The Characters I Remember Most

It’s hard to nail down just a few favorite characters from a lifetime of reading. But there is always a common theme among my favorite characters; they are ones I remember long after I finish the book. They may be strong, or quirky, or funny, or unique, possibly all those things. For sure they are more than one-dimensional. They don’t just lie on the page. They are living, breathing people that readers like me want to get to know and spend some time with. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Jane EyreJane Eyre – “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. If you want to read about a strong character, especially a strong female character, Jane’s your girl. Somehow she manages to survive her childhood with a miserable aunt and three loathsome cousins. But she never collapses under their cruelty; she maintains her dignity, always demanding to be treated fairly. Later when she meets Rochester, she’s all set to marry him until she discovers the truth about the crazy person in the attic. Jane has enough pride to leave him, knowing she deserves better. Tough cookie, that one. Love her!

Jane Mercedes Chadwick – “Hot Target” by Suzanne Brockmann. Actually, almost any character written by Suzanne Brockmann is memorable. But I like Jane because she’s tough and strong (I detect a theme here). She’s a screenwriter and a movie producer, and she plays the part of the party girl in order to fit in with the Hollywood types and get her movie made. She’s determined to reach her goals and is willing to do almost anything to get her movie made. But she has integrity, and she loves her brother and will do anything for him, making her a character readers love and want to root for. Go Jane!

Wulfric Bedwyn – “Slightly Dangerous” by Mary Balogh. I love the “Slightly” series about the Bedwyn brothers and sisters. Wulfric is the oldest and inherits the title of the Duke of Bewcastle at a very young age. He’s now responsible for the running of the estate, and the welfare of all his tenants and employees. He also feels responsible for his younger brothers and sisters. All this responsibility changes him from a carefree youth to a sober adult. Most people consider him cold, perhaps even heartless, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is the façade he feels he must maintain. He loves his brothers and sisters deeply and would do anything for them. He resigns himself to the belief that he will likely never marry because he could only marry a woman he genuinely loves, a soul mate. Luckily for him, he finds his soul mate in Christine. He will always be the formidable Duke of Bewcastle, but with the love of a good woman to bring out the laughter in him, he can also be himself, Wulfric Bedwyn.

One of my favorite characters from my own work is Anthony Dipietro from my latest release “There Goes the Groom”. Tony makes a huge mistake. He leaves Olivia at the altar because he believes she really doesn’t want to marry him, and is only going through with the marriage because she doesn’t know how to get out of it. Tony can’t bear the thought of pushing Olivia into a marriage she doesn’t want, even though he loves her to distraction. He willingly bears the brunt of the criticism from Olivia’s family, from their friends, and especially from his own family, in order to spare her.

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Eight years later, circumstances throw them together. Tony discovers that he’s still in love with Olivia, but she’s engaged to someone else, so she’s strictly hands-off. But there’s something not quite right about this engagement. Olivia and her fiancé don’t act like a couple in love. Olivia has decided that what she needs this time is someone safe. She needs a man who will be steady and loyal, not someone who makes her go up in flames with a simple touch. Passion can’t be trusted. Tony sets out to convince her that she can have steady and loyal as well as passion.

Who are some of your favorite characters from books, TV or movies? Why are they your favorite? To celebrate the recent release of “There Goes the Groom” I will give a PDF copy of the book to one commenter on today’s blog. Be sure to leave your email address. Read an excerpt and a blurb here. Cheers!


Comments

The Characters I Remember Most — 17 Comments

    • Wulfric really comes off as cold in the first books, doesn’t he? Although I remember a scene in Slightly Sinful when his brother Alleyne returns home, after he is thought to have been killed in the Napoleonic wars. Alleyne’s wife sees the look on Wulfric’s face as he hugs his brother. He is definitely not cold or unfeeling. But he feels that’s the face he has to show the world. Love him!

  1. What a great list of memorable characters. I haven’t read some of these mentioned. I need to add them to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing a favorite character from your own work. I’m partial to second-chance love stories and There Goes the Groom sounds very intriguing. We often think of the guy jilting the heroine at the altar as an irredeemable jerk. I like that you’ve turn this archetype on its head.

    • Thanks Reese! “There Goes the Groom” is book 2 of a 3 book series I call my Left at the Altar series. In the first book,”Her Best Man”, the heroine is jilted at the altar by the heroes’ brother, who’s not really a bad guy but he’s not ready for marriage. In the third book, “Always a Bridesmaid”, the hero is jilted, with the heroine a bridesmaid at the wedding. I wanted to explore how people could love again after experiencing something as devastating as being left at the altar.

  2. Hi Jana, great post! I’ve enjoyed so many wonderful characters over the years, its hard to choose, but one stands out above the rest. Sir Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld stories is incredible. I’ve watched him grow from a drunken loser to a Lord who’s never lost his moral compass along the way. Best wishes on There Goes the Groom!

    • Sir Samuel Vimes sounds like great character. I love a character who redeems himself, who starts out one way and totally changes for the better. I will definitely have to look him up!

  3. I love when a character sticks with me so I almost feel a sense of loss at the end of a book– like someone near and dear to me is gone from my life.

    I tend to read more nonfiction and even with that, with compelling writing, I find that I miss the author’s voice. And usually it’s a woman who speaks to my woman’s heart.

  4. Suzanne Brockman can throw down with strong heroines. Alyssa and Gina were two of my favorites. Linda Howard comes to mind when I think of memorable characters. I better quit before I start bringing up Lori Foster and Nora Roberts, ooooh and Catherine Coulter……

    • Alyssa and Gina are wonderful, strong women characters. I loved that Gina stood her ground with Max and made him love her, even if she was 20 years younger than him. And the other writers you speak of? A plethora of wonderful characters between them!

  5. I just used random.org to make a drawing for my book “There Goes the Groom”. Random.org gave me the number 2 so the winner is the second commenter who happens to be Reese. Congratulations! I’ll be sending you the PDF ASAP!
    Jana

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