Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: Character Qualities

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Character Qualities

What hero qualities do you look for when you read a romance? Let's go a little further, what qualities do you like to see in your heroine?

I love the alpha hero, but the kind who has a vulnerability. When I read a romance I want to live vicariously through the heroine.

What was the first romance that hooked you? What are a few on your keeper shelves?
Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rodgers and I was hooked. Johanna Lindsey, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Lori Foster.....

What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why. Ulterior motives. I want to add to my mountain of a TBR pile LOL! Believe it or not, I read my first Susan Elizabeth Philips last year for the first time and WOW!

Everyone who answers will have their name put in a hat/can/Wal-Mart bag or whatever else is handy and I'll draw a winner for a copy of one of my avaivable books--winners choice.


Jennifer Y. said...

-What hero qualities do you look for when you read a romance?
I like a variety of heroes. It all depends on what I am in the mood to read...sometimes I want an alpha and sometimes I don't. Almost all of the heroes that I like share at least one or two qualities such as intelligence, strength, and wit.

-What qualities do you like to see in your heroine?
Like with the hero, I like a variety of heroines. However, I usually prefer witty and intelligent heroines who could stand on their own. They aren't entirely dependent on the hero.

-What was the first romance that hooked you?
Julie Garwood's For the Roses was the first romance that I read. After it I was hooked.

-What are a few on your keeper shelves?
Authors include: Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn, Karen Kelley, Johanna Lindsey, Sandy Blair, Linda Lael Miller, Lorraine Heath, Anna DeStefano, Lucy Monroe, and many more!!!

-What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why?
There were so many, it would be hard to pick just one so I will list a few:
A Man in a Kilt by Sandy Blair: I loved this book. It was a time travel book where the heroine goes back in time. I loved the humor in the book and having a hunky hero in a kilt didn't hurt.
A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair: I loved the humor and emotional aspects of this book. It made me laugh and cry.
The Naked Duke by Sally Mackenzie: I loved the humor in this book.

I hope I answered your questions! I love your books btw!

-Jennifer Y.

snowflake said...

For heroes, I look for integrity, compassion, hidden vulnerabilities, sensuality, devotion, the ability to put the heroine's pleasure before his own. For heroine, intelligence, spirit, resilience, innately passionate and caring.

The first romance that hooked me was Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught. Others on the keeper shelf are the Sherrilyn Kenyon dark hunter novels, Then Came You and Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas, Secret Fire by Johanna Lindsey, The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn, It Had To Be You by SEP.

What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why.
Shi's Mythe and Magick anthology. I like all the three novellas inside, steamy and emotional.

Karen Kelley said...

Jennifer Y,
Thanks so much for your answers. Sandy Blair is a friend and I love her writing. I've read all her books.

Karen Kelley said...

I haven't read that one by SEP. I'm jotting it down. I've read everything by McNaught. My favorite is Perfect.
I forgot about Sharon Sala/Dinah McCall! Sweet Baby and Jackson's Rule. Jackson's Rule was so WOW!
I'm adding new books to my TBR pile. Thanks bunches!

Nicole said...

I like a variety. I really hate the alpha-jerk, so I want a hero with some common sense along with his take-charge attitude.

Heroines...I like to believe that without the hero they'd survive, no dim-witted doormats, please.

I really don't know what romance hooked me. it was a gradual process, I suppose. Probably something by Garwood or Johanna Lindsey, though.

I read too many good romances last year to list. Just can't do it.

Kelley said...

As for heros... I like sensuality, vulnerabilities, humor, and strength.
Heroines... independence, intelligence, humor
I am fairly new to reading romances (a little over a year). I remember reading A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton and loving it. I think she hooked me.
My keepers are... Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Erin Mccarthy, Tara Janzen.
I havent read any SEP books either. I am always wanting to hear about good authors. So far I have mostly been reading authors from word of mouth since I'm a newbie.
My favs last year were Till There Was U by Dianne Castell, Willing by Lucy Monroe, A Date with the other side by Erin Mccarthy, and Jamie by Lori Foster. I know there are more but I wont go too overboard!

