In the final post to celebrate Escape Publishing’s 1st birthday, Elisabeth Rose talks about girls falling for gorgeous guys.
In my recent Escape release, Mango Kisses, heroine Tiffany as a teen, had a crush on Sam Black, the sporty, cool dude admired by everyone at school but who never gave her a second glance. She was the nerd who topped the class in maths and science, and sporty, cool dudes weren’t interested in nerds. Ever since then she’s secretly yearned for her own grown-up version of Sam Black but her adult self is no more successful at attracting them than the fifteen-year-old version.
Does that sound familiar? Not the nerdy part particularly but the part about really handsome, very attractive, popular or bad boys not looking your way? I was like that at school.
The boys who liked me were nice but safe, not those I would choose. I liked the edgier, bold, confident types. Some girls don’t seem to have that problem, they attract any and all guys with ease. Tiffany’s best friend Marianne is one of those man magnets but it doesn’t rub off on Tiffany. She’s too shy, too reserved, too afraid of making a fool of herself by showing her attraction and being rejected, or worse, being ignored as usual.
Ambitious city girl Tiffany is a minor character in a much earlier book of mine titled Coming Home. She was the ex-girlfriend of Charles, the hero, who left her for the real love of his life, Libby. Charles was all wrong for Tiffany but was typical of the type of man she dated — successful, polite, motivated and reserved. Not much chance of fire there. He needed Libby, a passionate musician. Tiffany needed someone different and I felt she deserved him.
The really cool thing about writing romance is that I can give my heroine her perfect fantasy man whether she realises he’s the one or not. In Tiffany’s case she does realise hero Miles is perfect but immediately places him in the Sam Black category. Ie he’s gorgeous but won’t be interested.
But will the handsome object of her affection prove handsome in other ways? Will he be kind, thoughtful, honest, decent and a genuinely nice bloke? Or will he be a narcissistic, selfish, demanding jerk, or pretty but boring? Tiffany isn’t overly impressed when she discovers Miles is happy surfing, swimming and running his little surf shop with no ambition for greater things.
We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder — or lover — and love can grow over time into something deep and lasting regardless of the superficial outward appearance. In Mango Kisses I wanted to explore the idea of a teenage fantasy come true. Tiffany meets her man in a small coastal town, the last place she wants to be and the last place she could imagine wanting to live. But meeting fantasy man Miles turns her safe world inside out and she discovers that if she wants to keep her ‘Sam Black’ she has to take some big scary chances.
Do you have a Sam Black? Did you marry him?
PS For the record, my husband isn’t a Sam Black but after nearly forty years together is definitely a keeper. He can still make me laugh and that’s priceless.
Sent to assess a deceased estate in a small coastal town, ambitious city girl Tiffany Holland is initially annoyed by the out-of-the-way assignment. But she soon discovers sleepy Birrigai hides a wealth of surprises: a cross-dressing motel manager, a Kissing College and her client Miles Frobisher, the laidback, surf-shop-owning, real life sex fantasy.
Tiffany’s ambition is to become a junior partner in her financial firm, but small town life and the proximity of Miles gradually seduce her. But a shocking discovery in the estate papers leads to a dramatic change in Miles’s circumstances. Emotionally inept, Tiffany is unable to help Miles through the transition, and drives him away. With misunderstandings and secrets creating frost between them, it seems that their summer romance is destined to go cold. Can they overcome their differences and learn to accept their feelings?
Elisabeth has been an avid reader all her life. She dabbled in writing as a teenager but gave it away to study music which has also been a lifelong passion and is why musicians are usually her main characters.