As it's Sexy Men week, I thought I'd pay a little homage to that ignored, if not much-maligned, member (ha!) of the male species: The Brute. I'm talking the guy who's more brawn than brain, more body than mind; that muscle-bound, sword-wielding, street-smart, mono-syllabic grunter who's more into action than thought. Sound familiar?
We've seen him in countless action stories and movies but he's rarely seen in romantic fiction because ... well, he's not romantic. He's a man's man. When he's not knocking off his enemies in frenzied bloodlusting revenge, he's likely to drag his love-interest to the nearest cave by the hair and have his wicked way with her.
The stereotypical brute? Conan the Barbarian, aptly played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. You may be thinking Ewwww! but I dare anyone not to want to run their fingers down his abs and test out his biceps - if only to see if they're real.
The Brute is a mixture of the fantasy action hero and the Beast of Beauty and the Beast mythology. He's big, he's ugly, but underneath he's yearning for love and a little TLC, just like the rest of us. The prize for the heroine putting up with his lack of communication is his utter devotion. He'll defend you, he'll fight for you, he'll hack off your enemy's head and hand it to you on a platter. And you better have the stomach to take it and say thank you!
A lot of The Brute's attraction is his rampant physicality. He's utterly masculine. He plays into our female fears of being physically overpowered even as we're thrilling to his touch. He's all about about the sex, baby. Perfect fodder for the erotic romance writer. It's a wonder more of us haven't taken advantage of him! *g*
I have no idea whether I'm in the minority in liking The Brute, but I suspect not if the hoopla over Gerard Butler's abs in 300 The Movie was anything to go by. I suppose there's something infinitely comforting about The Brute. You know he'll defend your babies to the death. And even if he's not one for conversation, you can delude yourself his silence means he's listening to your troubles.
And then there's always those abs to play with.