I’m not going to call out anyone specific here. The point of this post is not to shame any one particular character or author. I’m just listing out my biggest pet peeves with romance novel heroes today, and hey, if a few authors take note and decide not to write these guys into their stories, that’d be cool, too. (And just to be clear, these are not few-and-far-between romance heroes. These are guys I’ve seen in WAY too many romances.) So, without further ado, here are the top 9 romance heroes I want to see nut-punched. (Listed in no particular order)
This is the guy who delights in banging every woman within a ten mile radius of his junk, often because, you know REASONS. These reasons usually include some evil woman who has wronged him in the past, and instead of working through his emotions like a grown-up, he chooses to bang his way through the phone book. This is a guy who deserves syphilis, not a happily ever after.
Kind of off topic: It’s particularly galling for me when a manwhore ends up with a young virgin. What, it’s OK for a dude to screw around, but when he’s ready to settle down, only a virgin will do? Hell, no!
I’m totally OK with a man of few words. But the guy who won’t talk about his feelings at all? The guy who answers every question monosyllabically? I have no patience for that, I don’t want my romance novel heroines to have to put up with it, either. Use your words, gentlemen!
The “I’m angry because you made me feel stuff” guy
You know the romance hero who gets angry at the heroine and punishes her/pushes her away/is a dick to her because he finds her attractive/sexy/irresistible even though he doesn’t want to feel that way? That guy is a giant bag of dicks and I hate him.
Mr. “I need to push you away for your own good”
Romance heroes who push the heroine away because they know what’s good for her and want to protect her (rather than letting her make her own decisions like a grown-ass woman, as if she’s too dumb to take care of herself) deserve to die alone.
The restraining order waiting to happen
Stalkers aren’t sexy. That is all.
Consent. It’s a real thing. Real heroes don’t have to overpower a woman, and they don’t have to “take” what they want EVER. This includes sexual coercion and forced seduction.
Tortured heroes are fine. But the guy who spends an entire book beating himself up over something that wasn’t his fault? I have very little patience for that. Accept what happened, acknowledge your part in it, and move on. The end.
He’s a sexy, under-30 billionaire who also happens to be a rock star, a former Navy Seal, a MENSA member, a volunteer firefighter, and he runs a rescue for homeless unicorns in his spare time. He may or may not shift into a wolf once a month or so. I hate that guy! You know what real men have? (No, I’m not talking about THAT! Get your mind out of the gutter, people!) Flaws. Give me a flawed character over a paragon any day of the week. Perfect men who are great at everything don’t exist in nature.
Punishing kisses guy
The romance hero who “punishes” the heroine by kissing her in a rough, demanding way...yeah, that guy makes me violent.
What about y’all? Any romance heroes you’d like to add to this list of shame? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.