Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Heroes

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Saturday is a day when people without a drop of Irish blood in their veins will be wearing green and sporting “Kiss Me, I’m Irish buttons. I’m skipping the green beer and the shamrock shakes this year. I’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2012 with a Reuben sandwich and a few hours with five of my favorite Irish heroes from romance fiction. I’m an equal opportunity dreamer, and so I’m including three historical and two contemporary heroes in my celebration.

The Historical Heart Stealers

Miles Cavanagh, Dangerous Joy (1995), Jo Beverley
I love Beverley’s only Irish Rogue! Miles has been appointed guardian of a wild child who has all kinds of dark secrets. It’s not a responsibility Miles wants, and the more time he spends with Felicity Monahan, the less he wants to be her guardian because the feelings she inspires are not at all appropriate between guardian and ward. There’s rich humor in this one along with a dastardly villain, lusty lovers, and a little Irish magic.

Christor Moore, the Earl of Clane, The Irish Rogue (1999), Emma Jensen

I can’t resist a hero who is both a lordly aristocrat and An Cú, The Hound, a Robin-Hood-style Irish highwayman who robs wealthy English citizens and distributes his take among the poor.  His story is an overlooked Regency gem.

Finian O'Melaghlin, The Irish Warrior (2010), Kris Kennedy

A truly tortured hero, Finian, chief councilor to the O’Fail king, possesses intelligence, courage, strength, honor, and humor along with the highly developed skills of a warrior. He is an unforgettable hero, one worthy of a whole storm of sighs.

Contemporary Heroes for the Connoisseur


Murphy Muldoon, Born in Shame (1996), Nora Roberts

I could have filled this list with Irish heroes created by Nora Roberts, but Murphy Muldoon is my favorite. A man of the earth with a poet’s heart, a lover of books and a dreamer with a deep love of family and friends, he is willing to pay the price love exacts from those who give themselves without reservations. He’s one of my best beloved beta heroes. (I’ll probably reread Born in Fire and Born in Ice too. I love seeing Maggie Concannon upset the cool, controlled Rogan Sweeney, and even though writer Grayson Thane is not Irish, he is in Ireland. )

Finn O'Malley, The Parting Glass (2003), Emilie Richards

A hero whose pain has driven him to abandon his healing profession, Dr. Finn O’Malley is lured to return to the practice of medicine and participation in life by an American woman and her autistic son. If you like your heroes dark and dour with wounded spirits, you’ll love Finn. I do.
 Who are your favorite Irish heroes? And how are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day?


Keira Soleore said...

Janga, I have read two of your books listed here: the JoBev and the Kennedy. You have, in the past, started me down the road to the backlists of a few, now auto-buy, authors. So do tell me more about Emma Jensen. How does her style compare with, say, Joan Wolf or Loretta Chase (the trads only)? Thanks!

Kathleen O said...

Well you have a few of my fav listed here... I have the Irish Warrior somewhere on my tbr shelf. Darn, I should hunt it out. I have read both Nora's and Emile books and I so agree with your take on these delectable Irish heroes. Or how about Michael Joyce’s the tortured photojournalist in JoAnn Ross’s book Fair Haven or in her book A Woman’s Heart, Cynical, bitter, and disillusioned, Quinn Gallagher, who falls for a young woman when he come to the small town of Castleborough and tests out his heart to see if a this woman can let him trust again… Can ya here my sighs…AHHHH

irisheyes said...

I'm familiar with Murphy and Miles, Janga, but will have to check out the others. I also love the Gallaghers from Nora's other Irish Trilogy.

My plans were to sit down with John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and a nice glass of wine and enjoy The Quiet Man Saturday night but that didn't happen (teenage boys happened instead). I did get to enjoy a nice corned beef meal last night, though.

I'm pondering whether I want to dive into JoAnn Ross' backlist and Kathleen's comment has me inching closer to checking it out. LOL

Janga said...

Keira, IMO Emma Jensen's style is closer to Barbara Metzger's or Diane Farr's than to Wolf or Chase.
Her backlist is not large, but she wrote some terrific trads. She's a two-time Rita winner.

Janga said...

Kathleen, JoAnn Ross's Fair Haven was on my short list. Michael Joyce is a wonderful hero.

I highly recommend The Irish Warrior and Kris Kennedy's other books as well. I almost always avoided Medievals until I read KK. She's an autobuy for me.

Janga said...

Irish, I love JoAnn Ross's Irish Castlelough trilogy: A Woman's Heart, Fair Haven, and Legends Lake, but her Callahan brothers books are my favorites. I'm also a big fan of her current series--the Shelter Bay books.

Even if you missed The Quiet Man on St. Patrick's Day, I hope you get to watch it again soon. It's such a great movie.

Keira Soleore said...

Thanks, Janga, for the Emma Jensen info. I'll tweet you about a recommendation, so I don't miss it if I forget to look here. (Wish Blogger would allow you to subscribe to comments.)