Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes (2011)


Body of Sin by Eve SilverLast year, I listed 10 of the most delicious heroes from novels published that year. You guys liked it quite a bit. As such, I bit my lip and narrowed down the giant list to give you the Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes from 2011 novels. To make my life easier, I excluded YA novels here because you’re all going to get nasty in the comments. (It’s OK, we’re all friends here.) Also, if you need more suggestions, check out the VBC Best Books of 2011 list.

1. Lokan from Eve Silver’s Body of Sin

It’s no secret I like the brooding boys. The men with problems and a heap of arrogance. What makes Lokan even better than those alpha males is we get all that — the turmoil, the complications, the “I’m not good for you” — with a guy who is realizing just how important a certain woman is. He’s discovering what’s most important to him and putting love for one very brave woman and their little girl above all else. Selfless dad who is escaping the underworld and falling in love (with scorching hot moves)? Double hot. (Review of Body of Sin)

2. Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Shadowfever

Barrons is a favorite. If you’ve read any of the Fever books, you know why. The guy is enigmatic. He can be frustratingly cryptic but is fiercely loyal. Ruthless and powerful, we want Barrons on our side. There is no gentle with him, and that’s just fine with MacKayla (and every person who reads the bedroom action in Shadowfever). Barrons is the epitome of alpha male, and though Shadowfever hit shelves last January, we’ll be swooning over him for ages. (Review of Shadowfever)

3. Malkolm from Kristen Painter’s House of Comarré series

An outcast vampire would have caught readers’ attention anyway, but add a curse that forces him to kill anyone he drinks from? Getting hotter. Then add in a fiesty heroine who just produces excess blood. She needs him to take it, to drink it and kiss her in exchange. He can’t bite her, but he can kiss her. Kristen Painter’s House of Comarré series is urban fantasy deliciousness and packs palpable sexual tension. You want to see Mal cave and drink from her. You want to see him give in to what he wants, but this guy doesn’t believe he deserves someone like her. Tortured heroes who punish themselves have a way of making us swoon. (Reviews of Blood Rights and Flesh and Blood)

4. Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s One Grave at a Time

Bones is another annual favorite. Each time a new Night Huntress novel comes out, Bones wows me. He’s devoted to his wife and single-minded in his work. Both things a girl can’t help but love. Plus, he’s nothing if not creative. He won’t let a house full of supernaturals keep him from a little alone time with the missus. And, really, creativity in that area is always going to put him on our swoon-worthy hero list. (Review of One Grave at a Time)

5. Ethan Sullivan from Chloe Neill’s Hard Bitten (and maybe a little bit from Drink Deep)

Those who have followed the incredibly tumultuous relationship of Merit and Ethan know things are always complicated. Often Mr. Green Eyes is an asshole. He’s not good at putting love above work. And that caused a big rift between these two. Watching him work to repair the fissure with Merit is endearing. He’s discovered what he could have had, and with a vampire’s long life span he’s willing to wait it out to prove to her he really can be the man she needs him to be. We want to see him succeed and every bit we learn about Ethan makes us want him more. (Reviews of Hard Bitten and Drink Deep)

Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper6. Silas from Karina Cooper’s Blood of the Wicked

Silas is a badass in the strictest sense. Big, tough and ready to bring in the sister of a troublesome witch. He doesn’t know she’s also of the magic-persuasion. He fights his attraction to her and to do his job, but let’s lust-then-love override his sense of duty to the witch-hunting cause. He’s rough around the edges and considers fighting Jessie’s suggestions that sex could be just a simple, casual thing. Intense, devoted and strong. Also, he has a serious protective streak. Hard not to love that. (Review of Blood of the Wicked)

7. Archimedes Fox from Meljean Brook’s Heart of Steel

Archimedes Fox is an adventurer. His sister chronicles his journeys and they both make a bit of money. He’s also the most determined man you’ll meet. Yasmeen threw him off her airship into a sea of zombies in The Iron Duke, and yet he spends Heart of Steel wanting nothing more than to fall in love with her and maybe win her heart in the process. He’s patient and realistic about who she is and what her expectations are. He never pushes, but won’t acquiesce to her trying to end things. Even if Yasmeen tries to make it simply a physical thing, Archimedes won’t allow it. He’s determined to have something substantive. Devotion of such magnitude makes all knees weak. (Review of Heart of Steel)

