Though many consider Lizzie Bennet’s conflicted love interest in Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice the ideal man, we say the romantic possibilities in fiction are endless.
So explore your options with our list of chosen suitors, who we plucked from a great selection of European romance novels. They may just bring new meaning to getting one’s knickers in a twist.
Andre, the Christian Grey of the French Revolution
The French Passion, by Jacqueline Briskin
Andre is the revolutionary heartthrob you never knew you needed. In the midst of the horrifying French Revolution, Andre is committed to fighting for his countrymen, while grappling with serious inner turmoil. His values are put to the test when falls in love with the aristocrat Manon d’Epinay, a woman whose status compromises everything he is fighting for. And as is fitting with any heartthrob, he has a mysterious past that threatens to ruin his love life. Don’t let the tough exterior fool you, he has a kind soul that will melt hearts.
The Men of Bath, or the Regency Era’s version of the Bachelorette
The Bath Trilogy, by Amanda Scott
Take your pick of men in the town of Bath during the Regency Era. Created by the Romans, this resort town serves as a breeding ground for romantic intrigue. Will it be the Earl of Ramsbury? Good-hearted, yet flawed, his humanity is his greatest asset. Or the foppish Sydney Saint-Davis, who might actually be the hero dreams are made of. Last but not least is the handsome and mischievous Brandon Manningford, the best friend you’ve always wanted.
Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish Jon Snow
Never Call It Loving, by Dorothy Eden
Yes, the founder of the Irish Parliamentary Party is comparable to Mr. Darcy. The same Parnell who engaged in an affair with a married woman. But hear us out: If you are looking for an ambitious man, he has it all. The “uncrowned king of Ireland,” he advocated for Ireland’s oppressed poor, and refused to compromise his mission in the face of scandal. With Parnell, you have a man of loyalty and passion, with a commitment to the greater good.
Rory MacLean, a Tragic Hero Similar to Tristan Ludlow
Beloved Impostor, by Patricia Potter
Rory already suffered the terrible curse of burying two wives. Swearing off women forever, if you like a man that plays hard to get, he is the challenge of a lifetime. But the games won’t last for long, because after going through so much, Rory knows exactly what he wants in a woman. And when he does find the one, he will do everything he can to protect the woman he loves, and guarantee that he never suffers a similar heartbreak for a third time.
Cameron Gordon, or the Beast to Your Beauty
Once More, Miranda by Jennifer Wilde
Love really is the closest thing to hate, as Cam Gordon makes no effort to conceal. One of the more complex men on this list, Cam has no shortage in the feelings department. As a writer, he has all the explosive tendencies common of an artistic genius. But behind the constant moodiness is a truly kind heart, that he guards from the people he cares for the most. Luckily, he learns from his mistakes and is honest about his shortcomings. And let’s be honest, Mr. Perfect would be boring; you need someone like Cam.
Adrien MacLachlan, or the Ultimate Brawny Man
The King’s Pleasure, by Heather Graham
Adrien is a brute and uses his pure manpower to succeed in the battlefield, as well as in the love department. If you are looking for rough love, allow Adrien to manhandle you and take you to a whole new world. But beneath the physical power is a level of loyalty that will outperform any man. When he finds the right woman, he will go to the ends of the earth to ensure her safety—even if it means protecting his love from himself.