10 Signs You Are in Love With a Fictional Character

It has come to my attention that authors sometimes do such a good job telling their stories that some readers are pulled into the story world, to the point where those swoon-worthy characters seem like they could be real. And thus hunks and heroes from novels have been breaking hearts of readers everywhere, just by refusing to actually exist.

Crush6

Has this ever happened to you? See if you recognize any of the tell-tale signs.

One: The main reason you would want to be the heroine of your favorite book is because of the hero, not because of her good qualities or exciting life (although that’s a nice bonus, of course).

Two: Every time he says anything romantic to the heroine, you sigh. Actually, any time he says basically anything, you sigh.

Three: When you move on to another book, you feel a little guilty for liking the new hero. Particularly if it’s a series by the same author and Hero 2 is Hero 1’s brother or best friend. (Not naming any names here…Alaskan Courage series.)

Bonus points if you changed your phone background to the book cover like Melissa Tagg did for the upcoming Like Never Before.

Bonus points if you changed your phone background to the book cover like Melissa Tagg did for the upcoming Like Never Before.

Four: When someone mentions time travel, you immediately think about visiting your favorite historical characters…before realizing that they were not, in fact, real historical people.

Five: You have, on multiple occasions, worried about and/or prayed for a fictional hero before remembering that he was fictional.

Six: You have had debates with your friends who have read the same book over who would actually be the best person to date/marry the hero of the story. And your argument was clearly the winner.

From Becky Wade, for the fans swooning over Jake in A Love Like Ours.

From Becky Wade, for the fans swooning over Jake in A Love Like Ours.

Seven: If your favorite author ever mentions a hero from a past book, you erupt into squeals that make everyone around you stare in confusion. (Full Disclosure bringing in an O’Malley? Watching how cute Ty and Celia are as a married couple in A Love Like Ours? Seeing what happened to some of our favorite characters in the generation-space between Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest? Yes, please.)

Eight: You have actually thought about how his last name would fit with yours. (Check sticky-notes on your desk to see if you doodled his initials inside a heart. That might also be a sign.)

Nine: If you think about the qualities you are looking for in a spouse (or that you appreciate in the one you have) they pretty much describe the main character in your favorite novel. Well, except for a few details like “former NFL player” or “bounty hunter on the run from the law” or “brilliant Congressman with a tragic past.” But, you know, other than that….

Ten: At the last page of the book you find yourself sad, not because the ending was tragic, but because you have to say goodbye to the characters. Particularly that one character…. Sigh.

Crush3

Crush2

Any Mr. Darcy fans out there? On her birthday, Regina Jennings woke up to a yard full of this hero.

If you read through this list of symptoms and find yourself checking most of them off, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that these fictional heroes are, well, fictional. (So sorry to break your heart.)

The good news? Like all great characters, they’re based on qualities of the everyday heroes around us, the kind we can cheer for and admire in real life. And, of course, your favorite author is probably writing the next book with an equally intriguing hero, so there’s always that to look forward to!

Okay, confess: which fictional character have you had a crush on and why?

55 thoughts on “10 Signs You Are in Love With a Fictional Character

  1. Canyon Metcalf stole my heart when I first read Ronie Kendig’s Wolfsbane years and years ago. He still is the hero that I hold all other heroes up to. Dean from Raptor 6 |(also by Ronie Kendig) came very close to tying with Canyon. 🙂 I still feel a swoon coming on when I think of Canyon. ❤

  2. Haaaa! This is so awesome. And, um, I may exhibit a few too many of the signs. I’m pretty much incapable of saying the name “Logan Walker” without following it up with “be still, my swooning heart.” ❤ Fun post, Amy!

  3. Umm, do we go in alphabetical order of author, or the character’s last name? Or first name?
    Can I copy and paste my Word doc lists? I mean, there’s the historical fiction ones, the contemporary ones? The Kendig ones. The Pettrey ones. The funny ones. The serious and angsty ones.
    What about their job description? I have a Word doc with those too…

    😉

  4. Speaking of “be still, my swooning heart”….[squeals quietly] You referenced the O’Malleys! And Full Disclosure! (Although Bryce Bishop trumps Mark Bishop and Paul Falcon in those novels 😉 But the O’Malleys!! 🙂

    I was heartbroken when I finished the last of that series, but I consoled myself by starting all over again with Danger in the Shadows. 😉 And if I had any lingering depression over not having any new books of Dee Henderson’s to read, Taken is sitting atop my TBR stack awaiting me!

    I admit to a wee bit of fandom regarding Mr. Darcy, too!

  5. Connor in Irene Hannon’s Deceived, because he’s just so wonderful. Ryan Chambers from Jody Hedlund’s Heart Made Whole because of how gallant he is. And there are so many more!

  6. Blake Hunziker from Melissa Tagg’s book Here to Stay and my all time favorite is Matt Jarreau from Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart

  7. I’m grinning, Amy! I LOVE this post because it pretty much sums up why I read and write romance. The heroes. Oh, the heroes!! I’m guilty of all ten of these points. The only *slight* frustration that I have with fictional heroes is — as you mention — their ‘refusal to exist’. How vexing!

