June 20, 2013

Sizzle & Swoon: Our Favorite Heroes

Today's installment for Sizzle & Swoon involves one of the best things about ANY romance novel - the heroes. For the most part, I've had great experiences with the heroes in my favorite romances. They're not just one-dimensional alpha males. No, no, no! The heroes I love are the ones that pop off the page with their sheer maleness and their personality. Sure, most of them happen to be extremely good-looking (in my mind). But what I adore most of all is the intelligence, complexity and surprising vulnerability that exists beneath the surface.

There's a whole variety of heroes out there waiting to be discovered! In case you wanted some suggestions, check out the list the three of us came up with! (Anytime you see a +A/+R/+S, that means more than one of us endorses the choice.)

Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas
Sebastian St. Vincent (Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas) - Does this really require an explanation? Sebastian is one of those good-looking bad boys, the kind who gets into all sorts of shenanigans and debauchery. But his redemption as love slowly transforms him is mesmerizing. He starts demonstrating his feelings and that leads to a ton of completely swoon-worthy moments. (+R)

Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass & Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas) - I realized fairly recently that I have a thing for men in uniform. Chaol, who is Captain of the Guard, happens to be the number one example. He's a wonderful person. He's strong, tough, gruff and serious; but that's all balanced by his capacity for vulnerability, enjoyment and relaxation. What makes him even dearer is witnessing just how much he cares about the people he loves, particularly Celaena, whom he knows and understands and accepts completely. *swoons*

the Bridgerton boys: Anthony, Benedict, Colin & Gregory (The Viscount Who Loved Me, An Offer from a Gentleman, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton & On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn) - Yes, I totally cheated on this choice but I don't really care because all four of them are AWESOME. I really was trying to pick one, but it was just not going to happen. The four brothers are all good men. They exhibit a strong relationship with their mother and among their siblings, plus they're quick to entertain, comfort and protect. My favorite thing about each of them, however, is how besotted they become with their heroines. 

Dreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas
Derek Craven (Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas) - Lisa Kleypas hero, surprise, surprise! I love ALL of Lisa Kleypas' heroes, but Derek Craven stands out because he's not a duke/earl/rake or anything super popular in historical romance. He's a self-made, hard-working man that used to live on the streets; he has the Cockney accent to prove it! (+S)
Owen Armstrong (Just Listen by Sarah Dessen) - I know the spotlight is always on Wes from The Truth About Forever and I LOVE Wes, but Owen, with his straight-up talk and easy friendship and how he's such a great big brother... *cries* Owen is perfect. (+A)
Hardy Cates (Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas) - Greatest hero EVER? I think yes. BIG FAT YES. We meet Hardy Cates when he's 17 in Sugar Daddy. We see him care for his family, love a girl, grow up and fuck up royally. But in Blue-Eyed Devil, he redeems himself and grows up some more. Lisa Kleypas' dedication in Blue-Eyed Devil says it all. (+A) (+S)

Jericho Barrons (The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning) - I really have no words. I can't really explain it unless you've read the books; he is just so mysterious and enigmatic and freaking sexy. I love that he uses words like "pernicious" and that he owns a bookstore (HELLO, sexy points right there) and that he calls Mac "Ms. Lane".

Kev Merripen (Seduce Me At Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas) - Merripen is just about as Alpha as you can get. He is a little primitive, more than a little possessive, and a whole lot sexy. His care and devotion for Win are exponential, and you know he would do anything for her.

Carter Maguire (Vision in White by Nora Roberts) - On the opposite end of the spectrum from Merripen, we have Carter, the ultimate Beta. I love SO MANY things about Carter. He wears tweed, is totally clumsy and awkward and adorable. To quote Mac (the heroine), "Grandfathers wear tweed. Old guys in old British movies wear tweed. Why do I find it sexy that he wears tweed? This is a question that haunts me." Also, he is an English teacher. So, there's that.

These heroes all sound hot, hot, hot and adorably easy to fall in love with! I'm familiar with quite a few, but there are a couple of names that really make me curious. Apart from the fact that you'll certainly find one hero to swoon over with us, please note that Lisa Kleypas is clearly the queen of writing lovable heroes as she appears on each of our lists (and for different books)!

YOUR TURN - Do you recognize any of these heroes and agree? Who are your favorite heroes? What is it about them that you love (or hate to love) (or hated at first, but fell in love with)?

For more Sizzle & Swoon, head on over to The Book Barbies!


  1. I don't really read much romance BUT I will say that when I read Vampire Academy, I hated, hated, hated Adrian at first, but I totally grew to love him and his douchey ways ;)

    Great feature, ladies!

  2. I'm loving, loving, loving these Sizzle and Swoon posts! Pretty much I love every hero of the books I've read above - Sebastian, Derek and Merripen by Kleypas, and the Bridgerton Boys are the best! I also have a soft spot for Julie Garwood's heroes! And I seriously need to read the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts.

  3. yes to so much of this! Sebastian! I love how he redeems himself. But i have to say I would choose Colin Bridgerton, if I had the chance. i need to read the lisa kleypas books soon! Derek Craven is mentioned in a lot of them and I would like to get to know this man, already. And of course, Hardy Cates is very popular with the ladies. also, i have darkfever on my TBR & just requested from the library! you girls are a bad influence. :) ~daphne

    1. Colin is my favorite too <3 And YES, you do need to read ALL the Lisa Kleypas books! She ROCKS!

  4. Oh, Chaol! I adore him so much, for all the reasons Alexa listed. *swoons*

    Owen Armstrong is very swoonworthy too. Although, I'm still a bit more of a Wes fan ;)

    1. Ok. I'll take it since you did say Owen *is* swoonworthy too ;D

  5. Okay, I have heard so much about Chaol and I think I would love him! I really need to read the Throne of Glass series!

  6. So.... the only one I recognize is Chaol. And hands down, agree! Love him oh so much! :)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)