I've been following a discussion at one of my on-line writer groups about what makes a male character "swoon-worthy." The initial questioner wanted examples, too, and Vaulter was kind enough to throw Merritt into the fray.
Thanks, Vaulter, but I don't see it.
Weird, I know, to write a male protagonist that doesn't make me shiver, but Merritt is just a guy. A "man's man," if you will, but not what I consider my type. He's Caissa's complement. Fearless, intuitive, well-fed, competent with weapons - you know, the stuff she isn't. A savage man with a thin veneer of civility. Frankly, I've been surprised by how many people like him. He's a bit of a brute, although his heart is in the right place.
Don't get me wrong. Merritt is shaggy head and shoulders above many men in my estimation. His loyalty, integrity, and survival skills make him an admirable companion in almost any situation not involving white gloves and ballroom dances. He's just not my type.
None of the males in Star of Justice are my type, actually. I tend to go for the George Francisco's (Alien Nation, if the name isn't familiar) of the world: the husband/father provider that excels at his job yet makes time for his family. Or the weight-of-the-world carrier that takes responsibility seriously and follows the hard right, like Hank Hill. Yes, he's a cartoon character, but he's got the right stuff.
The writers group seemed to conclude "swoon-worthy" depends on the swooner. Wise words. Since my goal has never been world-wide fame, I'll stick with "interesting" as my goal. If they turn out "swoon-worthy," as well, bonus.