When it comes to boyfriends, real men can’t compete with the fictional variety. In the real world, whatever romantic instincts that Real World Guy may have once had is summarily quashed by the Testosterone Trapping Trifecta of carpool duty, lawn chores, and unpaid bills. The Bad Boys (and some Not-So-Bad-But-Still-Really-Hot-Guys) who lurk between the pages of a book, however…well, they could teach a guy a thing or two about wooing women. Here are five Literary Lovers who should be required reading for men:
- Jamie Fraser (from the Outlander series). It doesn’t matter if he has just brawled with a dragoon of redcoats, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is never too busy to say soft things in Gaelic to a certain wild-haired nurse who fell through time and ended up in his plaid swathed lap. Equal parts boyish charm and, ahem, “unflagging enthusiasm,” Jamie is handsome, funny, smart, and strong. Seriously strong. Strong enough to want a equally strong woman. Even those who would never, under normal circumstances, dare deface a book by dog-earring pages or (gasp!) highlighting text may find themselves surreptitiously marking The Wedding Night scene and leaving it somewhere their husband might stumble upon it…say, perhaps, the bathroom? (In case you were wondering, that sound you just heard was that of some twenty million Outlander fans flipping through their battered books to re-re-re-read *that* scene.)
- Four/Tobias Eaton (from the Divergent trilogy). Another Book Boyfriend who could teach the men of the world a thing or two about romance is the strong, quiet Four of Divergent. Like Jamie Fraser, Four likes his women strong; but where Jamie is playful, Four is dark and brooding–perfect for those who want a bit of a Bad Boy but without the lying, cheating, or other drama that too often accompanies the “real life” version.
- Josh Bennett (from The Sea of Tranquility). If you haven’t read The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, you are missing out on some prime Book Boyfriend material. Although tragic, Josh is not pitiful. His painful past has provided him with a profound strength and the desire to protect others. Achingly sweet and undeniably awkward, he is the tortured soul from high school that we all wanted to save but never could.
- Ron Weasley (from the Harry Potter series). I know what you’re thinking, “What? That ginger kid from Harry Potter?!” But think about it…Hermione is incredibly smart, right? So she likely gave it some thought before picking Ronald Weasley. In fact, it’s entirely possible that there were lists and charts and perhaps some algorithms involved in her decision. Let’s see…well, he has that “ginger thing” going for him. And, despite the fact that it couldn’t have been easy being known primarily as “Harry Potter’s BFF,” or as “The Youngest Weasley Boy After, You Know, All the Really Cool Ones,” or as “That Painfully Mediocre Quidditch Player,” Ron manages to conduct himself with a surprising amount of grace. He frequently uses humor as a way to navigate the awkward spells (*snort* sorry, couldn’t resist). To his credit, he not only endures Insufferable-Know-It-Alls, but he also seems to have a bit of a soft spot for them (*cough* Hermione). But perhaps one of the best selling-points for having Ron Weasley as a Book Boyfriend is his family. Take a moment to consider your mother-in-law. Now consider Mrs. Weasley. Your mother-in-law. Mrs. Weasley. Need I say more?
- Severus Snape (Yes, more Harry Potter characters). At the risk of alienating everyone who has read this far, I am including on this list one of the most under-rated romantics of all…Severus Snape. Yes, I know that he might not have the dashing good looks of say, Gilderoy Lockhart, but Snape can be depended on to keep a secret, to be true to his self, and to be true to those he really loves. Always…. He is even willing to put his life at risk in order to protect the son of the woman he loves. (The son she had by another man, mind you.) If that doesn’t say a something about devotion, I don’t know what does!
I won’t lie, there is a reason that Jamie is #1 on the list. Fortunately, Hubs has taken a few cues from Himself: he has been known to speak with an impressive Scottish accent when he wants to charm me; he does own a kilt and isn’t afraid to use it; and he has, on occasion, called me Sassanach (always to glorious effect).
Of course, the fact that I can’t seem to shut up about Outlander may have something to do with it…. (Still, if it gets Hubs in a kilt, it can’t be all bad, right?)