I like nice guys.
My hero is decent, intelligent, and reliable. He works hard at something useful. He builds things and people up, and doesn't tear anything down. He's kind, brave and true.
Lest he sound too much like an overgrown Boy Scout, he can use his fists if necessary, but usually doesn't have to. Why? Because he's so intelligent he can outsmart even the craftiest villain. "Nice guy" does not necessarily translate as "wimp".
My hero is an ordinary man, but the circumstances of his life have dragged him through the fire. This fire, which would have destroyed a lesser man, forged him into a better man, indeed, a hero.
So, here's my hero, Richard of Lady of the Stars, my Regency time travel novella. He's furious with Caroline, who appears out of nowhere one night in 1817 England and literally knocks him over. Then she argues that his cottage is hers. While he plans to hand her over to the authorities come morning, he, decent man that he is, allows her to stay the night. And so, our story begins.
As for intelligent, Richard is a mathematician. He works as a teacher, so he does something useful. He's had his troubles, and he protects the heroine when harm threatens (telling you how would spoil the story).
And last but not least, because all romance is part fantasy, he's also drop-dead gorgeous. See picture.
But all these qualities can belong to any decent man. What sets Richard apart? In the climax of the story, he faces a choice. His heroism shines through not only by what he does for Caroline's love, but also by what he's willing to give up for it.
What a hero.
Thank you all,