8. Dominic from Lauren Dane’s Heart of Darkness

I didn’t think seeing an alpha male crumble to his mate quickly would be attractive. I was wrong. Dominic is used to being in charge and he’s alpha male in every regard, until he meets Meriel. The two are bondmates (think of it as the magical version of shifter’s mates), and while he gets a bit bossy and tries to direct things, it’s really his lady who has all the control. She lets him be possessive and protective and direct things to a reasonable extent. When he gets overbearing she puts a stop to it, and he knows she’s letting him be in charge. There’s a perfect balance of traditional alpha male and respectful partner in Dominic and that, readers, is undeniably enticing. (Review of Heart of Darkness)

9. Brystion from Allison Pang’s A Brush of Darkness

Brystion is an incubus in need of help. Abby is his only option to help find his missing sister. He’s falling for her quickly and she’s not having it. There’s something scary about falling for a walking sex god. His purpose is to turn ladies liquid, right? But this isn’t just a game and the two grow closer and closer — with some metaphysical sexual acrobatics thrown in. Ion is at times cocky and, at others, sincere. He has a way of getting in your head, and your dreams. (Review of A Brush of Darkness)

10. Dante from Rosalie Stanton’s Lost Wages of Sin

Some heroes are just lickable. That’s Dante. He’s charming, determined and assured. And he’s finally putting the moves on the girl he truly wants. And vampires know how to use their mouths, so he can be quite convincing. The emotional twists are as numerous as the sparks between hero and heroine in Lost Wages of Sin. Dante’s a quick fix that you’ll want more of, even in a random hotel room he’ll curl your toes. (Review of Lost Wages of Sin)

Because I have to cut this list off at the top 10 some serious heartbreakers are getting left off the list. Guys like King Dorian, Byron, Eli, Xander and others. Put your favorites in the comments. Share the wealth.

15 Responses to “Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes (2011)”

  1. Megan says:

    I have a lot of books to read… Thanks for the list!

  2. Helena says:

    Raphael in Syrie James’s ‘Raphael’ and Michael D.B. Reynolds Nocturne !

  3. DeAnna says:

    Curran from the Kate Daniels series, Raphael from Vampire of America series, Adam from the Mercy Thompson series and Owen from the Elemental

  4. Tina Lane says:

    Loved everyone of your picks!!! But the first one is Loken not Dagan right?? I thought Dagan was in first book?? I might be wrong though!!

  5. Mel Thomas says:

    I love Mal and the chemistry between him and Chrysabelle is beyond hot! I never thought something as simple as a kiss could be hotter than an actual sex scene. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next.

    My top swoon worthy hero of the year would be Cheveyo from Jaime Rush’s Beyond the Darkness. Cheveyo is a feline shifter and everything you could want in a hero. He’s willing to give up his own happiness in order to protect those he cares about, he’s fiercely protective, romantic, emotionally and physically scarred, sexy as hell, dangerous and has bad boy written all over him.

  6. Jodi Betterman says:

    Jericho Barrons was absolutly intoxicating!!! His very existance was something of constant questions….”friend, foe? loyalty…Yes/no? Hero…lover….A MOST wonderful series….Ending up with, “well WHATEVER” he is….I’ll take him!!!! Hats off to Karen Marie Moning!!!!

  7. Julie says:

    I LOVE Curran from Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Slays”. He goes above and beyond to prove that Kate is his first priority. And, well,…he’s pretty hot too.

  8. Christina M says:

    Hey dont forget about Hawke from Psy/Changeling and Rafael from Archangel.

  9. Carol says:

    Lon Butler from Kindlng the Moon. He’s different from the others….40 years old, a father of an adorable an talkative12 year old boy, and has a knack for sex-magic. He is definitely in my top list of swoon-worthy heroes!

  10. laurie says:

    Dorian should most definitely be on the list! He is one of my all time favorite characters. He has it all : looks, brains, strength, personality and loyalty. I shall miss him very much! He tops my list!

  11. Amber says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for inlcuding Ethan Sullivan on the list. He never gets the praise he deserves 🙂

  12. Bonnie says:

    I want to be in a Bones and Barron’s Sandwich.

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