Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: What Makes A Great Hero Plus Personal Favorites



Today’s Topic: What Makes A Great Hero and Personal Favorites

Ever since I participated in the feature Historical Romance 101 back in April–where we talked about this intensely, I have been thinking more and more what does make a hero and why do we love them so!! I also have noticed as I have read a variety of different books in the romance genre, that there are so many different qualities that attract me to a great hero. Over the years, it hasn’t really changed that much. I don’t know about you Ladies, but I am not as picky when it comes to my heroes than my heroines. I don’t know why, maybe its because I am a female and I just love anything male—for the most part anyway.

Now, what types of heroes are there?

Alpha Males–Alpha Males types are probably the best we can find in a romance novel. Although personally not sure I would want to ever marry one unless you found a man that was well balanced, which is very rare. But Alpha Males are dominant, controlling and possessive. Carry the woman over the shoulder…you know swing through the trees and claim their woman. They don’t care what others think, they go their own way and their own path. And when they find a woman they lust for, care about or even love they don’t let anything stand in their way. There are pro’s and con’s to have this type of hero. One there has to be a certain kind of heroine for this hero or it just doesn’t work. Also usually at first they are super controlling, but by the end of the story they slowly change a bit, and that rough part of them has been softened a bit by love.

Tortured Male Hero–This is my favorite type most of the time. The perfect heroes kinda bother me because I can’t relate with that in any way, and frankly I love a man with flaws and imperfections, much more exciting and fun. These are men who have been scarred either physically, emotionally or even mentally.   They aren’t easy to love especially in the beginning, but they are well worth it in the end of the story. I just love a hero like this because they are more realistic and human. I find them much more appealing than most other heroes.

Beta Males-Now these are just as fabulous as those alpha males. Mostly I like them because they still have alpha like tendencies, but are more kind-hearted and reasonable. They are the sweet and loveable, but can be fierce protectors when the need arises. This is the type that many can relate with on an emotional level because this is the type of man you would want as a mate right? Strong…Loyal….and Loving. I just can’t get enough of these types of males, and you see them in a variety of genres as well.

Anti Hero–This Type Of Hero isn’t always the easiest to read but most times the most satisfying. They are the type that struggle between right and wrong, they are closer to the villain than the hero, but in the end they win the reader over and make the right choice.

Now  I am sure there are more types than this, but these are the most common. Now here are some recommendations of my favorite heroes and why I love them so much.

Recommendations: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Lord Ian Mackenzie-From The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. I love this hero because he has a combination of
types. In many ways he has an alpha like personality, he does what he wants and goes after the woman he wants the most. But he also has the tortured male vibe going for him as well. He has a certain mental disorder, but back in the Regency or Victorian Era, it would be called “madness” and he was put in a mad house for years when he was a kid. Ian looks at the world differently than most heroes, he sees patterns and can get quite obsessed about certain things. His favorites: His Beth (the heroine) and Ming Vases.


Shadow FiresArion I just loved this hero. He plays a role in a science fiction romance. He is part of an alien species, I would honestly term him as a Beta Type. I debated whether or not he was a Alpha, but there are many facets to his character that don’t go along with Alpha’s as much. Now what I adored about him the most was how he is with our heroine, and how he changes for her. He is the leader of his people, so he has that commanding presence, but he sees reason and listens to others. He is willing to sacrifice himself for the needs of the many. And he is open to new ideas or even new things when it matters the most.



Dark Challenge

Julian Savage: Oh how fun this hero is. He is a bit of an loner but had to force himself to be due to circumstances when he was younger. I loved his character, he is very alpha male—like most Carpathian Heroes. He is possessive, commanding and takes charge of situations. But through the course of the story and meeting his lifemate, he slowly softens a bit when he discovers love for the first time.

The Guardian


Ian Macdonald Ian is the type of hero that you have to peel like an onion to get to the inner core of. At first you don’t know what to think of him, but by the end you have found a hero that is true and good. We see a man that is fighting for those he loves, and will do anything to protect them. He has a heart of gold, sincere and though a bit rough around the edges….is like a cuddly bear when you get beneath that rough exterior.



Crown of Crystal Flame

Rain Tairen Soul-Tairen was beyond amazing, and he is going to the top of my list of hero’s. Tairen is your typical Alpha Male, however there is much more to him than that. He does have a dominant and beyond possessive side. He also has a gentle and patient nature toward Ellie, that is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.



A Kingdom Of Dreams


Royce Westmoreland– Royce is the perfect hero and is one of my favorites, which is why he is listed. He is a warrior, talented and intelligent, full of honor and integrity. He doesn’t hide who he really is, admits his failings but is also proud of what he has accomplished.



Mason— Mason, loves his family, and his mother and young sister are everything to him. When he was eighteen, their landlady blackmailed Price Of A Kisshim, and now he has no choice but to be a gigolo, so he can support his family, and with his sisters medical bills, they need the extra income. Mason despises what he is forced to do, but he has no choice, and that is all women see…they just see a man to be used as a sex toy, not a human being with a mind and feelings and thoughts of his own…until Reese enters his life and shows him that he is worthy of love. Mason was delectable, I adored his character, and quite frankly my heart ached for him, you see in the beginning of the story, how he begins his sexual career, where he was once innocent and knew nothing, you start to see how he hates himself for what he has had to do, but you also see his fortitude and iron will to do what has to be done no matter the cost to himself. I admired that so much about Mason.



