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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Literary Men and the Women Who Love Them ~ Guest blogger Olivia Kelly

I went out with some friends the other night, and we got into a passionate discussion about our favorite literary heroes. Although I do believe I was a trifled disguised at the time, I remember that two out of three of us were gushing over The Marquess of Dain from Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase.

What I imagine Lord Dain might look like. Sigh

Javier Bardem

I think we used the words “best scene ever between the hero and heroine…ever” and described Lord Dain as “complex”, “wounded” and “in desperate need of redemption”, to explain why we got all starry-eyed over this character to the one of us who hadn’t read the novel. Interestingly enough, we agree that another literary hero we love, Lord St. Vincent, from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, has many similar qualities too.

Well, hello there, Lord St. Vincent. You want to do what? If you insist...

Jude Law

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for the bad boys, the fallen angels, the almost un-redeemable. In my mind, the novel is so much more fun when the hero behaves as if he thinks he’s the villain or just no good for the heroine. Watching him prove himself wrong, and discover his own worth along the way to getting the girl, is usually nail-biting, sexy and entertaining. In my novella, It Could Only Be You, part of the Regency Christmas Summons Anthology, my hero Harry has an encounter with Lily Beaumont, his host’s daughter, and finally realizes there might be something more important then banishing the ghosts of war that haunt him.

Lily moved to the dresser against the wall, and fumbling for a few moments in the thick silence, she struck a match and lit the single candle that was always left there. She turned back to the bed. Harry had not moved; his head was bent, his hands dangling loosely in between his knees. She swallowed a gasp as the golden wavering of the candle revealed that he wore no dressing gown, but was clad only in a loose pair of woven cotton pants. The dim light gilded his tanned skin, turning the faint scars on his arms and back silvery. She drifted closer, for a better look, not really even aware of her movement. My, some of those scars are quite impressive. Quite.

She stopped suddenly when he raised his head. She had thought him relaxed, but his posture had been deceiving. He was coiled tighter then a drum, the tendons in his arms standing out with the effort not to move. His eyes burned into hers, trapping her, holding her.

“Come here, Lily.”

What is it about a hero that draws you in and makes it impossible to put a book down? Who are your favorite literary heroes?

Leave a comment and be entered in the Regency Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza for a chance to win a Kindle, gift cards to Amazon and Barnes and Noble and many more awesome prizes!


  1. Oh, I love, love, love Lord St Vincent from Lisa Kleypas' Devil in Winter!!! I never re-read a book. Ever. But I've re-read that one because of her Sebastian. There's just something about watching a villain reformed that makes my heart flip. :)

    What do I find appealing in heroes...? I love a witty hero! (One of the reasons I'm such a Sebastian fan). I love an honorable hero (even if they don't start out that way.)

  2. Me, too, Ava! Although, what I truly love is a Very Bad Boy reformed by love. It's a cliche for a reason, lol.
    I still can't believe you never re-read books. I have hundreds of books in my house, ones that I read over and over. They are like old friends that I love spending time with. :)

  3. Oh, and I love this new look for the blog. All your covers look fantastic!

  4. great post love the cover !!!


  5. Thanks, Regina! And we will make sure to enter you in the Regency Christmas Extravaganza -good luck!

  6. Lord Dain is insanely good fun as a hero, because he is so emotionally scarred. I'm also partial to Wulfric Bedwyn, from Mary Balogh's Slightly Dangerous. I thought I knew him so well, from reading the rest of the series. Getting to his story was such a delight, because everything I thought I knew about him was both right and wrong.

  7. Oh dear LORD, how I love, love St. Vincent, and I loathed him in the book before--with a capital L!!!

    And I agree with Catherine, it's so much fun to find out what you thought to be true is actually very, very wrong.

    Great blog Olivia! I hope you can come back and guest blog some more!!!! AND congrats on the release!!!!!!

  8. Catherine, I also thought Wulfric had a thawing issue, but then Slightly Dangerous was SUCH a revelation.
    Marquita, I loved St. Vincent from the start! I just knew he couldn't be all bad, just mostly debauched and slightly pickled from all that drinking, lol. And thank you for your comments -it is lovely being here, and I would LOVE to come back. It is such fun!

  9. Olivia,

    Thanks for being our guest today. I love the blog topic.

    I like the intelligent, powerful heroes who have their stuff together. They can crush lesser men in the real world, but use their power with care and never against anyone who isn't equally matched. They respect the heroine and know when to be tender or when to take charge.

