My first instinct is to chose from the available Austen heroes, partially because I think this category will be taken by storm (hur hur) by the venerable Edward Fitzwilliam Fairfax Darcy-Rochester. (Darcy first, because for sure Rochester is a top.) And those dudes are hot, don't get me wrong, but I think my Regency/Victorian boyfriend is Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. (My review here.) I love how Henry is a teaser, and how he's completely comfortable talking muslin with the chaperons. Out of all the Austen heroines, he reminds me most of my own husband.
But I saw this post earlier about the facebook meme that y'all might have been caught up in. (I was.) It was about the ten books that have stuck with you, not best, just most memorable. Obviously, these memes are a sink pit of do I want to be a snob or a slob. The article decides to shame us for having children's books as our most memorable, which I think is, and this is a technical term, fucking bullshit.So I got to thinking about the boys I crunched on in my YA fiction, which I swear wasn't creepy because I was a girl at the time.
Calvin O'Keeffe from A Wrinkle in Time was my first boyfriend, such a kind, generous, intelligent soul. Meg is such a mess, so grieving and out of balance, and his gawky red-haired gentleness won my heart. Indeed, he may be why I have a thing for red-heads.
I also crushed pretty hard on Ged from the Earthsea books, though not at first. A Wizard of Earthsea is about Ged coming into his inevitable power, and as much as I adore that book, Ged is hard to love. He's got his own boyish shit to work out, and the thrust of the story has more to do with arrogance than anything. I fell in love with him in the labyrinth in The Tombs of Atuan. Le Guin makes a smart choice to reorder the convention of the coming-of-age tale by gender in that second book, following the virgin priestess (for lack of a better descriptor) in her youth and matriculation. At one point, she finds Ged in the labyrinth, near dead from lack of food and water, dying in the dark. Tenar has been raised in an environment of women only, and his masculinity, even dark and scarred and dying as he is, is a shock. The Tombs of Atuan is not a love story, and Ged is not a romantic lead, but that moment of recognition in the unlit underground was something like an epiphany.