I suppose the reason poets are rare as leads in Romance Novels is that writers are afraid they will have to write poems in the novel.
For the most part, please don't.
Poets are quirky language lovers and make just wonderful heroes and heroines. We need more!
Here are some lovely wordsmiths in Romance Novels!
My lists are never in any particular order.
1. Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.
2. Santa Viking by Sandra Hill
Bolthor the Skald has been there for his fellow warriors, both in battle and as a friend. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, so to speak. This gentle giant, now scarred and retired from the fray, has never found a woman who loves him despite his rough appearance—and his poetry, which is woefully bad.
Enter the sexy, Saxon widow Katherine of Wickshire Manor, a woman in need of a strong man to take care of her, her four children, not to mention about two hundred chickens, in the style none of her first three husbands could manage.
When Viking meets Saxon, the sparks do fly.
3. Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
4. Scandal by Amanda Quick
With her reputation forever tarnished by a youthful indiscretion, lovely Emily Faringdon is resigned to a life of spinsterhood–until she embarks on an unusual correspondence and finds herself falling head over heels in love. Sensitive, intelligent, and high-minded, her noble pen pal seems to embody everything Emily has ever dreamed of in a man. But Simon Augustus Traherne, the mysterious Earl of Blade, is not at all what he seems.
Driven by dark, smoldering passions and a tragic secret buried deep within his soul, Blade has all of London cowering at his feet, but not Emily . . . never Emily. For even as she surrenders to his seductive charms, she knows the real reason for his amorous suit. And she knows that she must reach the heart of this golden-eyed dragon before the avenging demons of their entwined pasts destroy the only love she has ever known.
5. The Poet and the Hypotenuse by Karine Hetherington
Paris, 1935. Tatiana is a Russian immigrant whose family have fled the Bolsheviks. She falls for a young Frenchman, Daniel, but her family remains trapped in the prejudices of its aristocratic past. The impoverished Daniel, secretary to a poet, is not considered a worthy match, and he has a secret he must share with Tatiana.
6. Romancing the West by Beth Ciotta
Emily McBride is in a pickle. The preacher’s daughter writes scandalous romantic adventures under a penname and someone’s uncovered her true identity. If the blackmailer exposes her double life her small town friends and the man of her dreams will never speak to her again. Worse, she’s growing fond of her new friend, a literary poet, who would surely be horrified by her dime novel fame.
When lawman Seth Wright is recruited into the covert government agency, The Peacemaker Alliance, he’s eager to kick desperado butt. Instead his first mission is to travel to California to propose to Miss Emily McBride on behalf of his boss. Worse, when he arrives, the small town librarian mistakes him for a dandified poet! With two unwanted suitors and a blackmailer hounding her, Seth pretends to be that poet so he can stay close and protect her. It’s what his new boss would want. Unfortunately, Seth develops genuine feelings for the passionate book lover, which risks his future as a Peacemaker, especially when he learns she is not what she seems. More jolting . . . neither is he.
7. Poetry Man by Melanie Schuster
After trying everything from blind dates to online matchmaking to speed dating, Alexis Sharp has given up finding Mr. Right. Or even Mr. Almost Right. Until the stormy night when the South Carolina spa owner gets a flat…and a hunky stranger comes to her rescue.
Sexy, sensitive, supersuccessful Chicago chef Jared Van Buren is everything Alexis could want in a man. There's only one thing standing in the way of their budding romance—Jared isn't black.
To her surprise, Alexis discovers she and Jared aren't as different as she thinks. As desire melts their barriers, Jared vows to prove to Alexis that they belong together. When it comes to affairs of the heart, what will it take to convince the woman who fills his life with passionate poetry that love is color-blind?
8. Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham
Bard and storyteller Trahern MacEgan wants vengeance for the death of his betrothed by Viking raiders. He is on their trail when he comes upon an injured Morren O'Reilly. Trahern rescues Morren and her sister and takes them back to her people. The village is destroyed and with the help of a neighboring clan they all begin to rebuild. Trahern shelters Morren from the men, but her nightmares come back when one of the raiders is discovered. Now he has two women to avenge, and a new love that scares him, as much as it grants him solace.
9. Snow by Maxence Fermine
It is April 1884 and Yuko Akita has reached his seventeenth birthday on the Island of Hokkaid in the North of Japan. The time has come to choose his vocation, warrior or monk, but against the wishes of his father, Yuko settles on a third option: he will be a poet. Yuko begins to write the seventeen-syllable poems we know as haiku--all celebrating the beauty of snow, his one great subject.
One day, the Imperial Poet arrives from the Emperor's court. He has heard about the beauty of Yuko's poems and has come to meet the young poet himself. While agreeing the poems have a music all their own, the Imperial Poet notes that lacking color, Yuko's poems are destined to remain invisible to the world. If the young poet is to learn color, he must study with the great artist Soseki in the south of Japan.
Yuko sets off on a treacherous journey across the whole of Japan. Cold, hungry, and exhausted, he encounters a vision that will forever change his life. It is a woman, frozen in the ice. With pale gold hair, ice blue eyes and a face as white as snow, the dead beauty will obsess Yuko. Who was she? How did she come to meet her death in the depths of his beloved snow?
Arriving at Soseki's door, Yuko is shocked to discover that the great master of color is blind. He will gradullay come to learn that color is not something outside of us, but within us. He will also learn about his master's Samurai past...and Soseki's link to the woman in the snow. It is a beautiful love story which will have its echo in Yuko's own as he finds his own, living, daughter of snow...
10. Poets and Promises by Lucy Muir
Elisabeth Ashwood is quite content with her quiet country life and has no desire to alter it, but she finds her whole life changing when circumstances dictate that she agree to a betrothal to the son of a family friend. Their reacquaintance, however, could only charitably be described as perilous.
Lord Sherbourne, in an attempt to gain favor with his betrothed, decides to introduce the studious Elisabeth to Leigh Hunt, leader of the London literary set. Delighted, Elisabeth finds herself frequently spending time with the morally ambiguous group, which includes Mary and Percy Shelley, despite knowing it’s not considered an acceptable milieu for a young woman of good family.
Having set herself on a path certain to clash with societal mores, Elisabeth may have to fight to save both her good character and her growing relationship with the dashing Lord Sherbourne.
Got more? Gimme!
Vote on my Goodreads list: Well Versed: Poets Leads in Romance Novels.