    They can grapple with internal conflict and grow throughout the story, but they don't need psychotherapy before they can enter a relationship. Emotionally stable = good hubby material in my opinion. :-)

  10. Ahh, so you would be a fan of Devil, the Duke of St.Ives? I love Stephanie Lauren's heroes, because they are extremely powerful, witty and protective of their women and children, and one can always count on their helping hand in a difficult or dangerous situation. Thanks for commenting! :)

  11. Ah, I love me a wounded hero :). I have a hard time getting into the ones that act like jerks in the beginning, but show me. A wounded, brooding soul, and you'll have me to the very end every time. One of my absolute favorites is Robert from Suzanne Enoch's LONDON'S PERFECT HERO.
    Working my way through the Christmas Anthology now- can't wait to read yours!

  12. OMG! I totally picture Jude as St. Vincent!! Always have, from the first page he appears in the book. LOVE LOVE LOVE St. Vincent (and Jude Law. lol)

    By the way, I'm like Ava, I never, ever re-read books. Not even Devil in Winter!

    Oh, and I agree about the Cynster heroes (the ones I've read anyway). But I think, next to St. Vincent, my all-time favorite hero is Colin Bridgerton. LOVE!

    Great post!

  13. Erin, I just like the alphas- wounded, snarky, kind, powerful -whatever way them come! I like the wounded ones, because they are so much more complex, but sometimes the more simple ones are fun too. Like Colin Bridgerton, as Jerrica points out. He has a great childhood, except for his father dying, and a good life, but even he has his demons, his insecurities. Plus, he's so sweet and funny,nice and charming. (Although, he would hate to hear me call him charming!Shhh.) ;D

  14. Oh, I love St Vincent as well! I really enjoy books with the bad boy hero who falls hard for the lady he thinks he never needed :) Another one of my favorite heroes that started off as a baddie but totally redeemed himself is Lord Nicholas from Anna Campbells Midnight's Wild Passion.
    Perfect casting pictures as well :)
    tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

  15. Thank you, Lisa! It was a tough job, but I took one for the team. ;D I haven't read Anna Campbell yet, i'll have to go pick that up. I do love a bad boy. Speaking of... it's almost time for Vampire Diaries! Woot, woot!

  16. I am new to romance novels and feel like I have been missing out! I don't know what kind of hero I like best. Bad boy? Hm... probably- always dark and handsome- Sigh...

  17. For the hero, I find myself liking complex men (secrets from their past?) (unknown problem they're working through currently) who are capable of rescuing the heroine, even if it isn't in the traditional manner (brawny force). And of course, those secrets must be revealed... eventually!

    Can't wait to read the Regency Christmas Summons Anthology!

    Thanks, Olivia!

  18. You've created a problem for me! The fellow whose picture you have for Lord Dain is not anything like I imagine him.
    So now I'm conflicted. Maybe it's best if each reader has their own imagine in their head?
    I'm a kindle reader and I'm always a bit leery of looking at the cover of a book while I'm reading it. If the image of the hero doesn't fit my imagination, I tend to "go off" the story!
    Guess I'm just weird that way!

  19. Oh, Anna! I'm so sorry -I hate that too. I didn't think of that before posting today! I usually can ignore pictures and covers, if the writing is strong enough to hold me, but there was once where I read a book about a blond heroine and the girl on the cover clearly had flaming red hair. Whuck?!
    Nikol- Thanks for dropping by, I'm so glad you did! Maybe I can look around and find a dark, handsome bad boy for you. ;D
    Tamara, I know what heroes you like, because you write them so well! In case you all haven't read it, Tamara just published her first novel this year, titled Storm Surge. It's a contemporary murder mystery, set in Wilmington, NC but has romantic elements too. I think I finished it in 2 days, maybe? :D Thanks for dropping by!

  20. Great blog - and great pics! I LOVE bad boys!! Love to read about them, and especially love to write them! (grins)


  21. I adore scarred heroes, Olivia -- inside and out. Harry sounds delicious. I'm looking forward to reading!

    Dain and St. Vincent are unquestionably dreamy. But my very favorite devilish hero is Bentley "Hell-Bent" Rutledge from Liz Carlyle's THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, so delectably rakish and deeply wounded it takes a beautifully strong heroine to heal him. For contemporary heroes, I am head over heels for Nick Allegrezza from Rachel Gibson's TRULY MADLY YOURS. My heart speeds up merely thinking about these two heroes!

  22. Thanks, Phyllis! And, yes, Bentley is perfectly delicious, as are so many of Liz Carlyle's heroes. I also love Rachel Gibson, I love her whole hockey team series! I think my favorite was The Trouble With Valentine's Day, it was hilarious, sexy and a little heartbreaking. Thanks for coming by, ladies!
    And, again, thank you to the Lady Scribes! I so enjoyed being here today. XO