Jane Austen,  Reading

Heroes to fall in love with

Elizabeth-and-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-4699146-800-530I think it’s pretty much standard that when you write romance you fall in love with the hero, even if at certain stages of the book you want to give him a smack upside the head and tell him not to be such a stubborn, insensitive, clueless idiot. And we hope that our readers fall in love with him and the heroine, or even the relationship itself. Lizzie and Darcy, anyone?

So here’s my Top Ten, in no particular order, of fictional heroes I have fallen in love with:

Black Beauty. Yes, I know he’s a horse. I was six, okay?

180px-Mr_Tumnus-1-Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.  Ditto faun, and I was eight. But I fell all over in love with him again in the movie and James McAvoy’s goaty goodness. Talking of which, check out this very sexy dance scene from the very indifferent movie Becoming Jane. Ooh.

Henry Tilney. He is the best Austen hero. He knows about laundry. He has social skills, does not practice pluralism, and is the success story of his dysfunctional family.

Lord Peter Wimsey. Or, to be specific, Lord Peter Wimsey in Gaudy Night, when Harriet falls in love with him, finally, and he is translated into instant hotness. Placetne, magistra?

Sam Vine in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. A cop with smarts, a tender heart, a strong sense of justice, and a love of bacon sandwiches.

Lord Vetinari, also from Discworld. What’s not to love! An autocrat who was trained as an assassin, given to sarcasm and steepling of fingers.

Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch by George Eliot. So she’s a girl (so was George). You have a problem with that?

Will Ladislaw, also from Middlemarch. All that exotic foreign radical hotness.

Jasper Hedges from Pam Rosenthal’s The Edge of Impropriety. Smart, shabby, beautiful hands, glasses, and actually smacks away the heroine’s hand during their first encounter because he can undo his trouser buttons faster than she can.

Temeraire the dragon from Naomi Novik’s series. Even if he does have eggs with other women I love him still.

And #11, bonus material, Will Lawrence from the same series.

How about you?

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Jane George
9 years ago

Wonderful list! I’d like to add Dick Francis’ Sid Halley.
I also have a bit of a Snape problem. Not quite ready for the 12-Step anti-hero rehab yet though.

9 years ago

I’d fight you for Lord Peter Wimsey. Other fictional beloveds include Aral Vorkosigan from Lois McMaster Bujold’s series, also Ivan Vorpatril as of Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, which has made me alert to how clever and resourceful and honorable he really is earlier in the series while everyone keeps calling him an idiot. (I love Miles, too, but I think I’d find him just a bit too intense and manic as a love interest.) Let’s s see, who else? Marcus Didius Falco from Lindsey Davis’s mysteries. Joscelin Verreuil from the first Kushiel trilogy. Richard Sharpe.

9 years ago

Another one fighting you for Lord Peter Wimsey here – I fell in love with him in Strong Poison, which is obviously earlier than Gaudy Night, so I got him first!

I also love:
Septimus Hodge from Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia
Brat Farrar (Josephine Tey)
Horatio from Hamlet
Sebastian St. Cyr (C.S. Harris)
Meryon in the Romney Marsh series by Monica Edwards
Alexander Cale from Lady Rogue by Suzanne Enoch (and several of her other heroes)
Any number of Georgette Heyer heroes
Ditto Mary Stewart

I also have a crush on Roderick Alleyn (Ngaio Marsh) and Inspector Grant (Josephine Tey), so I obviously have a soft spot for gentleman detectives!

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