I took the ‘writer crushes’ theme this month to an extra level. I not only crush on several writers, I crush on some of their characters. Here’s three of my writer crushes with three of my favorite characters.
I read Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts back in the 1990s, but Tucker Longstreet still tugs on my heartstrings. If I analyze the reason I still feel so strongly about him, I have to say it’s because I started out disliking him intensely. He was a lazy, good-old-boy without a drop of ambition. Of course he was handsome, but his relationships were as shallow as he was; Tucker was all charm and flash with no substance.
Or so I thought. Ms. Roberts was just stringing me along. Tucker turns out to be the glue holding his family, and his family’s business, together. His relationship with Caroline Waverly becomes the opposite of shallow. And when he’s unable to provide an alibi for a murder because he was home alone reading poetry, I was a goner. I mean, really, reading poetry? Be still my heart.
Wulfric Bedwyn is one of my favorite Mary Balogh heroes. In her Slightly series, he is the Duke of Bewcastle, the dour head of the Bedwyn family. When the role of duke, and the responsibility for the dukedom, as well as for his younger siblings, is thrust upon him at an early age, Wulfric shuts down emotionally and does his duty, believing something as frivolous as love is not meant for him. Everyone, even his own family, believes him cold and haughty. Before he died his father instructed him well:
Never seek to know or share the emotions of another person.
But every so often throughout the Slightly series, we get a glimpse of Wulfric’s real feelings. Like when his sister-in-law Rachel catches a glimpse of his face when he discovers that his brother Alleyne was not killed at Waterloo as he believed. As Wulfric embraces his brother, she sees the joy mixed with the raw pain in his expression, and she knows he was not unaffected by his brother’s “death”. He feels things deeply, but believes he cannot express his feelings. He finally gets a chance to break out of his self-imposed prison when he meets widow Christine Derrick in Slightly Dangerous. He learns he can be both the Duke of Bewcastle and Wulfric Bedwyn – both duke and man.
The opening line of Deirdre and Don Juan by Jo Beverley is one of favorites: “The news of his wife’s death caught the Earl of Everdon in his mistress’s bed.” From that first line, we may be inclined to think Mark Juan Carlos Renfrew is philandering husband, but we soon learn that he’s the one who had been wronged. Ten years previously, his much adored wife ran off with an Italian diplomat, just six months after their wedding. But he doesn’t bother to divorce her. Instead he lives up to his Don Juan nickname, and uses his married status to avoid the matchmaking efforts of other women. Marriage is a crap shoot, only good for producing an heir. When he unexpectedly falls in love with Plain-Jane Deirdre Stowe, he discovers that love and marriage mean more to him than he believed. And when she rejects him, he knows he must become the man she needs and deserves.
These three multi-published writers are true icons in romance, and they’ve produced some of the most memorable, and most loved characters in our genre. I hope to be reading their books, and falling in love with their heroes, for many years to come.
Two more sleeps until my new contemporary romance releases! Here’s a blurb from ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE:
Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.
Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?