I’ve been seeing a lot of references to “book boyfriends” recently and I like that description because whenever I read a book with romance in it, I want to fall in love with the hero as if he were a potential boyfriend. If I don’t, either the author hasn’t done her job in describing him in an appealing way or he’s just not my type. And if I don’t fall in love, I don’t like the book, simple as that.
Falling in love with the hero is essential – as readers we have to get why the heroine likes him so much otherwise we’ll think she’s stupid falling for him. He doesn’t have to be perfect and/or massively good-looking, and flaws can be appealing and add to his character, but he has to have something that makes us attracted to him. Sometimes this isn’t immediately apparent but dawns on you as the story progresses.
I’m sure we all have favourite types of hero/book boyfriends and mine is definitely the bad boy and/or rebel. I think it always has been although I can’t remember the first time I realised that. Possibly it was because I was never much of a rebel myself at school and the bad boys (and girls) always seemed to have more fun! I don’t mean the nasty kind of bad boy, but the ones who are supposedly bad but maybe cheeky with it, or with a big heart that they don’t want anyone to know they possess. Or a rebel who fights for those who are weaker than him, helping them, but doesn’t want others to realise.
Strong, quiet and independent is a good combination. Like Owen Armstrong in Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen or Finn McPherson from Gill-Marie Stewart’s Music & Lies. I also have a soft spot for Jace from Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Jacob from Twilight, although I could list quite a few others. They have to have a sense of humour and not be up themselves, even if they know they’re good at something or handsome or whatever.
Do these kind of guys exist in real life? I’m not sure, so thank goodness for book boyfriends!
Who is your favourite?