Good boys need love too.

Let’s talk about boys.

There’s a lot of bad-boy love going around. Dark boys. Broody boys. Boys you don’t want to take home because they might traumatize your parents. (That, and your parents would probably try to keep you from seeing them and…I’m sure we can imagine how great that would go over with bad-boy boyfriend.)

But let’s talk about good boys: guys who try to do the right thing (even if they sometimes fail), who would never use you as bait, and would do anything in his power to help you achieve your goals.

I love good boys. I think they’re underrated, often accused of being boring and vanilla and whatever. But good boys can be just as compelling (and sexy) as any bad boy out there. Here are a few of my favorites, in alphabetical (by author) order.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Jack is this sweet, smart, funny, glasses-wearing dude. He’s completely ordinary. Except that he’s not ordinary. The way he loves Nikki is so perfect and heartbreaking. Reading about their relationship—what happened and what’s happening now—just about broke me. I think I would like to hug Jack.

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Randall Woodstone is just…swoony. I swooned for him the way I swooned for Mr. Darcy. He’s proper, thoughtful, and wants so badly to help Charlotte, even when she makes life difficult for him. Even when terrible things happened and her pride betrayed them both, he remained unwaveringly loyal.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

There’s an interesting case with Christian and Tucker. They’re two sides of a love triangle. They’re both good boys. This is just so cool that I needed to mention both of them. Each guy is completely different from the other one — one’s a preppy popular guy, and one’s a cowboy — but they both have one important quality: they’re Team Clara. This is one of the few love triangles where I honestly cannot choose between them.

The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan

Raven is a strange and fascinating love interest. After being accused of being mad for his whole life, he’s just so different from ever other guy I’m naming here. But when he finds room in his heart for anything other than pain, that space goes to Marnie, who helps heal him as much as he helps heal her. Watching him grow through Marnie’s eyes is really something special.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Oh how to describe Michael? Electric kisses, all-over hotness, and he can travel through time. One of the things I loved most about Michael was his faith in Emerson. I loved that even when she thought she was losing her mind, he was there for her. He always believed she had the strength to overcome anything.

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Decker is steadfast and sweet, and always there when Delaney needs him. Though at times their relationship and interactions are heartbreaking, watching their friendship shift into something new as the story moves along is just magical. Decker is another more-than-ordinary ordinary guy.

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Kyle is the BFF. Lots of times, guy best friends get overlooked in favor of hot new guys, but there’s something about Kyle that makes my heart go pitter patter. The going theme in this post seems to be guys who are there for the ladies in their lives, and Kyle is no exception.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Oh Logan. What can I say about him? Smart, devoted, and all filled up with honor and the need to do the right thing, no matter the cost. Logan actually gets a point of view in this book, and seeing the world through his eyes—seeing Rachel through his eyes—was just awesome.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my favorite good boys with you. Who are some of the most swoony good guys in your eyes?


42 Responses to Good boys need love too.

  1. Megan Duff Aug 31 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins needs some love too! Even though Lola was pretty upset with him for the majority of the novel (and for a good reason…most of the time) Cricket was always his sweet, awkward, charming, sympathetic self. There are Etienne people–who love the bad boy exterior, who have some angst and some attitude– and then there are Cricket people like me who love getting exactly what you see 🙂

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 10:54 am #

      Oooo, I think I’m going to catch a lot of flack for missing Cricket! I almost put up Etienne, but a friend reminded me he was cheating on his girlfriend, so . . .

      BUT I should have put up Cricket, you’re right. You know who else I missed? Zachary Moore from Jeri Smith-Ready’s SHADE series. (Probably lots more, too!)

  2. Leigh Smith Aug 31 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Well, I see that Megan has already taken my answer! Cricket! Even though I see you weren’t really mentioning contemporaries. Another guy I love is Joe Fontiane from The Sky is Everywhere (who will be forever named in my mind as Joe Motha Effin’ Fontaine). He’s exactly what Lennie (and her whole family) needs to help bring her back to life after he sister dies. His smile streches across the US but not in a mocking way, in an infectious-I’m-not-giving-up-on-you way. Perfect.

