10. Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. Yes, I know. Every girl on the planet had/will have a tween crush on Gil. And there's a reason. Nice guys don't always finish last—Gilbert proved it. He is smart, a tease, and he never gives up on Anne, even when she's at her iciest. Three cheers for determination!
9. Julian Sark from TV's Alias. More villainous than heroic, true, but I honestly believe Julian is a romantic at heart. Coldblooded and calculating when it comes to work . . . playful and wickedly wonderful when it comes to women. I'm still convinced Sark has a crush on Sydney, even though, you know, she killed his dad.
8. Twilight's Edward Cullen . . . a.k.a. Mr. Physical Prowess in the flesh. Er, not the flesh. But seriously. What girl doesn't smile at the protective overdrive Edward kicks into when it comes to safeguarding Bella?
7. Roarke from Nora Roberts's In Death series. A hero who kicks into protective overdrive has high appeal, but a hero who shows his heroine she's stronger than she thinks she is . . . even sexier. Roarke literally makes Eve a better woman. He's suave, calm under pressure, and yet all that smooth sophistication cloaks a dangerous temperament that simmers just under the surface. Not to mention Roarke's Irish accent . . .
6. Michael Westen from TV's Burn Notice. Resourceful, ultra-intelligent, self-sacrificing, Michael Westen is a contemporary Robin Hood. Did I mention he's a spy? Why do I always fall for the spies? Especially since I'm pretty sure all spies are dealing with betrayal issues. The STAY AWAY factor is off the charts. Yet, there is something incredibly attractive about a hero who could easily step over to the dark side . . . but doesn't.
5. Gone with the Wind's Rhett Butler. Heroism doesn't get much better than self-assurance in spades. My favorite line from Rhett? “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Yes, I say, YES!
4. Clark Kent from TV's Smallville. Admittedly, I've fallen behind on Smallville. But Clark left a lasting impression. The guy is a superhero, for one. He knows how to keep a secret, for two. All the women in his life come before him, for three. Despite all his power, he never succumbs to greed, for four.
3. Jamie from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Not that I have anything against redheaded males, but it was a strike against Jamie when I started the book. By the time I finished the tome, I couldn't have cared less if Jamie had pink-and-purple hair. The guy is a superhero (minus the preternatural abilities). Who would have thought goofy and innocent could be so dang seductive? I heart Jamie.
2. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I'm blushing just typing Dary's name. Dishy, refined, secretive in a maddeningly seductive way, excellent judgment and selection where women are concerned . . . am I forgetting anything?
1. Carlos Manoso from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. I've been caught between Joe Morelli and Carlos Manoso, a.k.a. Ranger, for a while now. But I think the Man of Mystery wins . . . I think. Help a girl out. Is there a way to choose between Morelli and Ranger? Anyone??
And despite my careful consideration, I'm sure I let one or two heroes slip through the cracks. So tell me. Who'd I miss?