With the theme of Romance in the air this week I thought I'd bring the Romance home and share some of my (not so secret) book crushes.
No 10: ZORRO (The Mark of Zorro: Johnston McCulley
Now I have to confess, I may have been a tiny weeny bit influenced by the wonderful Antonio Banderas - but hey, who can blame any woman for falling for all that gorgeous sword wielding, masked charm. A true rugged, handsome hero.
No9: Count Alexis Vronsky (Anna Karenina: Leo Tolstoy)
His complete elevation of pleasure over morality leads to one of the most tragic, beautiful and haunting love story ever told. He destroys the one thing he ever truly loved and so the lesson is learnt. *sighs*
No8: Sherlock Holmes (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:Arthur Conan Doyle)
Long before the delicious Mr Cumberbatch, I had a crush on Sherlock Holmes. There is just something intensely sexy about a man with extraordinary intellect - especially when coupled with that dark subversive side. His visits to the opium dens add a luxurious, aesthetic complexity to him that just makes him the ultimate thinking woman's crumpet.
No 7. Daniel Grigori (Fallen Series: Kate Lauren)
Oh, Daniel - all those lives lived in the pursuit of your one true love. Who could not fall in love with a time-travelling fallen angel of Italian descent. All those terrible moments where your kiss destroys the one thing you love. I cling to the belief that it will all be alright in the end. That one day, heaven will approve.
No 6. Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights: Charlotte Bronte)
I'm a Yorkshire girl and the landscape is in my blood. The wild, wind blasted heather moors and the brooding, cruelty of Heathcliff are one. In many ways he is a wretched, deplorable man - but he is the landscape and he has exactly the same exhilarating, death defying effect on me. I would love to feel my heart pounding in my chest as the mud flicked all over the hem of my empire line.
No 5. Dorion Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde)
There is a side to me that wants to be a decadent libertine and for me Dorian is not just a character but a whole epoch in one vessel. I adore his total rejection of morality and am yet at the same time completely repulsed by it. It is the powerful combination that acts as such a potent attraction to me. I would happily sacrifice my heart at his altar.
No 4. Lestat De Lioncourt (Interview with a Vampire: Anne Rice)
Originally I had Bram Stoker's Dracula here but then I realised it was probably in truth the more handsome Lestat infused with the Count Dracula legacy that really did it for me. I'm a sucker for velvet and lace (yes, that appalling pun made me smile) Again a tortured soul in denial of his true self - his desire for self improvement and restraint is touching because you always know that he's going to fail.
No 3. Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen)
In my humble opinion (and please don't shoot me) Mr Darcy is the one saving grace out of the whole tedious collection of banal parlour-room politics that is Jane Austen. Darcy's combination of supreme arrogance, wealth, intelligence and handsome good looks is just the perfect magical combination for me. I love an arrogant man - but only if he has something to be arrogant about - oh, and Mr Darcy has bucket loads. He brings out in me a more refined fantasy, one in which I pour him port and have immaculate napkins.
No 2. Edward Cullen (Twilight: Stephanie Meyer)
Controversial, I know, but I have a very special place in my heart for Edward Cullen. He is flawed in so many delicious ways. Again a man battling with his nature and his moral ideal, he is a figure that for me sums up the word ATTRACTIVE. He is indeed my own personal brand of heroin. His supreme intelligence, his refinement, his entire Edwardianism, his humour and his tendency to passionately over-react, makes me wish that I could be eighteen forever!
No 1. Sir Lancelot (Mallory, Tennyson and a hundred others)
Truly the sexiest men in literature! His total sense of good and right and the tragedy of his fall from grace because of his one, all consuming weakness - love. Lancelot is showy, brave and totally seductive. I love him enough to have spent the last four years of my life ensuring his legacy lives on.