Five For Friday: Formulaic.

While I confess, I’ve been known to mock formula romances like those offered by Silhouette and Harlequin, I also recognize that they’re great for quick escapist reading, perfect for the bathtub, and have helped a lot of really good writers get their starts in the industry. Besides, it’s a market dominated by women, and that’s never a bad thing.

For this week’s Five for Friday, then, I offer five characteristics of formula romance heroes:

  1. They’re handy. If they don’t have a workshop full of Ingersoll Rand air tools that they use with ease, they at least know how to change a tire, unclog a sink, and chop firewood, all without ever staining their shirts.
  2. They cook. Granted it’s usually one meal like steak or an omelet, but they do it really well, and are proud of their achievement in the kitchen.
  3. They twinkle. Oh, I don’t mean Dumbledore-esque twinkling, I mean that there’s a reason some people call these books “twinkling brown eyes” novels.
  4. They’re debt free. Oh, they might have business trouble, or they might be poor, but you never read about them freaking over not being able to pay their Visa bill.
  5. They communicate with their mothers. There’s just something about romance novel heroes and their mothers – they all have parents who give good advice that they actually listen to, or who manage to somehow help them seal the deal with the heroines of these novels, who generally don’t have mothers of their own.