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She dreams of marriage; he thinks the institution is a trap
My favorite Hawaiian island is Maui, so it seemed only natural to make it the setting for my Hawaiian Heat series. Maui is magical. From the lush rainforest of the Iao Valley to the “moonscape” of the Haleakala volcano, from the rushing Hana Waterfalls to the windy Kaanapali beaches, the island offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. Balmy tropical breezes, sun-drenched white sand, and pounding teal surf provide the perfect relief from everyday stress and rev up a couple’s libido. That’s why I decided Maui was the ideal place for my characters to fall in love.
Ginny Fitzgerald has always dreamed of marriage and motherhood. But when she escapes her domineering former fiancé to attend a two-month writing seminar, she discovers more about herself than about fiction. Sparks fly and then ignite when she meets enigmatic Drew Morgan. He melts her reserved façade and unleashes her repressed passions. Sadly, Ginny believes she can never achieve her goals with Drew and fears the only happily-ever-after in her future is the one she’s writing for her romance novel.
Drew thinks marriage is a trap, and he’s made a pact with his brother to remain bachelors forever. Even when the Hawaiian Heat welds love and lust into his dream soul mate, he can’t marry Ginny. After she declines his invitation to live with him, he must choose between his opposition to the chains of marriage and the possibility of a lifetime of happiness.
Ginny Fitzgerald whipped her head around. “Excuse me?”
“Virgin?” the man repeated. “Not you, sweetheart, your drink. You told your boyfriend no, but he ordered for you anyway before going to the john.” The bartender smiled and leaned closer. “I thought maybe you’d like to go virgin on this drink without him knowing.”
“Thanks, but I don’t want the drink at all,” she said. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”
“Just kidding.” He winked. “But whoever the guy is, he’s working damn hard to get lucky tonight.”
Ginny shrugged. “I know that. I’m not a moron. I’ve been trying to politely discourage him.”
“No, thanks. I’m handling it.”
“Good to know. I hate to see slime sneak up on nice girls.”
He wiped a small towel across the bar in front of her, but still held her gaze. Even in the dim lighting, his eyes twinkled an amazing teal blue like the water over the coral reefs.
“How do you know I’m a ‘nice girl’?”
He stroked his chin. “Let me count the ways. One, you don’t let someone push you into drinking more than you want. Two, you flinch every time that guy touches you, which means you recognize the jerk for the player he is. Three, and most important, if that type appealed to you, you would’ve left with him already.” A cocky grin lit the man’s face. “Definitely a nice girl.” With another wink, he moved down the bar to take a couple’s order.
Sneaking a discreet peek, Ginny watched the bartender’s efficient, fluid movements as he mixed drinks and chatted with the customers. And there was a lot more about him to admire. The sun had woven wheat-colored streaks through his wavy, chestnut hair and bronzed his face and arms, giving him a healthy, outdoorsman appearance. The short sleeves of his Hawaiian print shirt revealed taut muscles, and his khaki cargo shorts hugged narrow hips and a sweet ass.
Hot, hot, hot…
After a mental shake, she swiveled on the barstool, her gaze sweeping around the buzzing bar and reaching the crowded dance floor. Friday night was cranking up. The brilliant colors of the tropical motif added another layer of sensual heat to the already sizzling scene. Temperatures and decibels were on the rise. Upscale Club Lahaina vibrated with pulsing music. Uninhibited dancers pumped and gyrated, performing erotic mating rituals. Their wild abandon mesmerized Ginny and tugged at a longing she was reluctant to acknowledge.
With a heavy sigh, she swung back toward the bar, determined to keep the sadness swelling in her chest at bay. Hoping to boost her spirits, she’d stopped at the popular club in the charming little tourist town of Lahaina to toast her newfound freedom only because she didn’t want to face her silent, empty condo. Even though she’d chosen an inconspicuous seat at the end of the bar, a jerk had still managed to intrude on her private celebration.
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Me (Alicia Dean). Author of DEATH NOTICE – A killer is using her obituary column to forecast his kills.
Want: Mr. Darcy – I must admit, I still haven’t watched ANY Jane Austen movies. Ugh…I swear, I will one of these days. But for now, I have to base it on what I know/see. I watched a clip of Mr. Darcy and the girl out in the rain, and it was very emotional, very sensual. I adore rain, so I would have to want Mr. Darcy.
Wed: Mr. Knightley – Just because he’s the most appealing of the two who are left over, and I would rather Wed him than Want him, because Mr. Darcy is sexier. (Do the heroines in Jane Austen novels actually call these guys by “Mr.” or “Captain” so and so? Even in the throes of passion?)
Waste: Captain Wentworth. He is the least attractive of the three, although if I saw these three guys in action, I might change my mind. Besides, making her call him “Captain”….isn’t that a bit pretentious? Or, is he actually a captain?
