Beta Heroes

These romances have kinder, gentler heroes, the kind of men who will change your flat tire, open doors for you, help your kid with his homework, and bring you soup when you are sick. They are the antithesis of the testosterone-filled chest beaters found in the earlier bodice-ripper romances. These are the guys we all want to find in real life. (This list was originally our Special Heroes listing, begun in 1996.)

(List begun 02/03, updated 09/12)

 

Medieval Romances
Regency Romances
European Historical Romances
American Historical/Frontier Romances
Contemporary Romances
Alternate Reality
Young Adult

 

Medieval Romances

  • By Design (2001) by Madeline Hunter - Rhys (A/C+ at AAR)
  • For My Lady's Heart (1993) by Laura Kinsale - Ruck of Wolfsgar (A at AAR)
  • One Enchanted Evening (2010) by Lynn Kurland - Montgomery de Piaget (time travel)
  • This is All I Ask (2000) by Lynn Kurland - Christopher of Blackmour (A at AAR)
  • When I Fall in Love (2007) by Lynn Kurland - Nicholas de Piaget (time travel) (B- at AAR)
  • The de Burgh Bride (1998) by Deborah Simmons - Geoffrey de Burgh

Regency Romances

  • Emma (1816) by Jane Austen - George Knightley
  • Mansfield Park (1814) by Jane Austen - Edmund Bertram
  • Gentle Conquest (1987) by Mary Balogh - Ralph Middleton, Earl of Chartleigh (B+ at AAR)
  • Lord Carew's Bride (1995) by Mary Balogh - Hartley Wade, Marquess of Carew (A at AAR)
  • The Unlikely Duchess (1990) by Mary Balogh - Paul Villiers, Duke of Milford
  • Prospero's Daughter (2003) by Nancy Butler - Morgan Pearce (B+ at AAR)
  • The Ramshackle Suitor (2000) by Nancy Butler - Roderick Kempthorne (B- at AAR)
  • The Devil's Delilah (2004) by Loretta Chase - Jack Langdon (A- at AAR)
  • A Fresh Perspective (1996) by Elisabeth Fairchild - Reed, Viscount Talcott
  • Falling for Chloe (2000) by Diane Farr - Sylvester "Gil" Gilliland (B+ at AAR)
  • The Nobody (1999) by Diane Farr - Richard Kilverton, Viscount Kilverton (B+/C at AAR)
  • The Reluctant Cavalier (1996) by Karen Harbaugh - Parsifal Wentworth (B+ at AAR)
  • Cotillion (1953) by Georgette Heyer - Frederick Standen
  • The Foundling (1948) by Georgette Heyer - Adolphus Gillespie "Gilly" Ware, Duke of Sale
  • The Quiet Gentleman (1951) by Georgette Heyer - Gervase Frant, Earl of St. Erth (C at AAR)
  • The Unknown Ajax (1959) by Georgette Heyer - Major Hugo Darracott
  • The Lady's Companion (1996) by Carla Kelly - David Wiggins (A at AAR)
  • Libby's London Merchant (1991) by Carla Kelly - Dr. Anthony Cook (A at AAR)
  • Miss Milton Speaks Her Mind (1998) by Carla Kelly - Scipio Africanus Butterworth (A+ at AAR)
  • The Wedding Journey (2002) by Carla Kelly - Captain Jesse Randall (B+ at AAR)
  • Duel of Hearts (1980) by Elizabeth Mansfield - Edward Middleton
  • Passing Fancies (1983) by Elizabeth Mansfield - Simon Sturtevant (A at AAR)
  • The Butler Who Laughed (1997) by Michelle Martin - John Rawlins
  • Alicia (1980) by Laura Matthews (Elizabeth Neff Walker) - Nigel, Marquis of Stronbert
  • Aunt Sophie's Diamonds (1977) by Joan Smith - Sir Hilary Thoreau
  • A Country Wooing (1987) by Joan Smith - Alex, Earl of Penholme
  • Winter Wedding (1990) by Joan Smith - Ben, Earl of Allingcote
  • The Weaver Takes a Wife (1999) by Sheri Cobb South - Ethan Brundy

