Typically, heroes in romances are Alpha males - strong, silent, protective, and all-powerful. They know what they want and aren't afraid to take it (and the "it" is usually the heroine). Oh sure, there are the occasional Beta heroes, who are more sensitive and less demanding than their Alpha counterparts, but somehow they fail to sweep me away in the same way as the Alpha. (Having just written that, however, one of my favorite Beta heroes of all time is Freddy from Georgette Heyer's Cotillion.)
Along with their standing as Alpha heroes, our guys also have those "Alpha" professions. One of the most popular, of course, is the cowboy. Now I'd be hard pressed to tell you what cowboys actually do all day, but they sure look good in those chaps, tight jeans, and hats. Besides, you'd have to be strong to rope cattle, although I doubt they do so shirtless.
Another popular profession for heroes is a fireman or a cop. For these professions, you have the whole "rescue" thing going on. Never mind that according to my husband, who's a cop, firemen hang out all day at the station baking cookies and watching TV. The general public isn't aware of this shocking fact, are they? Cop heroes always work for romantic suspense novels because why else would some guy run around looking for clues and putting his life in danger unless he was getting paid for it?
Doctors also work as good Alpha heroes. They already think they're gods, and they really can save the heroine's life, unless they're podiatrists or something.
Finally, we have the ever-popular "secret agent man." He can be CIA, FBI, private eye, or a member of an elite secret ops organization. I love these heroes. They work outside the boundaries of the law and the government. They carry cool weapons. They usually speak foreign languages. And they're always willing to give it all up for the love of a good woman.
What are your favorite types of heroes? Do you prefer Alphas or Betas? Do you have a particular profession you like for your men? Who are some of your favorite heroes?