Top Ten Tuesday – Restraint; The Underrated Romantic Quality

Today’s Topic: Love Freebie (come up with your own topic having to do with love)

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I had a difficult time deciding what love topic to focus on this week. I didn’t want to choose something obvious which of course then forced me to think hard and get creative. I finally chose to highlight one of my favorite character traits in romantic heroes; restraint.

I believe restraint or self-control to be a much under-rated quality these days. I personally find it very appealing. A man who is able to control himself, deny his own desires for the sake of another is one who is unselfish and usually also protective.  Restraint is sexy because it is leashed passion, banked fire. Someone who can control desire and only shows glimpses of it, releasing the full power of it at the appropriate time is a man of great strength of character.


Ahmad Malik in Siren of Sussex – Ahmed is instantly attracted to  Evelyn, who hires him to design her wardrobe for the London season, but due to his concern for their race and class differences, he keeps his passion under wraps. Even when Evelyn encourages his attention, he still acts in what he believes to be her best interest.

Oliver Thorne in Rose in Three-Quarter Time – Few people write restrained love better than Rachel McMillian, but I had to choose this romance and arranged marriage between Oliver Thorn and his protegé Rose McNeil. Oliver marries her knowing she doesn’t love him like he does her, but still manages to show his feelings in small, practical every day ways while refraining from acting on the depths of his love.

Michael Hosea in Redeeming Love – Now that the film adaptation is in theaters, I couldn’t leave this one off my list. In rescuing a prostitute through a proposal of marriage, Michael chooses not to act on his desires for his new wife, until she has learned to trust him. He also shows the patience of a saint not only in resisting her lures but also in helping her heal.

Isaac Dalry in The Price of Privilege Series – First of all if you have never read this trilogy, it’s life changing. Now as to Isaac, he’s a man who loves quietly, faithfully and sacrificially without demanding anything of Julia who just happens to be in love with someone else. Even knowing, she does not feel the same, he continues to support her, protect her and act in her best interest, never forcing his own way with her. All this, knowing his love is unrequited and she is forever out of his reach.

Joshua Avery in Before  I Called You Mine – Joshua’s attraction to Lauren is immediate. But despite the fact that she is also interested in him, he holds back on romantic overtures, because she is in the middle of pursuing her deeply held dream of adoption which requires her to remain single. Still, he is there for her in every other way he can, supporting her.

Kieran McTavish in Remembering Jamie – Kieran spends years thinking his wife is dead, remaining faithful to her memory. Then when news comes that she is not, he rushes to her only to discover that she has amnesia and cannot remember him or their life together. Nor does she even want to! Outwardly, Kieran patiently works to woo his resistant love back while privately dying inside over her constant rejection. Eventually, he determines that he just wants her to be happy, even if he must give her up. Gah, Kieran just about breaks my heart with his deep longing for his wife and his willingness to break his own heart to give her what she wants.

Shadrach Jones in Carry Me Home – Shadrach is quiet, patient and kind to the fiancee of his dead friend. Especially since Finella is not nearly as as patient and understanding with him. He learns to love her long before she gives him reason to and his grand gesture to prove his affections is arguably one of the best I’ve ever read.

Matt Holloway in Mercy’s Fight – Ooh, I love a hero who resists a strong attraction between himself and a woman worthy of pursuit. But the problem is Matt doesn’t think he’s worthy and so tries to protect Grace from himself. He resists her so hard, while secretly watching out for her behind the scenes. I also love that Grace doesn’t allow Matt’s resistance, past or appearance to to scare her off. She instead shows him, he is worthy of pursuit.

Beau Porter in Undeniably Yours – Ok, Beau is one of my all time favorite romantic heroes in this updated re-imagined tale of a peasant in love with a princess. He is immediately attracted to his new boss and heiress Meg Cole, but refuses to act on it or take advantage of her grief and inexperience. But boy, when he finally gets the chance to unleash his feeling whew! Just keep a fan handy.

Atticus Blackwood in With This Curse – Atticus is on my list of favorite book heroes. He deliberately tracks down Clara and offers her marriage as a means of rescue from her impoverished life in order to pay penance for the way his twin brother betrayed her years earlier. But he’s also in love with her and marries her knowing he will not act on his feelings and that she doesn’t trust him. He’s so patient and generous with Clara, even while she reacts rudely towards him.

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7 Replies to “Top Ten Tuesday – Restraint; The Underrated Romantic Quality”

  1. How interesting. I do agree with you. I also like restraint because of the sexual tension it creates between the characters. It’s one of my favorite things about slow-burn romances.

    I’ve never heard of any of the books on your list. I’ll have to look them up as I do love romances. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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