In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d take a moment to pay homage to those dashing literary characters who’ve broken my heart. Did I know they were bad news when I met them? Yes. Did I blindly become a worthless pile of goo at their smolder. Yes. Do I regret it? I don’t think so. At least if they’re fictional, they should keep me from looking like a fool in real life. You know, if you do that whole “learn from your mistakes” thing. Why four you ask? Because I couldn’t think of five. Stupid writers block…
***SPOILER ALERT!*** If you haven’t read the books listed below, save this post until you have. Wouldn’t want to ruin it for you.
Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Now, in no particular order, let’s begin.
4. Bill Compton from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series
Why I fell: He was mysterious, and the first vampire you really met in this world. There’s something about an old fashioned gentleman who is at a bit of a loss in modern times. He is/was very protective of Sookie, and having someone who wants to fix your problems can be an attractive thing.
Why I should’ve run for the hills: Things were a little too convenient, weren’t they? A vampire just happens to move in across the cemetery from you, who wants to be the white knight of the crazy girl in town. Really??
Who I should’ve run to: Alcide, Sam, hell even Eric. At least you know where you stand with these guys. Alcide wants a normal life as soon as he gets over girlfriend issues, Sam likes you just the way you are as long as you don’t do anything too dangerous, and Eric… well, Eric’s an asshole, but at least he’s up front about it. With Bill, his motives are a mystery until someone else spills the beans.
Turns out Sam looks atrocious in red.
3. John Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Why I fell: He’s handsome and charming and everything you want in a Regency period novel. He flaunts the rigid social norms for the love of Marianne. Awww.
I want to see you... without a chaperone!
Why I should’ve run for the hills: He’s everything I mentioned above, but he uses these qualities to have his fun and leave. Eventually, he marries for money, because, hey. What good are good looks and a bad boy personality if you can’t live at the top of society?
Who I should’ve run to: Col. Christopher Brandon. Inside this reserved man is the heart of a poet. He’s everything Marianne wanted, in a slightly less flashy package. This is a case where the nice guy wins, and the girl is damn lucky to have him.
Nakatomi Towers? I have no idea what you're talking about. More tea?
2. Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
Why I fell: C’mon! He was Hugh Grant Brit without the bumbling. He was flirty and allegedly liked Bridget’s curves and her awkwardness. Plus office romance with the successful, handsome exec across the way? Um, yes please.
Why I should’ve run for the hills: If life has taught us anything, and if literature has reinforced it, it’s that the”perfect” guy is usually an ass. Sadly, Murphy’s Law says that if you think he could be dating someone of supermodel caliber, he probably is. You’re the bit on the side.
Who I should’ve run to: Mark Darcy. He’s a little stiff around the edges, but he’s great once you get past that. In fact, just tickle him. In moments he’ll be giggling hysterically and letting you see one of those cute British half-smiles. Oh, and you know… he’s also an updated version of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Who’s Daniel Cleaver again?
If everything I just wrote doesn't make sense, look at the picture. That pretty much sums it up.
1. Sir Jorah Mormont from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series
Why I fell: I’m a sucker for an older man wanting to take care of you. Hell, it’s who I married. Sir Jorah is no exception, and given his tragic history with another younger woman… sigh. Yeah, I wants to hug him.
Just pretend it's not creepy that Daenerys isn't thirteen and pregnant in the book, and it's all good.
Why I should’ve run for the hills: Part of this guy’s tragic story is betrayal. For love, yes. But if he’s willing to give up everything including his honor, family, children, well… maybe I should have remembered that before I threw in whole heartedly with Team Jorah.
Who I should’ve run to: Jamie Lannister. Yes, in the beginning he’s a total tool and has a messed up sex life to boot. Really messed up. But cut him down to size, take away some of his vanity, and at least for now he seems redeemable. Of course now that I like him, Martin will probably have him flayed and crucified, but as of today I see a glimmer of hope for Jamie.
Wait, is that Jamie or Prince Charming from Shrek?
Finally, while researching this post, I found a great article about bad boys and why it’s best to leave them in the realms of fiction. Click here to read it. I definitely will make my daughter read it the first time she brings home “Snake” who likes motorcycles and piercings.
Until next time, happy reading, happy writing!