European Historical Romances

  • When It's Perfect (2002) by Adele Ashford - Marcus Longfellow, Earl of Renn (B- at AAR)
  • The Bargain (1997) by Jane Ashford - Lord Alan Gresham (A- at AAR)
  • Simply Love (2006) by Mary Balogh - Sydnam Butler (A- at AAR)
  • Forbidden (1994) by Jo Beverley - Francis Haile, Viscount Middlethorpe (A at AAR)
  • Secrets of the Night (1999) by Jo Beverley - Lord Brand Malloren (B+ at AAR)
  • As You Desire (1997) by Connie Brockway - Harry Braxton (A at AAR)
  • Bridal Favors (2002) by Connie Brockway - Justin Powell (A at AAR)
  • My Dearest Enemy (1997) by Connie Brockway - Avery Thorne (A at AAR)
  • The Wildest Shore (2001) by Lisa Cach - Horatio Merivale (set in Malaysia) (B+ at AAR)
  • Untouched (2007) by Anna Campbell - Matthew Lansdowne, Marquess of Sheene (B+ at AAR)
  • Miss Wonderful (2004) by Loretta Chase - Alastair Carsington (B+ at AAR)
  • Kate Hannigan (1969) by Catherine Cookson - Dr. Rodney Prince
  • The Bride Thief (2002) by Jacquie D'Alessandro - Eric Landsdowne (B- at AAR)
  • Goddess of the Hunt (2009) by Tessa Dare - Jeremy Trescott, Earl of Kendall (B at AAR)
  • England's Perfect Hero (2004) by Suzanne Enoch - Robert Carroway (B at AAR)
  • Under a Lucky Star (2004) by Diane Farr - Derek Whitaker (A at AAR)
  • To Love and To Cherish (1995) by Patricia Gaffney - Rev. Christian Morrell (A at AAR)
  • Fortune's Bride (1983) by Roberta Gellis - Robert Moreton
  • As an Earl Desires (2005) by Lorraine Heath - Arch Warner, Earl of Sachse (B at AAR)
  • A Gentleman Undone (2012) by Cecilia Grant - Will Blackshear (B+ at AAR)
  • A Lady Awakened (2012) by Cecilia Grant - Theophilus Mirkwood (A- at AAR)
  • Once a Dreamer (2003) by Candice Hern - Simon Westover (B- at AAR)
  • The Proposition (1999) by Judith Ivory - Mick Tremore (A at AAR)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1998) by Judith Ivory - Sir James Stoker (A/B- at AAR)
  • Kiss Me, Annabel (2005) by Eloisa James - Ewan Poley, Earl of Ardmore (B at AAR)
  • A Scandalous Proposal (2000) by Julia Justiss - Evan Mansfield (B+ at AAR)
  • Marrying the Captain (2009) by Carla Kelly - Captain Oliver Worthy (A- at AAR)
  • The Dream Hunter (1994) by Laura Kinsale - Arden Mansfield, Viscount Winter (B+ at AAR)
  • Lady Sophia's Lover (2002) by Lisa Kleypas - Sir Ross Cannon (A at AAR)
  • To Wed a Stranger (2003) by Edith Layton - Miles Croft (A- at AAR)
  • In for a Penny (2010) by Rose Lerner - Nathaniel "Nev" Ambrey, Viscount Nevinstoke (A- at AAR)
  • Unclaimed (2011) by Courtney Milan - Sir Mark Turner
  • Unveiled (2011) by Courtney Milan - Ash Turner (B+ at AAR)
  • The Dangerous Viscount (2010) by Miranda Neville - Sebastian Iverley, Viscount Iverley (B+ at AAR)
  • Revealed (2009) by Kate Noble - Marcus Worth
  • Lost Duke of Wyndham (2008) by Julia Quinn - Jack Audley (A- at AAR)
  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (2002) by Julia Quinn - Colin Bridgerton (B+ at AAR)
  • The Heart Queen (2001) by Patricia Potter - Neil Forbes, Marquis of Braemoor (B at AAR)
  • The Bargain (1999, expanded from The Would-Be Widow) by Mary Jo Putney - Major David Lancaster (B+ at AAR)
  • One Perfect Rose (1997) by Mary Jo Putney - Stephen Kenyon (A- at AAR)
  • Louisa Elliot (1989) by Ann Victoria Roberts - Edward Elliot
  • The Last Rogue (1998) by Deborah Simmons - Deverell Fairfax, Viscount Raleigh (A at AAR)
  • Not Quite a Husband (2009) by Sherry Thomas - Quentin Leonidas Martin (A at AAR)
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe (2010) by Lauren Willig - Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh (B at AAR)

