A countdown of your literary loves.
This week’s summer crushes are all fictional (but that doesn't make them any less loveable)! Counting down we have…
10. Max Bradshaw, Some Like it Hot
Max is the main squeeze from this summer's hottest page-turner, "Some Like It Hot" (Harlequin, August 2013), and also our newest literary crush. He's a deputy sheriff (um ... who doesn't love a man who can get you out of a parking ticket?) yet, he has a compassionate side. He volunteers at a group home for troubled boys and takes the book's heroine, Harper Summerville, there with him as a date. He's also a homebody (in a good way!) determined to put down roots in picture-perfect Razor Bay, Washington. Best of all, he doesn't rush into things. After Max and Harper kiss for the first time -- Max insists they delay the gratification. Really is there anything hotter than that?
9. Noah Calhoun, The Notebook
Even before Ryan Gosling(!) played Noah Calhoun in "The Notebook" movie, he won our hearts. After all, he's shy yet persistent, a hard worker but can always find time for poetry or a romantic trip to a secret lagoon. He knows that loving someone sometimes means letting them go, he's willing to dance in the middle of street for the woman he loves and he'll be in love with her until the day he dies.
8. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
The epitome of honor and integrity, Atticus Finch is the favorite of legal ladies all around. He is brave, steady and noble even in the face of racism and violence. Plus, how swoon-worthy is Gregory Peck (you know, in an old school kind of way)?
7. Peeta Mellark, The Hunger Games Trilogy
This baker's boy is strong -- from manning giant ovens in his father's bread shop -- but has a poetic side -- revealed in the delicate artistry of his cake decorations. A bit of a chameleon, Peeta has a knack for being and saying just the right thing to everybody. So it's sometimes difficult to tell whether he is lying or telling the truth. But if you are his one true love, Peeta will always be there for you, whether you are hunting down your next meal or running for your life.
6. Maxim de Winter, Rebecca
Cultured, older and handsome, Maxim comes across as the perfect spouse. Careful! He has a temper. But despite his flaws (and the fact that he, you know, murdered his first wife), we still view him as a total Gothic hero, and the conqueror of many literary hearts.
5. Edward Rochester, Jane Eyre
Steadfast and true in his love for Jane, Rochester is the kind of man you want to take home to your parents…even if he does have another wife locked away in the attic. But love will triumph where Rochester is concerned!
4. Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights
The ultimate tragic/romantic hero combo, Heathcliff is a fabulous mix of idol and villain. Enemies beware!
3. Ranger, The Stephanie Plum series
With smoldering good looks and a dangerous array of weapons, Ranger is the ultimate bad boy you can’t help but love. He’s always there to protect his people, and never flees from a challenge.
2. Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
He's drop-dead gorgeous, is flawed with a mysterious past, is a little, well ... freaky, runs a billion (yes, billion) dollar empire, flies a plane, runs an entire staff and household ... and still makes it home in time for -- well, no not dinner -- but certainly to knock the socks off Anastasia Steele, the one woman that he has eyes for. Really, what's not to like?
1. Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
With a (let’s face it, adorable) moody scowl, brooding nature and stealth heroics, Mr. Darcy is the one to beat. No one quite knows what it is about him that makes literary girls giggle when they hear his name, but we’re not questioning it.