Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Welcome Kit Donner to the Manor!

Everyone, please welcome debut author Kit Donner to the LIT Manor--Kit's delectable debut historical THE NOTORIOUS BRIDEGROOM hits shelves...well, any day now! In honor of our LIT tradition we call "Wicked Wednesday", Kit is musing about one of our favorite topics: yummy heroes! As always, one lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed book. Kit, take it away....

What Makes a Hero Sexy?

I can guess what immediately comes to mind if I ask that question to any female, particularly anyone who reads romances. We’ll start with the soulful gray eyes, or the longish dark hair, strong jaw, and continue on down to the bulging biceps, the 6-pack abs, tight buttocks in either jeans or breeches, and the rest- well, you can fill in the blanks.

But I ask you to look beyond our hero’s physical attributes for only a moment and consider comedian Steve Harvey’s words about the role a man (insert ‘hero’) fills in a woman’s life: To profess; to provide; and to protect. Although it may harken back to caveman roots, we still want our guy to tell us he loves us; provide for us and our family; and to protect us. (I’ve chosen not to address female equality or women who don’t need a man for this role in this blog.)

This description of a man’s role is what makes a hero sexy. I can think of three examples that come to mind that may help to illustrate my point. The first is from a scene from the TV show, “Taxi,” that has stayed with me for many years. The gist of the episode that I remember is Elaine’s old boyfriend/ex was coming to town and bringing his new girlfriend/wife to meet Elaine and they were to have dinner. Elaine wants to show her ex that she has someone in her life too, only she doesn’t. Her co-worker, Alex, offers to pretend to be her significant other, for show purposes, so she won’t feel like a big-time loser.

The interesting thing that happens while they are having dinner at the restaurant is how Alex treats Elaine- lovingly. He shows that he cherishes her, cares about her needs, and how much he loves her. Of course, it was all acting, but he started to convince Elaine he really meant all the things he said and did. The two characters don’t wind up together, but as I was watching this show, I began to think how sexy Alex (Judd Hirsch) was. While most people would agree that Judd Hirsch wouldn’t be the first name you think of as sexy, in my eyes, he became a sexy hero to Elaine and to me.

The other example is from the movie, “Cocoon.” There are movies that you’ve seen where you can’t recall specific scenes but something is forever implanted in your brain. For this movie, it was sexy Brian Dennehy. Yes, that Brian Dennehy, who hasn’t been seen much lately. What I remember is his kindness and his sexy low voice. After all these years, I wanted to love him for the hero he was, doing something good for mankind, helping those aliens get back home. (My memory is hazy but it went something like that.)

Lastly, I recently watched a rerun of “Frasier,” where Niles goes through all kinds of machinations to get Daphne’s parents back together, which doesn’t work. She asks him why he has done all this, and he simply tells her because he loves her, he would do anything to make her happy. (My lower lip quivers.)

In considering these examples and all the romances I’ve read, what makes a hero sexy to me is the way he treats his heroine/woman. If he can make her feel wanted, loved, cherished, and desired in her own right-that is one sexy guy. Throw a bit of kindness in there as well, and I’m a goner. Then, of course, if you add back in the first paragraph’s attributes- we’re talking scrumpdillitious yummy Godiva chocolate sexy hero.

Here’s hoping you find your hero
- Kit Donner
Whose first book, “The Notorious Bridegroom” from Zebra out on August 4, has an incredibly sexy hero.

What do YOU think makes a hero sexy?

You can view a book trailer for THE NOTORIOUS BRIDEGROOM here.

And you can visit Kit online at


Amanda McIntyre said...

Welcome to the manor, Kit!

This sounds like a delicious read! Congratulations! I love the video!! Excellent!

Your varied descriptions about sexy heroes is spot on! Eye candy is delectable, but without the yummy inside, it tends to be brittle, eh? (tossed in for my Candian friends;)

I look forward to getting your book!

Amanda McIntyre

Jennifer said...


Congrats on the release of your book! I'm looking forward to reading it.

I like Alpha males a lot. The sexiest ones are kind and loving and wear a kilt. I also think a man with an accent is totally sexy. Especially if he sounds just like Gerard Butler. :)

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kit. Congratulations on the release of The Notorious Bridegroom. Love the cover. What makes a guy sexy to me is a good sense of humor, confident without being arrogant and decent looks. :)

Jerrica Knight-Catania said...

Great descriptions and examples of sexy heroes. I'm a huge Frasier fan, so that was fun to relive :)

Looking forward to your release!


Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Kit, thanks so much for joining us today, and congrats on the debut release! I have a particular soft spot (and reserved shelf in my office!) for Zebra debut books, as I got my start in the Zebra Debut program.

So...I love your examples of sexy heroes, and I'm in total agreement. I just finished reading Julia Quinn's WHAT HAPPENS IN LONDON, and thought the hero, Harry, was particularly hot and sexy, even though he wasn't at all angsty or brooding or any of the usual things we associate with yummy romance-land heroes. He was simply a very smart, funny, nice man who treated the heroine lovingly and respectfully. It was a refreshing change of pace!

Barbara Monajem said...

Nicely put, Kit - I don't have much to add. It's the hero's character that counts most, although good physical attributes are definitely a plus. And a sense of humor tops it all off!

Kit Donner said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for your comment. I couldn't agree with you more. Love those accents!

Kit Donner said...

Hi CrystalGB,
You are totally right- how could I have forgotten the sense of humor?! When I wrote my list of the traits I wanted for my husband, a sense of humor was near the top. The older I got, the shorter the list, until sense of humor was the only thing that remained! Thanks for commenting!

Kit Donner said...