American Historical Romances

  • Annie's Song (1996) by Catherine Anderson - Alex Montgomery
  • Summer Breeze (2006) by Catherine Anderson - Joseph Coulter (B at AAR)
  • The Way Home (1997) by Megan Chance - Aaron Wallace
  • Rachel LeMoyne (1998) by Eileen Charbonneau - Darragh Ronan (A at AAR)
  • The Randolph Legacy (1997) by Eileen Charbonneau - Ethan Randolph (B at AAR)
  • Crooked Hearts (1994) by Patricia Gaffney - Reuben Jones (A at AAR)
  • Wild at Heart (1997) by Patricia Gaffney - Michael MacNeil (B+ at AAR)
  • The Last Renegade (2012) by Jo Goodman - Kellen Coltrane (B+ at AAR)
  • The Rainbow Season (1979) by Lisa Gregory - Luke Turner
  • Always to Remember (1996) by Lorraine Heath - Clayton Holland (A/B- at AAR)
  • Sweet Lullaby (1994) by Lorraine Heath - Jake Burnette (A at AAR)
  • Texas Destiny (1997) by Lorraine Heath - Houston Leigh (A at AAR)
  • Angel's End (2012) by Cindy Holby - Cade Gentry (B+ at AAR)
  • Gold Rush Groom (2011) by Jenna Kernan - Jack Snow (B at AAR)
  • A Reason To Believe (2007) by Maureen McKade - Rye Forrester (B- at AAR)
  • Comanche Rose (1996) by Anita Mills - Horace "Hap" Walker
  • A Taste of Honey (1995) by Stephanie Mittman - Noah Eastman (A at AAR)
  • Garters (1992) by Pamela Morsi - Cleavis Rhy
  • Simple Jess (1996) by Pamela Morsi - Jesse Best (A at AAR)
  • Wild Oats (1993) by Pamela Morsi - Jedwin Sparrow
  • Redeeming Love (1991) by Francine Rivers - Michael Hosea
  • The Way Home (1995) by Dallas Schulze - Ty McKendrick
  • The Endearment (1982) by LaVyrle Spencer - Karl Lindstrom
  • Morning Glory (1989) by LaVyrle Spencer - Will Parker (A at AAR)
  • Joe's Wife (1999) by Cheryl St. John - Tye Hatcher (B at AAR)
  • The Texan's Wager (2002) by Jodi Thomas - Carter McKoy (C+ at AAR)
  • Open Country (2010) by Kaki Warner - Hank Wilkins (B+ at AAR)

