GET INTO MARCH AB-NESS

There’s no harm in a little friendly debate! But when we start talking about our favorite book boyfriends, it’s not uncommon for things to get a little, ahem, heated. The most die-hard Audible romance fans got together and duked it out over our favorite literary boyfriends—and it wasn’t easy. Though only one can win, there were dozens of runners-up who will always be the leading men in our hearts (and libraries).

The Quintessentials

Jamie wins! But first, a rebuttal in support of Mr. Darcy:
“My impulse here is to expand on the greatness that is Pride and Prejudice, and tell you how the degree to which I could not put that book down when I first read it almost frightened me. But this isn't about Jane Austen's classic as a whole. This is about Mr. Darcy, and why—I believe—he's a better boyfriend that Jamie Fraser. I get it—Jamie is a perfect, dashing, sexy, swoony romantic hero. But he is a fantasy. And maybe Darcy is too: a Regency-era gentleman who actually respected and loved the woman he married? Maybe in a period during which women were quite literally, by English law, the property of their husband, Mr. Darcy was as unfathomable as a time-travelling highlander. But somehow I don’t think so. After all, writers of Austen's era weren't afraid of fantasy (there were plenty of gothic and ghostly mysteries floating about, not to mention some pretty racy erotica) yet she conjured up a contemporary (for her) man who arrives on the scene with emotional baggage that he then wrestles to the ground with the sort of focused precision that is lost on no woman. He sets the bar for every romance hero who believes he's immune to commitment but learns over the course of his story arc that he is incorrect. And despite the oft-quoted bit about Lizzy's ‘fine eyes,’ it wasn't her outward charms that drew Darcy in—he falls in love with her mind, and what book-obsessed woman doesn't want to be admired for exactly that?” – Emily, Audible Editor


Young Adult

We all agreed that Rishi Patel is the perfect boy to bring home to your parents. He’s considerate and positively adorkable. But Stellan? Well, it’s hard to resist the allure of a bad boy. Oh Stellan, how our teen selves will forever pine after your Russian accent and sultry ways.


Rockstars

Both Kellan and Jake had a tough past. They both found it difficult to let others in, and they both connected to the world through music. They are alike in many ways, and we love them both for it. But for most of us, Jake ended up coming out ahead because of his sheer force of will to overcome. Even though Casey was his complete opposite, he knew she was special, and for that, he found the courage to face his demons.


New Adult

Though Archer Hale certainly deserves an award for his unyielding admiration of Bree (my gosh, the perfection of: "There has only ever been you. There. Will. Only. Ever. Be. You.”), Braden Carmichael still won more of our hearts with his willingness to fight for his love. Jocelyn doesn’t make it easy for him, but Braden knew exactly when to give her space or push her for more—ultimately letting Jocelyn come to him when the time was right.


Contemporary

Men who can make us laugh are men who deserve a vote. Sawyer charmed us through and through with his easy smile and his refreshingly light load of baggage. It’s hard not to feel warm inside when listening to his back-and-forth with Everly. While Will Sumner stole our hearts slowly as he fell in love with Hanna, we were with Sawyer from the beginning.


Detectives

Quinn McIntyre had some stiff competition here because Darcy O’Mara pretty much has a dedicated fan club at Audible. That being said, he did get two votes because he and Lucy are a joy together. He’s a stand-up guy just trying to do a good job. But really, for a lot of us, Darcy—with his mischievous smile and his perfectly paced, slow-burn courtship with Georgie—is hard to vote against.


LGBTQIA

We’re not going to pretend that the voice of Jacob Morgan, who brought Ryan “Wes” Wesley’s character to life, didn’t at least sway our votes a little bit. The beautiful, touching, heartbreaking story of Achilles and Patroclus will forever bring tears to our eyes, but Wes as a book boyfriend is 100%—he’s sensitive, sure of himself, and completely open with Jamie. Not to mention that the chemistry was off the charts between these two best friends turned lovers.


Regency

Despite our affection for the dark and complicated Christopher Phelan, it was clear that Loretta Chase’s Sebastian Ballister was a resounding favorite once the votes were cast. Whether it was his use of sexy Italian phrases to woo Jessica or his maddening insistence that he was unlovable when he clearly has a good heart, the combination was just right. He also gets bonus points for being his own sort of dashing instead of a traditionally handsome hero.


Immortals

We love amnesia Eric! It may have taken four books to get there, but it was glorious to discover that underneath the thousand-year-old evil vampire façade, Eric is actually a really sweet guy. Unfortunately, when we put him up against Edward Cullen, his stardom as a book boyfriend was short-lived. Eric is great when he has amnesia, but Edward (despite his stalker tendencies) is the real deal, being true boyfriend material without the aid of a spell or enchantment. And so, Edward wins.

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