Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes (2012)


Find out why Simon is on the Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes of 2012 listEvery year, I compile the standard year-end best books list—read 2012’s best reads list—and it’s a hard task narrowing things down. What’s harder though is picking the ten heroes from novels published this year to make my annual swoon-worthy list. Last year Eve Silver’s Lokan took top honors and the year before Stacia Kane’s Terrible was causing fevers all over the place.

There are returning favorites this year, a bigger number of YA make-out kings (I do like epic kisses) and only three vampires (gasp!). Determining the final list was difficult, and I decided to only include characters from books I reviewed and that were published in 2012. In discussing swoon-worthy heroes there may be spoilers about kissing and such. Use the comments to tell me who you’d add to the list, who you’ll be checking out and which of the Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes of 2012 you’d name a book boyfriend.

1. Terrible from Stacia Kane’s Sacrificial Magic and Chasing Magic

He’s back, ladies, and good Lord did that man come back fierce. Yes, again, Terrible tops my ultimate swoon-worthy heroes list. Maybe it’s because we got a double dose of him this year with the release of two Downside novels. Maybe it’s that he doesn’t speak a lot, but when it does it matters. Maybe it’s about relationship sex. Chevelle sex. Angry sex up against doors. Regardless, when Terrible’s on the page, readers’ knees get weak. (Read reviews of Sacrificial Magic and Chasing Magic. Or, if you haven’t started the series, check out Unholy Ghosts.)

2. Simon from Karina Cooper’s Sacrifice the Wicked

At this point, I’m starting to think Karina Cooper writes her heroes specifically for me. The men of her Dark Mission novels always get my attention, but Simon is about as delicious as it gets. His confidence wins you over, his playful way pushes you (and Parker) to the edge and his protective streak makes you want to hold on. He’s a bit possessive and willing to do just about anything to keep the woman he loves. Also: Bedroom skills. (Read a review of Sacrifice the Wicked. If you haven’t started the Dark Mission series, check out Blood of the Wicked.)

3. Vlad from Jeaniene Frost’s Once Burned

As a strict Bones girl, I feel like I should whisper this. Vlad is all sorts of sexy and spending a novel with him is just as delightful as one with Bones. Really. There’s a scene in Once Burned, a spinoff from the Night Huntress series, when Vlad talks about why he doesn’t take many lovers. He can choose who to give his body to, and that’s a personal and special thing. In that moment, we see this legendary vampire in a new light, with added depth and, hopefully, with the capacity to truly love heroine Leila. And, no, you don’t need to have read any of Jeaniene’s other books to enjoy this one. Just read it and swoon. SWOON. (Read a review of Once Burned)

You will want to kiss Bishop. A lot. 4. Bishop from Michelle Rowen’s Dark Kiss

One of the key points in Dark Kiss is the danger of a kiss stealing a soul. Samantha has been turned into a grey, and so she can’t kiss him no matter how much she wants to. The novel builds and builds to the hottest kiss. Once you meet Bishop, an incredibly complicated and tortured guy, you’ll spend page after page wanting to kiss him and begging Samantha to cave and just kiss him. Trust. (Read a review of Dark Kiss)

5. Rourke from Amanda Carlson’s Full Blooded

Sometimes a male character enters a scene in a novel and you say to yourself, “This one better stay around.” Once in a while that’s amended to: “She better get him naked.” Guess where Rourke falls. Aggressive, alpha and mysterious, Rourke makes for a love interest we want to see stick around and someone who could be an actual partner to the heroine. (Read a review of Full Blooded)

6. Jack from Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess

Unlike No. 5 on our list, Jack disappears for a bit early on in the book and makes you worry. What happened to the hot boy on the Ducati? When he comes back, we can’t help to cling to him. He’s the guy from the wrong side of the tracks, looks damn good in leather and when you’re alone with him in a pool he’ll kiss the living daylights out you. We’re talking re-read worthy swooning right there. (Read a review of Poison Princess)

7. Adrian from Richelle Mead’s The Golden Lily

As the Bloodlines series has progressed we’ve gotten more and more depth from Adrian. We understand him. We root for him. We want to help him. We want to shake Sydney for avoiding her feelings for him. We want good things for Adrian, but if you need another reason for him to be on this list: FORBIDDEN KISS! (Read a review of The Golden Lily)

8. Ethan Sullivan from Chloe Neill’s Biting Cold

In the sixth Chicagoland Vampires novel, Ethan has Merit back and he’s not letting her go. He’s cheeky and suave at times. He’s also typical Ethan avoiding important conversations until the last minute making him every bit the arrogant guy we’ve come to love/hate over this series. However, this time he’s willing to eventually listen to his partner. Let’s just say that’s something a girl can back. (Read a review of Biting Cold. If you haven’t started the series, check out Some Girls Bite.)

9. Ryodan from Karen Marie Moning’s Iced

I’m going to keep this simple: Powerful and mysterious nature make me crave more Ryodan. There wasn’t a moment when he was on the page that he didn’t demand my attention. Yeah, you want to be the Robin to his Batman. (Talking about Iced)

10. Talivar from Allison Pang’s A Sliver of Shadow

Talivar comes with some baggage, but that’s part of his appeal. He’s an outcast, the unwanted royal. He wears an eye patch. (Pirate chic is a thing here.) He’s able to see the strength within Abby, to help her and to never push. His romantic moves are subtle and build until you wouldn’t say no to a little hot springs action with the faerie prince. Talivar can make you forget Abby’s former lover Ion for a whole novel. That’s saying something. (Read a review of A Sliver of Shadow. If you haven’t started the series, check out A Brush of Darkness.)

9 Responses to “Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Heroes (2012)”

  1. Julie says:

    I see several of my favorites on the list, which makes me very happy (especially Terrible). Though I’m surprised there’s no Black Dagger Brotherhood or Immortal After Dark characters on the list.

  2. Michelle says:

    Totally agree with you Julie! Quinn is still the hottest vamp out there, and Thor came back quite nicely too!

  3. Don’t worry, ladies, I love the BDB boys plenty. If you had to pick one of them to be on the list, who would you choose?

  4. I love Terrible though I’m still behind on the series. I’ve heard and read most of these books, but there are some I need to add to the pile especially Full-Blooded and the Alison Pang series.

  5. TERRIBLE!!!!!

    I also agree with Vlad, Rourke and Ethan.

  6. CherryVanilla says:

    Terrible!!! My fav!!!!

  7. Love your list-and discovered a few new swoonworthy heroes, thanks!

  8. khurshauthor says:

    Early entry for 2013’s list, “Mr. Smith” from Priroy of the Damned: A Love Story

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