Jodi said...

Here are some of the characteristics that I like: Brains, Brawn (nice to have, but not an absolute must), Hair/eye color doesn't really matter to me, the ability to show emotion/compassion, and a sense of humor.
I got hooked by reading Lori Foster's online read at eHarlequin. My next book was her Buckhorn Brothers series. From there, I went crazy buying books and now I probably have over 200 in my TBR shelves.
I have Lori Foster, Lucy, Dianne, Luann, Shannon McKenna and Karen Kingsbury on my keeper shelves. (But, I do keep every book I read.)

Nichole said...

I'm not sure there are specific hero traits but there are alot of authors I love that write yummy alpha heroes that I love. Diana Palmer, Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Lynne Graham, and funny authors like Erin McCarthy. There writing just keeps me coming back

Ellory1 said...

What hero qualities do you look for when you read a romance?

I love alpha heros. I don't like heros that don't have a vulnerable spot.

Let's go a little further, what qualities do you like to see in your heroine?

I love smart heroines. I don't want the spimmering type that all they do is scream. (I wanted to hit the little girl in The War of the Worlds this summer.) I love how heroines have evolved since I started reading romances.

What was the first romance that hooked you? What are a few on your keeper shelves?
First romances... besides the nurse/doctor stories in the teen section of the library? I remember reading Harlequins the summer I went to my girlfriends. Boy have they changed from the 70's.

Keepers... Suzanne Brockmann, JD Robb, SEP, Catherine Mann, Kathryn Shay and the list goes on.

What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why.
Hmm... fantastic keepers from this last year. I loved SEP's Match Me if You Can. It was a continuation of her football series. It was great seeing some of the favorites from earlier books. I loved the humor. Nora Robert's Blue Smoke. I loved the characters in the book. I loved family and hope that we see another book along the lines of the In Death series.

Ann M.

jamie said...

Hero qualities: I usually like alphas better, especially when they have those little tender and vulnerable moments. Usually, my favorite authors create such wonderful characters I fall in love with them no matter what.

Heroine qualities: I like heroines who are strong, smart, fun and adventurous.

The first romance book I read was P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin, it's a YA novel I read in probably 5th or 6th grade. I still have this book, and I've been hooked ever since.

My keepers: I have far too many, but some of my top faves are all of Susan Donovan's books, Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie, See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson, Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy and This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Last year I read Hand-Me-Down by Lee Nichols and really enjoyed it. The premise was fun and fresh and the book really touched my heart. The characters drew me in and I became emotionally involved with them.

Great blog, Karen!

Stacy~ said...

My all-time favorite authors are Judith McNaught, Lisa Kleypas, and Suzanne Brockmann. They are instant auto-buys for me and have been for at least 10 years. These are the writers that shaped my reading tastes. Intense, passionate, and emotional. That's my favorite type of romance.

I like my heroes tough but vulnerable, a bit arrogant and a whole lot sexy, who are used to women flocking to them but can't understand why the heroine resists him (or pretends to), and who fall hard and try to resist it, but eventually give in - LOL. How can they not?

My heroines have to be funny, feisty, and worthy of the hero. Even today, there are a lot of TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines, and it drives me nuts! One example of the right way to create a heroine is used by our dear Lucy Monroe in her HP - The Billionaire's Pregnant Mistress. Lucy totally took the storyline and did the unexpected - she created a strong, independent woman who wasn't going to cry over some man and be his doormat - I loved it!

She's the reason I started reading HP's again. Harlequin Presents are well-known for having simple, naive women hook up with worldly, rich men, and the woman would just about keel over and die without their man. Ugh. But Lucy has created the type of heroine we can relate to, and respect.

As for books....I'm still infatuated with the In Death series by JD Robb, love Shiloh's Hunter series (be warned, not for the faint of heart), Lori Foster, Lucy Monroe, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series (funny!), Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters, Janet Evanovich's Plum books, the list goes on and on....

