So, firstly, Heathcliff. I can’t remember exactly when I first read Wuthering Heights but I do know it was in my teenage years, I suspect when I was around fifteen as I went through a stage of reading classic romances at that time. Heathcliff is a bad boy. Actually, I feel like I’m doing him a disservice with that label, he’s so much more than that. He’s bitter, twisted and passionate and you just know if he’d had a bit of better luck he’d have been a very good catch indeed. However you cannot help falling in love with him when you see the great love and passion and dedication he shows Cathy.
Now moving on to the product of a different Bronte’s imagination we move on to the book Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester. I remember watching an adaptation of Jane Eyre when I was about ten and it really touched me. Only a few years later my aunty gave me a copy and I read the book tirelessly and completed it in just a few nights. Mr Rochester is arrogant, stubborn but not conventionally handsome. He’s kind, if easily irritated and irresistible because Jane falls so completely in love with him that you can’t help but be pulled along by her enthusiasm.
In College we read Shakespeare’s Othello and I was completely intrigued by the story and by Othello himself. I was attracted to his deep love and repulsed by his undeserved jealousy and I found myself attracted to him even if I didn’t want to be. Othello starts out as just and brave, strong and filled with integrity and his jealousy, his insecurity drives him to the very edge of madness.
There are many more and maybe I’ll write about them another time. However I am pretty sure these three have contributed to my soft spot for arrogant men as they are all written with a proud stagger and a confident manner. I love to write those kind of slightly arrogant men too. I don’t think you can get a better example than Guy in Travel Delight.
He is cocky, confident and completely irrisistable. Here’s a snippet of the conversation from when he met business minded Janet on her lunch break:
She carried the cup of coffee and turkey salad sandwich to the window seats, there was one spare next to a tall, handsome guy who was completely absorbed in watching the people out on the street.
“Can I sit here?” she asked, and his head turned then he nodded.
“Sure, a pretty lady such as yourself doesn’t even need to ask.” His mellow growl was filled with a foreign accent, and his dark brown eyes sparkled with mischief. Janet blushed and sat down.
“Thank you,” she said and settled herself on her seat, pulling her knee-length navy skirt down over her crossed legs so that the folks in the street would not get subjected to a view of her flabby, old thighs.
“So, you work round here, then?” The American turned on his stool to face her, stunning her with his easy smile.
“Erm, yes,” she replied and pulled the cucumber out of her sandwich, delicately dropping it into the discarded plastic packet.
“Cool. I’m not from around here,” he added, and Janet nodded.
Oh geez. Why do I always pick the seat by the talkative weirdoes? she thought, absently biting into the brown bread and barely noticing the taste on her tongue.
“I’m from the
. USA to be precise. I’ve just finished my degree.” Mississippi
“Very nice.” She wouldn’t normally talk back, but this guy held her attention with his dark eyes and softly tanned skin. He was quite hot…for a crazy man.
“And I thought I’d go out and enjoy the world for a bit, you know, so I sold my business, put on my backpack and headed for the place with the prettiest girls,
. I love sweet English roses, like yourself, ma’am.” England
Now that compliment was good, and even the ma’am sounded sexier in his accent. Janet blushed. “What business were you in? I thought you said you’d just finished university.”
“Oh, I see you’re a feisty one, all the better.” He laughed and his Adam’s apple bobbed invitingly. ”I have indeed just left ole miss, degree in business in hand but while I’ve been studying, I’ve also been working. I set up this little internet thing. It got kinda popular and a bit too much for me to handle right now, if truth be told, so I sold it.”
“Very nice,” she replied, glancing at her watch. She’d had twenty minutes already, and she’d barely even started on her sandwich. She took a gulp of her coffee and turned her attention from the handsome young man and back to her lunch.
“So what do you do? I mean, you can’t be paid for looking damn sexy in a suit, can you?”
Janet looked back towards the young man and felt the full blast of his lecherous stare and was amazed that it turned her on.
“I wish,” she chuckled, fluttering her lashes like a besotted teenager as her cheeks flushed red. “’I’m head of my department in one of the big buildings around here. You don’t need any more details. I don’t want to bore you.”
“If you think your job is boring, why do you do it?”
This weird yet hot stranger barely knew her, yet he’d asked the very same question she’d been grappling with for months.
“I worked hard to get where I am today.”
He shook his head and leaned in closer, his breath tickled her ear.
“You’re too beautiful to be bored. Want to come travelling with me?”
“Pardon?” She sharply pulled away, but his hand snaked under the counter and rested on her thigh. For a split second, she contemplated yelling for help, then she realised her body was screaming for more of his touch.
“Really, come with me. Have some fun. See somewhere new.”
“I’ve got to be back at work in a few minutes!” she exclaimed.
His fingers smoothly stroked up her naked thigh. “So? Life’s too short—oh, what’s your name again?”
“Janet.” She couldn’t believe she’d given her name so freely to a stranger, a stranger with his hand on her thigh.
“And I’m Guy. Nice to meet you.” His long, strong fingers squeezed just below her crotch, and she gasped part in pleasure and part in horror that he was feeling how fat her thighs were. ”Oh, so very nice to meet you.”
Somehow, she’d leaned into him once more, and his soft whisper made her wish his lips were trailing down her sensitive neck. She shook her head and pulled back, his fingers let go of her thigh, but his hand came to rest just above her knee. It lingered there, heating her whole body. Her mind struggled to take control.
“It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Guy, but I have to get back to work. I do envy you, though, truth be told. It must be exciting.”
“It is, and my journey has only just started. You meet so many new people, experience new places. Seriously, you should come.”
“I really can’t.” Janet sighed and uncrossed her legs, throwing his hand off her body as she pulled herself away from the counter and off the stool.
“Look, if you change your mind, I’m boarding a train to
at five past four today. I’d love to have you along on my journey.” York
Now to find out how Janet responds you need to pick up a copy of Travel Delight but I don’t think I would be able to resist Guy’s tempting offer, could you?
Now which Romance Heroes have influenced your taste in men and how have they influenced it? I'd love to find some new hot guys to read about. I'm always in search of inspiration!