Is Job Choice As Important As Name In Defining A Romance Hero?


Thanks so much for having me to visit today! According to an article at nerve.com, the top five most popular “jobs” for a romance book hero are:

1.       Doctor
2.       Cowboy
3.       Boss
4.       Prince
5.       Rancher

There are more jobs listed in that article, but these are the topfive. And I found it interesting that nowhere on their list was one of my favorite hero jobs – the fireman. I wonder why?

When I was planning who would be strong and “heroic” enough to match Aphrodite, goddess of desire in the game of love, I immediately thought of a group of firefighters. Heroes who would risk their lives on a regular basis to keep others safe. I know there are lots of other professions out there that are equally heroic (and I’ve discussed that in an earlier post on this blog tour), but in terms of trying to find the right job to define my three heroes and their gallant yet troubled nature, I automatically went with fireman.

As an author, I know that naming my book “babies” is important in being able to convey a particular type of character, personality or look. My hero Flint, in PANDORA’S GIFT, for example, was easy to name. He was in my head for quite a while, and every time I pictured him, I could that sense that cold, hard core:

“Flint. It was such an appropriate name, she almost laughed out loud.

There was a hardness to him, both physically and metaphorically, that spoke of stone. An iceberg, she’d decided only minutes earlier. But that hadn’t been quite accurate. Ice could be melted. Stone could not.

This man was pure granite.

But when it comes to profession, that’s another thing altogether, and to me in some ways it defines a person more clearly than does their name. Parents choose your name for you, but your career? That is in your own power to decide, and therefore, could be more reflective of your personality. In IMMORTAL SEDUCTION, I wanted to show that my three gorgeous heroes are both “heroic” and yet damaged emotionally, and I felt that making them firefighters would be perfect to show that juxtaposition of strong alpha hero who is in desperate need through no fault of their own:

“It was not your fault, Ashur.” She followed him when he shook his head and tried to step back. She was good at doing that, he was beginning to realize. She slipped her arms around his waist as if to hold him in place, and cradled her head in the hollow of his shoulder.

Damn annoying woman. But his arms came up to hold her in return. “You weren’t there,” he said. “You don’t know.”

She sighed and her breasts pressed into his chest like living cushions. Her fresh perfume wound through the room, reminding him of the herb garden at the rear of this property. He’d stumbled into it one night early on, before he’d taken to walking the beach, and been assailed by oregano, and rosemary, and mint. Other exotic spices were there too, but he had no idea what they were. He could smell them all and more in Aphrodite’s breath and in her hair, and it was an intoxicating aroma.

“I see it in here.” She cradled his face in her hands and tapped a light finger at his temple. “I relive it every time you do. As do your friends over there. And you owe it to them to start putting this behind you at last. It’s not about trying to forget. Nor about moving on without heart or soul. It is time to begin the healing process.”

“I owe it to them?” He glanced toward Kieran, who’d been with him in a threesome that night and who’d driven with him to the incident when they both got the text message. And Hugh, who’d been alone at home, oblivious to the unfolding tragedy until he’d turned up for his shift the next day.

Was his behavior contributing to their grief? Was his black despair destroying these two men as well as himself? The answer was evident in their stricken expressions as they sat thigh to thigh on the edge of the bed and stared back at him.

“So, I have that to answer for, too?”

(Copyright 2013 Jennifer Lynne)

Do you think a hero’s profession or job choice is as important in defining them as their name?Please let me know what you think!

4 comments

  1. Thank you for having me to visit today!

  2. I think in most cases something to do with the hero/herione’s profession is often the reason for their emotional crisis or what they see as the cure/redemption/punishment for the crisis

    • Hi Natasha, that is certainly the case in Immortal Seduction, where the three firefighter heroes are dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy at work. I think their job has defined them in the sense of their choice of work, but also it has been the reason for their current emotional crisis. Thanks for your comment, and for stopping by the tour!

  3. Yes I think the profession is central, since in real life we are largely defined by our jobs (and despite all the ideals of equality, most men are wrapped up in their work above all else; I speak from personal experience). Interesting article though, and I am surprised that firefighter did not show up in the list you mentioned. My Redcliffe heroes are police detectives, did that feature anywhere near the top of the list?