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 10:57 am #

      You can say Cricket again! He’s suuuch a good guy. 😀

      (My lack of contemporaries wasn’t intentional.)

      I haven’t read The Sky is Everywhere, but DUDE it sounds like I need to.

      • andrea Aug 31 2012 at 11:19 am #

        Trumpet player Joe Fontaine! He’s awesome, you should totally read The Sky is Everywhere 😀

  3. RachelSeigel Aug 31 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I couldn’t get over Randall in CURSE AS DARK AS GOLD! She made a lot of mistakes and many guys would have given up and run. If you find a guy like him in real life, snag him!

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Loooved Randall. I agree — she was mistake city, but he stuck by her. *hugs him*

  4. Angelica R. Jackson Aug 31 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Gaah! I also couldn’t believe Cricket wasn’t on here! And I hardly ever hear anyone giving love to The Raging Quiet. I picked it up at a library book sale without knowing anything about it and fell in love.

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 11:11 am #

      I know! I know! I’m very ashamed.
      Sooo glad to see another Raging Quiet fan. Gah, I loved that book. MY FEELINGS.

  5. Marina Aug 31 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Oh, Tucker, my sweet cowboy. I liked him so much as a love interest. It was so refreshing to see a heroine make a choice between two love interests and actually stick with him, and a healthy choice at that!! This is why I’ll never forgive Hand for the sequel.

    George, from the Lioness Quartet, I mean… how long did he wait for Alanna?

    • Marina Aug 31 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Also, I think most of Tamora Pierce’s boys are good boys, Farmer being my other favorite, and Numair of course.

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Tucker is SUCH a sweet boy. I was really impressed that Cynthia made me care equally about both boys. And, like you, I was really happy that Clara made a decision and stuck with it.

      I agree 100% about Pierce’s boys! Numair especially. I think his relationship with Daine did things to my teenage brain — in a good way.

  6. Valerie Lawson Aug 31 2012 at 11:10 am #

    oh, so many more books to read, now. wonderful!

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Yes! And look through the comments. There are more great ones being recommended.

  7. Ginny! Aug 31 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Joe from The Sky is Everywhere. He was dreamy.

    Thanks for the reminder about A Curse as Dark as Gold. I had forgotten how good that was.

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 5:10 pm #

      I’m completely sold on THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE. Joe has so many fans! 😀

  8. JQTrotter Aug 31 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Now I have a list of new books to read 🙂
    I love good boys. The whole “bad boy” thing can be so boring, I think, and way over used. Like it somehow gives added dimensions to guy for not taking “no” for an answer and being a huge jerk. Right… yeah, no. I don’t want a guy like that. Sure, bad boys are fun for flings, but if you want someone there with you for good…? You’ll be looking for a good boy. I think they can be even more interesting. Like, say, Peeta from Hunger Games. At first I didn’t think much of him, Gale was considerably more interesting because we didn’t have that much information on him in the first two books, but in the third where he plays a big role and Peeta a small one I found myself wishing Peeta was there instead. It turned out the more I got to know “bad boy” Gale, the less I liked him.

    There’s a reason one of them won in the end and the other made everything worse.

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      Yessss. I hope you enjoy them!

      I don’t mind bad boy love interests — when they really honestly do care and want the best for the girl in the end — but yeah, I prefer good boys. All the boys I write are good, too. They’re just the ones who make my heart go pitter patter more than all the other boys. 🙂

