When I was young and single, it seemed to me that love happened when I was least looking for it, coming out of left field at unexpected moments and often with unexpected guys. My current release, The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne, has that kind of “least likely” situation between its characters.
We all have our favorite types of heroes. Bad boys are popular with a lot of us. I will confess that I also have a thing for heroes who are very “together”— they understand their world, and expect things to work out as they want them to work out. They may appear to be paragons of propriety to people who don’t know them well, when in reality they are merely very discreet. They are not so much arrogant as confident in themselves and in their places in the world. Georgette Heyer wrote a number of these heroes.
Not much ruffles this guy’s feathers— unless someone comes along that challenges all those well ordered notions of how his life will be lived.
It isn’t just that Emma is not of his class. It isn’t only because she speaks plainly and says things he does not expect women to say, least of all to him. Her intentions regarding her father’s auction house are not enough to turn his world upside down either.
Rather it is her inexplicable appeal that confounds him. Attraction is not an adequate word for the way she affects him. There is no good reason for his bedazzlement either, and that really irritates him. She is not gorgeous. She is not the kind of woman he anticipates he will marry. She isn’t even the type of woman he has his discreet affairs with.
Worse, she outsmarts him from the outset. It takes him some time to realize she has the intelligence to do so and his being outflanked isn’t just a coincidence. Even when he suspects differently, he tries to explain it away. However, deep inside he knows the truth— she is just as smart as he is, and she is not above using his preconceptions about women against him.
He is hooked long before either of them knows it, least of all Emma who never even casts a lure in his direction. It isn’t that she does not find him attractive. She just has bigger fish to fry at the moment.
I was almost finished writing this book before I understood why I enjoyed these characters so much. They sort of remind me of my husband and myself. He was and is that solid, confident guy who is comfortable with his world and has things structured and comprehensible. And I was the unexpected intrusion that caught him off guard and, ultimately, got myself caught too.
Do you like romances where the hero gets confounded by the heroine, and gets a kind of come-uppance too? Can you remember any of your favorites?
Did you ever have a relationship with someone who was not at all what you thought you were looking for? Did it work out?