What I don't like is heroines in danger, or virtuous mousy females. I can't identify with them. My kind of heroine doesn't need to be rescued, or taught anything, other than maybe how to enjoy a new position!
Now for the hero, I usually prefer beta males, in that I don't want some alpha-hole who thinks he always knows what's best for the little lady in his life. Bleah! Maybe that's why I dislike BDSM? I mean, from the books I've read, the sex can be really hot! And the whole idea of holding off as long as you can, to enhance pleasure? Yes, please. But the idea that he's always totally in charge? Um, hell to the NO!
I've been told by some of my reviewers that despite saying that the heroes I write are beta, that some of them are very alpha. Maybe--if the conditions call for it, they can be. But as a rule, the heroes I like best are easy-going men, who are always up (ahem) for whatever their woman has in mind. But they don't want to always be in charge--they prefer to think of a good relationship as being a partnership, where each can take turns being in charge, and each can coast along when they're tired.
I've read two books recently that had heroines and heroes that satisfied my desires. Origins: The Chosen One is Home by Celia Breslin, had a strong, independent heroine with a whole lot of snark! She has lots of family and friends around her, but when push comes to shove, she takes care of business herself--and since she was born with a power that she's only just learning about, during the course of the three books in this series, she's eminently capable of dealing with whatever the bad guys throw her way. Oh, and she'll relax with her honey, her fated mate, who is totally hot and attentive, yet also able to stand up and deliver when needed. This paranormal romance series made me tingle with delight!
The other was Blurred Lines by Nikki Prince, a contemporary romance with heart--and heat. The heroine is a counselor in a jail, and her job is to help the guards deal with the work-related stresses they're under. The hero is one of the guards, and he's been hot for her for a long time, but mindful of their jobs both being in jeopardy if they act on their desires. This hero may actually be an alpha, but he's sweet and vulnerable when expressing how he feels to her. So I fell in love with him along with her.
Of course, in all of my books, the heroine is alpha, and the hero is my interpretation of a beta male. But since they all grow in my mind, to please me, they're the kind of characters I like. I hope you like them too.