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Characters I'd Let My Daughter Date

Let's set aside the fact that I can't believe I'm old enough to actually have a daughter on which to muse about this topic (though she is years and years away from dating--thank goodness) and focus on the possibilities. Yesterday I ran across PW's Shelf Talker post on this subject and was delighted with several of the literary characters mentioned in the comments as being approved daughter dating material. I mean, they included pretty much every Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley male lead, as well as Aragorn from Lord of the Rings and Colin from An Abundance of Katherines. I love all of these men. Though, as much as I love Colin, the hapless boy really does have a rather bad track record and I like him where he is right now, thank you very much. Equally interesting were the characters people said they would warn their daughters away from, having had experience with them, so to speak. Anyone else surprised Heathcliff handily topped that list? I didn't think so. Holden Caulfield and Alexei Vronsky also made appearances that made me grin. I would probably add George Wickham (Pride and Prejudice) and Arthur Huntington (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), myself. Rakes all around. A little prior knowledge would have saved Lizzie (and Lydia) and Helen (and me) buckets of heartache.

When I started listing names, I was surprised to see it grow rather quickly. I mean, these aren't just Nice Guys. These are potential sons-in-law. Still, who knew I could come up with that many worthy guys off the top of my head? But in the interest of time and space, here's my quick and dirty shortlist of fictional dudes I'd let my girl see socially:

The Five:
• George Cooper, the King of the Thieves from the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce--What can I say? He's got a crooked heart of gold and he makes her laugh. He's in.

• Brigan, the Dellian war commander from Fire by Kristin Cashore--He's about as upstanding as they come. And he gets props for the single father gig. And for taking restraint to an art form.

• Adam Hauptman, alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs--There's something sort of fine about Adam. He knows when to go all wolfy and shred the enemy to bits and when to stand back and let Mercy do her thing.

• Calvin O'Keefe, basketball-playing future marine biologist from the Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle--Tall, red hair, blue eyes, freckles, and a talent for picking the smartest, most interesting girl out of a lineup. He knows what family means, despite having had a sucky one himself.

• Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis (two thieves on the list . . . interesting) from The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner--He's deceptive. In the best (and every) sense of the word. She would be safe, entertained, loved, and filled with laughter. Also her patience would undoubtedly be tested to the back of beyond. But what's love without a little . . . challenge?

Honorable Mention:
• Cammon, former indentured servant turned Secret Weapon of the Realm from the Twelve Houses series by Sharon Shinn--He's goofy, kind, and a mystic extraordinaire. If you don't love Cammon, well, you have my pity.

So what do you think? Yay? Nay? Which ones would make your list?


  1. Definitely Adam Hauptman, I absolutely adore him! He's all protective and alpha-like, but not overbearing:)

  2. Ahhh totally George. He's the creme de la creme of good bad boys....I sigh just thinking about him. Shocked that Gilbert didn't get a look in though :)

    James in Audrey, Wait is a bit of a winner too. Sure he's a ranga (Australian slang for redheads) but he's just deliciously divine and lovely.


  3. How did I just KNOW Gen would make your list?!

  4. Shame on me...I have no ideas who those extraordinaire gentlemen are (I am taking notes).
    I better catch up before I actually have a daughter :)

  5. George and Adam for sure! I would add Samuel from the Mercy Thompson books too, love him.

  6. Such a good list, I can' t think of anyone I'd rather my daughter marry than Brigan. I have to finish The Queen's Thief series pronto!

  7. First of all, I love the idea beind this post. ;)

    But I'd have to strike Adam of Briggs' fame off the list. I didn't like a couple of things he did concerning Mercy in one of the recent books.

    Brigan though - no kidding on the restraint lol! He'd definitely go on mine.

  8. LOL. This is awesome.

    I have no idea who I'd let my daughter date.... As much as I love Brisbane, I'm not sure I love him for my girls. lol

    Mychael from Lisa Shearin's books, I think... Ari or Janco from the Study and Glass books. :)

  9. What a fantastic list! I had a feeling both George and Gen would make the list ;)

    I have to agree with Adam though. Especially since I just finished SILVER BORNE. Man, he is TO DIE FOR in that book. Love him!

  10. Definitely Adam and Brigan. I think I would also add Cortlath from Robin Mckinley's The Blue Sword...I so want to marry him. :)

  11. I would put Gen at the top of the list because even though he is deceptive, he's also the most loyal to those he loves.