Hi Jerrica,
Thanks for commenting. Love your unusual name! I'm glad you liked the blog. The scenes described really hit me at the heart because they have remained with me for many years. Hope you like the book!

raemgilbert said...

Hay Kit, watched your video and loved the post. This is exciting.

As for hero's well...I am not so picky. Mainly a faithful, loving guy is my dream. To have a lot quirks doesn't bother me.

We can write the perfect guy, I don't need to be married to him.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Kristi,
Thanks for commenting! That's really cool about you being a Zebra debut author! This whole process has been amazing, especially since I was clueless when I started. My heroes have angst but still retain a sense of humor about life.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for commenting! I just realized that's why Beauty fell in love with the Beast. Well, maybe not just realized, but it's a good example and probably why everyone loves the story!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Good to remember, Raemgilbert!

A hero , even in writing, does not not have to be perfect--it may well be in the journey to his discovering those redeeming qualities that we fall in love with him.

I know the one I married isn't perfect,(and thankfully he accepts my imperfections!) but when the circumstances call for it-he is practically erfect in every way;)

Amanda M

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kit!

Congrats on your release!!

Let's see...I would have to say I love dark and brooding alpha heroes the most. Intelligent, dark and brooding alpha heroes. Ugh, there's just something so sexy about them.

Vanessa said...


Congrats on the book!

I am the first one to jump out and say I don't need a man to make me happy. But in secret, where I think no one will notice....

That's the kind I want. Looks aren't as important as the way he acts and treats me/others. Of course, if he comes with a scottish accent and a kilt, I wouldn't kick him out!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hi Kit, welcome to the blog! What a cool post. What woman doesn't like talking about heroes!!!

I'm going to echo Barbara's qualities as well, and also add that I like the hero to have a certain intensity about the heroine, both emotional and sexual. I like him to be a 'predator' but in a sexy way. I also like this to be really sexy and really skilled!!!

One hero who fits ALL those qualities for me is JR Ward's Rhage. He embodies the intelligent alpha, skilled sex machine, and totally focused on just the heroine!

Now, if only my husband would read this list!

Lori Brighton said...

Great post Kit!
Def. a man who can protect and put others first. And a man who respects his heroine.

Silke said...

Well put, Kit!
Yes, the protective streak gets me every time. Even when that silly woman he's trying to protect is giving him hell for doing it. :)
(How dare he!)
Another thing that does it for me is the voice. It's hard to bring it across when you write, but sometimes... oh yah. *swoon*
And another hero I really loved was Richard Dreyfuss in "Always". He may have been a ghost, but oh God... I still can't listen to "Smoke gets in your eyes" without tearing up.

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Don't get me wrong....I *love* brooding heroes, and angsty stories! (I mean, c'mon, who broods better than Mr. Darcy, or John Thornton?! Or my favorite of all romance heroes, Loretta Chase's Dain--sigh.....), but it was still a nice change of pace to come across JQ's latest hero who wasn't all angsty and broody, despite his background.

I've come to realize that I appreciate a bit of variety where my romance heroes are concerned.

Cyn said...

Oh, yes. :)

That must be why the covers with guys holding babies sell books. Who can resist a man who looks hot but is loving, sweet and willing to change diapers, too?

Pat said...

Ah, Kit,

I love a hero for whom doing the right thing is as natural as breathing. They don't think about it, analyse it, consider the cost or ramifications. They just do what's right. That always works for me.

Jane said...

Hi Kit,
Congrats on your debut release. A hero is sexy if he's intelligent, trustworthy and has a sense of humor. You must have a personality in order to be sexy.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for leaving a comment. Yes, there will always be a special place in my heart for the Rochesters/Heathcliff/Darcy characters.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, great examples! I actually remember that episode of Taxi as well, and agree with you that Alex did become a romantic hero.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Vanessa,
When I finally found a husband, I mean, my husband, he had a great sense of humor, kindness, and intelligence. He's sexy to me.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Charlotte,
Thank you for leaving a comment. Heroes- they come in all shapes and sizes and all make our hearts beat faster than a roller coaster ride. I haven't read JR Ward's book and based on your recommendation, I better get my hands on the book!

Kit Donner said...

Hi Lori,
Thanks for your comment. I guess when it comes to men and women's relationships, not much has changed since the caveman days. We still want our men to protect and provide for us, only in more recent centuries have we added: respect us.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Silke,
Thanks for reading and responding. Yes, the voice can really get to you when listening on the phone! I've never seen "Always" but now that you've mentioned it, I better get around to it!

Kit Donner said...

Hi Cyn,
Thanks for dropping a comment. When it comes down to it, sexy is in the "heart of the beholder."

Kit Donner said...

I love your coment! How true! Just doing the right thing- that instinct to know what to do. They are the unsung heroes.

Kit Donner said...

Hi Jane,
Thank you for your comment on my first book. I hope many people enjoy it. And how true that a hero must start with some kind of personality, especially in a romance novel!

Kit Donner said...

Thanks LIT Ladies for the opportunity to blog here! I love your website and enjoy popping in to see what's going on from time to time. Keep up the good work!

All the best-

J M Hughes said...


Kudos to you on your book release. I'm looking forward to reading it.

I like your sexy hero examples, and also, like CrystalGB, I think a guy with a good sense of humor is way sexy [that must be why I've been laughin' it up here at home for 30 years. :)]

I llok forward to reading you other upcoming books, too.


Laurie Kellogg said...

Nice blog, Kit. I can't agree more on what makes a man sexy. It's all about the ways he makes a woman feel special and SEXY and nothing to do with how he looks.

Suzanne Brockmann's hero Dave is an excellent example of a geek who becomes attractive and heroic all because of the way he treats Sophia.