*updated for 2023* You know it’s true. You’ve all had one. And you know what we’re talking about… book boyfriends. And in fantasy and færytales, there is no shortage of swoon-worthy book boyfriends. So here’s a list of the best, most swoon-worthy, in our humble opinion. What do you think? Are we missing any?
A Court of Mist and Fury
Whether it’s his snarky comments, his incessant flirting, or those wings… Rhysand is at the top of the list for a reason. Of course, you’ll need to read the first book in the series to understand the full measure of Rhys’s appeal, but let’s just say… it’s worth at least fifty-five chapters.
We dare you to tell us this is not a færytale. After all, what’s more romantic that time-traveling through history to find your true love? And yes, we only read Outlander for the history. It’s definitely not for Jamie Fraser with his devil-may-care grin, his absurdly romantic streak, or his unyielding devotion to the woman from the future. It’s not for that kilt, either. No, it’s definitely just the history…
The Purloined Prophecy
We’ll be honest… this one surprised us. While Prince Ferryl is certainly deliciously romantic in book one, Michael is… well, Michael is just plain perfect in book two. His loyalty at odds with his heart makes for probably our favorite færytale love story of the year. (Can we take a moment to fangirl over that beach scene, please?) We’re absolutely dying to see where this one goes with book three.
You know how every now and then you run across someone about whom you say ‘wow, they’re just so full of LIFE’. That’s Dammerung: supremely confident, willing to do almost anything to protect his people but without losing sight of the bigger picture or the end goal. Bonus? He’s also a human/animal shifter.
Maybe most humans would find him appalling, what with that bluish skin and those strange eyes, but we certainly don’t. And apparently, neither does Ildiko. Where most of his kind are brash and cruel to humans, Brishen has a kindness in him that runs deep and true. And the way he loves Ildiko… let’s just say, it’s near perfect.
Legacy of Luck
Eamonn loves three things: Horses, gambling, and women, not necessarily in that order. He’s tall, blond, and flashes his engaging smile at every young lass that passes by. Until he meets Katie. *distant maniacal laughter*
Let’s be real: Brigandell wins just for his name alone. But it’s his understated, quiet nature that has us swooning. Where a lot of leading men in fantasies and færytales tend to be boisterous or swaggering, Brigan is a closed book and a deep well. But when he loves someone, he loves them fiercely and without restraint. So in that regard, we’re a little jealous of Fire…
The River Maiden
Queen of Shadows
Yes, this is the fourth book in a series, so yes, this one is a sllloooowww burn. But there’s a reason this series was a New York Times Bestseller. And Rowan? Well, he’s just plain beautiful — in the most broody, grumpy, warrior-squalor way. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a shape-shifting, ancient Fae warrior with a penchant for vengeance, either. Sarah J. Maas may be the queen of fantasy, but she is quite possibly the queen of perfect tattoed Fae love interests, too.
A seasoned fey warrior, master of understated snark, and solidly dependable (sometimes infuriatingly so) anchor, he can wrangle irritable wyslings, bratty bakers, and excitable protégés with a calm many a mother would want to steal. Did I mention that he can shift into a cat? I mean, what’s not to love about him?
A Throne of Shadows
Prince Teryn doesn’t seem a likely love interest at first. In fact, at the beginning of the book he’s downright naive and highly misguided in his romantic pursuits. But when he meets Cora, he learns the true meaning of lasting love and that it starts with friendship.
The Song in the Shadows
He’s constantly compared to a wolf–clever, sneaky, and ruthless. But that’s not why we love Gian of Borras. It’s his incessant irreverence, innuendos, and flirtation, combined with that perpetual smirk of his (AND OF COURSE, HIS LEATHER PANTS) that makes him one of our favorite love interests in fantasy. It’s as if Rhysand and Captain Jack Sparrow had a love child. And we are HERE FOR IT.