A GOOD READ: Top 10 fictional boyfriends

A Countess Below Stairs is a good book, one librarian says. - image SUBMITTED
A Countess Below Stairs is a good book, one librarian says.
— image credit: image SUBMITTED

Need some swoon-worthy romantic reads to beat the February blues? Banish away the blahs with some vicarious genteel smooching as we count down the Top 10 Best Fictional Boyfriends:

• Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the opinion of one Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory:  “Pride and Prejudice is a flawless work of genius. He’s proud, she’s prejudiced — it just works.”  The smouldering, wet-shirted Colin Firth in the six-hour BBC adaptation swan dives this historical hottie into first place.

• Radcliff Emerson from the Amelia Peabody series. He’s a gruff archeologist who seems to only have eyes for his El Amarna painted pavement and she’s a prim Victorian who enjoys hitting people on the head with a parasol. Starting with Crocodile on the Sandbank, they solve crime together in Elizabeth Peters’ delightful mystery series.

• Park from Eleanor and Park. Ah, the ’80s — a time of guyliner, landlines and mix tapes. This story of first love from Rainbow Rowell will take you back to the school bus in this heartwarming tale of two outsiders finding each other when they need it the most.

• Any of the delightfully ridiculous dukes from Grace Burrowes’ Windham series (the first book is The Heir). Their ducal father is scheming to get his brood of handsome sons and daughters married off. Each of them absconds to the countryside to escape his machinations only to fall into the arms of their One True Love. But will their Dark Secret destroy Perfect Happiness? (Nope!)

• Lord Maccon from the Soulless series by Gail Carriger. The course of true love never runs smooth but it is run right off the rails in this riotous tale of a spinster with no soul, a werewolf with a short temper and an incident involving a hedgehog.

Eva Ibbotson writes the swooniest romantic heroes — we are talking Sound of Music levels of bliss. A standout is A Countess Below Stairs, in which a  penniless Russian aristocrat works in an earl’s household only to find herself in the middle of a fairy tale.

• Mr. Henry Nobley from Shannon Hale’s Austenland. Jane Hayes is obsessed with Mr. Darcy. Now, many have an appreciation but Jane has serious Darcymania. When her wealthy aunt gifts her a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an Austen-themed resort (replete with dashing young gentlemen in costume), will she be able to spot true affection in amongst the cads?

• Sherlock Holmes: OK, he doesn’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun. And there was that one time he fake-engaged himself to a housemaid for “work purposes.”  But he’s a lot less imperious in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series. Retired, Sherlock prefers to spend his time with bees instead of busting heads until a young lady with a shadowy past demands to become his protégé in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

• Rob from The Firebird. There are kilts-a-plenty to choose from in the delightful paranormal time-spanning romance from Canadian Susanna Kearlsey. Nicola can see the history of an object by touching it and when a mysterious carving falls in her hands, she knows that it belonged once to Empress Catherine of Russia. But how to prove it? She and her snuggling companion, Rob, travel through the wilds of Scotland to the spires of Russia to decipher the enigma.

• Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. When she smashes her slate over his head on their first meeting, you know it’s meant to be. L.M. Montgomery’s classic tale is still dreamy after all these years.

Find these and other heart-fluttering favourites at your local library.


A Good Read is a column by Tri-City librarians that is published every Wednesday. Corene Maret Brown works at Port Moody Public Library.



We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.