    • Thanks, Rachel! When you realize how ridiculous you are as a reader, it can’t hurt to laugh at yourself a bit. (Not that any of this was based on personal experience. I deny everything.)

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  8. Gilbert Blythe will forever be my fictional character crush. I have new ones from time to time (such as in the mentioned Alaskan Courage Series), but I always find myself going back to Gilbert.

  9. Oh my goodness! This is awesome! Yes, I’m guilty of a few of these, and there are SO many swoon-worthy heroes I can think of. But the one that really “swept me off my feet” was Laura Frantz’s Silas Ballantyne. I still sigh when I hear his name. *sigh* 😉

  10. Oh my goodness, guess I can fit myself into this! The one hero that stands out for me is Alec Valcourt from Julie Klassen’ “The Dancing Master”. Well, really ANY of her hero’s, I just love her writing 😉 Anyway, a man who knows how to dance, teaches it to others and can sweep a girl off her feet…..Oh my, what’s not to love?? Throughout the book, I’d often wanted to tell Julia to step aside and let me be bedazzled by Alec!! I was sure I could catch his eye, lol!!
    Thanks for sharing this post today, I had quite a few chuckles reading it! I think I would add, what about if you fall in love with the secondary character instead of the main hero, now there’s a dilemma!! I’ve had that happen too 🙂

    • Ha, Trixi, I should have had that in the list–telling a fictional heroine to “step aside.” Love it! As for secondary characters, why, it’s simple! Tell the author to write a book with him as the main character!

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  11. Ahhh, my first serious childhood crush–Nat Eaton from The Witch of Blackbird Pond. He was reigning champion of my heart for many years. But when I graduated to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Sir Percy Blakeney stole my heart, and has never let it go . . . a man every bit as proud as Mr. Darcy, but a daring, passionate, wounded hero–all hidden behind the facade of an inane dandy. To be loved by a man like him . . . [swoon]

  12. I love so many of the ones already mentioned! I’m going to have to add a few: Nick Barone from Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman, Lawry Hampton from Dawn Crandall’s The Bound Heart, and Isaac AND Edward from Jessica Dotta’s Price of Privilege series. Then there are the ones from the classics, like John Thornton from North and South or Mr. Knightley from Emma. Given more time, I could write a few pages worth 🙂

  13. Might add James McDonald from Five Days in Skye, Marcello Forelli from River of Time series, and a classic Maxim de Winter from Rebecca. Need to go to Manderly sometime! Caught praying for them usually!

    • That’s so funny, Ivy! I’ve never accidentally prayed for a hero, but I’ve heard from many readers who have. Just goes to show the power of story!

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

  14. Crush on fictional characters? No, no, that’s silly. I would never… Well, maybe just once. Or twice… Or a handful of other times 😉
    The two instances that really make my heart flutter are Sutton Monroe from Tamera Alexander’s novel, A Lasting Impression, and Luca Forelli, from Lisa Bergren’s River of Time Series. I’ll stop right there, before I give myself away with others 😉
    Such a fun post! I loved reading this.

  15. Thanks for a needed laugh in my day. So describes the joy of Christian fiction. My first crush on a fictional hero had to be Laurie in Little Women. Yep, I fell for those boys in Lisa Bergren’s River of Time series too. The latest is Logan McClare in Julie Lessman’s San Francisco series. Not only is he swoon worthy, but I so want to see the finish of his spiritual journey.

    • Hi Cindy! Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, Laurie! I was so irritated that he and Jo didn’t end up together. Amy of all people…even though I share her name, I was not a fan of her (maybe even more so because of the shared name). Ah well, what can you do?

      Amy Green
      BHP Fiction Publicist

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  17. I have been in love with Clara Oswald from Doctor Who the moment I laid eyes on her. I’ve always had this tendency to have crushes on fictional characters, in both books and TV shows, ever since I was little. But Clara, she made me question my sexuality for good and now I’m left thinking that I’m bisexual or hetroflexible. Also turns out half the fandom is in love with her, so i’m in a ove dodecahedron, or if theres a shape with more sides please let me know. lol.

  18. Pingback: What to Do If You’re in Love with a Fictional Character | Bethany House Fiction

  19. I had this sort of thing when I was watching Fairy Tail. I love Natsu so so much, it physically hurts whenever I see a drawing or a scene in the actual anime when Natsu and Lucy are hugging/kissing. I know that NaLu is probably real, and I hate it. (Not enough to go on a complete rampage, but it still makes me upset) Now, I don’t know whether the creator is going to put those two together or not in the next season. Does anyone think it’s going to happen? Does this normally happen in anime like this? I don’t know but I want to be with Natsu so much that I’ve actually started trying to lucid dream in the hope of getting into that world. Has this gone too far? What do I do to get out of it? Please help! (I’ve also started writing fanfiction, but it hasn’t really helped. Even after writing 11,000 about an OC based on me!)

  20. Not really a character I read but… BBC’s Sherlock Holmes… intelligence is highly sexy and I love characters that have no feelings but then actually do but only for certain people so it makes it a lot more special and that is also sexy. He just stole my heart and I find it heart breaking that there might not be a season 5 because I just can’t get enough of him…

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