The Deconstructed Regency Romance…The hero

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Last month I introduced the first installment in this five part series.  This month I’m continuing the deconstruction of the modern Regency with a glimpse at what makes the genre one of the best-selling in romance—the hero.


What does it take to land a leading role in a regency romance? Believe it or not, the gig isn’t as easy as one would think. It takes a lot more than a hot bod and a pretty face to fill the hessians of the many rogues that have graced the regency genre  Mr. Knightly, Mr. Rochester, Westmoreland, Moncrieffe, Dain (I just swooned), and any man that goes by Bridgerton—what do they all have that others don’t?  There’s got to be a reason I chose to tattoo Mr. Darcy on my foot instead of the name of my husband (Sorry, honey!)? So, what does it take to be a regency hero?

Wit:  Perhaps my favorite part in any regency is the witty banter.  It takes two to ‘banter’, therefore the hero must be able to pull off his fair share of witty comments in order for a book to be successful.  If he’s going to give the cut direct, then he’s got to do it with style.

Humor:  I always say when I grow up, I want to live in Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green. If you think about it, that not-so-sleepy village wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without the hilarious antics of the gentleman who occupied it. Slapstick or otherwise, hilarity must ensue if the regency rake is to be charming.

Money:  Titled or not, the hero must be bring something to the table.  Preferably, several thousand pounds a year. Even if the hero doesn’t start out rich, chances are by the time you’ve turned that last page he’s inherited a title or fortune.

Great hair: When was the last time you flipped open a historical romance and the hero was sporting a comb over, or a receding hair line with a saucer sized bald spot in the back?  I never have. Flowing or spiky, wavy or straight, the hero is usually sporting some serious Fabio-grade locks.

Sexual Prowess:  Cue Barry White! The regency hero is a world-class lover. Experience isn’t even necessary, though it’s often preferred.  Able to reduce his heroine to tears of joy and assorted sounds of pleasure with little more than a smoldering glance her way, his appetite is unsurpassed by other mere mortals and his recovery time…What recovery time?  The regency hero is always ready, willing, and able to please his heroine in every imaginable way.

ROMANTIC PURSUIT QUESTION: What Jane Austen book inspired the name I have tattooed on my foot (as mentioned in today’s blog)? Click here to answer.

Jessica JeffersonJessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at and read more of her random romance musings. Her latest book, Taming Miss Tisdale, is available now.

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Follow Jessica Jefferson:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, nine and three year old girls, guinea pigs, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property. Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist, infused with humor. She always tries to create endearingly flawed heroes and one of a kind heroines that you'll want to continue knowing long after you read the last page. Fall in love with romance again...

29 Responses

  1. ki pha

    Omg! You got all that right! I should add all those legs, thighs, and calfs too. Oh and shoulders~ Gosh I’m making myself swoon here thinking about all those gents and their long legs and broad shoulders! LOL Time to search up Pinterest.

    • jessicajefferson

      I had to stop somewhere – what Regency hero doesn’t have chiseled labs and well-defined shoulders and back muscles? 🙂

      • ki pha

        LOL Well, I have read some where the heroes weren’t all that muscular but more slim and lean.

  2. Barbara Monajem

    LOL. I once wrote a prologue where the hero was a bad lover — completely oblivious — which made the heroine swear off love forever. In the plot I envisioned, he was going to return a few years later, well-versed in the ways of love, and have an uphill job getting the heroine to fall for him again. However, my editor wanted the hero to be a fantasy lover from day one. Oh, well. I may still write that book someday. 🙂

    • ki pha

      Ooo I~ I love the idea Barbara! You should do it. But hopefully they’re not married. Some readers will take it rough if he were to be unfaithful.

      • Barbara Monajem

        No, they’re not married — and she’s really glad they aren’t, LOL. Of course, later she changes her mind. 😉

    • Joanna Moreno

      Barbara, I think I would read that book. Haven’t we all, or at least some of us met that clumsy, nerdy guy at one point early in our lives, turned him down and later found out he was oh, so the man of our dreams?! Truth be told I haven’t or didn’t (too old for that now LOL) but I would be such a fun read =D

      • jessicajefferson

        You just described every software engineer in California. Only they don’t necessarily get sexy – but they sure do end up rich.

  3. Joanna Moreno

    yes, yes, yes!! All of the above! Verbal sparring as I call it, is one of my favorite pieces to read off Historical romances. And the hair, some of the depiction of the heroes make me jealous of the lusciousness of the locks LOL

  4. hollybushbooks

    ‘You’re the first, the last, my everything’ . . . I’m thinking about Mr. Darcy singing a little Barry to Elizabeth.

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