops/Special Agents/DAs are always nice if the heroine is at risk somehow.
If it's pure romance w/o any crime to solve, I prefer them to have less risky jobs though.
And I don't mind a nerd/geek. It's not always the incredible body (though some nerds can be hot!) that attracts women but sometimes the incredible brain instead.
The whole athlete/Rockstar/really famous actor idea can be nice, but how likely is that? Just think about how many really famous Rockstars there are out there, now subtract those that are either married or gay, then the ones who are total players and would never change and you end up with how many exactly? Maybe three. So while I know it's just a story it's still a bit far out there for me.
I've read and enjoyed some stories like that, but it is hard to make me see past the fact that it's highly unlikely to happen.
7. Cheyenne Campbell
Ha! Fun post :)

I used to fantasize about rock stars/musicians throughout my teens, and then I dated one I had on posters adorning my bedroom wall...for five years.

Let's just say that the mood swings and groupies don't even cover HALF of it. But I still dig the fictional ones. They're much happier to serenade their other halves ;) And actors.... *drool*
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