Theresa Romain's Holiday Pleasures series are perfect reads for the holiday season. We hope you'll add those to your TBR pile. Today she shares her heroes and some of them we couldn't resist squeeing over because we would put them on our calendar too.
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Theresa's 12 Romance Heroes
Romance writers have shaken and stirred the male character every which way, and I have read so many marvelous heroes that it’s difficult for me to pick just twelve. So to help me narrow the choices down, I chose books set during each month of my romance calendar—or close to it. Hope you enjoy this year of heroes!
January: The first hero? Mick Tremore of Judith Ivory’s The Proposition. Ok, I cheated, because this book doesn’t take place in January—but it might as well kick off the year, because it’s a romance classic. In this Pygmalion tale, both the hero and the heroine are transformed, and the “loong and loovely” tale all starts with Mick—a royal turned ratcatcher—and his unforgettable mustache.
February: Those cold February days are perfect for meeting Rhys St. Maur of Tessa Dare’s Twice Tempted By a Rogue. Aww, Rhys. He’s such a big wounded bear of a man, pushing himself beyond his endurance because he feels he doesn’t deserve good things. There are past sins, there are secrets. Rhys’s pain is so beautifully real that his healing is like a shift within the reader.
March: Spring is the perfect time of year to escape a hanging and become the subject of a bawdy ballad—at least, if you’re Colin Eversea of Julie Anne Long’s The Perils of Pleasure. Colin’s book kicks off the magnificent Pennyroyal Green series, and Colin himself keeps turning up through the whole series to encourage and/or harass the other characters. He’s irrepressible, irreverent, and irresistible.
April: As the London season kicks off, you’ll want to hang out with Sebastian Grey from Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You. Sebastian is rakish and charming, setting people at ease, making them laugh and love him. But he hides war trauma…and a secret career. He’s a wonderfully fun companion.
May: The silent Malone never misses a thing in Kristan Higgins’s Catch of the Day. Not only does this Maine lobsterman have hands of steel, but he has a heart of gold and an iron will. (Apparently he is all metals. Zinc! Tin! Gallium!)
June: Leo Marsden from Sherry Thomas’s Not Quite a Husband is a beautiful combination of heroic alpha and adorable beta. He’s deeply in love with his brilliant former wife. Even after their marriage ends, he still treks halfway around the world, heedless of illness and war, for the woman he’s never stopped loving. Devotion, y’all. It’s sexy stuff.
July: Dr. John Blackmore from Vanessa Kelly’s My Favorite Countess is a doctor, devoted to serving England’s poor but able to hold his own with the haughty rich. When paired with a wounded, sullen countess (and if that makes her sound like she’s not a great heroine, WRONG), his warm heart and take-no-crap personality shine.
August: Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn series could only end with Wulfric, the cold and capable Duke of Bewcastle. In Slightly Dangerous, he does everything perfectly, as usual. But when he meets the playful heroine, he discovers the one thing he can’t control is his own passion. That? Is a marvelous transformation.
September: As summer turns to fall, Benedict Carsington—aka Loretta Chase’s Lord Perfect—gets dragged into a hare-brained chase after runaway children. The result is funny and sweet and sexy. Benedict is a guy anyone can rely on—but he also learns, to his own delight, that he’s more than that.
October: Jude Bertrand of Victoria Dahl’s A Little Bit Wild makes this house-party romance shine. He’s not cultured or particularly charming, but he’s an even rarer sort of hero: he’s funny. And he’s calm, too; in modern terms, he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Jude has an unerring eye for what’s truly important. My favorite character moment: the villain tells the heroine “You’re mine,” but Jude tells her, “I’m yours.”
November: For a wintry hero, look to the Duke of Fletcher from Eloisa James’s An Affair Before Christmas. The young duke and his duchess were deeply in love…until they married, and everything fell apart. Watching Fletch (whose real name is John) try to win back his wife in the weeks before Christmas is wonderfully sweet.
December: The perfect hero with whom to celebrate Christmas? William White, the overworked clerk from Courtney Milan’s “This Wicked Gift.” Circumstance has made William a bit ruthless—but he’s also devoted, bright, and starving for love. This novella is a beautiful appetizer for Courtney Milan’s work, and it’s delicious to read how William finds love, then struggles to accept it.
* * *I know I didn’t do justice to these fantastic fellows with my short descriptions. So let me just add: what makes these heroes truly great isn’t just their personalities (or, um, their appearances). It’s also the beauty of the stories they inhabit and the way they interact with their heroines. Lovers of romance, I think these books will win your heart.
Have you read any of these romances? What do you like about the heroes? Let’s chat!
I’m giving away a copy of my newest historical romance, SEASON FOR SCANDAL, which features a marriage of convenience and a nice-guy hero with some truly dark secrets. Open internationally! The winner can choose a print, Kindle, or NOOK edition.
Series: Holiday Pleasures #3
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (October 1, 2013)
Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can’t help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would seem to satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.
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- Have you read any of these romances? What do you like about the heroes?
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