How Do You Create a Hot, Delicious Hero?

I’ll be teaching a workshop in September called Writing Hot, Delicious Love Scenes, and today I want talk about one important ingredient in those sizzling scenes—the hero. You have a chance to win a $15 discount off my love scene workshop by commenting below. (Yes, that means the winner will only need to pay $5 if they want to take my workshop.) Comment any time between now and Friday at noon Eastern, at which time I’ll draw one name and announce it here soon after that.

To write hot, delicious love scenes, first you need a hot, delicious hero. His yumminess factor needs to be established early, in his first scene. And in every scene that follows, build his appeal even higher. He should be physically attractive, preferably on a larger-than-life scale. That means he isn’t your average guy next door. But he doesn’t need to be model material either. The heroine (and your reader) simply needs to find him incredibly attractive. If you saw him on the street, your jaw would drop and you’d stare longer than you should. You’d be like, OMG; I want to lick him. He’s tall, he’s muscular, he’s extremely masculine. He has those really good genes. And of course he looks hot in a pair of jeans… or in a kilt, or in nothing at all. ;-)

He’s strong physically and tough mentally, but he isn’t perfect.

After this, add another layer of appeal in his personality, his attitude, his outlook. Is he a bad boy who likes to tempt and tease the good girls to do naughty things? Is he dark and angsty and hungry for the heroine? Is he charming and playful in bed? Deep down, this guy is intensely sensual. He loves sex and he loves a lot of sex. Sexuality oozes from his pores. He smells so yummy (natural pheromones mixed with a tiny bit of cologne), if a woman is standing near him in line at Target, she will get lightheaded from trying to inhale him. He doesn’t have to say anything; he shows his sex appeal in his body language, in that focused dark look in his eyes, in his decisive actions.

To create a hot but lovable hero, add something else early in your story, something you might find surprising—a problem he has, a big flaw, or his vulnerability. Why? Because no one likes a perfect person. And this makes a woman think, oh, poor baby. He needs a hug! He needs the love of a good woman. He needs a good woman in bed to take his mind off his problems. In other words, he instantly becomes sympathetic. Your reader will start falling in love with him then and there. This vulnerability or problem could be hidden from the heroine or barely visible, but she suspects something is wrong—something she needs to uncover so she can nurture and help him heal.

Another trait that makes a hero incredibly appealing to the reader or the heroine is compassion. He cares. Certain things are important to him and matter to him. He isn’t just an alpha warrior robot. Even if he hides all his emotions, he still has them. Exactly what and who he cares deeply about will vary depending on the hero and the story. It also means he pays attention to the heroine and those around him that he protects. If he sees they need something, he provides it for them. This shows he has heart, as well as his human side and why he is deserving of love.

What is it about a hero you find appealing and delicious? Which trait makes you gaga or weak in the knees? If you want to name your favorite delicious hero, please do. He can be from a book, movie or real life. Please comment before noon Friday to be in the contest drawing.
Click here to learn more about my September workshop:
Thanks for stopping by!
Devil in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Vol. 27
Beast in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Vol. 29
14 Responses
  1. Mary Says:

    I'm a sucker for the bad boys, so a dark, mysterious past always makes me go gaga. Of course, being the tall dark alpha male doesn't hurt - Daegus MacKeltar from The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning has really stuck in my head, even though it's been a long time since I read the book. I definitely would want to lick him! :-)

  2. Shannon Says:

    Hi Nicole!! You've touched on one of my favorite topics - gotta love those hot, sensual heroes. Oh golly! One of my all time favorite movie heroes is - and I can just hear you sigh with me :) - Gerard Butler. OMG! Can you possibly create anyone more sexy and loveable than that man?? He was absolutely perfect in P.S. I Love You - if you haven't seen it, go rent it right now!
    OK, back on track - anyways, I love a sensitive, hot, caring alpha male who will just sweep the heroine off her feet, take care of her needs, but still allow her independence to shine through. I love a man who'll accept his heroine as equal.
    Great post!!
    Shannon Robinson

  3. Lexi Says:

    Shannon, you're right about Butler in PS I Love You! He was AWESOME!

    For me, I love a hero who jumps to protect/defend the heroine, not just in dangerous situations, even if she's quite capable of taking care of herself. I like a hero who's tough on the outside, but with the heroine is gentle and tender. My favorite hero is Jason Bourne. I'm obsessed with the movies. (Sigh)

  4. Nicole North Says:

    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, ladies! You're entered in my contest.

