Today was much busier with the donations. I put away three grocery bags full of romance novel donations and filled up the little gaps on the shelves. They were still pretty good from when I'd filled them up Tuesday. I think many of the romance readers come in on Fridays and Saturdays. We got some nice new ones. Some were Christmas romances, which we've been getting donations of for a couple weeks. Some were new category romances. Apparently there's an entire NASCAR romance line, just with racecar driver heroes. I like watching horse racing, but car racing seems terribly dull to me. Each to their own. Those NASCAR ones seem pretty popular, from what I can tell. The Regency romances frequently have dukes as heroes. I think at the time there were relatively few dukes, and most were the Prince Regent's brothers. I'd have to look it up. There really weren't thousands of young and dashing ones, let's put it that way.
Some category romance lines have sheiks, or Italian or Spanish aristocracy almost exclusively. Mercenaries (but only ones who fight on the "good" side of conflicts) and bodyguards are popular. In the early eighties, some of the books had military veterans. Movie stars and financiers are popular. I doubt there are that many young and dashing financiers, either, but it's a fantasy. I don't think politicians are as popular as they were. It bothers me when an invented character in a romance novel is supposed to be a Senator, because there are only a limited number of them, and most are relatively well-known in their states and in Washington, D.C. It's hard for me to picture young and unattached ones in that small pool. I can kind of see having a character who's running to be a Representative. You can be a little more vague with that. At least there you're getting into hundreds of people.
Military veterans are popular again, as you'd have some relatively young ones. Some of the characters have been given injuries which necessitate amputation, which is actually something of a reflection of reality. Law enforcement personnel are commonly heroes in M/M romance and in straight romance. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Cowboys and ranch owners are common, too. It's good if the author knows what the job entails, gives that realistic feel, rather than just saying the character is this or that because it sounds like a cool job. It depends on the amount of research the author does.