Turbulent SeaIllya–Now what a fantastic hero he is. Dangerous, Possessive, Alpha in every way, and very mysterious. He has this mix of an Alpha, Anti, and Tortured types. I love the way he handles Jolie–who can be very high maintenance, and he is so protective and has this sardonic sense of humor.




Tiger Magic

Tiger–Now I adore Tiger, he is so amusing at times and I love how frank and honest he is. He is the most unique of the shifters and my
favorite of them all. He goes after what he wants, he sees certain things that the others don’t, he doesn’t apologize because he understand certain dilemma’s in ways that no other person does. He is protective of the cubs, and boy I love how he treats the kids. He plays with them and really bonds with them instantly.


A Loving ScoundrelJeremy Malory– Jeremy is a hoot of a character, he just might be my favorite malory. He is a rake and a scoundrel, and even though he has a very alpha personality (he gets it from his pirate of a father), he is also very witty and has that unique quality to him that makes him memorable in every way.



Highlander Most Wanted

Bowen Montgomery– Bowen is such a great hero, he is fierce and protective, and he is so good with the heroine…Genevieve. Honorable, loyal
and compassionate. His love for Genevieve is priceless and I love the way he is with her especially in the later half of the story

Questions For My Readers:

Who Is Your Favorite Hero? What books would you recommend that have the type of hero you love to read most? 

What is your favorite Type of Hero to read in romance? 

6 thoughts on “Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: What Makes A Great Hero Plus Personal Favorites

  1. I myself am an Alpha Male type with a leaning toward tortured. I started reading PNR first so most heros in those books are Alpha types so that’s probably where I get my hangup from 🙂 I just love a take control guy. My first was Jean-Claude from LK Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Now, it’s any bossy guy 😉

    You have a lot Feehan on here – she sure is popular at our library! The readers eat her books up!!!

  2. Yep, I’m harder on the heroines, too. But it doesn’t mean that I give the heroes a free pass. This may sound simplistic, but I like my heroes to have heroic qualities. I think that is why I gravitate toward the military, western, and sci-fi heroes. They have a core of leadership, selflessness, and hardworking can-do spirit. Most are so busy saving the world or their small patch of it that they don’t have time to be broody. I see many broody heroes in PNR and Historical Romance These hero types it took a while for me to warm up to. Anti-heroes fall into their own category and I perversely prefer them to be a complete anti-hero and not just called one or have surface un-hero-ish qualities. Beta heroes are rare in my reading experience, but I do love the guys who go about quietly and maybe less confidently and still manage to get the job done.

    My favorite alphas are: Adam from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Sebastian St. Cyr from CS Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series, Linnea Sinclair’s Admiral Kel-Patten, and several Carolyn Brown, Jo Goodman, and Rosanne Bittner cowboys.
    My favorite broodies are: Grace Burrowes’ various series, Mary Balogh’s various series, Jo Beverley’s various series.
    My favorite anti-heroes are Aleksandr Voinov’s Special Forces, Bella Jewel’s pirates, Joanna Wylde’s bikers, and many Kristen Ashley heroes.
    My favorite betas are more rare, but I love Freddie from Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion, some Mary Balogh heroes. I can’t recall the specific books, but I remember in a few PNRs that I read a beta hero or two that I liked.

  3. I’m not keen on the tortured hero or the anti-hero though I’ve read books where I enjoyed them. I do like alpha heroes provided they’re not alphaholes pretending to be alpha heroes. And beta heroes, I love a well-written beta hero, sigh. 🙂

  4. I’ve been thinking about heroes a lot lately, too. I’ve been thinking about the “Jerk Heroes” and have been contemplating making a post about it. I love the alpha males, as long as they aren’t too controlling. I like a hero that can take control of a situation and figure out what to do, but not a hero that is bossy and always thinks he knows best. I think the best kind of alpha male is when they are so comfortable with themselves that they can take the time to listen to others, especially the heroine.

    But I also love the Beta Heroes. I admit I’m more drawn to the alphas (I’m thinking Julie Garwood’s lairds), but I do love a good beta. I think a lot of Julia Quinn heroes are more betas. Like Colin Bridgerton, and who doesn’t love Colin?

    I do like a good tortured hero, but as long as he isn’t an ass. I really dislike when the heroes are jerks to the heroines. I mean when they are particularly cruel. That’s not okay for me.

    There aren’t many anti heroes that I like. I just want my heroes to be heroic. I guess St. Vincent could be considered an anti-hero from Devil in Winter. And I do love him. But I always knew that he did have a good heart, way down deep.

  5. nice list and Bowen was like one of my fav heroes! so happy to see him on your list. I love a mash up of my heroes but I will say that I love Alpha Males the most. Something about a male taking control just gives me the shivers, lols. Great post!

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