    Faramir from Lord of the Rings, definitely.

    Allan Woodcourt, from Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Best. Dickens. Character. Ever. Plus he's just so sweet and kind.

    Sheftu, the Egyptian tomb robber from Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise McGraw.

    Seth from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr.

    That's my list. :)

  12. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I love this post, Angie! I've never considered this.

    I think Brigan and Eugenides are my favorites. I've just pulled Alanna and Mystic & Rider off the shelf because your descriptions of George and Cammon have made me very curious!


  13. I'm not familiar with most on the list, except for Eugenides. And forget letting my daughter date him... I'd want him for myself!

  14. Calvin O'Keefe, definitely. Gilbert Blythe. Either of the Pevensie boys. David of UGLIES. Will of His Dark Materials, of course. Teddy Lawrence. Any of the Weaselys but Percy, and Neville Longbottom.

  15. Brigan, absolutely! Adam is a keeper, too. Also Jacob from North of Beautiful, Zach from Impossible by Nancy Werlin, or Peeta!

  16. Gen!!!!!!!!


    I've read all 4 books now and want MORE! :)

    Oh wait, we're talking about my fictional daughter, not me...? Huh. I don't care who she dates, as long as I get Gen.

  17. I love that Gen made your list, makes me all kinds of happy.

    And ADAM, oh how I love that man. He is one of my all time favourite male characters because he's fiercly protective but also lets Mercy have space and deal with issues her own way.

    I kind of love Jonah from Jellicoe Road, and I dont think I need to explain why. Fab post!

  18. Agree with you completely though I have to say I would marry them.
    Add any Melinda Marchetta, Meg Cabot love interest.
    I loved this post so much thanks for making it,


  19. Jenny, exactly. He's good people is Adam.

    Adele, he was definitely on the list. But when I decided to condense it down to 5, I don't know, these were the ones I ended up with. And I'm with you on James. He makes me grin big time.

    Lenore, geez, I don't know. He just sort of came out of left field, you know? ;)

    Emily, ooh, much deliciousness is in store for you getting to meet these guys for the first time.

    Rebs, Sam is verra nice. I agree. I'm just more of an Adam girl. And when it comes down to it, I don't think I ever forgave him for what he did to 16-year-old Mercy. I'm vindictive that way...

    Caitlin, seriously, Brigan took my completely by surprise. I <3 him so very much!

    Kenda, nooooo! Not my beloved Adam. He's one of the few urban fantasy men that I lurv that I could handle thinking of my daughter with. lol. But I'm very happy we are one on Brigan. I just don't see how anyone could not love him.

    Britt, ha! I know what you mean about Brisbane. I'll keep him for myself (and Julia) I think. Nice call with Ari and Janco, tho. Love those two.

    Michelle, yeah, no surprises here, I'm sure. But Adam. Wow. So glad you got around to SILVER BORNE. Didn't you just love it??

    Misti, oh, how I love Corlath. I think I kept him off for how domineering he was. Carrying her off in the dead of night...
    But I do love him.

    Amber, ooh, thanks for including your list! I love it. All those guys are great, though I can't say I've met Allan Woodcourt. Clearly, I need to.

    Karen, you will not be disappointed. I promise you this. Now go. Go get to know them. :)

    La Coccinelle, LOL. I know. I know. It's hard to share, isn't it?

    Diana, I'm so glad you agree on Calvin. He just had to be on that list. And Laurie!?! I totally spaced it there. Definitely Laurie. And any of the Weasley's but true.

    Kris, another Brigan fan. Yay! I need to read NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL still.

    Kaz, hehehe. Another Gen-hog. There's only one of him and so many of us...

    Carla, yes. Yes, yes, yes on Adam and Gen. And you do not need to explain Jonah. I know all about Jonah Griggs and the wonderfulness thereof. *sigh*

    Seahn, I'm so glad. It was too fun a topic for me to pass up. And, yes, these guys are all marriageable material for sure.

  20. This is so clever! I'd have to think for a long time before I'd come up with lots, but I think Gilbert Blythe would top my list :)

  21. Anonymous7:58 PM

    The only reason I can't give full support to your list is that I haven't read the Mercy Thompson books. WOW, did I crush on Calvin when I was a wee girlie. Gen never fails to make me all manner of wibbly.

