So, I’ve been trolling the web for pics of men for inspiration. No, seriously.
I love to create a character out of my own imagination, whether I’m reading or writing, but sometimes it pays for me to have a look around. During this research, I discovered how many beautiful men there are out there who aren’t necessarily “Romance Novel” material. Everyday men, some in shape and some not so in shape, who are simply beautiful. There are no bulging muscles, no sleek, bronze-skinned arms waiting to carry you off for what is sure to be a marathon romp in his 5,000 count Egyptian cotton sheets. I’m talking about regular, sexy, familiar men. I know we all read this genre for different reasons, but the common thread that runs through every reader is the feeling of escapism that comes from reading. We delve into another world and for a while, we live there in rapture.
One thing that I realized as I thought about my own characters is that I love an “every man”. There’s just something in me that responds to someone I think my character could actually meet. I sometimes struggle to form a real attraction to the perfect billionaire playboy in any way that’s more than superficial. I like more meat to my book boyfriend, I suppose. More substance and more of what makes a man real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love and read all sorts of smutty smut about rockstars and billionaires and unbelievable characters. Olivia Cunning’s Sole Regret series is fucking fantastic.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the odd woman out for liking book boyfriends who don’t freak out when the female lead doesn’t immediately respond to a text or treat her as though they’ve claimed her in the literal sense. I like a male lead who isn’t afraid of a strong and independent woman, yet loves to feel needed by her in those moments when she does need him. I crave the human element; the believably flawed, passionate character who just may walk your very street in the world outside the book. Even if I’m the minority in this preference, I’ll take a book boyfriend that you may one day bump into at the Post Office over someone you’d need a press pass to meet any day.