Hi, Silver & Shana here from The Raving Readers. Thank you, Rex for allowing us to guest post today.
As we pondered on a topic for a post, we started talking about the heroes we've read about, how a certain hero rubbed us the wrong way such that we didn't feel like reading onward or if we finished the book, it left us unsatisfied at the end of the day. On the other hand, there are books that made us gush, and almost always, it can be attributed to the hero or certain hero characteristics.
We both agreed then that heroes can make or break a story. Wow, tough job, but we're sure they can bear the weight on their broad shoulders. Or they can just flash that gorgeous smile and we'd melt. But as we discussed further, we realized a sexy hero who pushed all our right buttons has to have the whole package--looks, character and personality. Of course, there's also his attitude toward the heroine.
Our discussion really perked up after that. We started listing down like crazy, our "heroes for keeps" as we call them. And we'd like to share that shortlist with you.
Silver: If you've read my review for Darkness Unleashed by Alexandra Ivy, you'd know I think Jagr is one of the yummiest heroes I've read. I think what touched me about him is his vulnerability (he'd been tortured) and we know how this inspires a woman's instincts! Like, oh no, he's hurt and he needs me (rather, the heroine)! Not only that, but his downright protectiveness toward Regan. Love reading about how he felt toward Regan and all the myriad emotions she stirred up in him.
Shana: For me, the best romance I've read lately is Sex Drive by Susan Lyons, and I didn't say that just because the author sent me the ARC! Damien Black is the sexiest hero I've come across because of how he appreciates Theresa, and makes her feel sexy and confident. He changed the way she looked at herself, and as a woman, I really like that. There's also the way their romance unfurled--sweet and natural and very believable. You can place yourself in the heroine's shoes and say, "It could've been me." Yes, with exactly that touch of wistfulness in your voice.
Silver: Oh, I know what you mean. That's exactly how I felt about Leo Marsden from Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas. I'm just thrilled by how much he loved Bryony, despite all the things that happened to them after their marriage. The way he kept on trying to make their marriage work... I think Bryony has given up by then, or she was so mired in bitterness and her own insecurities that she just didn't want to make the effort anymore. Yet, despite all this, despite all the silences and misunderstandings between them, he still loved her. And the way he loved her... Especially the last paragraph... *sigh* *melt*
Shana: *wipes up the puddle that was Silver*
Silver (laughing): Stop that! I have one more! How about Robert Carroway from Suzanne Enoch's England's Perfect Hero? No hero can be more vulnerable than him and I'm thrilled to death at the scenes where he conquered his weaknesses and his fears (and the sufferings he endured) to be the kind of man Lucinda wants. Especially when he danced with the wallflowers. He has the kind of strength of will that's very sexy. Oh my. I'm in danger of another melt!
Shana: Julian Sinclair, Duke of Auburn, from The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (review by Silver). He's a bit like Leo Marsden, come to think of it, in the way he remained true and steadfast to Emmaline after he discovered she was alive after all and despite how she turned out to be. He's the kind of hero who loves her "warts, wrinkles and all".
Hmmm... Uh, I've nothing more to add. What about you?
Shana (looks critically at the piece of paper): Now I know why it's called a shortlist, because it really is short.
So, romance readers, help us out here! What other book heroes have you encountered who are "keepers"?