There is something about the dark, alpha (or asshole) hero that appeals to teenage girls (and to some women). Perhaps it is a form of rebellion, perhaps it is the extreme passion, perhaps it is the idea that the love of a good woman can change the hero's brooding ways. However, when C. and I tried to come up with some viable alternatives to Edward and Jacob, we found ourselves stymied.
Of course, if you want the dark, brooding, romantic hero, then Mr. Rochester and Heathcliff are the obvious choices. However, there does seem to be a dearth of rationale, angst-less literary heroes that we (or at least I) find romantically appealing. For instance, while I might enjoy being friends with Nick from The Great Gatsby or Laurie from Little Women, I also know that I would find Nick too introverted and Laurie too immature to forge a true connection with them.
After pondering this question for fall too long yesterday, the only fictional character I have come up with (so far) is Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series. Besides the cuteness factor (because of the movie, Jonathan Crombie is, in my mind, the definitive Gilbert), he's smart, driven, and a bit mischievous. He's also the anti-Byronic hero in that he doesn't brood and he goes out of his way to try to get Anne's acceptance.
Do you have a literary character that you think might be your ideal match? If so, please leave a comment!