Hope that helps. I'm sure I can think of more....

Lori said...

Hero Qualities
I like my heros to be strong, sexy, funny, and yet to have a vulnerable side.

Heroine Qualities
I like my heroines to be strong, smart, and sexy. I want the heroine to want the hero but to know that she could certainly survive without him.

First Romance
The one I really remember was "Golden Fancy" by Jennifer Blake. And I have been reading them ever since. I think I was about 15.

Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Marie Moning, Jude Deveraux, and of course all the wonderful authors from here. My keeper shelf just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Last Year Romance
I really enjoyed the Highlander books by Janet Chapman. I read one and I had to have the whole set. I thought that they were great.

I hope that I got all the questions answered.

Michelle B said...

I had to think a while on these questions and I'm still not sure my answers are all that great!

In terms of hero qualities, I favor heros with strong personalities, but who aren't overbearing. Too controlling turns me off. I also like a hint of vulnerability in my hero.

With regards to a heroine, I also like a strong woman; someone who won't let her man push her around. If she's too weak willed I find myself thinking about what I wish she had done and it sometimes turns me off the book.

I can't remember the first romance that hooked me but I started reading them when I was in high school. I remember having to read Kafka and the like for school and wishing I could read my romance novels instead.

As for keepers, so many of my books are keepers! My dad constantly threatens to kidnap my books and stage an intervention lol. But, I love to re-read them after a while (though I sometimes skim through parts), so I tend to keep a lot of my books.

I can't decide on a best romance novel I finished last year. That's a tough one! But like you, Karen, I also read my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel, Match Me If You Can, last year. I really loved it, so I've started reading more of her stuff. Another author I discovered last year is Sherrilyn Kenyon. I haven't read her Dark Hunter series, but I have read all of her BAD series novels and really enjoy them.

I'm sure I could go on all night, but I'll stop for now!


Dannyfiredragon said...

What hero qualities do you look for when you read a romance?
I really love Tortured Heroes and Alpha males.

-What qualities do you like to see in your heroine?
She has to hold her own against the hero, especially with the Alpha. She shouldn't be considered an easy win for him.

-What was the first romance that hooked you?
Julie Garwood and Johanna Lindsey

-What are a few on your keeper shelves?
To name a few: Jaci Burton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julia Quinn, Catherine Spangler, Susan Krinard, Rosemary Laurey, Lynsay Sands, Lauren Royal and many,many more

-What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why?
I discovered many new authors during the last year.

One of my favorite books is Kerrlyn Sparks "How to marry a Millionaire Vampire" That book was so much fun to read. It's really humorous written.

Amy S. said...

What hero qualities do you look for when you read a romance? I like an alpha hero. Humor, strength, and compassion are some of the qualities.

What qualities do you like to see in your heroine? a strong heroine, one that doesn't whine all the time

What was the first romance that hooked you? I still have the book, but I can't remember the title or author.

What are a few on your keeper shelves? Joanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts, Rachel Gibson, Jennifer Crusie

What really fabulous romance did you finish last year that you really enjoyed and why? The Trouble With Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson

Karen Kelley said...

Wow, these were all great answers. I found I was smiling when I read each and every one of your posts. It brought back memories of books I've read, you've given me great ideas on books I want to buy.

You know there's nothing better than falling in love with a new book/new author or just picking up a favorite old book and reading it again. Kind of like visiting a friend.

And the winner of a book from my backlist (their choice)is: ME---Okay redraw. I actually assign numbers to each post and that's how I picked myself :)

Okay, redraw: and the winner is Kelley. Not me, the other Kelley who's first name matches my last name.

Thanks again to all who made comments. It was lots of fun!

Kelley said...

Wow. I never win anything. How exciting. Thank you so much. Should I email you? Thanks again.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Big congrats Kelley!!!!

Karen Kelley said...

Yes, Kelley, just e-mail me at: