Two nights ago I picked up a book I read four years ago. It’s Mr. Perfect by Maven Linda Howard. I’d forgotten just how funny and brilliant the book is.
To summarize briefly, Jaine Bright and three friends spend every Friday night relaxing at a local bar. On one Friday night, they begin discussing the perfect man and the result is “The List,” which details the attributes they find necessary for any man to be considered perfect. When “The List” accidentally becomes public it causes a national sensation. The “Ladies of the List” figure all they can do it ride out the notoriety. That is until one of them is murdered. Then things take a decidedly suspenseful twist and Jaine must depend on her neighbor, Detective Sam Donovan who she originally thought was a drunk or a drug dealer. Now she's got the hots for him and the feeling is mutual. Sam will leap tall buildings to catch this killer before he gets to Jaine.
The list that Jaine and her friends drew up contained qualities like faithfulness, reliability, good sense of humor along with some specefic physical characteristics.
This made me start thinking about what I want to see in a romance novel hero. What makes the hero “perfect?”
I like a man who is heroic. I like a man who has the courage to stand behind his beliefs, but also the courage to follow his heart. I want to see a man who will do anything for love. He must be faithful, reliable, have a good heart, be intelligent and have a good sense of humor and take responsibility for his actions. It also helps if he likes babies and animals.
My heroes need to be sexy and have sex appeal, and a great smile is a must. He should also have stamina, tight jeans, boots and a Resistol (or Stetson as the case may be) or an Armani suit, Italian leather shoes and a ridiculously expensive silk tie. He can wear boxers or briefs or go commando. He need six-pack abs, broad shoulders, narrow hips, a trim waist, a tight butt, big hands and a big— Ha! You thought I was going to mention a body part. Well, it is a body part. He must have a big heart.
There’s one more thing. He should be a little rough around the edges in some fashion so that the heroine can smooth it out. Like Dorothy in Jerry Maguire, she should complete him. And he should complete her.
So what’s YOUR Mr. Perfect like? Is there a hero in a book or movie who exhibits all the criteria on your list? Right now, I’m thinking Sam Donovan does a darn good job. And he has a big… ;-)