Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Who are the heroes in pocket novels?

I was interested to read a recent survey of Harlequin (Mills and Boon) romances that revealed doctors and cowboys as the most popular heroes, followed by bosses, princes, ranchers and knights. Surgeons, kings, bodyguards and sheriffs also made it into the top ten. I've certainly read plenty of romances with these hero types but it set me wondering whether there were particular heroes that were popular in pocket novels, and what these might be. Harlequin is mostly a North American company publishing romances for a worldwide audience. Whereas pocket novels are published by a British publisher for a mostly British audience. So does this mean just a few less ranchers in there or are pocket novels very different in the types of stories they contain? Harlequin Mills and Boon are well known for millionaire bosses as romantic heroes, and billionaire sheiks - but do they appear in pocket novels too?

I'll start the survey with my own pocket novels and hope that my fellow pocket novelists and pocket novel readers can also contribute stats on their books or pocket novels they have recently read. I'm certainly going to find it interesting seeing the variety of heroes out there.

My pocket novel heroes:

Noble - 1
Smuggler - 1
Gentleman - 1
Midwife - 1
Vet - 1

[Picture: Dr Tom Kent in Casualty, played by Oliver Coleman]


  1. My PN heroes so far have been: property developer/architect, vet, business man and school teacher.

  2. This will be fascinating reading and something to consider!

  3. It is fascinating to think about why certain professions are more looked on as having hero characteristics. My heroes so far have been a doctor, an ex-policeman, a gardener, an accountant, a bank manager and a businessman (the last was a bit of an anti-hero as they were married but the marriage was going wrong because he was too obsessed with his high flying city job). That's made me wonder about my own heroes a bit, I think some of them are heroic despite their professions! I quite like tortured heroes so perhaps that explains it..... Cara

  4. Our hero was a hotel owner/businessman. Certainly something worth thinking about, thanks Kate.

  5. Oh interesting. Let me see. My pocket novel heroes have been:

    Holiday complex owner
    A prince (but he did other things to make his own way in the world)
    Marshall (in America)
    Rancher (also in America)
    A landowner and adventurer
    Insurance investigator
    Pilot (during WW2)

    I obviously like my adventurers ;-)

    By coincidence I was trying to come up with some interesting heroine jobs the other day, and thought of things like Wedding planner, events organiser (parties, baby showers), etc. Things that I think a lot of women might enjoy doing. Despite that most of my heroines tend to be low paid secretaries or personal assistants (or schoolteachers), apart from in Mistletoe Mystery where she's an out of work actress. I think I like the idea of taking an ordinary girl out of her usual situation and into an exciting new one.

  6. That's interesting Sally, I now realise with my heroines that I tend to choose high flying career girls who need someone to soften them, share their tears and triumphs etc. So far I've had a lawyer, a city banker, the owner of her own cupcake company, a teacher turned artist and only one secretary/PA. The event organiser's a nice idea although I used to be a conference organiser and I can tell you they work evenings and weekends - no time for romance. I was always looking for a millionaire but they ran too fast for me! Cara

    1. I seem to have been looking at rich girls escaping from their background recently! Heroes are often whizz kids on computers (could really do with one of those as I tumble through the intricacies of a new computer): vet, doctors, surgeons, factory owners, hoteliers, writers ... oh, dear think I must soon be running out of different heroes! Still, different heroines and settings leave me with plenty of ideas. Current hero is destined to be a totally bad lot, gorgeous but a b*****d. Happy endings? Wait and see! Love the eternally anonymous Chrissie

  7. All my books are Regency so my heroes have been aristocrats including two dukes, several ex-soldiers(think Sean bean as Sharpe) - but there have also been two doctors and a couple of tortured Rochester types.
    Time for a change - my next one is another doctor but he is also a soldier!!
    What a good post, Kate.

  8. Interesting to reflect. PN heroes so far have been outback station owner, stockbroker, trauma counsellor, tourism operator and chopper pilot, environmental scientiest/nanny, business owner and sheep pastoralist. Somehow really they just evolve with the story and what is needed to complement the heroine.
    My next hero is an architect, and for my country town series after that will be a truck/transport driver, builder/carpenter and artist.