  9. Kateri Ransom Aug 31 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Ok, I feel very strongly about this topic! I am getting way burnt out on the whole “I love him even though he’s a total butt-face” romance. It can be done, but for now I’m finding it to actually be a deal breaker when perusing the store bookshelves.
    My picks are Peeta–classic Peeta, how could you go wrong?…that is unless you’re team Gale, which I’m clearly not.
    Eldric from Chime by Franny Billingsly, oh how quirky, and yet still perfect he is to Briony!
    Both Humberto and Lord Hector from Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. She seriously made a sort of love four-way and it worked. Yet both good boys Humberto and Lord Hector are clearly their own characters and have real reasons for loving Elisa.
    And a shadow of a romance memory comes to mind with William and Nancy from Pirates! by Celia Reese. Loved that book! William was not physically present for much of the story, but I loved how Reese chose the classic over far dstances love and just went for it. She totally pulled it off and William is just dashing as all get out, especially in the way that he stays so devoted to Nancy despite some SERIOUS pitfalls in the character’s plot. Classic. 🙂

    • jodimeadows Aug 31 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      Those are great guys! Peeta is adorable, of course! And I agree about Eldric! I looooved Chime! Speaking of love — yes! Humberto and Lord Hector! *swoon*

      I haven’t had a chance to read Pirates!. I’ll look it up!

  10. Renee Suzanne Sep 1 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    These boys all sound worth “checking out”! In Graceling, Po is a great good-guy, taking very good care of Katsa no matter how much she pushes him away. I agree with Peeta, and Gale too, from Hunger Games – that was another triangle I couldn’t get enough of! I also loved Ty Baldwin in the Heartland series, he was definitely the sweet guy next door. And, not a book character unless you count tie-in novels, but Clark Kent from Smallville is another great example of a good-boy!

    • jodimeadows Sep 1 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      Yessss, Clark Kent. He made a lot of mistakes in SMALLVILLE, and sometimes he was suuuper annoying, but yeah. Overall, yeah. Good guy, trying his best to do the right thing. 😀

  11. Shelver506 Sep 1 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Hooray for good boys! I mean, I understand the literary appeal of bad boys, but I’d NEVER go for one in real life.

    Some of my favorite literary good boys (if I expand to Clark Kent et al., I’ll never stop talking) include Peeta, both Chaol and Dorian from THRONE OF GLASS, and Hector from THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and CROWN OF EMBER. The latter especially, holy snap. He melted me into a puddle in CoE.

    • jodimeadows Sep 2 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Yes. Only good boys in real life. Bad boys really are too dangerous!

      THRONE OF GLASS is on my TBR shelf. I have the prequels, too. I knooooow I need to get to those right away. I know I’m going to love them.

      GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and CROWN OF EMBERS — YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. Especially Hector. I agree. Swoon.

  12. Daisy Sep 2 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I’m a sucker for the good guy as well! I get the appeal of a bad boy somewhat, but really, in the end I’m always rooting for the good guy. My boyfriend is one of those good guys and I wouldn’t ever trade him for one that’s slightly dangerous!
    I do enjoy a good rake in historical romances, but they’re usually good guys underneath 😉
    Some of my favourites already mentioned include Jack, Humberto (I CRIED SO HARD), George and Tucker. As for more classic guys: Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley.
    Also, Trevor from Geek Girl: SWOON! And Po from Graceling! And Alex from Delirium!
    I think I could go on for hours, but I’ll stop with these 🙂

    • jodimeadows Sep 2 2012 at 11:24 am #

      Yes, good boys should be the one you date and marry. Dangerous boys . . . they’ll hurt you.

      Ooo, Trevor! I haven’t read Geek Girl, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!

  13. Myra McEntire Sep 2 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Michael is somewhere boxing up some swoon for you. Kaleb is somewhere giving you the side eye. <3

    • jodimeadows Sep 2 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Michael is such a sweet boy. Kaleb . . . That boy, McEntire. He’s trouble. 😀

  14. Daphne Sep 6 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I think I agree with most commenters that Peeta is my original ‘good guy’. In fact, I pretty much wrote a ‘love letter’ to Peeta after I finished Catching Fire here.

    I’m so happy you picked Logan! Love him and love being in his head so much. He’s slowly turning into my new Peeta.

    I also second the recommendation above for Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett. It’s a really great contemporary!

    • jodimeadows Sep 6 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Logan is wooooonderful. I love him so much 😀

      What a great post about Peeta! Very nice!

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