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?