In yesterday's Valentine's-themed post, I talked about my fictional crushes in Classic Lit. Today I'm giving equal time to some of my crushes in Contemporary Lit. One of the hotties on this list is a longstanding crush while the other four are guys who've made a big impression on me in the past year for a variety of reasons, which I'll expound on below. Get your drool bibs and thud pillows ready, my friends!
Joe Morelli/The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich - (The Italian Stallion) I was smitten with Morelli the minute Steph started talking about him in One for the Money. Her description of how he looks in a pair of jeans? <fans self> When they were teenagers, Joe deflowered Steph behind the eclair case in the bakery where she worked (naughty, but hot), and now he's a bad ass vice cop who has a scar through his eyebrow and a tattoo on his chest (super duper hot.) He's sexy, funny, and very protective of Steph, which makes him the perfect guy in my opinion, but Steph keeps waffling between Morelli and a bounty hunter named Ranger. Yes, she's an idiot! As much as I like Jason O'Mara, I thought he was all wrong when he was cast as Morelli in the movie version of One for the Money. Morelli should be swarthy, uber-masculine, and have a rock hard body you'd want to lick whipped cream off of. I think Joe Manganiello would have been perfect in the role. He's who I always think of when envisioning the character.
"I like the way you've let your hair go curly," he finally said. "Suits your personality. Lots of energy, not much control, sexy as hell." -One for the Money
"Nice dress. Take it off." -Hot Six
Maxon Schreave/The Selection - (The Handsome Prince) Good guys can sometimes be dull in fiction, but not so in this case. Although Prince Maxon, heir to the throne of the dystopian world Illéa, is a gentleman through and through, he's not stodgy or boring. He has a sense of humor and he's truly interested in what other people have to say and how they feel. His wonderful manners and the kindness and respect he shows all the girls who participate in The Selection (the contest to become his betrothed) give him an old-world charm. He's wise and mature beyond his years, which is a nice contrast to America's other love interest in the story, the very hot-headed Aspen. Maxon is described as being a blond in the book, but I read that the scrumptious, dark-haired Ethan Peck had been tapped to play Maxon in the pilot that The CW shot last year. So, Ethan is now Maxon in my mind.
"My mother and father were married this way and are quite happy. I hope to find happiness, too. To find a woman that all of Illéa can love, someone to be my companion and to help entertain the leaders of other nations. Someone who will befriend my friends and be my confidante. I'm ready to find my wife."
"I'm so sorry. I've never kissed anyone before. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just . . . I'm sorry, America."
Reyes Farrow/The Grave series by Darynda Jones - (The Dream Lover) Reyes gives a whole new meaning to the term "bad boy." He's in prison for a murder, which he may or may not have committed, and everyone who meets the man is terrified of him (his speed, reflexes, and intellect are all inexplicably superior to humans), except Charley Davidson who had a run-in with Reyes when they were both teenagers. Charley is a private detective and a grim reaper who has her own assortment of unusual powers, so nothing really shakes her up until Reyes starts visiting her in dreams where their steamy encounters seem very real. Reyes is the kind of character that makes a girl break out into a sweat every time she sees his name on the page. He's this amazing combo of scary, seductive, and intriguing. I know that Darynda recently sold the rights to the Grave series to CBS, so there may be a Charley Davidson show on our TV screens one day soon. If that happens, I'd love to see Daniel Sunjata cast as Reyes. I think he's got the exotic, smoldering good looks that Reyes has, plus he can pull off being both lethal and vulnerable.
“Reyes, what happened?” He‘d been busy nibbling his way to my collarbone, his hot mouth evoking seismic activity at each point of contact. I really hated to interrupt, but …
“Reyes, are you listening to me?”
He raised his head, a sensual grin playing at the corners of his mouth, and said, “I‘m listening.”
“To what? The sound of blood rushing to your nether regions?”
“No,” he said with a husky chuckle that made me tingle everywhere. “To your heartbeat.” -Second Grave on the Left
“Time-out,” I said.
He twisted his hand around and wound his fingers into mine. “You‘re putting me in time-out?”
“Yes,” I said as a shaky sigh slid through my lips.
“If I don‘t go, do I get a spanking?” -Second Grave on the Left
T.J. Callahan/On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves - (The Unexpected White Knight) Yes, I'm cradle-robbing again, but T.J, is the most compelling fictional character I met in my reading travels last year. So, I couldn't help but be enamored of him. T.J. is just sixteen and has already been through cancer when On the Island starts, but he does a lot of growing up in the book (being stranded on a desert island will do that to a boy) and it was amazing to see him rise to the challenge of not just surviving, but thriving, in that harsh environment. He is such a strong, soothing presence for Anna throughout their time on the island; it was totally organic for these two lost souls to develop romantic feelings for each other. T.J. proves himself worthy of Anna's love over and over in the book, always putting her happiness and well-being above his own. I don't think any woman could ask for a better man to be stranded with. I will be very curious to see who is cast to play T.J. in the movie version of the book. I pictured a young Jared Padalecki circa Gilmore Girls when I was reading On the Island.
“I love you, Anna.”
The surprised look on her face told me she hadn’t seen that coming.
“You weren’t supposed to fall in love,” she whispered.
“Well, I did,” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.”
Jericho Barrons/The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning - (The Enigma) I've read three of the Fever books now and I still don't know who, or what, the heck Barrons is. He's hinted to Mac, the American girl with Fae-seeing powers whose under his protection, that he's been around for a long, long time (like centuries), he has an accent that can't be pinned down to any one country, and he has a variety of powers that are definitely magical in nature. He's denied being a vampire and he doesn't seem to be a Fae, so what's left? Time will tell, I'm sure, but for now I'm just appreciating that he's rich, gorgeous, cloaked in mystery, and highly entertaining in his jerkiness. I wouldn't want to date Barrons, but he sure is fun to read about and his chemistry with Mac is smokin' (I love how he always calls her "Ms. Lane." Formality is hot!) Karen Marie Moning has said that actor Eric Etebari was her inspiration for Barrons, and I can absolutely see that. YUM!
“Was he a good kisser, Ms. Lane?” Barrons asked, watching me carefully.
I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand at the memory. “It was like being owned.”
“Some women like that.”
“Perhaps it depends on the man doing the owning.”
“I doubt it. I couldn’t breathe with him kissing me.”
“One day you may kiss a man you can’t breathe without, and find breath is of little consequence.”
“Right, and one day my prince might come.”
“I doubt he’ll be a prince, Ms. Lane. Men rarely are.” -Bloodfever
So, those are the five fictional gentlemen (I use the word loosely for three of them) who are currently heating up my Kindle. Who are your Fictional Crushes in Contemporary Lit? Please share with the class in the comments below. I'm always looking for new book hunks to add to my harem.