Contemporary Romances

  • Doctor Arnold's Ambition (11/1968) by Pauline Ash - HR-1249 - Dr. Dobbinton Arnold
  • It Must Have Been the Mistletoe (12/1992) by Nikki Benjamin - SSE-782 - Dominic Fabrino
  • My Baby, Your Child (4/1994) by Nikki Benjamin - SSE-880 - Will Landon
  • Flame in Fiji (11/1973) by Gloria Bevan - HR-1730 - David Kinnear
  • The Boyfriend School (1989) by Sarah Bird - Gus Kubiak (A at AAR)
  • Defiant Hero (2001) by Suzanne Brockman - John Nilsson (A at AAR)
  • Embraced by Love (1995) by Suzanne Brockmann - Cooper McBride
  • A Town Called Valentine (2012) by Emma Cane - Nate Thalberg (B at AAR)
  • Shelter Mountain (2007) by Robyn Carr - John "Preacher" Middleton (B+ at AAR)
  • Sunrise Point (2012) by Robyn Carr - Tom Cavanaugh (B at AAR)
  • A Weekend with Mr. Darcy (2011) by Victoria Connelly - Warwick Lawton (A- at AAR)
  • Anyone But You (1996) by Jennifer Crusie - Alex Moore (B+ at AAR)
  • Tell Me Lies (1998) by Jennifer Crusie - C. L. Sturgis (A/B+ at AAR)
  • Summer at Seaside Cove (2011) by Jacquie D'Alessandro - Nick Trent (B at AAR)
  • Coast Road (1993) by Barbara Delinsky - Jack McGill (B+ at AAR)
  • Three Wishes (1997) by Barbara Delinsky - Tom Gates (A- at AAR)
  • Murphy's Child (8/1999) by Judith Duncan - SIM-946 - Murphy Monroe
  • Mr. Family (10/1996) by Margot Early - HSR-711 - Kalahiki Johnson
  • An Afternoon Walk (1971) by Dorothy Eden - Booth Bramwell
  • His, Unexpectedly (2011) by Susan Fox - Dr. Mark Chambers (B+ at AAR)
  • The Wallflower (6/1998) by Jan Freed - HSR-790 - Jack Morgan (A at AAR)
  • Nurses of the Tourist Service (4/1963) by Gladys Fullbrook - HR-727 - Dr. Christopher Deane
  • Earthbound Angel (8/1996) by Catherine George - HR-3420 - Gabriel Sargent
  • The Protector (2011) by Shelley Shepard Gray - Loyal Weaver (B- at AAR)
  • Something Blue (2005) by Emily Griffin - Ethan Ainsley
  • Bad for Each Other (6/1997) by Kate Hathaway - SIM-791 - Charlie Cochran (A at AAR)
  • The Next Best Thing (2010) by Kristan Higgins - Ethan Mirabelli (B+ at AAR)
  • Sweet as Sin (2011) by Inez Kelly - John Murphy (A at AAR)
  • Tall, Dark and Cowboy (2011) by Joanne Kennedy - Chase Caldwell (A- at AAR)
  • Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married (1999) by Marian Keyes - Daniel Watson (A+ at AAR)
  • About Last Night (2012) by Ruthie Knox - Neville Chamberlain (B+ at AAR)
  • A Rose for Maggie (9/1991) by Kathleen Korbel - SIM-396 - Joe Burgett (B+ at AAR)
  • Absolutely, Positively (1996) by Jayne Ann Krentz - Harry Stratton Trevelyan
  • Miss Emmaline and the Archangel (3/1993) by Rachel Lee - SIM-482 - Gage Dalton (B+ at AAR)
  • Then She Found Me (1990) by Elinor Lipman - Dwight Willamee
  • Lightning that Lingers (12/1983) by Laura London (Sharon and Tom Curtis) - LS-25 - Philip Brooks (A/A- at AAR)
  • All Summer Long (2012) by Susan Mallery - Clay Stryker
  • Flat-Out Sexy (2010) by Erin McCarthy - Elec Monroe
  • Moonlight and Shadows (12/1991) by Glenda McReynolds - LS-500 - Jack Hudson
  • The Real Deal (2004) by Lucy Monroe - Simon Brant (A at AAR)
  • Red's Hot Honky-Tonk Bar (2009) by Pamela Morsi - Cam Early (A- at AAR)
