posted on November 16, 2022 by Maggie Kelley

When a hero comes along…do you swipe left or right?

I love classic romance heroes, and after writing No Rescue Required, the latest in my matchmaking series, Smart Cupid, I wondered which classic hero would make the best modern-day book boyfriend. Is a contemporary heroine more compatible with the broody guy whose passionate depths know no limits? Or the sexy, devoted guy with a big heart?

In No Rescue Required, Sabrina meets her match in sports agent, Ryan Callahan. She may not have been looking for love, but sometimes you have to go for it when the right guy comes along.

So, how would the classic heroes fare in today’s dating pool? Would Fitzwilliam Darcy find love on Tinder? How would Colonel Brandon stack up? Let’s take a look starting with the broodiest of them all…

Emily Bronte’s classic, Wuthering Heights was my first, and you know what they say, you never forget your first. My fifteen-year-old, romance-reading self loved Heathcliff’s tortured soul and his unwavering love and devotion. If a man would brave the darkness of the moors, waiting his entire life for me to see the truth of his love, well, what more could I ask for? Turns out, quite a lot. How about stability, sanity, and a three-bedroom in a nice neighborhood? While my teenage heart would’ve lived on tenterhooks, traipsing the moors forever, my more experienced self, says…swipe left and save yourself the drama.

Maurice Bendrix
The End of The Affair by Graham Greene is one of those classics I loved as a young adult. Bendrix, as he is known, is handsome and cynical, and yes, a bit brooding, but he is less controlling and easier to understand than Heathcliff. Willing to accept the limits of his illicit love affair, Bendix would be a good bet if you were looking for a passionate man whose heart was capable of miraculous decency and friendship. I’d swipe right. In a committed, faithful relationship, Bendrix might prove to be a winner.

Newland Archer
On the other side of the fidelity spectrum is Newland Archer in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. Sure, he’s a lawyer so he’s got a good job, and as embodied by Daniel Day-Lewis in the film, he’s smokin’. But am I interested in a guy whose head is going to be turned by the first blond hottie who stumbles into his living room? No, no, and no. Swiping left, twice.

Colonel Brandon
Normally, I wouldn’t go for a military man but in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Christopher Brandon is a man among men. Mature, patient, kind, and generous, Chris is a guy you can count on. Even though he may not be as dashing as some of the other hero types in the novel, this gentle soul feels deeply and will be careful to take care of your heart. I bet he’s got a few passionate tricks up his sleeve, too…if you know what I mean. Swiping happily ever after…

And no list would be complete without Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Perhaps Jane Austen’s most famous, hero, Darcy is synonymous with romance. He’s a hard nut to crack, but Darcy combines Colonel Brandon’s self-sacrificing character with Heathcliff’s sex appeal and passion, wonderful if you can win his heart. In Joe Wright’s 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, the scene in which Matthew MacFadyen’s Darcy declares himself to Elizabeth in the early morning hours is one I simply “love, love, love”. Swipe right for a few stumbles leading to the kind of devotion that lasts forever. Isn’t that what we all dream of?

I had fun dreaming up the contemporary love story in No Rescue Required. While Sabrina may give Ryan the cyber-rundown—what Smart Cupid country girl wouldn’t before taking a road trip with a hot city guy?—in the end, she gave him a chance. Hope you give their romantic, holiday story a chance, too.

Let me know your favorite classic or contemporary romantic hero, or just tell me what you think of my picks, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of the first Smart Cupid story, Breaking the Bachelor and an e-copy of No Rescue Required.

xo, Maggie

Maggie Kelley

Maggie Kelley

After ten years of survival, aka working, in Hollywood, this former actress and current author of sexy contemporary romance is living happily-ever-after in Pittsburgh with her longtime sweetie, AKA Husband Number 1, and their two punky kids. When not carpooling to birthday parties or testing her gourmet cooking skills by throwing a frozen pizza into the oven, Maggie daydreams about sneaking off to the Vegas or Napa, or even just the movies. A love of red wine, Italian food, and music round out her list of life's greatest joys. Oh, and Tuesday night karaoke, totally underrated fun.

5 thoughts on “When a hero comes along…do you swipe left or right?”

  1. Colleen C. says:

    Its crazy, I have read a ton of books but hardly any classics… I guess I should change that.

    1. Hey, Colleen. The End of The Affair is one of my all-time favorites and the movie with Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes is beautiful! I’d love to do a modern take on Wuthering Heights…maybe one of these days! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. Let me know your favorite contemporary hero. ‘m always looking for the next great book. <3 Maggie

  2. Colleen C. says:

    It is hard to choose a favorite… I read so much that any new book could have a favorite for me. So many great books out there. LOL, I can not decide!

  3. bn100 says:

    Mr. Darcy

  4. Amber says:

    Can’t say I have one. I read everything and especially love historical romances for the history – so I’ll pick some sexy duke that likes to buck the royal system.

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