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:
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:
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!
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.