All-Time Favorite Heroes/Heroines

Valentines-day-valentines-day-22236757-2560-1600-300x187Happy Valentine’s Day from the Waterworld Mermaids!!!

We love Valentine’s Day so much that we are celebrating all week long. Today we ask some of our favorite industry professionals the question: Who is your all-time favorite hero/heroine?

Yesterday, the mermaids discussed why we write romance. Our celebration will wrap on Thursday with a gift card giveaway. Leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. You can also earn extra chances by leaving comments on yesterday’s and tomorrow’s posts!


Who is your all-time favorite hero/heroine?

Beth Miller, agent, Writers House:

My favorite hero (focusing on books) is Daemon Sadi from Anne Bishop’s gorgeous dark fantasy Black Jewels series.

In a world in which Jewels are a reservoir for power, and the darker the jewel means the stronger the power, Daemon Sadi is a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince, the strongest man in the Realms—and yet, he is a pleasure slave, bound to serve at the whim of an evil corrupt Priestess who holds the life of the person he loves most in her hands to keep him under her thumb. A prophecy is made, that She is coming, the Dreams Made Flesh, the Queen all who are good have longed for, and Daemon knows he is meant to be her lover. So he waits—for centuries—serving evil, selfish women; tortured at their whims, barely suppressing the violence that lives within him. The only thing keeping him going is the knowledge that She is coming. But when he finally meets her, she is a child, and so he must continue to wait for her to grow up, in the meantime befriending this fragile, powerful child that is the hope of his race. Daemon endures unspeakable horrors for his Queen, horrors that could mean the permanent loss of his sanity, his family, his friends, and her, the woman he loves above all else.

I don’t want to be too specific, because this is such an amazing series that I recommend to everyone. Be advised that it’s pretty violent, but the world is so vividly drawn, the characters so remarkable, that I re-read the entire series (the trilogy and beyond) at least twice a year. Here’s the link to the trilogy:


Michelle Grajkowski, agent, 3 Seas Literary Agency:

Who is my favorite fictional hero?  What a delicious question!


To me, Rhett Butler is the ultimate hero.  His rough and tumble, bad boy past taught him to be the man he was when he first laid eyes on the woman he knew he must have.  On the outside, Rhett truly appeared to be a scoundrel.  Willing to do anything to get what he wanted.  (Truly, was he much different than Scarlett???)  He was the epitome of an alpha hero – determined, strong, stubborn, opinionated, dangerous and just a tad rough around the edges.


But, once Margaret Mitchell introduced us to the true, ooey-gooey, makes-our-heart-melt Rhett, raise your hand if you didn’t swoon!  When we met the Rhett who stood at the bottom of the stairs and knew, immediately, that Scarlett would be his.  That he would prove to her through kisses, gifts, passion and compassion that he would be there for her forever.  When he proudly cherished his daughter with the same intensity that he had for her mother.  When he finally realized that Scarlett truly would never love him for the man he was, and had the strength and courage to finally walk out the door…


Frankly, my dears, I DO give a damn.  Rhett truly, truly was a man of strength, honor, courage, passion and above all, love.  (Oh, and the fact that he was completely, 100% swoon-worthy doesn’t hurt, either!)



Nicole Resciniti, agent, The Seymour Agency:

Pick one–one–favorite hero? I think that’s why romance is my favorite genre, because I get to ‘fall in love’ with a new hero each time I pick up a new book. I have some faves that vary by genre.

RS– Frank Knight. He’s the hero of Julie Ann Walker’s second, BKI book, IN RIDES TROUBLE. He’s big and gruff and loyal. He has a heart the size of Texas and is a total badass. He isn’t your typical, pretty-boy perfect hero. Frank has scars and some inner fears. He reminds me so much of my hubby Frank, that it’s impossible not to adore him.

PNR– I have to say that I’ve found myself falling for Gideon. Y’all haven’t met him yet, but . . . damn. Gideon is the hero in Kate SeRine’s EVER AFTER (A Transplanted Tale Novel). He’s smart and gallant, and so . . . good. Look for it when it releases from Kensington.

HISTORICAL– Johanna Lindsey totally ensnared me with her Malory Family (and, as an agent, I’d LOVE to discover a family saga in this vein), especially James the ex-pirate/gentleman. His story, Gentle Rogue, is a go-to for rereads.

YA–This one goes to Aelyx. Of the planet L’eihr. Yeah. He’s a foreign exchange student–foreign, as in, another solar system. Raised in a complex society where emotions are not expressed, seeing that Aelyx has feelings (and they run deep) is just more incentive to L’ove this hero. Check him out in ALIENATED by Melissa Landers.


