Posted by: Jennifer | November 26, 2008

My Favorite Historical Romance Heroes

A recent post, Top 8 Hist-Ro Heroes, by Anne Glover at Regency Reader got me thinking about my own favorite heroes from historical romances – especially since I love so many of the heroes that made her list. I couldn’t keep the list to 8 though. So, here is my list in no particular order (except maybe for number 1).

  1. Devil Cynster from Stephanie Laurens’ book, Devil’s Bride – In many ways, Devil is the standard by which I judge most other heroes. I can still get chills when I read this book. I adore how he often calls Honoria – Honoria Prudence. His resolve when it comes to having Honoria as his wife is absolute and I can only being the object of that resolve. Interestingly, one of my favorite scenes between Devil and Honoria actually takes place in Laurens’ On a Wicked Dawn when Devil finally tells Honoria that he loves her – as a result of some wonderful exchanges between Devil and Lucien Ashford. I can’t help but sigh when I think about Devil.
  2. Lucien Ashford, Viscount Calverton from Stephanie Laurens’ On a Wicked Dawn – I can’t help but get caught up (again and again) in Lucien’s courtship of Amelia Cynster. The two are engaged – at Amelia’s behest. However, Lucien is determined to woo Amelia. He refuses to marry quickly and prefers not to face the fact that he loves her. Lucien tries valiantly to gain the upper hand – which I guess he lost when Amelia proposed to him. Again, I love the conversations between Devil Cynster and Lucien. More often than not, it is the heroines who manipulate situations in order to make their heroes admit their love. Actually, I guess this is one of the reasons that I love so many of Stephanie Laurens’ heroes – while they may not want to actually give voice to their love, they tend to realize that they do in fact love their heroines earlier than most.
  3. Martin Fulbridge, the Earl of Dexter from Stephanie Laurens’ On a Wild Night – Amanda Cynster knows what she wants in life – and that is Martin Fulbridge. She gets Martin’s attention by pushing the boundaries for a virginal young lady of the ton. Martin rescues Amanda from a difficult situation and can’t help but continuing to watch over her. I love to read about Martin’s thoughts while he attempts to deal with both Amanda and his growing feelings for her. Their battles for one-upmanship are quite something.
  4. Deverill, Viscount Paignton from Stephanie Lauren’s The Distraction – Deverill is a man looking for a wife. His aunt points him to Phoebe Malleson. Unfortunately, Phoebe isn’t looking for a husband. Of course, this doesn’t really matter to Deverill who decides that Phoebe is the one for him almost instantly. She doesn’t give in easily, but Deverill is up to the challenge.
  5. James Malory from Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue– How can one not love a man who is both a notorious pirate and a peer of the realm (even if he has been somewhat disowned by his family)? He is also a man who refuses to answer to anyone – and who loves to antagonize those around him (his family, but especially his in laws). He meets Georgiana Anderson on board his ship. She is disguised as a boy and takes a job as James’ cabin boy. Of course, the disguise doesn’t fool James for long. He delights in playing along and making things as difficult as possible for George. He seems to meet his match in Georgiana’s relatively large family of brothers. Of course, baiting them is just part of his plan. How could such a seasoned rogue ever willingly get married? Obviously, being forced to do the deed was his only option. Fortunately, James continues to be his antagonistic (yet wonderful) self in the successive Malory books released by Lindsey. I always look forward to seeing him again.
  6. Warren Anderson from Johanna Lindsey’s The Magic of You – Warren Anderson is the Anderson family’s equivalent of James Malory – and is one of James Malory’s favorite targets. Beyond that, he is seemingly dead set against love – having been hurt badly in his younger days. However, Amy Malory was determined to win his love. Warren fights to stay away from Amy, knowing that the family would force them to marry if he compromised her. Fate forces them together, on a ship bound for the United States. While Warren can’t stay away from Amy, he refuses to give in to his emotions. I love watching him try to cope with his feelings after Amy refuses to allow her family to force them to marry.
  7. Ambrose St. James, Duke of Wrothston from Johanna Lindsey’s Man of My Dreams – Forced to hide from his best friend, Ambrose (Devlin) is forced to take refuge as a horse trainer on a local estate. There he meets Megan Penworthy. Sparks fly between the two. When he discovers that Megan has lofty marital aspirations, Devlin decides to try and cure her of those thoughts. After all, she informs Devlin the horse trainer, that she will marry Ambrose St. James – the Duke. Devlin isn’t having anything to do with that. Yet, he can’t stay away from Megan. Due to impending parenthood, the two do marry. Of course, Devlin marries Megan without telling her that he is indeed the Duke of Wrothston. Devlin’s personality as the duke is much different than his personality as the horse trainer. Once back in his own place, he has a great deal of difficulty dealing with Megan and making his marriage a happy one. I love watching him come to grips with Megan and her role in his life. Thank goodness for his grandmother!!!!
  8. Angel from Johanna Lindsey’s Angel – Angel, the gunslinger otherwise known as “the Angel of Death”, comes to help Cassie Stuart out with a problem. She is staying on her father’s ranch with many angry neighbors trying to make her leave. She needs a peacemaker, but gets Angel instead. Big sighs!! Angel isn’t really much of a peacemaker, but he does stay to help and protect Cassie, whose father is out of town. Despite his fear of Cassie’s pet Mirabelle, he does his best to resolve the issue. Of course, Cassie doesn’t want her neighbors to know who Angel actually is – so she tells everyone he is her fiance. Shortly thereafter, the two end up married while on the wrong end of a shotgun. Angel doesn’t think he is good enough for Cassie. She comes from a well-to-do family, and he isn’t even sure if he has any family. Despite this, the two can’t stay away from each other. I love it when Angel climbs into Cassie’s bed. Before making love to her, he asks if they are still married – and decides they can wait longer to see if Cassie is pregnant. Angel isn’t as tough as he makes himself out to be. He has only killed people who needed to die – and his greatest wish is to find his family. Fortunately, he does find his family – and then finds his way back to Cassie.
  9. Michael Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin from Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked – I’m a sucker for a long-suffering hero who has loves someone he cannot have – and boy does this apply to Michael Stirling. Michael falls in love with Francesca Bridgerton the first time he meets her – at her engagement ball. She happens to be engaged to his cousin. Michael tries to hide his feelings behind liaisons with other women. But, when his cousin dies, Michael has to leave the country because of his feelings for Francesca, her apparent pregnancy, his guilt, etc. In her grief, Francesca needs Michael, but in a way that he really couldn’t handle. When he finally returns and does reveal his feelings, Francesca has a difficult time coping. The attraction between the two is incredibly strong, but Francesca is hesitant to let Michael into her heart. My heart, however, was fully involved.
  10. Colin Bridgerton from Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mr. Bridgerton – Coling Bridgerton is definitely one of the most lovable of Julia Quinn’s heroes. How can somebody not love the man who loves Penelope Featherington (aka Lady Whistledown)? One of the best scenes in this book is where Colin reveals not only his wife’s secret identity to a London crowd, but also his love for her.
  11. Colin from Julie Garwood’s Castles – I first fell in love with Colin (aka dolphin) in Julie Garwood’s Guardian Angel. I was thrilled when he got his own story – and had to contend with Princess Alesandra. Alesandra needs to marry, and Colin’s family would love to have him play the part of groom. Colin, however, isn’t inclined to marry. So, he sets out to help Alesandra find a suitable match. When danger surfaces, Colin can no longer deny his feelings – that he can’t sit by and let her marry someone else. Overall, I love the interactions between Colin and the list-making Alesandra.
  12. Lucas Ross from Julia Garwood’s Prince Charming – In this story, Lucas Ross has to put up with quite a bit, but he never misses a beat. He agrees to marry Taylor and help get her out of England (away from her relatives). Once they reach Boston, he realizes that Taylor also needs to help him get her nieces. Lucas is the perfect man to protect Taylor and her nieces – and the other people that Taylor collects along the way.
  13. Garret, Earl of Mayne from Eloisa James’ Pleasure for Pleasure – I loved the Earl of Mayne from his first appearance in an Eloisa James book. He was an integral character in all of the books of the Essex Sisters’ series. I thought he was the perfect foil for the youngest Essex sister, Josie – and was by far my favorite of the heroes. There is just something about the older, jaded, roguish gentleman that captures my imagination. It helped that he appeared in several books before getting his own HEA.
  14. Marcus, Lord Westcliff from Lisa Kleypas’s It Happened One Autumn – Marcus is a wonderful character – a straitlaced Earl who isn’t quite sure what to make of the American heiress, Lillian Bowman. Neither believes the other is a suitable matrimonial candidate. Yet, they each need the other. Marcus especially needs the outspoken Lillian to shake up his life a little bit.
  15. Tristan Carroway, Viscount Dare from Suzanne Enoch’s The Rake – Another of my favorite plots is the one with reunited lovers. Tristan is a rake – one who played with Lady Georgiana Halley. Georgiana decides to teach Tristan a lesson by making him fall in love. While I wanted to dislike Tristan (after all he took Georgiana’s virginity on a bet), I couldn’t help but love him. Boy when he reforms, he really reforms!
  16. Miles Redmond from Julie Anne Long’s Like No Other Lover – I had to add Miles. I’m still not sure what it is about him that so captivated me when I read Like No Other Lover. While I liked the story, it doesn’t come close to being one of my favorites. This is surprising because in most cases my favorite heroes are from my favorite romances. I loved Miles’ interactions with Cynthia – especially their more intimate moments.
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Responses

