I’ve been getting all serious and intense with my writings on Dickens, so I wanted to take a break and get all gushy. Which is good because it’s easy and my brain is mush. So, here’s my top ten list of hotties from the different books that I’ve read over the years…

I have to admit, I feel a little silly and school girl-ish writing this one. If my husband reads this, he is soooo going to make fun of me. If you don’t want to read my gushy-ness, tune in tomorrow, when I return to our regular programming. Well, I just had to make that disclaimer.

1. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A very long scene that reflects what I love about Rochester:

I stood face to face with him: it was Mr. Rochester.

‘How do you do?’ he asked.

‘I am very well, sir.’

‘Why did you not come and speak to me in the room?’

I thought I might have retorted the question on him who put it: but I would not take that freedom. I answered–

‘I did not wish to disturb you, as you seemed engaged, sir.’

‘What have you been doing in my absence?’

‘Nothing particular; teaching Adele as usual.’

‘And getting a good deal paler than you were– as I saw at first sight. What is the matter?’

‘Nothing at all, sir.’ […]

‘Return to the drawing-room: you are deserting too early.’

‘I am tired, sir.’

He looked at me for a minute.

‘And a little depressed,’ he said. ‘What about? Tell me.’

‘Nothing–nothing, sir, I am not depressed.’

‘But I affirm that you are: so much depressed that a few more words would bring tears to your eyes- indeed, they are there now, shining and swimming; and a bead has slipped from the lash and fallen on to the flag. If I had time, and was not in mortal dread of some prating prig of a servant passing, I would know what all this means. Well, to-night I excuse you; but understand that so long as my visitors stay, I expect you to appear in the drawing-room every evening; it is my wish; don’t neglect it. […] Good-night my–‘ He stopped, bit his lip and abruptly left me.

At this point in reading, I knew

A. Mr. Rochester had it bad for Jane,

B. I had it bad for Rochester, and

C. My #1 for 10 years, Mr. Darcy, had been bumped from the top of my book boyfriends!

Mr. Darcy Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice

2. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

Oh Darcy. How I love your social awkwardness and your upfront ways. You had me at “she is tolerable.”

3. Julian from The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith

Light to darkness, Jenny. Darkness to light. It’s always been this way.

My teen crush. He was the antagonist AND the love interest–it totally threw me for a loop that I was crushing on a bad guy. This one definitely influenced my love for Spike from Buffy.

Bill Denbrough from It by Stephen King; Jonathan Brandis

4. Bill Denbrough from IT by Stephen King

Bill was here, and Bill would take care; Bill would not let things get out of control. He was the tallest of them, and surely the most handsome. […] Bill was also the strongest of them–and not just physically. There was a good deal more to it than that, but since Richie did not know either the word charisma or the full meaning of the word magnetism, he only felt that Bill’s strength ran deep and might manifest itself in many ways.

-Richie Tozier on Bill Denbrough

Before I liked bad boys, I liked the good boys. And Bill was the best. I was 11, he was 11, it was perfect. This was before I knew that the class clown was the way to go–Richie Tozier would have been my book boyfriend if I read IT a few years later.

Benedick; Much ado about nothing; shakespeare

5. Benedick from “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare

Benedick, Act 1 Scene 1: it is certain I am lov’d of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love no one.

Bendedick, Act 1 Scene 1, later: In faith, hath not the world one man but he will wear his cap with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again?

Benedick, Act 2 Scene 3: The say the lady is fair; ’tis a truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous, ’tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have rail’d so long against marriage; but doth not the appetite alter? […] No, the world must be peopled.

Oh Benedick–you have no interest in love and marriage until you find out Beatrice loves you, and then you’re all lovey-dovey. Benedick and Beatrice are one of my all-time favorite couples, as they are both so witty and are one of the most well-matched and equal pairs in literature.

Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones Dinklage

6. Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind […] and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.

The beauty of Martin’s writing is that his characters develop so much and slowly through the book, that you find yourself and your opinions of them developing without your even noticing it! This was the case with Tyrion, whom I was amused by at first, then admired, and then, come A Feast for Crows, Tyrion is no longer in the book, and I truly missed him.  And no, that’s not a spoiler!

Gilbert Blythe ; Anne of Green Gables

7. Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Nothing mattered much to me for a time there, after you told me you could never love me, Anne. There was nobody else–there never could be anybody else for me but you. I’ve loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.

I think Gilbert might have been my first book boyfriend. Interesting how the very good guys get pushed aside for the rogues, scoundrels, and jerks as we grow up…I wonder what these book boyfriends say about me…

8. Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

‘Sir,’ she said, ‘you are no gentleman!’

‘An apt observation,’ he answered airily. ‘And, you, Miss, are no lady.’

This line runs through my head constantly, as I am truly not a lady either, and can hear Rhett in my head whenever I fall down stairs, curse, burp, punch, etc. I love Rhett’s honesty, and I love that he loves that Scarlett isn’t a lady. He’s the best kind of man–the kind who will let you be exactly who you want to be and are, and love you all the more for it. Plus, he’s witty and generous and experienced! Rhett is the best!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

9. Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth

 ‘You think my first instinct is to protect you. Because you’re small, or a girl, or a Stiff. But you’re wrong.’
He leans his face close to mine and wraps his fingers around my chin. His hand smells like metal. When was the last time he held a gun, or a knife? My skin tingles at the point of contact, like he’s transmitting electricity through his skin.
‘My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press.’ he says, his fingers squeezing at the word break. My body tenses at the edge in his voice, so I am coiled as tight as a spring, and I forget to breathe.
His dark eyes lifting to mine, he adds, ‘But I resist it.’
‘Why…’ I swallow hard. ‘Why is that your first instinct?’
‘Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up. I’ve seen it. It’s fascinating.’ He releases me but doesn’t pull away, his hand grazing my jaw, my neck. ‘Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.’

I don’t know how, but Four made me feel fourteen all over again! He is the newest inductee into my book boyfriends, the latest since Rochester. This scene in particular made me want to write “I heart Four” on my notebook cover and squee! with my girlfriends.

10. E.E. Cummings from “i carry your heart with me” (especially when I hear it read like this)

And then there’s this poet who wrote the most beautiful poem that I’ve ever heard. I didn’t quite realize how beautiful it was until I heard it read aloud—and it was read aloud by Heath Ledger, so that really made me take notice. I recommend you listen to it! A big thanks to Amy at Lucy’s Football and GreenGeekGirl of Insatiable Booksluts for introducing me to this poem and Heath Ledger’s reading of it!

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

By E. E. Cummings1894–1962