TOP TEN HEROES
This started out as someone's meme. Sort of. Whose, I'm sorry to say I don't remember. Then I saw it pop up on several other blogs but shied away from doing it myself because I didn't feel like I could remember ten favorite heroes let alone ten who fit this original premise...
"Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single and They Were Real But I’m Not, Single I Mean; I Am Real–But I'm Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way, So Maybe We Should Forget This…"
I smiled when I read that and while I find many of the heroes I read about sexy and attractive, I never see myself making out with them. They all belong to their individual heroines. So instead I just decided to list ten heroes I can't forget and who have left a lasting impression. Here's my who and why. No way I could rank one above the other, so these are in no particular order.
1. Wolf Mackenzie (Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard). Wolf's main goal in life is to protect his son and this crazy teacher literally comes storming into their lives and changes everything. There's no waffling. He's sure Mary Elizabeth is a good thing for him and his son and has no intention of letting her get away.
2. Webb Tallant (Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard). It was tough sticking to two of my favorite Howard heroes, but these two I remember and think about most. Webb is a complicated guy. Family and tradition are important aspects of his life and he wears the coat as scion and heir with the confidence he was born with to carry them. The fact that he finally sees more in Roann and treasures her above everything else is just awesome. Being sure that Roann knows how important she is to him and her family was a worthy goal and his true reason for returning to the family. Love him. Love the book.
3. Creede Forrester (A Reason to Live by Maureen McKade). To find joy, hope and love after suffering deep loss is so moving and incredible. This book is just so great. Creede's quiet understanding and acceptance is so needed and so freely given. Damaged himself by the loss of his son he is able to dig deep and find love again. A truly worthy man who finds a very worthy woman in Laurel.
4. Cal Bonner (Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips). Family is another theme. I love that here we have a handsome, popular and successful NFL quarterback who has a family. He understands that if there is going to be a baby he's not going to just 'man up' he's going to be a part of his child's life. I love that he likes Lucky Stars cereal. I mostly love that he is finally brave enough to change and allows himself be who he really is which is a whole lot more than a jock.
5. Ramiel Devington (My Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone). Loyal, kind, and emotionally tortured. Even with the loss and rejection he has known Ramiel is able to see, admire and understand a woman who digs deep for her own courage to try and change her life. A man who can put a woman before himself. Their arrangement begins as one of curiosity for him but ends with him taking a risk on her and on love. Not only does he admire Elizabeth, he also accepts her. More importantly, at least to her, he embraces and protects her children.
6. Duncan Swift (High Noon by Nora Roberts). He knows love. He not only welcomes this new woman into his life but all of her family too. Love me. Love my family. Duncan isn't satisfied to just accept her family without trying to be a part of them too. What woman could walk away from a man like that?
7. Thomas Mitternich (The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith). Acceptance, giving, family, love. These are all the recurring themes in my favorite heroes. Thomas also has suffered incredible loss and yet without thinking too much about it is able to reach out to a wounded Cathryn Deen. What courage it takes to risk after suffering excruciating loss!
8. Clint McKinley (Promises Prevail by Sarah McCarty) This was a toss up with Asa McIntyre in Promises Linger. Your average saddle tramp or gun for hire didn't really ever consider that he was going to have a home and family of his own. Sarah McCarty captures this western truth with both of these characters, but Clint's story has just a tad bit more to it and that's why I chose it. Clint loves from afar not believing he is worthy to be a part of Jenna's life. He wants a wife, family and a home he just doesn't believe he can have that with Jenna until she decides to adopt an abandoned half Indian baby. Then he knows he can offer her something more important than just himself. He can offer protection and security. Again, two wounded souls who find each other. A man who sees a chance for the brass ring and grabs it with both hands.
9. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen). When you read the book I think you understand more clearly how much a product of his times Darcy is. That he recognizes and loves Elizabeth in spite of social strictures of the times is amazing. That he helps her family with no expectation that they will be together is so selfless, but then a gentleman can do no less Darcy would say.
10. Richard Tiernan (Nightfall by Anne Stuart). This is a complicated one. This man and story stick with me and yet for most of the book, while fascinating, Richard Tiernan is not very likable. For quite a while we don't know why Cassidy would or could love someone who supposedly murdered his children and his pregnant wife. It's a betrayal of the worst sort. I think one of the best things Anne Stuart does in this book is not change Richard from who he has become even at the end of the book. He will always be difficult and complicated, but what woman who understands his motives could walk away? Imagine all that love, intensity and devotion focused on you? Even though he chose Cassidy from a photograph, he chose a woman who could love him despite everything.