Change is inevitable, and in this latest poll for Top Ten Heroes a few newcomers made their presence known. That being said, there are other men who just won’t let go of our imaginations and our hearts.
It seems that we as readers have a standard for our heroes and it’s quite a feat to knock them from their pedestal once they find their place in our hearts. For this poll, that magic number is seven. Seven heroes from the previous poll managed to remain on the list with little to no movement from their previous ranking. That left three places for new heroes to make their mark and these slots were filled by heroes who are in vogue for their time.
Roarke from the In Death series once again landed in first place followed closely by Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series. Both series are still going strong to this very day and it seems that readers aren’t ready to give them up or let these characters leave the stage.
The next three heroes all held their previous places in the list. Sebastian Ballister from Lord of Scoundrels, Derek Craven from Dreaming of You, and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice remain swoon-worthy heroes.
Then there were the movers. Rupert Carsington from Mr. Impossible fell one spot into eighth place followed closely by the last hold out from our previous poll, Matthew Farrell from Paradise.
Three newcomers came on very strong to crack the top ten: Wulfric Bedwyn from Slightly Dangerous, Sebastian St. Vincent from Devil in Winter and Hardy Cates from Blue-Eyed Devil.
It could be argued that the newcomers to the list are from more recent releases, as were the three heroes who fell from the list. From those previous titles on the list, As You Desire (Harry Braxton) was the oldest of the three from 1997, while Lover Awakened (Zsadist) was published in 2006 and Devilish (Bey Malloren, Marquess of Rothgar) was released in 2005 versus the three newer titles, Slightly Dangerous from 2005, Devil in Winter from 2006 and Blue-Eyed Devil from 2008. Are the heroes new to the list just that much better than the ones they knocked off the list, or are we as readers constantly on the prowl for a new love in romance?
Note that only two contemporary heroes (Matthew Farrell and Hardy Cates) made the list, while Roarke resides in the future and Jamie Fraser continues to time travel. The other six heroes are all from UK-set historicals, arguably the mainstay of romance reading.
Looking at this list, it has to be noted that Lisa Kleypas is the creator of three of our favorite heroes which is a staggering accomplishment while Loretta Chase has two heroes on the list. That means half the heroes on the list have been created by two authors alone.
As we look at the Top Ten Heroines below, it’s interesting to note that Julia Quinn’s male counterparts to Penelope Featherington and Kate Sheffield didn’t crack the Top Ten Heroes.