My Favorite Irish Heroes

irishcastle Maybe it’s the brogue. Or the green eyes so many of them seem to have. Perhaps it is the passionate, artistic nature. The Irish, after all, are credited with being great poets and musicians. It could be the magic – the Island is equated with all manner of faeries and myths. Perhaps it is their imports- men who look like Colin Farell, Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan all have the look of a good romance rogue. Whatever it is, there is nothing quite like an Irish hero, is there? With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I felt it was time to pay tribute to lads of the Emerald Isle. Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

– Faelan Savigar, the Earl of Iveragh from Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsale: The quintessential tortured hero Faelen has dark secrets and mysterious powers. He is wonderfully brooding and a deliciously perfect match for his heroine. This tale of love, fairies, and Ireland should not be missed.

– Trevor Sheridan from Lions and Lace by Meagan McKinney: Living in the states has exposed Trevor to more than his share of Irish “envy” (also known as prejudice.) He becomes mean, brooding, and defensive as a result of what he has physically and emotionally suffered. But he has a protective streak a mile wide and once he loves you, he loves you wholeheartedly. I found myself rooting for him, even though he could be a complete Alpha Ass.

– Rory McGrath from Haunting Warrior by Erin Quinn. Another brooding, troubled Irish man but also a kick butt warrior and all around awesome guy. You can see my review of the book here.

-Jericho Barrons from The Fever Books by Karen Marie Moning: I am not sure what nationality Jericho is technically but he was living in Ireland (and had been for some time from what I can gather) when Mackayla meets him so I will count him. Mysterious, mesmerizing and powerful, Barrons has trouble letting anyone in. But Mackayla breaks through all his barriers to get the first peek at his heart he has allowed anyone in centuries, showing us the core of utter good within. Mac could get on my nerves but Barron’s coolness factor made the books an utterly terrific read.

In recollecting my favorite Irish heroes I found one common factor for many of them: Nora Roberts. Her love for the country of Ireland and her ability to write believable, lovable, desirable men has helped her create some of my top Irish gents. Here’s my list of favorites by her:

Rogan Sweeney from Born in Fire: Rich, sophisticated, organized and intelligent, Rogan is the perfect counterbalance to fiery, artistic Maggie. I loved his elegance, his intelligence and his ability to go toe to toe with his hellion heroine.

Aidan Gallagher from Jewels of the Sun: Handsome rogue runs a bar, sings lovely songs, has lovely ties to his community and knows how to woo a fine heroine. He’s the man I dream of running into every time I step inside an Irish pub.

While I’m talking about the Irish trilogy, what about Shawn Gallagher from Tears of the Moon?: Dreamy Shawn seems to float through life, never really concentrating on what he should be doing. But he writes lovely music, makes a mean Irish Stew and has the heart of a poet. I absolutely adored him.

And we can’t forget Roarke from the In Death series: What can be said about this man that hasn’t already been said? He is an ideal hero – charming, sophisticated, gorgeous and with that just right touch of bad boy. I love how he loves Eve. Throughout this long, long series I’ve not once ceased to be enchanted by him.

So these are my top picks, do any on the list match yours? Are there other fabulous Irish heroes I have somehow overlooked?

- Maggie Boyd

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21 Responses to My Favorite Irish Heroes

  1. Leigh says:

    I do like Irish heroes – back in the day I really liked Nora Roberts books and re-read them frequently. However, I can’t think of any that I have read lately. It is funny how a mystic develops over a certain nationality because in the 1800′s the Irish were looked down upon.

  2. Leslie says:

    Rogan Sweeny is one of my all time favs I also liked Murphy from the same series. Born in Fire is the contemporary romance that got me interested in the genre. I miss those Nora Roberts. With the exception of her In Death series I haven’t enjoyed her books in years. And yes Roarke is the dreamiest Irish hero ever created.

  3. library addict says:

    Roarke and Shawn Gallagher definitely.

    I also like the Sullivan brothers, Gideon and Malachi, from Nora Roberts’ Three Fates.

    I’m sure I’ve read other Irish heroes that I like, but my mind is blanking. And I have to admit, Nora is the usually the first author I think of since she’s written so many books set in Ireland. Her trilogy after the InnBoonsboro one will be set there as well.

    • maggie b. says:

      library addict: Her trilogy after the InnBoonsboro one will be set there as well.