  • If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend (2005) by Alison Pace - Ian Rhys-Fitzsimmons (B at AAR)
  • Katie's Way (2011) by Marta Perry - Caleb Brand (B+ at AAR)
  • The Older Woman (1/2002) by Cheryl Reavis - SSE-1445 - Calvin "Bugs" Doyle (B at AAR)
  • Fire under Heaven (1/1987) by Cinda Richards (Cheryl Reavis) - SCAL-382 - Sgt. Dave Gannon
  • Born in Shame (1996) by Nora Roberts - Murphy Muldoon
  • The Heart of Devin MacKade (3/1996) by Nora Roberts - SIM-697 - Devin MacKade
  • Midnight Bayou (2001) by Nora Roberts - Declan Fitzgerald (B at AAR)
  • Rising Tides (1998) by Nora Roberts - Ethan Quinn (A/B+ at AAR)
  • Tears of the Moon (2000) by Nora Roberts - Shawn Gallagher (A- at AAR)
  • Vision in White (2009) by Nora Roberts - Carter Maguire (B+ at AAR)
  • Attachments (2011) by Rainbow Rowell - Lincoln O'Neill
  • Always a Lady (2/1993) by Sharon Sala - KIS-130 - Case Longren (B+/C+ at AAR)
  • Again (1994) by Kathleen Gilles Seidel - Alec Cameron (A at AAR)
  • Don't Forget to Smile (1986) by Kathleen Gilles Seidel - Joe Brigham
  • Summer's End (1999) by Kathleen Gilles Seidel - Jack Wells (A- at AAR)
  • Till the Stars Fall (1994) by Kathleen Gilles Seidel - Quinn Hunter (A at AAR)
  • High Stakes (11/1989) by Dana Warren Smith (Lisa G. Brown) - SSE-563 - Ren Garrett
  • Losing It (1/1989) by Beverly Sommers - HAR-278 - Tom Cunningham (A at AAR)
  • Barefoot in the Sand (2012) by Roxanne St. Claire - Clayton Walker (B at AAR)
  • Sweet Are the Ways (6/1966) by Essie Summers - HR-1015 - Reverend Dougal MacNabb
  • Anything for His Children (1/2000) by Karen Templeton - Guy Sanford (B+ at AAR)
  • Just Down the Road (2012) by Jodi Thomas - Tinch Turner (B at AAR)
  • Nerd in Shining Armor (2003) by Vicki Lewis Thompson - Jackson Farley (B at AAR)
  • American Dreamer (1997) by Theresa Weir - Nathan Senatra
  • Loving Jenny (5/1989) by Theresa Weir - SR-650 Lucas Tate
  • In the Midnight Rain (2000) by Ruth Wind (Barbara Samuel) - Blue Reynard (A- at AAR)
  • Rio Grande Wedding (11/1999) by Ruth Wind (Barbara Samuel) - Alejandro Sosa (B+ at AAR)
  • Miranda Blue Calling (2004) by Michelle Curry Wright - William "Billy" Wordsworth Steadman (B at AAR)

Alternate Reality

  • The Changeling Bride (1999) by Lisa Cach - Lord Henry Trevelyan (A at AAR)
  • George and the Virgin (2002) by Lisa Cach - George Arlington (A- at AAR)
  • Topaz Dreams (1992) by Marilyn Campbell - Falcon
  • The Star Prince (2001) by Susan Grant - Ian Hamilton (B at AAR)
  • The Starry Child (1998) by Lynn Hanna - Matt Macinnes
  • Devil's Gate (2012) by Thea Harrison - Duncan Turner
  • The Mage's Daughter (2008) by Lynn Kurland - Miach (B at AAR)
  • Succubus Blues (2007) by Richelle Mead - Seth Mortensen
  • Local Custom (2002) by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller - Er Thom yos'Galan
  • Heart of Gold (2001) by Sharon Shinn - Nolan Adelpho

Young Adult

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy (2008) by Suzanne Collins - Peeta Mellark (B+ at AAR)
  • This Lullaby (2002) by Sarah Dessen - Dexter Jones (B+ at AAR)
  • Easy (2012) by Tammara Webber - Lucas (B+ at AAR)

This list is currently closed for submissions.

 




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