    Mary, I LOVED Daegus MacKelter too. Sigh. He's definitely lickable!! :-) Of course, most of KMMoning's heroes are yummy! Adam was one of the most larger-than-life hot and delicious ones.

    Shannon, I will sigh several times for Gerard Butler! I've developed a major 'thing' for him. (I suppose you noticed how I included his pic in this post. ;-) ) I loved him in PS I Love You (cried my eyes out) and he was hot in a more commanding, alpha way in 300. And the way he treated his wife in that, loved it! His accent is so wonderful. He was the inspiration for my hero in Beast in a Kilt.

    Lexi, I love those Bourne movies too. The suspense is riveting and Jason seems almost fearless. Other times, I like seeing his vulnerabilities. Plus his intelligence is sexy. He seems capable of almost anything. A hero who's tough on the outside but tender on the inside is the best!

  5. Elen Grey Says:

    Hi Nicole - I'm agreeing with all the posters so far and the traits you've listed.

    I like a hero who's a little wicked or can be. Ornery, too. :-) Vulnerable with his lady.

    Jason, Gerard, Daegus, yes. But, I also love all of the Sandra Hill Viking warriors and Navy Seals and all of those Long, Tall, Texans that Diana Palmer does so well. Julie Garwood's historical heroes. Okay, stopping now.

  6. Marie-Claude Bourque Says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Still fanning that bit about the hot hero loving sex, lots of it :)
    I love bad boys and warriors, a few of my fave:

    Dark-Hunter Zarek from Kenyon's Dance with the devil....Aragorn in LOTR....Connor McLeod in Highlander...Hawk in Robert B. Parker's Spenser series...Maximus in Gladiator...Frank in the Transporter...Love Jason Bourne too! I could go on and on.....LOL

  7. I swoon for warrior-poets. Think Faramir in Lord of the Rings, Sir Gawain or almost any knight errant in any tale (except for Lancelot). A man who wields a sword and a pen with equal ease.

    I'm absolutely racking my brain at the moment to think of a good, modern example of a warrior-poet, but Clive Owen is the only one coming to mind.

    Ack! It's been a long day.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    so many i like colin farrel he hot in anything


  9. Sue Says:

    I love dark and troubled alpha heroes who have to learn to trust again when confronted by a strong heroine who challenges them to forget the past and move on. In the face of adversity, they prove themselves by solving problems and standing side by side with a heroine instead of controlling her. He's dark, sexy, and deep but with the woman he loves he becomes even more. He becomes loving, giving and compasssionate.
    Sue Webb

  10. Wow, Nicole, you've described the perfect hero! I love James Bond, and Daniel Craig is doing a great job in the role. Timothy Dalton in Jane Eyre was so tortured. Loved Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. I love a cocky sports hero too who's really sensitive deep down inside. Great post!

  11. Nicole North Says:

    Elen, I agree a hero who's a little wicked can be a lot of fun. Ornery is great for conflict. And when he's vulnerable he's definitely huggable. Those are some hot heroes you mentioned!

    Marie-Claude, so nice to see you here! I'm glad you liked the post and you sure named some hot heroes too! I have a thing for bad boys and warriors too!

    Keena, I loved Clive Owen in Elizabeth The Golden Age!! Intelligence and physical prowess combination makes a hot, delicious hero!

    kh, oooh yeah Colin is definitely hot! I loved him in the Miami Vice movie and in The New World.

    Sue, Absolutely! You've described one of my favorite types of heroes to read about! I love the emotion those kinds of dark, troubled heroes bring to the story.

    Carol, I love those cocky sports heroes too! Rachel Gibson has written some hot ones. Timothy Dalton and Colin Firth also my favs!!

    Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting!!!

  12. Awesome post, Nicole! Some of my favorite heroes are the ones who have trust issues, who feel they don't have the ability to love anymore... it's sooo great when they realize they are wrong! LOL!

  13. Nicole North Says:

    Holly, I love those with trust issues too. It is fun to see them grow and change.
    Thanks for entering!

  14. Nicole North Says:

    I just drew a name.... HOLLY GREENFIELD, you're the winner of my contest. Congrats! If you'd like to take my workshop it would only be $5 for you. (Of course you don't have to take it if you don't want.) Please let me know.

    Thanks again, everyone, for commenting and entering!

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