      That’s exciting news! Like Leigh and Leslie I haven’t been enjoying her books quite as much lately but she does do Ireland right. I can’t wait to see what she has planned for her next Irish trilogy.

  4. LinnieGayl says:

    Oh, definitely Rogan Sweeney, Aidan Gallagher, and of course Roarke.

  5. SoCalGal says:

    How fascinating….for so many of us, Nora Roberts’ Irish gents are the epitome of an Irish hero. She definitely knows how to create the right atmosphere with an enchanting Irish hero. sigh…

  6. bavarian says:

    To answer I first had to check my booklist. A few years ago I’ve read a book with an Irish Hero who stayed in my mind but unfortunately not the author of the book.
    It was Michael McCann in Kate Rothwell’s Somebody Wonderful. He’s an Irish imigrant in New York and such a lovable man. He crossed my mind time and again.

  7. Tesa says:

    Definitely Roarke and Rogan Sweeney. Roarke is just a fabulous mix of sexy and urbane, with those bittersweet ties to his youth in Ireland. Rogan is one of the classic, controlled heroes that kind of bursts out of all of that perceived stuffiness at just the right moments. He and Maggie are actually the only pairing I enjoyed in the Born In trilogy. This is a definite oldie, but I loved the McKennas (Reese and Jamie) of Linda Lael Miller’s earlier novels. I know the first was called Moonfire. I still read them from time to time (inherited them from my Nana).

  8. Kim T. says:

    Favorite topic of mine! I’m actually reading Anne Stuart’s On Thin Ice right now, and it has a bad boy Northern Irish hero. I keep picturing Brad Pitt in The Devil’s Own (with a better Northern Irish accent).

    Jeannette Baker wrote two great Irish romances with dreamy heroes, Irish Lady and Nell.

    Also recently enjoyed Laurel McKee’s Duchess of Sin(?), the second in the Daughters of Erin trilogy (all of which are very well researched). The hero in the second one is pretty awesome.

    • maggie b. says:

      Kim T.: Favorite topic of mine!I’m actually reading Anne Stuart’s On Thin Ice right now, and it has a bad boy Northern Irish hero.I keep picturing Brad Pitt in The Devil’s Own (with a better Northern Irish accent).Jeannette Baker wrote two great Irish romances with dreamy heroes, Irish Lady and Nell.Also recently enjoyed Laurel McKee’s Duchess of Sin(?), the second in the Daughters of Erin trilogy (all of which are very well researched).The hero in the second one is pretty awesome.

      I keep meaning to read Jeanette Baker and never do. I will have to check these out. I have read Anne Stuart but don’t remember “On Thin Ice”. I’ll have to pick that one up.

  9. LeeF says:

    My heart still stutters when I think of Joseph Armagh in Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and the Kings. Could be that I was so in love with Richard Jordan when he played the part in the mini-series.

  10. pwnn says:

    A favorite not mentioned – Laura Lee Gurke’s Connor in Connor’s Way (maybe my favorite Guhrke) and I also liked Tynan in Barbara Samuel’s Dark Angel.

    I think there’s a sad dearth of Irish heroes in historicals because of the prolonged troubles. I’d like to see more Irish heroes and settings then yet another about Scotland. (also would like to see more stories set in Wales)

    I’ve never read Captains & Kings but loved the mini series and Jordan, though it’s been ages since I’ve seen it. It’s out on DVD and I might pick it up along with Pierce Brosnan’s Manions Of America and make an Irish appreciation weekend of it.

  11. Corie says:

    Roarke! Roarke! Roarke!

  12. Anne W says:

    I second Kim T. I’m a big fan of all Jeanette Baker’s books. Both Irish Lady and Nell are extraordinary reads and among my favorites. Laurel McKee’s “Daughters of Erin” series totally hooked me from the beginning. She writes beautifully and her stories are captivating. I would highly recommend them.

    And yes, ROARKE!

  13. pwnn says:

    I forgot one of my all time favorite heroes though not from a Romance – Conor Larkin from Leon Uris’ TRINITY who stole my heart.

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  16. Ali says:

    It’s always so surprising to hear who favorite heroes are! Nora nails the Irish hero for me every time, but my favorite is Murphy from Born in Sin. That’s probably my favorite trilogy with the Irish trilogy right behind it, and Three Fates my second-most re-read Nora! Murphy just makes me happy.

  17. Ali says:

    Whoops, Born in Shame, not Sin.

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