NA– Mateo from Cecy Robson’s new series ONCE PERFECT. Matteo is a bouncer who was dishonorably discharged from the military after he beats up the guy that raped his sister. He’s down on his luck, down on himself, and supporting his family through underground MMA fights. He’s a tough guy with the purest heart. He is . . . perfect. The author keeps talking about the hero in her second book ONCE LOVED, Brody, but I’m still team Mateo. The other NA hero that I’m crushing on is also former-military. In BROKEN, Paul Langdon comes home from Afghanistan scarred, crippled and as broken internally as he is physically. His journey is heartwarming and beautiful.


CONTEMPORARY– Kate Meader’s hero, Chef Jack Kilroy is H-O-T in the Chicago-set FEEL THE HEAT. He knows his way around women–and a kitchen. Shane August, the hero in Jessica Lemmon’s TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE has that same, powerful I’m-in-control sexy vibe going on.


Sandra Pesso, marketing direction, Evernight Publishing:

My favorite all-time hero is James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, better known as Jamie, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

Even though I read the first book in the series many years ago, Jamie has stayed with me as my number one. Jamie is the perfect hero without being too perfect.  He’s a fine blend of determination, wit, loyalty, humility and honor. He’s brave and willing to do anything for the people who are important to him, whether it’s living in a cave for years, having nails driven into his hand, letting the love of his life leave him, or even sacrificing his body to his enemy. To top it all off, Jamie is a Scottish Highlander complete with an accent and yes, a kilt. Men in kilts just seem to do something for me!

Jamie is the ultimate hero. But don’t take my word for it. I’ve selected a few of my favorite quotes to illustrate my love for Jamie Fraser…

“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

 “For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.”

 “It has always been forever, for me, Sassenach”

 “Ye werena the first lass I kissed,” he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.”

 “You dinna need to understand me, Sassenach,” he said quietly. “So long as you love me.”



Stephen Morgan, editor, Entangled Publishing:

My favorite heroine is Anne from Anne of Green Gables.


Now it’s your turn! What do you think of the heroes/heroines our industry professionals picked? Who are some of your favorite heroes/heroines?

36 thoughts on “All-Time Favorite Heroes/Heroines

  1. Good Morning! My fave hero is Valerius Magnus from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s (No surprise there, wink) Seize the Night. He’s basically the Roman hottie vampire hunter version of Gru. Despicable on the outside, fuzzy bear on the inside.

    Thanks so much to Beth, Michelle, Nicole, Sandra and Stephen for sharing your faves with us and all our fishy friends!

    May love lay a big squishy kiss all over your hearts today.

    Fishy kisses,
    Carlene Mermaid

    1. I still don’t understand how you can love Val so much! Val was such a jerk I told Sherri I honestly didn’t see how she could redeem him. (And of course, she DID, because she’s awesome like that.)
      I still like Vane best. But it figures I’d be drawn to the weres. :-).

      1. I like the weres too, Vane and Fury both. See, you get the jerk vibe and all I can see is poor lonesome misunderstood honey pie in need of love and a big hug. And yes, all because that woman is Amazing. xoxo

  2. Thank you to Carlene and all the lovely mermaids for allowing me to share my love of Jamie Fraser today. It’s an honor to be invited to the pond.

    Happy <3 Day!

    1. Hi Sandra! (Waving my fins and making big splashes!) I Loved all your quotes. I dunna know what I would do should a man in a kilt whisper such sweet nothings to me. Le sigh.

  3. I wanted to answer this question! 🙂 Michelle has my favorite hero–Rhett. My grandmother and I would watch GONE WITH THE WIND together at least once a year, and we’d both sigh so much that my grandfather would leave the room. Lol. Then when I read the book, he took on another whole meaning for me. (Rhett, not my grandfather) In the book is where his character comes out even stronger.
    My favorite recent hero is hands-down Reyes Farrow in Darynda Jones’s FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT series. I didn’t think it was possible for him to get any hotter as the series progressed, but he has. The only thing better than him being the best hero is the woman he loves–the most kick-ass woman and sarcastically sweet grim reaper ever. Best.Series.Ever.
    I bought all the Outlander books, so I plan to dive into those. Thanks for the quotes, Sandra! Those make me want to read the series even more. Who doesn’t love a man in a kilt with a Scottish accent?? 🙂
    ALIENATED by my good friend Melissa Landers is currently on my TBR pile. A pile which has recently grown much higher. 🙂
    But, I have a book to revise. *hiding from Michelle* 🙂

    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, KIM!!!! I love writing about that man and his hot exploits, mainly in the form of Charley and her antics. They are so fun and I’m so glad you enjoy them!!! Woot!!!! Love love love this blog!