  1. I agree with you about, Lord Westcliff. He is also one of my all time favorites. Another great Lisa Kleypas hero was, Derek Craven from, Dreaming of You.

  2. I don’t think that I’ve read Dreaming of You. There are several of Lisa Kleypas’ older titles that I haven’t ready – and I definitely need to rectify that. Thanks for the comment!! 🙂

  3. How could I have forgotten James Malory! I need to reread Gentle Rogue…one of my all time faves!

  4. That was the biggest problem that I had. I kept remembering other heroes that I wanted to add!!! 🙂

  5. Very nice blog. Snooping around for some info on romance heroes and came across this. I must write an article for another blog about what makes GREAT heroes.

    Thanks for the nice journey.
    Author Keta Diablo

  6. Thanks Keta!!

  7. At least half of your fave authors are on my top 10 but I was wondering why you didn’t include johanna lindsay when you so admire her heroes? Just a thought.

  8. Geni, this is a good question. I’m not sure I can entirely explain. I did think about putting Lindsey on my list of favorite authors. Ultimately, I did not because I haven’t been entirely happy with her recent books. Lindsey is still a must buy for me – even in hardcover, but I don’t look forward to her upcoming releases like I used to.

  9. I don’t have a reply but a question. I just read some books and can’t remember the author. The books are about two families that have a long standing dispute. One book has a gentleman come home to look for a pirate and finds at a ball his brother that looks like him. He meets the sister who then stows away on his ship when he sets out to find the gentleman pirate. They find the brother who is the pirate and the book ends with the two meeting in a bar and the pirate deciding this man loves his sister so all OK. The pirate gentleman left his family a few years ago because his true love who is the daughter of the rival family told him he didn’t stand for anything so he set out to capture and destroy ships owned by a group dealing in slaves. Now he thinks that her father is part of the group. I think that will be the next book, but do not remember the author. Help please.


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