    Gilbert Blythe. Dear, dear Gil.

    I'd add Carrot Ironfoundersson from Pratchett's City Watch books. In another writer's hands, he could have been a joke, utterly one-dimensional. Thanks heavens for Pterry.

    Rap from Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word series. Passionate, devoted and sweet love without an iota of creepiness. This is another young adult crush that's rekindled every time I reread.

    Bennett O'Reilly from Connie Willis' Bellwether. So. Much. Adorable.

  22. I want these guys for myself and not for my daughter! Gen ♥♥♥ *sigh* And Brigan! And George Cooper! Clearly, I need to read the Mercy Thompson series and the Twelve Houses series because Adam and Cammon are the only guys that I don't know about.

  23. Here's a few other boys, all of whom seem like really nice, decent guys despite some flaws:

    Matt from Swim The Fly
    Will Grayson (John Green's Will)
    George from It Sucks To Be Me...maybe Cameron too.

  24. I defnitely second the choice of Adam - sexy AND a great man!

    One that I'd add to your list - Peeta. Is there anything that boy wouldn't do for Katniss?

  25. Okay. I'm officially scared that I don't know any of the characters you listed!!! I'm obviously reading very different genres, and yet I love your taste. I think I need to read some of these books. :)

  26. Just to throw the cat in with the bathwater which female characters would you let her date if she wanted to?

  27. Melissa, hard not to put Gilbert right up at the top, isn't it? He definitely tops my Nice Guys list. Somehow I leaned more toward these ones for my daughter, but there are many good options. ;)

    ladyjoust, ooh, thanks for the recs! I haven't read those that three and am now very intrigued.

    Chachic, lol. I know! I had to put aside my own desires for a little while and think rationally. ;) And you SO need to read the Mercy books and the Shinns. You will love them. I just know it.

    Alison, awesome. I have WILL GRAYSON on my TBR stack and have no doubt that I'll love it. Need to look into those other two. I like the titles!

    Jacqueline, ah, Peeta. Yes. He is a dear boy. I am Team Gale all the way, myself. But I understand the draw of the Peetster.

    Becky, never fear! Just wander right on over to your local library and get the Shinns and the Mercys. You will not be disappointed.

    Jodie, I was wondering if anyone would ask that question. I think I'm gonna have to go with a Robin McKinley or Juliet Marillier heroine for that one. They're nearest and dearest to my heart. Harry, Aerin, Sorcha, Liadan...I love them all.

  28. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I'm with you one everything besides Adam, and that's only because I haven't read the Mercy books yet.

    You know, I don't have a kid, and I'm still in teenager-land, but for myself, I can't quite say I'd date Gen. I adore him, but he has one scary, hand-chopping wife by his side. I wouldn't want know, commit literary adultery if it means that I'll lose a limb.

    But what about Sophos? The kid is adorable. So terribly kind and self-deprecating. I wanted to marry him so badly until the Queen of Eddis claimed him. Alas. Should have snatched him up right after reading The Thief.

  29. Angie! what an awesome post!

    You set my heart into a pitter-patter when mentioning all these lovely characters! It sent me back to my bookshelf to rub the covers that held these men between their pages. (no I'm not drooling)

    Oh, George, Brigan, Adam!!! and Eugenides?! How could anyone choose?! *sigh*

  30. I LOVE that Calvin O'Keefe made your list! You're right: he knows (and chooses) a good thing when he sees it!

  31. Great choices! And fantastic topic. My only problem would be that I want Brigan and Adam for myself... I would have a hard time giving them up to my daughters.

  32. Not quite sure what happened to my comment - just wanted to say I obviously need some Robin McKinley since you're about the fifteth person to mention her books to me in the last month.

  33. Anon, literary adultery! Hehe. You are very circumspect and I can admire that. :) Also, Sophos is a dear.

    KIKA, I know! That's why they all had to go on the list.

    Read the Book, there was just no way Calvin wasn't making the shortlist. I've loved him for a long time now.

    Vanessa, and it sounds like you're not alone in that sentiment. hehe.

    Jodie, ooh, you definitely do. What do you like to read and maybe we can point you in the direction of a McKinley you would love.

  34. I'm really easy to please, I like to read just about anything - but I'm very attrcated to her new book which has Pegasus in it.

  35. I had to play, so I posted a list:


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