    *slam dunk*

    My favorite fictional hero is, was, and ever shall be George Cooper from Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA series. Long live the King of Thieves. <3

  5. My faves were mentioned already. Jamie Fraser, I will love you forever. I named my daughter Claire partially because of those books. And Anne of Green Gables is amazing.

    1. Autumn, that is awesome. Love that you named your daughter for a beloved book character. I have a hamster named Darling for one of Sherrilyn’s heroes. Not quite the same impact but I feel ya.

  6. Favorite hero – I DON’T KNOW!!!

    Now I feel awful that we asked everyone this question because it is H.A.R.D. Gah!

    I’m with Kim on the Reyes bandwagon from Darynda Jones’s FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT series. And Kristan Higgins has a couple of swoon-worthy dudes, especially Callahan O’Shea (great name!) from Too Good To Be True.

    Dang, I’m going to be thinking about this all day now! 😉

  7. I have two: Vishous from J R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Dean Robillard from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Natural Born Charmer. The two couldn’t be more different but love them both.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lark. Always great to see a Lucky 13. 🙂 I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t read anything by JR Ward yet. I’m planning on it though. I just read my first Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s book over Christmas break, and I’m definitely a fan! What took me so long?

      1. The JR Ward stuff was fun, but the ridiculous spellings of things and repetition of the word “shitkicker” turned me off about 4 books in.

  8. Rhett Butler for all the reasons Michelle Grajkowski said. One of my most recent favorite heroes is Hunter in Anne Calhoun’s Liberating Lacey. Hunter’s the hottest Hot Cop ever.

  9. Making me pick just one is like trying to eat only one Lays potato chip. Can’t be done! I have to go with Darynda Jones’ Reyes too. He’s so hot its ridiculous! (But Rhett and Roarke from the J.D. Robb series are close seconds)

    Fun post ladies!!

  10. Thanks so much to Beth, Michelle, Nicole, Sandra, and Stephen for being with us today! We are absolutely thrilled to have you in the lagoon.

    As for the answers, all I have to saw is: WOW. For those of you who have yet to read Anne Bishops’ Black Jewels series, you should add it to your TBR pile RIGHT NOW. I picked it up, upon reading Beth’s recommendation, and let’s just say I read the entire trilogy in three days. Daemon Sadi is everything she says — and more. SIGH.

    1. I *own* those and have been meaning to read them forever. I just don’t have time to read anymore! THIS IS A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS.

  11. I now have such a great reading list, because other than Rhett & Jamie Frasier, I haven’t read most of those books. My favorite hero is probably Judd Laurens from Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series. Or maybe it’s a tie with Kaleb Krychek- also the same series. I could take both. Judd, Lynne, Kaleb sandwich!

  12. I’m glad that my favorite hero inspired you to read this awesome series, Pintip! I also swoon more than a little for Jamie Fraser. 🙂

    1. I’m definitely picking up this series, too, Beth! Thanks for the recommendation. If Pintip read it in three days, I have to read it in two. Lol.

  13. Fun post! I also love Reyes, but I’d have to say my top two fave men are both Lisa Kleypas heroes– Hardy Cates from Blue-Eyed Devil- he’s got that tough, hot Texas thing going on. And Derek Craven from Dreaming of You– a physically imperfect but captivating guy who rose from poverty to build London’s most exclusive gambling club. And then of course, the hero I love the most is always the one I’m currently writing! (I get around) 😉

    1. Amy,
      Thanks for stopping by, Savvy Sistah! That Blue-Eyed-Devil is definitely in my top five. I reread that book so many times… Lisa Kleypas has some great heroes. I also like a bunch of Judith McNaught’s as well.

  14. My favorite would be – let me see, oh my…Rhett, but lately its Jamie in Outlander or Roarke or goodness, I can’t think – too many heroes in my head:), but thank you to all of the authors, editors, and agents for stopping by the pond today – and thank you Mermaid Pintip for organizing!

  15. Thank you, Nicole. So glad to see I’m not the only one with a crush on James Mallory. I wound up with a copy of Gentle Rogue–secondhand, with Fabio on the cover (for realz)–and I still read it from time to time. James has a wonderful, dry sense of humor and is delightfully flawed. IMO, that’s what makes him stand out as such an appealing hero.

  16. Happy Valentine’s Week! Loved reading these picks. I’m quietly adding a few more books to my TBR list! 🙂

    It’s so hard to choose just one all-time favourite hero. One heroine who has stayed with me since the ’80s is ghost girl Shari Cooper from Christopher Pike’s ‘Remember Me’. That book really started me on the paranormal path.

    1. Darcy is a good choice, Holly. Surprising from you though. I was expecting something a little edgier. Lol. Thanks for stopping by! See you Friday!!! 🙂

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