Sexy, Eligible Bachelors by Mary Ann Marlowe

Book boyfriends, I’ve had a few. From Fitzwilliam Darcy to Rhett Butler, who doesn’t love a sexy, eligible bachelor? Between the sheets … of paper, romance readers get to speed date musicians, spend the night with bad boys, and even marry countless aristocrats.

Here are a few of my PBs (pretend boyfriends):

Out of my league—celebrities and royalty

When I think of eligible bachelors, my mind goes straight to those lists featuring rock stars, billionaires, princes, actors, and other stratospherically out-of-reach one-percenters.

It’s fun to imagine landing a hot, young royal, like Alex’s childhood-infatuation-turned-rival Prince Henry from Red, White, and Royal Blue. And who wouldn’t want to date a boy band heartthrob, like super dreamy Hayes Campbell from The Idea of You.

I don’t think I’m alone here. Admit it. You know you’ve torn a picture or two out of a magazine to swoon over.

Hate to love—villains and enemies

You’ve got to have friction to get the most sparks. All that animosity brings the most tantalizing chemistry when two people just can’t stay out of each other’s heads and beds.

How hot is Joshua Templeman from The Hating Game as he drives poor Lucy to delicious, irritated obsession? And Rhys from A Court of Mist and Fury is one downright sexy nemesis as he wears down Feyre’s mistrust.

You know you want to be there when the tension breaks and these couples can no longer deny they belong together.

Forbidden fruit—bad boys and reluctant suitors

From male escorts to playboys, these guys are here for the sex, but stay for the love. And they are so, so irresistible in their failure to resist.

Paid to play, Michael Phan from The Kiss Quotient is in it for the money until Stella hires him. And sexy player Drew Evans from Tangled is certain he has no heart to break until Katherine shatters it.

These guys think their emotions aren’t on the market. But that’s why it’s so much sweeter when they fall.

Stuck with you—eligible bachelors in need of a wife

I’m a sucker for marriages of convenience that turn strangers into lovers. Why is it so fun when the couples fall in love after the I dos?

Forced to wed Jamie Fraser from Outlander? Poor you. And what’s wrong with arranging a green-card wedding with a random subway musician you’ve barely spoken to but happen to lust after? Nothing when he’s Calvin Mcloughlin from Roomies. 

Luckily for everyone involved, these spontaneous fictional elopements always end with romance.

There are too many swoon-worthy book boyfriends to list. Which fictional heroes do you pine for?


Is love just something you find in books?

Six months ago, writer and bookstore owner Maddie Hanson was left at the altar. Since then, she’s had zero interest in romance—despite the fact that she runs a book club full of sexy eligible bachelors. But when her latest novel is panned by an anonymous blogger who goes by the name Silver Fox—and who accuses her of knowing nothing about passion—she decides to prove her nemesis wrong by seeking a romance hero in real life . . .

There’s the smoldering rock musician, the bookish college professor, and her competitive childhood friend who may want to steal her bookstore more than her heart. Even Silver Fox is getting in on the action, sending Maddie alarmingly—and intoxicatingly—flirtatious emails. And that’s not all. Her ex wants her back.

Now Maddie is about to discover that like any good story, life has twists and turns, and love can happen when you least expect it—with the person you least expect . . .