This post originally appeared on the lovely This Chick Reads blog.
Psmith: you so would, right. Right?
Ellie in ‘It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend’ has Jacob from Twilight on her list of fantasy dinner party guests. “Call me lowbrow, but you so would, wouldn’t you?” she says. I don’t share Ellie’s crush on Jacob (step away from the weird paedo werewolf, Ellie!), but here are my top 10 shaggable fictional heroes.
Rupert Campbell-Black – Rupert features in 10 of Jilly Cooper’s fabulous bonkbusters, and has melted hearts and made knees wobble since the 1980s. He just gets better with age, but how gutting was it to learn that he was originally based on Andrew Parker-Bowles, much-cheated on ex of the Duchess of Cornwall?
Heathcliff – The hero of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is romantic, violent and deeply disturbed. Heathcliff is the kind of man your friends would absolutely hate you to go out with: imagine coping with that level of intense passion, possessiveness and moodiness? He’d be a nightmare in real life, but he’s a truly dreamy fictional hero.
Simon Ashby – The anti-hero of Josephine Tey’s clever murder mystery Brat Farrar. Simon is spoiled, evil, sly and ultimately deadly – so why was I madly in love with him as a teenager? I recently reread the book and was delighted to discover that Simon has lost none of his bad-boy appeal.
Jack Reacher – Lee Child’s leading man is the ultimate action hero. He arrives in a town where bad things are happening, hits lots of people very hard, drinks coffee, buys a new shirt and leaves again – but not before a night or three of passion with a beautiful, intelligent woman. Generally she is about the same size as one of his thighs, which is why casting Tom Cruise in the movie was such a dreadful travesty.
Ben Morgan – The hero of Mhairi McFarlane’s fresh, funny debut novel You Had Me at Hello is that rarest of beasts: a romantic hero who manages to be utterly real, three-dimensional and by no means perfect, but still totes adorable.
Mark Russell – One of my first fictional crushes as a child, from KM Peyton’s wonderful Flambards series. Mark is a snob and a shagger, but he’s gorgeous and a brilliant horseman (see Rupert C-B and Simon Ashby above – I’m spotting a theme here).
Boromir – Flawed but noble, arrogant but courageous, I think Boromir is the most complex character in Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings. He doesn’t get the happy ending bestowed on Aragorn or Faramir, and I love him all the more for it.
Rupert Psmith – Hilarious love triangles (and squares, and hexagons, and even more complex geometric forms) are a feature of PG Wodehouse’s wonderful comic novels, but sexy heroes are a rarity. Enter Psmith (“The P is silent”). Debonair, unflappable, intelligent and immaculately dressed, he gets the girl and some of the best lines.
Luke Costello – When we meet the hero of Marian Keyes’s Rachel’s Holiday, he’s something of a figure of fun, with his metalhead hair and timeshare in a pair of leather trousers. But Rachel soon discovers his intense sexiness, and as the book progresses the reader realises that he’s not only dreamy but utterly decent too.
Mercutio – Romeo, Schmomeo. I mean, come on – if you could choose between the doomed, drippy romantic lead and his witty, dazzling sidekick who has no time for navel-gazing and makes the ultimate sacrifice for friendship, there’s only one way to go. Mercutio is Shakespeare’s hottest hero by a mile.