5 ‘Swoon’ Qualities of a Leading Man

On May 12, 2011 by Aimee

Moon Light Dance

Moon Light Dance

Do you fall in love with the ‘leading’ man in the books you read? Or, better yet, I should title this … how to hook Aimee on a book, movie, TV show, etc: Make the leading man awesome. Dual titles. Same purpose. There is just something about the leading man. Or, rather, there has to be to keep my attention.

Now, let me caveat this with … “I am a happily married woman.” Yes, I am. (Okay, so sometimes I’d like to throttle my other half, but hey … who doesn’t? I still love him). Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about these men.

They have to be flawed, right? They have to be hot in some way that makes us swoon over them. Example, the actor in 13 Going on 30 with Jennifer Garner (sorry, can’t remember his name!)… anyway … he isn’t a Bradly Cooper or Ryan Reynolds (swoon!) but the role he played totally melted my heart and made it flutter for him. So sometimes, see, it’s not what’s on the outside, it’s how they act on the inside. It’s what they do, how they treat their women, how gentlemanly they are … among other things. Those elements give those men a place in my head.

They make an impact.

Let’s transfer those visual qualities (from movies and tv) to the stories we read.

Do we see the men?
Technically, no, but we do get a picture of them. Broad shoulders, dark looks, sparkling green eyes, deep-set chin and rough, worker-man’s hands … or something way better than that description. But even one description can be interpreted multiple ways and a picture of our leading man pops into our heads. Whether it stays there depends on the next part.

Do we feel that man’s actions?
Again, depending on how well described said actions are, absolutely. Again, we’re only seeing them in our mind’s eye, but with our powers of interpretation, we can really feel what he feels about his leading lady, about the bad guy, about the good guys. We can gauge his morals, his values, how good he’s going to be *ahem* you know where. 😉 We get this overall picture of the leading man.

Is he ‘The Fonz” or Richie Cunningham from Happy Days? (Yes, I’m dating myself but the contrast in the two is significant and makes my next point).

There are five things I’ve come up with that really make me swoon over those leading me and not a one of them is about looks. Well, okay, looks count too, but let’s take that OUT of the picture for a moment, shall we?

1. Respect for women
The Fonz was ‘the popular guy’ but from all the reruns I watched (yeah, yeah, not all were in rerun) and he treated them all with respect. In books, if the leading man doesn’t respect his women, I will not read it. Sorry, but this is one reason historical romance is not one of my favorites. 🙁 Here I pick up on Roarke from JD Robb’s series “In Death”.

2. Self-depricating
Self-depricating is one of the best ways to make me fall in love. Shoot, I’ll admit, out loud, that even Jack Black has even suckered me in to his fold sometimes. I want men to realize they have flaws and use them to their benefit, but in moderation. There is a point of excess, and we shall not name names.

3. Humor
Oh, my goodness. If a leading man can make me laugh, especially in the face danger, I’ll want him. Better yet, if he uses nice humor (not sly, over the top, you’re-an-idiot-slap-stick) as part of his charm to get a women out of a funk? I’m sunk. This seems to be Ryan Reynolds’ biggest on-screen quality (along with just being hot).

4. Confidence
Bring on the tough guys with tattoo, bulging muscles willing to step in front of a train. And, go ahead and show me those muscles, cuz I wanna see. 🙂 Then, None of this, “I don’t want to ask you out because what if you say ‘no’?” crap. Not overly confident though. Not the ‘you will go out with me because I asked’ just the balls to get over the stupidness. I’ll faint dead away at his feet. And there really is a fine line there.

5. Compassion
They’ll do just about anything for their leading lady, for anyone around them, but logically so. It’s not free-for-all take advantage of me situation, it’s a built-in, ready-made, ‘I will help you’ gene.

So I’ve named a couple guys, but not a bunch because there are really too many to name. But, tell me … what makes YOU fall in love with a leading man?