Man Crush Monday! Book Boyfriends That Have us Swooning

in Fiction by

We heard you and by popular demand the book boyfriends are back in honor of Man Crush Monday (#MCM)!

When I first wrote about my book boyfriends, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to narrow it down to only five. I’ve been voraciously reading since I was a kid, and at this point my book-crushes are a little out of control. How could I have skipped Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre or, as one reader pointed out, Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster?

And while those two are definitely high up on the list, they aren’t quite in my top 10. Like I said before, a book boyfriend goes beyond a simple appreciation. It’s an all-consuming love, an obsession that continues long after the last page, a fictional character you would give anything to meet in real life. So with that in mind, here are five more of my favorite book boyfriends, starting with two that were made into movies, making my heart skip a beat:

Jace Herondale: City of Bones (The Mortal Instrument series) by Cassandra Clare

Jace 2
We loved Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Herondale.

Jace wears his arrogance like armor, but whoa! Man, does it make him sexy. He’s hot and he knows it, using his power to seduce any girl he can get his hands on. But then he meets Clary. And sure, they kind of think they’re brother and sister for a while. This should probably impede his hotness, but trust me, it doesn’t. Jace is one of the coolest YA heroes around, swashbuckling his way through the streets of NYC. He’s also protective, loving and crazy for Clary from the start. I fell hard for Jace from page one of City of Bones. Six books and a movie later, and I haven’t looked back once.

Augustus Waters: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Ansel Elgort was swoonworthy as Augustus Waters.

Oh, Augustus. Just typing his name makes me want to break down into tears. He’s a quintessential John Green hero: quirky and funny, cute and just a little arrogant. He focuses on heroine Hazel like a laser-beam, refusing to let anything—even cancer—stand in the way of their love. And (spoiler alert!) they have a pretty tragic relationship. But it doesn’t matter: Augustus will always be that effortlessly cool boy I wish I’d met in high school.

And here are three where I indulged in a little dream casting:

Curran Lennart: Magic Bites (the Kate Daniels series) by Ilona Andrews

Poised on the brink of superstardom, we’d pick Charlie Hunnam as Curran Lennart.

Curran’s deadliness is apparent from the start: even on their first meeting, heroine Kate Daniels is a little afraid he’s going to kill her. But over the course of the series, it becomes even more apparent that Curran is madly in love with her. The Beast Lord is part lion and the only one strong enough to hold the shape-shifting community together in a new world ruled by magic. He’s tough, unyielding and his only weakness is Kate. Oh, and did I mention that he’s crazy hot, jacked and kind of hilarious? Swoon.


Chang An Lo: The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

We think Godfrey Gao would make a dashing Chang An Lo.

I am a big fan of sweeping historical novels and The Russian Concubine is one of the best. It tells the story of Lydia, a Russian immigrant being raised in China in 1928, and Chang An Lo, the Chinese freedom fighter she falls for. Chang is one of those perfect heroes: hot, smart and a warrior who’s protective without being smothering. He respects Lydia from the start, and almost dies for her on more than one occasion. He’s both sensitive and badass, and pretty much the perfect book boyfriend.

Lee Nightingale: Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

Joe Manganiello is our vote for Lee Nightingale.

I honestly cannot rave enough about Kristen Ashley. She started as a self-published author on Amazon, and her alpha heroes and sassy heroines became wildly popular from the start. Now she’s written dozens of novels, and I, of course, have bought all of them. But my true book boyfriend is Lee from the very first Rock Chick novel. He’s been in love with headstrong Indy their whole lives, but once he decides to do something about it, the boy is determined. He moves her into his house within days, he protects her from bad guys, is charmed by all her crazy antics and he’s also super hot. Like, chases bad guys for a living, lives slightly outside the law, and is tall dark and handsome, hot. Lee Nightingale might just be my dream guy.

What actor would you cast as your book boyfriend? Let us know in the comments.


Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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