April 30, 2008 at 11:32 am (General)

In the paranormal genre, and especially with shapeshifters, the hero often walks a thin line between the dark and the light that leaves in in the sexy shadows of life.  The dark side of sexy heroes are edgy with visceral needs and wants that go directly to the heart of what drives men to mate and ultimately to love.  With my dark heroes I put my heroes through the St. Giles 4H-Test: Hard, Hot, Heroic, and a Hell of a lot!

The Hard. Think about all of your favorite heroes and most women will find that the men we are drawn to have a since of invincibility about them, an assurance that in dire moments they’ve got what it takes to go to all the way to the wall and beyond.  He has the drive and solid core of courage that will stand against the world.  But at the same time he has a vulnerable side, one that the heroine feels in the very depths of her heart and wants to protect.

The Hot.  World wide women are often drawn to different physical attributes, but one quality that appeals no matter the race or culture is an underlying sensuality that lets every woman know he is not only comfortable with himself, but he’s also comfortable with a woman being herself.  Though he might be surprised by her strength, her success, or her sensuality, he is not threatened by them but revels in them.

The Heroic.  For me, though the hero walks the dark side of sexy, he either has or develops the heart and the will to choose the good and the noble no matter the cost to himself or his own personal wants or agenda.

The Hell Of A Lot.  Well, LOL we all love our heroes to be just a little bit larger than life in every way.  When he’s sexy we want him sexy as hell.  When he’s fighting we want him hard as hell.  You get the idea.

So let me hear from you who are your favorite Hard, Hot, Heroic, Hell of a Lot heroes?  Doesn’t matter if they’re in literature, film, real life, where ever?  Just share him with the rest of us and tell us what makes him pass the St. Giles 4-H Test!

Happy shifting

Jennifer St. Giles    



  1. teresadamario said,

    Oooh I like the Hell of a Lot. I was reading your list thinking “Yeah, and yeah, and yeah”, so I guess that means I like the HAL. LOL. I like it all! Ok, that’s why I like shifters… they are everything hot, hard, heroic and sexy!

  2. AJ Hampton said,

    I love this Jennifer!! These are great guidelines to go by! For me, I love my men a bit rough around the edges. Tall, dark, handsome, and a razor? What is that! LOL.

    Maybe this carries over from my Buffy the Vampire Slayer days, but I’m a huge DB fan. *le sigh*

    Tall – Check.
    Dark – Check.
    Handome – Check.

    Although… he was a bit broody on the show. I do love a tortured man.

  3. Rachel said,

    Hard and HOT work pretty darn good for me. LOL

  4. Becky said,

    Well, the first one that pops in my mind is the original Indiana Jones. I think very hot, very handsome, very heroic just all around hotter than hell! Loved when he was being sexy and vulnerable!

  5. Savanna Kougar said,

    Oooooom the original Indiana Jones, how can a gal resist? I didn’t.
    I think the heroic and helluva lot is what sexy-excites me most about shifter heroes. Who can resist that devoted-to-his-mate wolf?

  6. Lori Devoti said,

    I think you hit the appeal of a shifter hero head on. And I think this is the reason paranormal romance in general has grown so much–it’s a lot easier to portray and believe this kind of hero in a paranormal setting. And a lot more fun!

  7. Marcia said,

    Josh Hartnett comes to mind, but I think that’s because I’m modeling my hero after him. Of all the movies I’ve seen him in, none of his characters appealed to me more than his role as Eben (sp?) in 30 Days of Night. He nailed the 4-H’s for me, especially the heroic part.

  8. Cathy said,

    The Dark Highlander – Karen Marie Moning meets the 4-H’s for me. When I read your 4H-Test Dageus MacKeltar popped into my mine like it had been yesterday that I’d read about him, when it’s been years.
    The Hard= He is 6 plus feet of broad chest and roped thighs sword strong biceps.
    The Hot= He is a 16th century Highlander. Enough said!
    The Heroic= He stepped into hell to save his brother.
    The Hell Of A Lot= He intelligent. battle honed, magical and the battle he fights now is for his sanity against possession.

  9. Patti said,

    It is hard to pick just one 4-H guy with all the great author like yourself today. I love wolf and cat shapeshifters. In films I would pick a majority of John Wayne films. He plays a man’s man, fighter, protector with vunerbility. But I also love LLCool J, in the Deliver US from Eva has all the 4-H in one movie.

  10. Ann said,

    I have to go with Mel Gibson’s William Wallace. I mean, come on, you’ve got a Hollywood-ized version of a real hero. He was a patriot and a tragic hero. He saw his wife murdered by a villanous nobleman. He was betrayed by his prince. He died for his beloved Scotland after enduring horrific torture.

    How does a modern man compete with that?

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