|Jean Donet, comte de Saintonge|
Rogues Who Make Readers Sigh by Regan Walker
I like my heroes to be alpha males, manly men who know how to take care of themselves (and the heroine, of course). They might appear to be rogues but, in their hearts, they are vulnerable to the woman they would love.
I don’t care if my heroes dress like dandies. I just don’t want them to be dandies.
The heroes in the Georgian romances, the Donet Trilogy, and in my Regency series, the Agents of the Crown, are all alpha males. Same with those bold knights in my Medieval Warriors series.
Want to meet one?
In Echo in the Wind, book 2 in the Donet Trilogy, you'll meet a striking example.
Here’s the way the heroine, Lady Joanna West, initially sees Jean Donet, comte de Saintonge, captain of his own ship, and a former pirate and privateer, now a smuggler:
Curious about the criteria for my heroes? Here’s my checklist for writing rogues who make readers sigh:
1. Make him handsome, preferably a bit rugged. A scar wouldn’t go amiss. And make him sexy, the way he walks, his dominating presence as he enters a room, the way he looks around like he owns the place.
2. Give him an edge. Could be bitterness from his past, an attitude from being wronged by a woman, a temper, or a confidence from having proven himself in a test. A touch of the dangerous. A smirk that says the world—and the woman he wants—are his.
3. Make him manly, athletic or at least able to handle himself in a fight. A few weapons on his person, a knife in a boot, a pistol hidden from view, make him seem lethal. Even better if, added to that, he’s respected by other men.
4. Make him arrogant (at first). He knows what he wants and lacks no confidence that he can get it. No beta males need apply.
5. Give him a soft underbelly, love for an animal (his horse?), or perhaps a soft heart for a kid. An orphan is even better. And, of course, eventually he must have a weakness for the heroine (which, all things considered, will bother him the most).
6. Give him an obstacle to overcome, a title to regain, a mystery to solve or a dangerous mission. Make it important.
7. Make him slow to see that he needs a good woman in his life. He must come to the knowledge he can’t live without the heroine, but not too quickly, lest we think he’s a pushover. The bigger the rogue, the harder he’ll fall.
8. Make him reluctant to admit he is wrong (he’s a guy, after all).
9. Tell us how wonderful he is but only through the eyes of others.
10. Make him good at making love. If he’s new at it, make him a natural.
See The Donet Trilogy, the Agents of theCrown and the Medieval Warriors on my website.