Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) of Supernatural

Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) of Supernatural

I’m a big fan of The Romance Man. His blog is often hilarious and sometimes poignant… and how many guys out there are willing to jump into the romance pool, read a bunch of romance novels, and only make fun of the ridiculous ones? And even those, he’s gentle with. Mostly. For the same reason, I am a big fan of my colleague Chris, who works with me at Criminal Element and also at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

Still, that’s only two guys reading romances. TWO. And I think the vast majority of men would benefit from reading them.

But I am a realist. I know it won’t happen. I’ve been accused of being ruthlessly pragmatic and even (OMG) unromantic. So if I can’t get guys to read romance novels, how can I help them to become more romantically actualized? Well, I’ve spent a lot of time reading romance novels myself (oh, the pain of research), and I’ve distilled my findings down to ten easy lessons. Well, nine, really, with a summary at the end.

Here are the chapters…I am aiming for one every week or two:

  1. Acknowledge Your Inner Romance Hero
    If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will, either. Every true romance hero understands his value to the world.  It may take him a little longer to acknowledge his flaws, but that’s what heroines are for.
  2. Be a Reformable Rake
    There’s nothing so tempting as a rake, but rake is not synonymous with boor.  The rake enjoys  a bit of a dissolute reputation, but when push comes to shove, his inner loyalty always wins out. Where’s the line between a rake and a jerk?
  3. Keep Your Calves Kilt-Worthy
    A romance hero is always in shape.  Not every man can be six feet tall with six-pack abs, but you can, and should, squeeze in a work out now and then. Even if you don’t have a perfect body, your heroine will appreciate the effort.
  4. Learn to Woo Your Lady
    In the several hundred years the romance genre’s heroes have been wooing and winning their ladies, this has changed somewhat, but certain things remain constant.
  5. Always Protect a Lady’s Person, Reputation, and Sensibilities
    George Clooney, listen up! Living as a romance hero means never letting anyone take advantage of the women in your vicinity.
  6. Remember: Fashion is Always in Fashion
    A romance hero would never be caught dead in Tevas with white socks.  No, it’s a pirate shirt blowing in the wind, or a kilt blowing in the wind.  And personal grooming is a must.  No woman ever lusted longingly after a man with greasy or over-gelled hair.
  7. Be a Duke in the Ballroom, a Highwayman in the Bedroom
    A romance hero is seductive and sensual, with his public persona only hinting at the more blatant side of his nature expressed in the bedroom.
  8. No Crying in Public
    Get serious.  The sensitive 90s guys went back out with the 90s, thank goodness.  A romance hero may shed a few tears when he’s in private with his soul mate, but he’s not going to stand on stage at a convention and cry like a baby.
  9. Become Civilized
    Real men don’t wipe their hands on their kilts. At least, not in the modern era. Learn to converse, to listen, and to dance. Yes, dance.  Women love a man who can dance!
  10. Always Remember: You Are The Cover, You Are The Hero
    Never forget the lessons you’ve learned.  Always conduct yourself as if you were being painted, drawn, photographed or written about.

I’d love to get your input, so feel free to shout out suggestions for things the chapters need! Let’s give ’em what they need to give us what we want!