Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character.
I don’t usually crush on fictional characters… at least not by my definition of crush. (I use the term to refer to, say, preadolescent girls’ mania for Justin Bieber.) But the topic does state “if I were also a fictional character,” so I’ll go with a broader definition of crush and let my imagination roam a bit.
I should warn you that if your taste runs to super-dominant alpha males, bad boys or dark, brooding sorts, or to vampires, werewolves, and the like, you may find my list a trifle… bland. I freely admit, I prefer nice, safe, steadfast men. I may enjoy reading about the brooding or emotionally scarred or slightly dangerous types on occasion, but even if I were a fictional character, I’m not sure I would want to fall in love with one. Oh — and I’m not a teenager, or even close, so there won’t be a lot of really young guys on here. (Sorry, Harry and Percy…)
So here in no particular order are some of the men who make my list of crushworthy guys:
- Colin Bridgerton from Romancing Mr Bridgerton. Because he’s just plain nice. And it’s so refreshing to have a nice romantic hero, one who isn’t emotionally damaged or dark or brooding or super-alpha. Colin is incredibly handsome, but he’s also kind and funny, as well as totally, utterly entranced with and loyal to Penelope, the woman he loves — even when he’s angry at her. He’s the sort of man I’d like to marry. (Actually, I did marry a man very like him in many respects — lucky me!) Runner-up in this series: Colin’s brother Anthony, from The Viscount Who Loved Me.
- Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series. Because he’s Gilbert. (And really, how many of us didn’t crush on him when we first read the books?) Another nice, loyal, sensitive, honorable, and dependable man, who adores Anne and goes on adoring her even after decades of marriage.
- Bill Willis, from Aunt Dimity’s Death and subsequent books. Nice, caring, intelligent, with a good if quirky sense of humor and a ’til-death-do-us-part sense of commitment, Bill is also practical (mostly) and pretty well grounded, making him a good partner for the impetuous and prone-to-leap-to-conclusions Lori.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Dependable. Loyal. Trustworthy. Totally committed. In it for the long haul. Definitely marriage material. Don’t get me wrong — each of these men is more than capable of sweeping his lady off her feet, figuratively and perhaps literally. They aren’t dull or boring. They’re romantic, sexy, and safe. And they usually have a sense of humor. These are the guys I would totally crush on even though I’m not a fictional character.
The next batch are a little more varied:
- Taran from the Chronicles of Prydain. I recently re-read these, and saw plainly what I sensed only dimly as a child and young adult. They are wonderful MG fantasy books, but they are first and foremost the story of a young boy’s journey to full manhood, learning wisdom, compassion, honor, a sense of responsibility, leadership, and humility along the way. Even when I was young, the boy Taran sometimes made me roll my eyes and want to shake him for being an idiot. The man he becomes in Taran Wanderer and The High King, however, is a man to respect, admire, and love. I don’t blame Princess Eilonwy for giving up her magic to stay in Prydain at Taran’s side; in her place, I’d have done the same.
- Lord Peter Wimsey, from Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries. Lord Peter isn’t a particularly comfortable man, but he’s very intelligent, very funny and charming when he wants to be, and heartbreakingly human as he peels away his masks to show Harriet the real and complex man inside. He is also utterly devoted to her, but in a way that respects her as an individual and an equal (which was very rare for his time and his class.) If I were Harriet, I wouldn’t have been able to resist him forever, either.
- Lord Robin Andreville, aka Robin, from Mary Jo Putney’s Angel Rogue. Robin is a wounded hero, but not a dark and brooding one. He’s charming, clever, and very respectful of the heroine and her biracial (white and Native American) heritage. He’s an ex-spy, which gives him all sorts of useful talents. And underneath the jokes, he’s both courageous and a gentleman. (Runners-up in the Fallen Angel series: Michael Kenyon from Shattered Rainbows and Steven Kenyon, Duke of Ashburton, from One Perfect Rose.)
- Cam Rohan, from Lisa Kleypas’s Mine Till Midnight. Dark, passionate, and sinfully sexy, Cam only seems dangerous and forbidden. Cam’s own outsider status, a result of his half-Gypsy heritage, makes him more sympathetic to the unconventional Hathaway family than most society gentlemen. Once he gives in to his feelings for eldest sister Amelia, he protects, respects, and cherishes her — and her family — in a way her former and would-be future suitor (who once abandoned her for another woman) never would have.
- Kit Butler, Lord Ravenscroft, from Mary Balogh’s A Summer to Remember, one of my favorite romances. It took several chapters for Kit to grow on me. His behavior toward Lauren initially is pretty callous; he wagers that he can get her to agree to marry him, knowing that she was abandoned at the altar the previous year. But when Lauren proposes a sham engagement to free him from the bride his father has chosen, provided he agrees to give her a “summer to remember,” Kit begins to see her as an individual worthy of respect. Over the course of the summer, as he teases her into being more adventurous, he falls in love with her — and I fell just a little in love with him. Like Robin Andreville, Kit hides emotional wounds beneath a flippant exterior; under the mask, he is honorable and caring. (Runners-up from Balogh’s books: Joshua Moore from Slightly Scandalous and Con Huxtable from A Secret Affair.)
- Aragorn, from The Lord of the Rings. The love of Aragorn and Arwen has always made me swoon a little, even before the film brought them to life (and enlarged Arwen’s part.) Aragorn reminds me of the best qualities of the legendary knights of the Round Table: noble, compassionate, honorable, deeply loyal to his comrades, a poet and philosopher as well as a puissant warrior, and faithful to the lady he believes he can never have. Not to mention strong enough to refuse the Ring. (Runner-up: Faramir, another compassionate and honorable warrior — who also refuses the Ring.)
- Galen, from Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of the Silver Woods. A soldier who has seen too much of war, Galen is honorable, wise, and selfless, quietly dedicated to the eldest princess, Rose, and just as quietly determined to break the curse afflicting all the princesses. He is anything but common despite his humble birth. And he knits, which is awesome.
And because I really felt I should include him, even with reservations:
- Matthew Clairmont, from Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. OK, I said I don’t crush on vampires and dangerous men, and I meant it. But if I did — or if I were Diana Bishop — it would have to be Matthew. I’ll be honest, the vampire blood-drinking thing creeps me out a bit… but other than that, Matthew is fascinating and compelling. And the history-lover in me is dying to ask him questions about all the things he has seen and done. (Although “dying” might not be the best choice of words in this case!)