From my observation, romance heroes fall into categories (archetypes, stereotypes) that are defined by what women find attractive in a male. Heroes can straddle more than one category. Occupation (job) becomes a subset of each of these categories.
Here are the types of heroes I see in romance fiction:
Brainiac/Geek – He’s the guy who dazzles the girls with his brilliant mind. These days, he’s often a computer nerd.
Bad Boy – He might be born on the wrong side of the tracks, be the black sheep of his family, or be an outright criminal.
Athlete – I suppose one could argue this is an “occupation,” but I think it’s a type–a man who is admired for his physical prowess on the playing field.
Dominant or macho guy — This hero is defined more by personality and behavior than physical brawn, although it usually includes the latter. Think Navy SEAL who saves the world and gets the girl. I think this is probably the most common archetype–and the one that makes my heart go pitter-patter. I would put cowboys in this category. The rancher who owns half the state I’d put in the following category.
Powerful man – This is the guy who wields influence in his domain. Think company CEO, military commander, a president or other leader. Said US statesman Henry Kissinger: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”
Rich guy – Millionaires and billionaires are a stable of romantic fiction. He has the money to sweep a girl off her feet.
The star -Famous guy! He can be a rock star or movie star or anybody in the limelight. I don’t see type often, but occasionally.
Artist – The creative, moody type. Musician, painter, etc. Can be combined with famous guy, but the type can stand on its own.
Are there other types you would add to the list? Which is your favorite type?