Want: Matthew MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy. He brings an intensity to the role that neither Colin Firth nor Laurence Olivier could, though their Mr. Darcy’s were more elegant and perhaps true to the book. I like the notion of an Atlas-sized Mr. Darcy, since he does willingly shoulders the troubles of the world, or at least the part of it he controls, which is not inconsiderable. But I put him in the want category because marriage to such a paragon would be a bit daunting, esp. having to deal with Lady Catherine de Burgh!
Wed: Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth. I’ve always had a fondness for naval gentlemen, and I love Rupert Penry-Jones. The only fault I see in the casting is that he’s too fair to be believable as a sea captain. (They were perpetually tanned from being outside in the sun and wind.) He is handsome though, and does a good job of portraying the reserved captain who never got over his first love. Persuasion is Austen’s most emotional book, IMO, and the movies always touch my heart.
Waste: Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley. This doesn’t seem right, but Emma is the least romantic of the three movies. It’s really the education of Miss Emma Woodhouse–19th c. chicklit, really–and Mr. Knightley seems more best friend/older brother than prospective suitor. It’s not Jonny Lee Miller’s fault, but rather the limitations of the character as written. I hadn’t seen this version of Emma and it was fun to watch. I’ve always found Mr. Knightley less dashing than Austen’s other heroes, though he’d be good husband material. But if I have to choose between Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth, I’ll take my sea captain.
Jill Hughey, author of the Evolution Series set in Charlemagne’s empire, wants you to know that today, April 2, is Charlemagne’s birthday! Get her five-star series bundle only $6.50 for three novels and a short story! http://jillhughey.blogspot.com
Alicia is killing me with this round of choices because I LOVE all these movies.
Want – Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley – I enjoy Jonny Lee Miller in this movie and also his series, Elementary. I’d probably wed him except he was once married to Angelina Jolie, which worries me more than a little, and he has some affectations that might get on my nerves. I’d definitely like him to court me for awhile, though! The way he sighs when Emma reveals her feelings for him is truly swoon-worthy.
Wed – Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth – This character drives me a little crazy when he leaves the recital after Anne throws herself all over him, but that is Jane Austen’s doing. I think Rupert Penry Jones absolutely nails the pivotal interaction that gives Anne renewed hope with the way he delivers the line: “A man does not recover from such a passion with such a woman. He ought not. He does not.” I just melt. And the way he looks at her in both the kiss scene and the end of the movie shows that he will be attentive and faithful to the end!
Waste – Matthew MacFayden as Mr. Darcy – Matthew MacFayden does a wonderful job in this role. My family will tell you I’ve about worn out my DVD of this movie, so it is pretty surprising to discover that he is not my type. I can’t even figure that out because I absolutely adore Richard Armitage who has a similar build, coloring, and voice, but Matthew doesn’t really light my fire. Sorry Mr. Darcy!
RoseAnn DeFranco, author of Secondhand Romance – She wants to know if he’s a Mr. Darcy or a Mr. Knightley. He’s there to fix more than the wiring in her bookstore. A bet and a stack of old love letters leads to a secondhand romance. Website: www.radefranco.com
Choosing between Jane Austen’s heroes is very difficult for me but here goes….
Want: Persuasion – Rupert Perry Jones as Captain Wentworth. Sigh. The passion in the Captain as played by Rupert Perry Jones gets me EVERY time…and I do try to watch this one at least twice a year! The glances he steals of Anne throughout the story smolder as he tries to conceal his passion, but his final declaration, and the kiss at the end of this one makes me think these two will enjoy a very happy marriage bed.
Wed: Emma Masterpiece – Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley. First, Johnny Lee Miller gives the best performance of Knightley to date! His portrayal of Knightley conveys the thoughtful, honorable traits of Knightley while also exposing his depth of emotion for Emma plain for everyone (except her) to see. His love and understanding of Emma and her family situation makes him perfect husband material.
Waste: Pride and Prejudice – Matthew MacFayden as Mr. Darcy. As much as it pains me, and it DOES, someone has to go in the waste column. While perhaps not my favorite portrayal of Mr. Darcy (See Colin Firth, BBC Version THE POND SCENE) Matthew MacFayden portrays a very passionate Darcy, one that it would be hard to say no to. “You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you…” Amazing moment in the movie, sigh. Damn. I want them all. I’d wed them all. I’d let nothing go to waste! But in this instance, sorry Matthew!
Want—Rupert Penry Jones—his performance was understated and confined, which makes me think there was so much more under the surface to be discovered.
Wed—Matthew MacFadyen—he stepped into big shoes to play this role and within the first couple of scenes, he made me believe in his sincerity and steadfastness.
Waste—Jonny Lee Miller—he was good in this role but I wasn’t convinced that such a high-energy performer was the calm and laid-back Mr. Knightley.
Juli D. Revezzo, author of Passion’s Sacred Dance, He may be her savior in disguise–but can she trust him?
Want: Rupert Penry Jones
Wed: Johnny Lee Miller (He seems like a sweetie)
Waste: Matthew MacFayden (Sorry. But his portrayal of Darcy was just *too* depressing)