That's a Bonnie Hero There, Aye?

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

The brogue. The brawn. The dark and stormy brow. The hint of ginger.

From historical romances to modern-day romantic suspense to real-life anecdotes of love amidst The Highlands, the Scottish hero rolls his Rs right into the heart of the romance. Scottish heroes put the capital “R” in romantic.

Gerald Butler dressed to kilt.
Gerald Butler dressed to kilt.

From William Wallace to Robert the Bruce to Rob Roy, Scotland’s history is rampant with romantic if sometimes tragic heroes. Or at least the Hollywood version of that country’s history would have us believe. The Scottish hero isn’t afraid to let it all hang out for his lady love…or for his kilt. He’s strong and courageous, has a wry sense of humor, is clever and cagey, loves his scotch and oatmeal, is thrift to the point of cheapness, quotes Robbie Burns, and charms a lady with the mere sound of his voice.

"I'm Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."
“I’m Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod.”

There’s a mysticism that surrounds the idea of a Scottish heroes no matter what the era. An old school sensibility. An inherent honor. Perhaps that’s why the Scottish hero is so prevalent in romantic fiction. It’s easy to believe that the sense of rightness that often drives a pig-headed stubborn streak includes a rare sense of unshakable right and wrong and the strength to back that code with a strength and resilience that so often seems so lacking in our regular world.

Sam Heughan as James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser

No Scottish hero embodies this ethos more than James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Stubborn, strong, educated, wise, canny, reliable with a fierce temper and a fiercer wit, Jamie has fought wars, dodged bullets, evaded assassination (often by his own family), incited the British, and love one woman for centuries.

Now that Outlander is being brought to the small screen this summer as a series, we’ll be able to see Jamie in all his Scottish glory by way of his alter ego, Sam Heughan.


But Sam isn’t the only Scottish actor raising his kilt on screen as a Scottish hero. From James Macavoy as young Professor X in the X men franchise to Tony Curran in Doctor Who (do we care that van Gogh is suddenly Scottish? We do not!) to Gerald Butler in….whatever Gerald Butler is up to these days to Ewan MacGregor as everything, Scotland’s sons are  bringing their versions of the Scottish hero—and sometimes anti-hero—to life and charming the hearts, or at least the pants, of women everywhere.

And we are very, very grateful.

Don’t miss a modern Scottish hero with a secret agenda and penchant for beekeepers in Liz Everly’s new release, Like Honey, out April 3rd. Find it, read it, and drink a dram.

like honey


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  • Post authorKemberlee

    OMG You forgot Liam Neeson in Rob Roy, and Christopher Lambert in the original Highlander. Okay, yeah, I’m old. But Liam and Christopher were hawt in their kilts back in the day. 😉

    Reply to Kemberlee
      • Post authorKemberlee

        Reminds me of that old commericial, the topic of which evades me but I’ll apply it here — I’m not a Scot, but I play one on TV 😉

        Oh, then there’s Mel Gibson who wasn’t too bad in a kilt either.

        Reply to Kemberlee
  • Post authorLiz Everly

    Definitely HAWT, Kemberlee! Along with all of the others, too. I just think there’s something about Scotsmen that speaks to us on a primal level. You know? Great post Kiersten and thanks for the shout out!

    Reply to Liz Everly
    • Post authorKemberlee

      I’m kinda partial to Irishmen. No kilts, but hey, they used to go into battle totally naked to shock their opponents who didn’t know where to grab, and greased up so if the opponent did grab, it wouldn’t be for long 😉

      Reply to Kemberlee
  • Post authorBarbara Mikula

    Puhleez – Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod is my all time favorite! He’s the model for a couple of my modern heroes (Justin and Jamie Devereau in the Le Club Series). Yum! Adrian Paul is aging well just like Tom Selleck. Either of them can eat crackers in my bed any time! LOL!! :))

    I read and enjoyed Liz’s “Like Honey” and recommend it if you would like a quick, sexy trip to Scotland in the Spring! – Skye Michaels

    Reply to Barbara Mikula
  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    I think the effect of living in Scotland is if you see kilts, you ask, ‘So who’s getting married?’ because that’s the only time you see them.

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I could just listen to the accent all day long–esp. a Glasgow accent. Something about the Scottish ethos seems to be about cutting through bulls*** and getting to the nitty gritty. That’s what I like.

    Reply to Madeline Iva

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