My Top Five Historical Romance Heroes with Jane Ashford

Adam Deveril in Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract is the soul of kindness and good breeding. He sacrifices his happiness, as he sees it then, for the sake of his family and honor. He treats people courteously even when he’s near the end of his rope and/or they hardly deserve it (such as his ranting father-in-law). He finds his way to a happy ending that is quieter and gentler than some, but very satisfying to me.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, of course. Who can resist a rich, handsome, arrogant hero who learns his lesson and grovels appropriately?

Sir Harry Valentine in Julia Quinn’s What Happens in London. He’s a translator! He reads and actually works at his desk. But he has to step up, like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and deal with a Russian prince and a very lively love interest.

Freddie Standen in Heyer’s Cotillion is another favorite of mine. Everyone dismisses him as foolish fop, but he grows over the course of the book and turns out to be the wisest and most sensitive of all. By far the best choice Kitty could have made.

And finally Lord Peter Wimsey. He doesn’t come from historical romances, but from a mystery series by Dorothy Sayers set in the 1920-30s. He is a duke’s son, though.  : ) Lord Peter’s dogged, sensitive pursuit of his own true love Harriet Vane (through several novels) is one of the great love stories, to me.

As you can see, I’m rather a fan of beta heroes. They seem more real to me, as people, and more appealing. Did any of the gentlemen above inspire my heroes over the years? I’m sure they did, somehow, though I’ve never consciously modeled a character on any of them. I’ll also tell you who didn’t inspire me – Heathcliff. I’ve found him just annoying since I was thirteen years old.

Thanks for having me on Delighted Reader!

Jane Ashford also has a BRAND NEW book coming out in March 2014: THE BRIDE INSISTS:


The Bride Insists Cover

Sparks fly in this sexy, fast-paced Regency romance by acclaimed, bestselling author Jane Ashford

When governess Clare Greenough learns she’s inherited a fortune, the good news comes with a catch: it will be held by her cousin until Clare can find a husband. To stave off ruin, Jamie Boleigh, the seventh Baron of Trehearth, agrees to marry Clare under the condition that she controls the money, a provision he hopes to overturn. Their passionate relationship becomes a battle of wills. When the cousin tricks Jamie into betraying his wife, he’ll have to prove the truth or lose her forever.

To Preorder The Bride Insists:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Chapters/Indigo
IndieBound | iBooks | Sourcebooks | Discover a New Love



 Delighted Reader Giveaway

Three of Jane Ashford’s beloved backlist titles are now back in print! Look for Man of Honour, The Three Graces and The Marriage Wager in stores now!

Man of Honour CoverThe Three Graces CoverThe Marriage Wager Cover


For a chance to enter to win a prize package of all three of these wonderful backlist titles, leave us a comment below—tell us your favorite historical romance hero or leave a question for Jane. Open to US and Canada only. Giveaway ends February 6, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.


About Jane Ashford


Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was entranced by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight was part of what led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Born in Ohio, she has lived in New York, Boston and LA.

Jane has written historical and contemporary romances. Her books have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia and Spain, as well as the U.S. She has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!


  1. Ahhh must read more! lol I’ve only read one of those! Gah! My favorite is Jackson Pinter from Sabrina Jeffries’ Hellions series. Something about that man. I loved him the second he showed up as a secondary character early on and adored his book.

  2. TBH I haven’t read that many historicals but from the sound of your list I really need to correct that. I did just recently read Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series and absolutely loved it! And to think none of those even made your list so I must really be missing out!

  3. I really liked the hero, Daniel Neville, in Sophie Barnes’ novel, “The Scandal in Kissing an Heir.” He goes from being a devil-may-care rake to a married man who truly loves his wife and does all he can to ensure he can provide for his wife properly even though he has encountered a snafu with his inheritance.

  4. just added her books to my GR wishlist!! I have seen her popping up more and more, and I really need to get my booty in gear and try one of her books out. One of my favorite HR hero would be James Sidwell, from How To Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn. He always makes me melt every time I read it.

    1. Good question. I think a good beginning is one that connects you with the characters and makes you want to stay with them through the whole ride.