50. That is the number of romantic novels I would have at least read in my growing up teenage years. You know the Mills and Boon variety…the Julie Garwoods…and…. umm… I am bad at remembering the names of the books and …worse at remembering authors. I have really tried, but I still forget.
So, each of these stories doesn’t sound too different from the other. The romantic novel hero is highly stereotyped. I can sum up the hero in not too many words. Here is my take on the quintessential romantic novel hero:
- He will have blue eyes that light up when he smiles, which he rarely does. Perpetual frowning is more his thing. And he has to tend to so many crucial matters of concern that smiling doesn’t even occur to him.
- He will have dark curly hair that will end at the nape of the neck. His side locks will have a random grey hair or two, which signifies he is just about on the brink of adult maturity. He is no more juvenile but at the same time he still might have that youthful streak.
- He has a chiseled jaw line, over which the heroine wants to run her index finger very badly. Whenever he is angry, which he often is at heroine’s stupidity and her recklessness, he has a way of tightening that jaw.
- He will have a ripped body marred by a deep cut or a scar here and there, that signifies some sad story or turbulence in past. The heroine will have this inexorable need, an inadvertent itch to run her fingers over that scar, as if doing that will make it disappear magically. Talk about drama.
- Most probably, the hero will be in his early thirties. This means that he has gathered all kinds of experiences and slept with enough no. of women to exactly know his type. He will know exactly what kind of a woman he has saved his heart for. The probability of that very kind of woman crossing his path becomes higher as he enters his 30s.
- The hero will always put on an act that the existence of the heroine, doesn’t affect him. I-am-a-tough-guy thing keeps playing itself in his head again and again and tough guys don’t have time for frivolous things like love.
- But try hard as he might, ‘that’ woman will come along, and slowly make inroads in his messed up life and challenge the very core of his existence.
- The hero will have an insatiable need to tame this feisty young woman, who is arrogant, speaks her mind, and doesn’t care what the stature of our hero is when she is talking to him.
- Often the story will throw our hero into situations where he will prove to be a knight in shining armour to the lady.
- Oh and did I tell you, the hero in books will be either insanely rich, or will belong to the royal family or on the other extreme he will be extremely hardworking and poor with truck loads of self respect and morals.
- Needless to say, hero will be very hesitant with regards to his feelings. He will resist his feelings towards this woman for the longest time, even banish them and dismiss the very thought of them. You know tough men don’t believe in expressing and all that jazz.
- Though he will always appear to be heartless in front of our heroine, he will do sweet little things for the poor, desolate and the needy. The woman will find this out through some situations and this will make her heart melt and make her go weak in the knees.
- After banishing his feelings for too long, he will still find himself to be helpless in front of this feisty woman and will ache to take her to bed. He would have already stolen a few passionate, soul melting kisses once a while to know what more could be in store only if he lets go, but the situation, the twists and turns in the story will make sure that this woman is nothing but a forbidden fruit and this alliance will look impossible in his head.
- Then finally after much anguish, he will let lose his safely guarded control and make out oh-so-passionately with this woman only to stop short of the final act. This happens in all novels, they all make out so so passionately, and only to stop in the nick of time when sense suddenly finds them. This almost-been-there-but-didn’t-f*** act will leave them highly frustrated and will leave the heroines panting for more. Obviously, to cool himself, he will head straight away for a cold shower.
- The same hero, who was so hot and giving and so passionate a while back, will emerge from the bathroom with all-cool-and-mean demeanor and hurt that woman with his I-just-got-carried-away attitude.
- As you guessed it right, finally a dramatic climax in the story will ensure that the hero acknowledges his feelings and expresses them to the heroine at the most inopportune time, when there are other pressing matters needing his urgent attention.
So here it is. I have made it simple for all of you. You might as well just change the name of the hero in a novel and read it all over again thinking you are reading a different story. Because that’s how it really is. I had super fun writing this, this made me nostalgic and took me back in time when I used to devour these books. Hope you all had as much fun reading this.