Peter Kavinsky Isn’t the First Peter Kavinsky
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter in the past few weeks, odds are you’ve seen something about Peter Kavinsky and how awesome he is. Even YouTube is packed with videos talking about him and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. And rightfully so. I mean, if you’ve watched the movie on Netflix, you know what all the fuss is about. If you haven’t, and you remotely like romcoms, you really should. Because it’s just a really good movie.
But back to Peter Kavinsky and his sudden popularity.
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) September 6, 2018
But I want THE Peter Kavinsky pic.twitter.com/NLN7rYCaez
— Lindsay Kimble (@lekimble) September 6, 2018
Random people all over the world are falling in love with a fictional character and openly talking about it, to the point of magazines covering it and talking about how said fictional character is setting a new standard for boyfriends everywhere. And that’s fair.
But this isn’t anything new.
For those of us in Romancelandia, falling in love with fictional characters isn’t exactly a new thing. I mean, Book Boyfriends have been a thing for forever. And let’s face it, before Noah Centineo brought Peter to life on the small screen thanks to Netflix, he was Lara Jean’s (and readers’) fake boyfriend in the book.
I love that people are gravitating towards a genuinely nice guy as a romantic hero in a movie, and talking about how that’s they type of person they want to be with. But nice guy heroes aren’t anything new, and neither are fictional boyfriends.
So if you love Peter Kavinsky and TATBILB, here’s my list of some of the most awesome nice guy romance heroes to fall in love with (in no particular order). 🙂
Gabe Caldera in The First Time at Firelight Falls – Julie Ann Long
Gabe’s a high school principal and former Navy Seal, not to mention hot AF. But he’s also just a genuinely good man who loves children, and SEES single mom Eden. More than that, he understands her precocious daughter, and is willing to make the best decision for the woman and child he’s fallen in love with—even if it means breaking his own heart. Totally swoon worthy.
Alec Stone in Make It Count – Megan Erickson
Let’s face it, New Adult has a tendency to be filled with “heroes” who are really borderline assholes. Not so Alec Stone. He’s super smart and geeky, honorable, and yeah, hot to boot. And he falls for Kat not because of her looks, but because he actually gets to know her and sees the real her—messy brain and all. It’s a really poignant love story about insecurities and loving someone just the way they are, which is pretty awesome if you ask me.
Evan Archer in The Idea of You – Darcy Burke
So I’m just going to say that this entire series is filled with good heroes, but Evan was by far my favorite. He was just such a good guy. He was also an interesting hero, in that he had Asperger’s, which isn’t something you see often in romance. So if you like super smart guys who have to learn how to emote, Evan’s the one for you.
Fred Breen in The Night Belongs to Fireman – Jennifer Bernard
Oh, Fred. There really aren’t enough words. I mean, the way the internet’s going crazy over Peter Kavinsky right now? That’s kind of how I felt after reading The Night Belongs to Fireman. I mean, he’s a romance hero named Fred, for God’s sake. You don’t get much more “normal guy” than that. But he’s just so amazing. Smart. Funny. Such a good guy. An alpha guy who’s not super in your face about it, just quietly confident and that quiet confidence makes him sexy AF. Oh, yeah. Fred Breen has got it going on.
Jack Bennett in The Lucky Charm – Beth Bolden
Jack was such a good guy. Yeah, he’s a baseball player so I’m automatically inclined to love him, but he was this perfect mix of confident and humble, hard working and fun loving, and it made for one hell of a character.
Ambrose Young in Making Faces – Amy Harmon
Ambrose in Making Faces. *sigh* See, Ambrose was HAWT. Emphasis on was. But then he went off to war and came back scarred—mentally and physically. I love a good beauty and the beast story, and Making Faces had that in spades. I also love wounded characters (I’ve made that very clear over the years), and Ambrose definitely fit that bill. But again, he was also a GOOD guy who saw something extraordinary in Fern, who thought she was nothing but ordinary.
Ridge in Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover
Would a book boyfriend list be complete without someone from a CoHo novel on it?
Probably not. At any rate, Ridge makes the list for being smart and sensitive and a hell of a songwriter.
Parth Sterling in Borne to Be Wilde – Eloisa James
I kind of debated putting Parth on this list, but then ultimately decided to go with it. If you’ve read Borne to Be Wilde, hopefully you’ll agree with me on this—while he might come across as a little arrogant at times, he’s also a genuinely good man who wants to do right by Lavinia and the Wilde family that basically adopted him as one of their own. Watching him struggle with his growing feelings towards Lavinia while being determined to do what he sees as the right thing just makes you love this man who’s endured a lot of loss and yet somehow managed to not let it make him an asshole.
Kevin Tucker in This Heart of Mine – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
This Heart of Mine is admittedly my favorite. book. ever. Like, seriously ever. Molly’s character speaks to me in a way few characters ever have. And Kevin? Oh, Kevin. He’s smart. Funny. Talented. Has eyes that sparkle like green jelly beans. Just a little tortured. Sexy. And he loves Molly with all of her quirks and her emotional messiness and issues and creativity and abandonment issues and intelligence and quirky sense of humor and tendency to test the people she loves…I so fell in love with Kevin Tucker the first time I read THOM, and that’s never gone away, mostly because I got lucky and found my own Kevin Tucker. He just happens to be named Phillip.
Reed in Signs of Attraction – Laura Brown
Reed makes this list because more so than any other hero on this list, he helps his heroine become a better version of herself, IMO. Carli has kept her hearing loss a secret her entire life, whereas Reed is very open about being deaf. Basically, all those prejudiced thoughts you have about deaf people or anyone who’s differently abled? Throw them out the window, because Reed’s all like, “Screw that, I’m awesome and smart and just as capable as someone who can hear.” And, ok, maybe I’m biased because I’m married to a blind guy who has a similar attitude when it comes to being blind, but y’all, there is nothing sexier than a man who’s intelligent, kind, and works his ass off to overcome the obstacles life throws at him.
Owen Daniels in Hair Trigger Heart – Aubrey Gross
Joe Connolly in Big Girls Need Love Too – Aubrey Gross
So I’m going to toot my own horn here a little bit, because hey, it’s my blog and I do what I want. But in all seriousness, Owen and Joe are two just genuinely good guys if I do say so myself. Owen’s loyal, intelligent, hard-working, and a sexy ginger to boot who takes sex and love super seriously. And he has no problem falling for a woman who can more than take care of herself, even if he sometimes wishes she would just let him take care of her every now and then. And Joe? Oh, Joe. So I’m gonna be real with y’all—when I wrote Joe, I was basically writing out my fantasy guy. Smart. Great sense of humor. Loves unskinny Molly just as she is. Kind of a smart ass at times. Little did I know that about a year after finishing that book my very own Joe would walk into my life (seriously, y’all, it’s eerie sometimes). But Joe? He’s such a good guy. He’s so patient with Molly and her quirks and her insecurities and he just *gets* her. He just sees her. Kind of how Peter just sees Lara Jean.