Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Stuffy or Buttoned-Up Hero

I recently read two books that featured heroes who start off as stuffy and might even come across as judgmental: Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry (contemporary), and What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden (historical).

Both are great books, so do check them out! Here's a link to the Dear Author review for the Sarah Mayberry book, which is where I first read about Her Best Worst Mistake.

Getting back to the heroes - as the stories continued, I, along with the heroine, began to see the person behind the stuffy mask, and each hero turned out to be really heroic - a truly good guy, someone the heroine can rely on through anything and everything. 

This is a trope I really love in romances. Do you? Are there any books you'd recommend that feature this kind of a hero?

20 comments :

Anonymous said...

I love What a Gentleman Wants! Have you read anything by Courtney Milan? If I remember right, most of her heroes are like that.

-Sarah M.

decadence said...

Two words: Mr. Darcy.

Anonymous said...

All the books by J.R. Ward written as Jessica Bird http://www.jessicabird.com/webpages/jb-home.html
I am was not a contemporary or historical romance person but after reading these, I'd gladly read more like them. I read them in the beginning only because I love her Black Dagger Brotherhood but now I totally love these characters too.

Katrina said...

My favorite "stuffy" hero is definitely Marcus, Lord Westcliff, from Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower series. I can't recommend those books enough. ^-^

tree peters said...

I'll go all the way back to Mr. Darcy from Pride and Predjudice. Yummy. I know Colin Firth captured a lot of attention for the movie, but I still like the old, old movie with Laurence Olivier as Mr. Stuffy.

Nalini Singh said...

To the Mr. Darcy fans - I'm so with you.

@Anon - I've read the Jessica Bird books and they are amazing. I hope one day she's able to go back and do more in the series.

@Katrina - you are a girl after my own heart. I adore Marcus! That one's my favorite Wallflower book.

Am taking note of the other recommendations.

Kristi said...

Nalini, did you read Hot Island Nights before Her Best Worst Mistake? That's where Martin is introduced (and is even stuffier! I read both books last weekend — I like Sarah Mayberry's writing.

Sycorax said...

Marcus was the first one to spring to mind for me, too. Next was Simon Tam, from the tv series 'Firefly', who gets his own little romance with his complete opposite.

me said...

thanks for the recs Nalini.I have downloaded Her Best Worst Mistake. I have to see if What a gentleman wants is avail for Kindle or if I have to purchase the paper

reese

Anonymous said...

I actually thought Wulfric in Mary Balogh's "Slightly Dangerous" was incredibly stuffy. His book was one of my all time favorites when we got to see the real man.

Anonymous said...

Vanessa Grant, Aangela's Affair it was the first book i ever read it was what got me hooked.

Eva said...

I read What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden and liked the story.
Castle of the Wolf by Sandra Schwab features a v-e-r-y unfriendly and grimly hero LOL. But in the end ... he´s very handy.

Quibbler said...

I like the 'buttoned up' hero. The slow reveal of their true value is always a good journey. Mr Darcy is famous for a reason!
But I'm not such a big fan of the flip side of those storylines. The impulsive, quick to judge, leaps to conclusions and acts on them with no proof, heroine! They really make me cringe (to the point where I sometimes have to stop reading!). No matter how the author tries to justify the females actions, they invariably come across as being incredibly concieted. I've never liked Elizabeth Bennet.
I've noticed that, generally speaking, the stuffier the male is (initially) the deeper down her throat the woman rams her foot!

Kate L said...

Okay, I know Nalini and others are looking for recommendations more in the contemporary or historical vein, but since my two favorite historical heroes have already been given their due (Mr Darcy and Marcus, Lord Westcliff) I'll take a swerve into fantasy: I have been rereading Lauren Dane's Federation 'Verses/Phantom Corps series this week. And, the 2nd book in the series, Relentless, contains the third man I'd put on the list after Darcy and Westcliff: Roman Lyons. Roman is the leader of the Federation, a system of governmt ruled by members of Ranked Families. In a climate of growing unrest among the general population he meets and falls for the young, smart, unranked, and beautiful leader of an organization fighting for greater democracy. I love that he's forty. I love that he's a duty-bound, honorable leader. And I love that he's off-the-charts sexy and raw when he gets Abbie alone. Am I gushing? Sorry. I am.

Note about the series: Although it's not necessary to read the first book, Undercover, to enjoy the second, you should know that the first book centers on a menage m/f/m relationship among three delicious phantom corp agents working to uncover a plot to destabilize the Federation. If you aren't comfortable with BDSM themes than skip this book. However, for what it's worth, a recently popular series has I think misinformed many of the nature of BDSM and if you're looking for a read that handles these kinds of relationships with true insight and respect, than I highly recommend Dane's Undercover.

Shatese said...

When the hero is well written, I love reading mr button downed become undone. When it's not well written, unfortunately it's a snorer. I've read both types, but when it's good it's oh so good!

Anna said...

I love the Mr. Darcy types. My favorite was Lord Westcliff from It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas. The Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Gurhke had a stuffed shirt I liked. Some readers thought Phillip was too much of stuffed shirt. It depends on the reader, the dynamics of the characters, and having a solid plot.

I'll be watching this blog post for more ideas. Thank you for the information about the contemporary romance and historical. Your recommendations have led me to some good books! :o)

Nalini Singh said...

@Kate L's - great rec! I've read all of Lauren Dane's 'Verses/Phantom Corps books. They're super sexy, with great worldbuilding as well.

ddsun.rm said...

Linnea Sinclair has some great ones in the SciFi Romance category. Games of Command is fantastic. Hope's Folly, Rebels and Lovers. Hmmm. Now that I think of it, many of her books have a stuffed shirt. Of course, some of them have a stuffed shirt heroine...

Joy said...

What a Gentleman Wants has been on my list to read for a while - maybe it's time to check it out! Deep Secret is a YA fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones that is not steamy AT ALL but otherwise is a classic stuffed-shirt is more than he appears and a hero by the end. One of my favorite books.

Katariina said...

Jessica Hart:
The Blind Date Proposal (Mills & Boon Romance)
Appointment At The Altar (Mills & Boon Largeprint Romance)
Outback Boss, City Bride (Large Print Romance)

Mary Balogh:
The Secret Mistress, Slightly Dangerous

Amanda Quick: Ravished

Anara Bella: Ready or Not

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Call Me Irresistible

Jill Shalvis: Head Over Heals

Dallas Schulze: The Substitute Wife