Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Favorite Heroes of 2009

I've decided that the reason my shortlist of favorite heroes is always my longest is because I read m/m, too, which offer twice as many men to choose from. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

4th Runner Up
Henry in Henry and Jim by JM Snyder

Henry is the emotional core of this wonderful short story. It's his pain that devastates the reader, and his love that permeates every word. Without believing in him, the ending wouldn't have hit me nearly as hard as it did, and made this a story to remember.

3rd Runner Up
Sutton Albright in Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen

While both young men in this novel are richly developed, Sutton was the one who got to me hardest. His innocence and subsequent growth mirror the tenor of the period, and it's his need and later strength that truly wrapped me up in knots. He brought out every protective instinct I possess.

2nd Runner Up
Jim Kinney in A Hearing Heart by Bonnie Dee

Another heartwrencher. Dee's deaf hero is testimony that beta characters do not have to be weak, that having a disability doesn't necessarily mean melodrama, that sometimes words aren't necessary to convey what someone truly feels. Of all her solo work, Jim stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

1st Runner Up
Brian Lapahie in Butterfly Unpinned by Bonnie Dee & Laura Bacchi

I predicted in my review that Brian would make it to this list, and sure enough, there he is. Brian is strong, gorgeous, and an all around decent guy. The kind who sees something wrong and wants to fix it. He was the true heart of the book for me, because for as damaged as Butterfly is, his plight was the one that I invested in.

And my favorite hero of 2009 is...
The Commander in The Commander's Desire by Jennette Green

I have no idea how many people read this book. I'll bet not many. It's not erotic, it's not something I see around a lot, and it's het in an e-market where it's obvious to anyone paying attention that the vast majority of books that sell well are either alternative lifestyle, come from Ellora's Cave, or offer shapeshifters. But I loved this book when I read it in e-format, enough that I turned around and bought a print copy for my keeper shelf, enough that it was one of my favorite novels of the year. The primary reason for that is the Commander, who hits one of my reading kinks so hard, he knocked it into 2010. He's an alpha hero who takes no prisoners, who has been viciously scarred both physically and mentally, and yet retains an unparalleled nobility and gentleness. Yes, he's a classic beast archetype. No, I really don't care. I absolutely adore him.

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