I have always been a voracious reader. I loved to get swept away to faraway lands, times and places from when I was really little. And while I loved to imagine I had the strength of character, lives and experiences of the numerous heroines I hold near and dear to me, I also wished for some of their significant others. So if I had my way, any number of the following men would be knocking on my door this February 14.
The Prince – originally from Brothers Grimm Snow White, though mine if heavily influenced by Disney
Snow White’s Prince. This stems from my childhood and probably comes from the fact that Snow White was one of the only heroines with black hair (like mine) that I remember growing up. A Prince that falls in love at first sight at you, overcome by your beauty and whose actions saves you from the Evil Queen’s poisoned apple. Doesn’t sound too bad to me, especially as a six-year-old.
Jacob Coote – Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibandi
Probably only other Australians would have even heard of this book let alone know of Jacob Coote . (If you haven’t read this, it is well worth checking out). Jacob is your basic bad boy; he rides a motorbike and comes across as tough, brusque and has no ambition or drive. His true character, however, couldn’t be further from that. He is passionate, caring and able to see things for what they really are. He’s comfortable with himself and is not afraid to tell you what you need to hear. Once you have him on your side, you have a champion for life.
Colonel Brandon – Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
This one is for a dear friend of mine. Though I definitely agree with her that he needs to be on this list, he’s not my Austen hero of choice as I’ll discuss later. Colonel Brandon is dependable, constant and so incredibly kind. He goes out of his way to help those he loves without any care to cost, time or his own welfare. His biggest downfall for me would be that he’s a bit too staid. I would want someone a bit livelier.
Benedick – Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
When wishing Colonel Brandon was a bit more lively, Benedick is what I’m comparing him to. His quick wit, love of word play and intelligence is just damn sexy. He never backs down from a challenge, no matter if he’s winning or losing, and though there might be a certain amount of frustration there from this, life would never be dull especially as he brings his passion to everything he does. Add to all this, he is another loyal man willing to stand up for his beliefs and what is right. He goes against his closest friends in publicly condemning Claudio stating that he falsely accused Hero of infidelity, leading to her “death”. Someone who can challenge me intellectually and actually encourages it, I’m sold.
Gilbert Blythe – LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables
Why this series of books is practically unheard of in most parts of the US is incomprehensible to me! Gilbert Blythe has long had a special place in my heart and will continue to do so. Another intensely loyal and caring hero (are we seeing a pattern here?), Gilbert pursues Anne for years, including one rejected proposal, before she will even glance his way. Gilbert loves Anne for her intelligence, her wild spirit and her joie de vivre. He sees that she is not a carbon copy of all the other girls on Prince Edward Island and loves her for being true to herself. Who wouldn’t want a man who just wants you to be yourself and encourages and nurtures that?
Fitzwilliam Darcy – Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
So I actually contemplated putting the two Darcy’s on this list (Helen Fielding’s Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary), but decided to stick to the original and the best. There’s a reason people have been falling in love with Darcy for the past 200 years since the novel was first published and why he often tops list such as these. He’s rich and handsome to be sure, but it’s his generosity, his thoughtfulness and selflessness that is also so attractive. He is extremely awkward in social situations but once he lets you in, you discover how witty, intelligent and passionate he really is. He is extremely protective of those he loves and willing to put himself through hell and back for their sake. He’s another leading man who values the uniqueness of the novel’s heroine. Like Gilbert and Anne, Darcy is attracted to Elizabeth because she is not like any woman he has seen before. She’s opinionated and intelligent, she loves life and she has a brilliant sense of humour. She is his perfect match. Oh and Colin Firth as Darcy doesn’t hurt either.
Christian Grey – Fifty Shades of Grey
Yes, yes, yes I know what you’re all thinking, but this is my fantasy list and it’s for one night and what a night he’d give you. He’s rich and has the world at his feet so really you could end up anywhere. He loves lavishing his date with gifts and you would be the sole focus of his attention all night. The clincher for me, however… his helicopter. I’ve always wanted to ride in a helicopter so could cross that off my bucket list.