February 14, 2013

my hunky valentine(s)

Valentine's Day can be rough for a single gal, but only if you let it. The way I see it,  you have a few serious choices you can make for your day. You can:
  1. Pull a Bridget Jones and down five bottles of wine, eat everything in your kitchen and call your ex while sobbing.
  2. Get all Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and have a girl's day with your best ladies.
  3. Go to your bookshelf and spend a romantic evening curled up with a bunch of your literary crushes.
Now, I am watching my calories, so boozing and binging does not make option one viable. Plus, I make it a point to never keep or remember an ex's number to avoid the teary, blubbering calls. Well, at least in recent years I do. (Lesson learned.)

And if you will remember, just yesterday I celebrated Galentine's Day (read about my literary gal pals here and what I did with my in-the-flesh girls here). While my girls and I had a wonderful time, we hardly need to monopolize each others time. That really only leaves one other choice...

Looks like I'm taking option three, which means things are going to get a little hot and heavy between the pages for myself and some literary hunks. Sounds pretty damn good to me. Now, don't go thinking I'm some desperate girl who will go after any man out there, because that's not true. I'm no Taylor Swift. But over the years, I have carefully curated a collection of literary men I can turn to when I need them.

I think you will agree with this plan once you see the list of literary studs I'm crushing on this Valentine's Day.

Laura's Valentines

Here I am with my No. 1 Valentine and leading man:
Mr. Charles Bingley. Yuck it up. My Valentine woke
me up with a snuggle in bed and no vomit waiting on
the floor. What has your Valentine done for you?
Mr. Darcy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
The original literary stud, Mr. Darcy made me feel funny in my tummy long before I saw Colin Firth sport an amazing set of sideburns to play him on the small screen. He may be the finest catch a single gal could hope to find in a husband. He's rich, he's handsome and he's a gentleman. At the beginning, he's a bit of a jerk, but he is willing to change for his lady. Besides. Flaws are hot.

You know how people say real champagne only comes from a certain part of France? Well, Mr. Darcy is like the real champagne in a vineyard of men. Why settle for less than the best?

And I have two names for you, or four words: Colin Firth. Matthew MacFadyen. Boom.

I should add that I'm also rocking a pretty serious crush on Daniel Vincent Cordh (the stud who plays Darcy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries). I encourage you to get lost in his blue eyes here. Then watch the show. For serious. I want to talk to all of you about it more!

Mr. Rochester of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
Google "Byronic hero," and I am sure Mr. Rochester will land on your list. He is a complicated man who once lived a libertine lifestyle. He hides his crazy wife in an attic and tries to marry his governess, even though it would never be single.

That's one hell of a back story with plenty of stories to keep you entertained in the many years you'll spend together.

Ms. Eyre may have taken the high road in this situation, but I would probably have been willing to live in sin if the man in question was Rochester. What can I say? Broody is hot.

And thanks to modern science (or rather Hollywood magic) we now live in a world where Michael Fassbender pictures come up when you Google "Mr. Rochester." I'd love to nibble on that man's jaw... Moving on...

The Chinooks Hockey Team of Rachel Gibson's Chinooks series
Yeah, I said it. I'm taking a whole team. Though each of these hockey-playing men is different, and I may have deeper feelings for some than others, I want to collect them all.

These men are driven, in peak physical condition and after the most recent books in the series, they are now winners of the Stanley Cup. I may not know much about hockey (I do live in Nebraska, after all), but even I know that's pretty big deal.

Nothing looks as sexy on a man as success and confidence. These men have that. Plus, with my brother's ESPN subscription, I have had the opportunity to get to know more about real hockey players. After last June's naked issue, I have the pleasure of imagining every one of these characters looking like a naked Brad Richards. (Click here to see what I'm talking about. I promise, it's not too shocking.)

Christian Grey of E L James Fifty Shades trio
What? I have needs. While those may not include being tied up and spanked, Mr. Grey seems perfectly skilled in other areas.

(Oh, God, I'm blushing. So glad my father doesn't read any of my blog posts without food in them...)

What most appeals to me about this creeper is the challenge that comes with him. He may appear to have his life together, but he is a hot mess. He's like the perfect renovation project, the ultimate fixer upper.

I clearly have a thing for damaged goods, which is news to no one... I wonder who will play him in the movie. Oh, I hope it's that blue-eyed sex God from The Vampire Diaries.

Gilbert Blythe of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series
Who doesn't love the bratty boy who turns out to be a sweet and considerate man? Gilbert is smart, has a good heart and is willing to make big sacrifices for his special lady.

If I'm collecting men to fulfill my many desires, Gil will be the one to offer me friendship, companionship and a willingness to help me study if I ever decide to get my master's degree. He'd also be excellent at forcing me to get edits done on my two manuscripts. I bet his notes would be helpful, sincere and well-put.

Plus, after the list of rogues I've assembled, I think we can all agreed I need to bring a little balance to the force. Oooh, now I'm thinking about Harrison Ford as Han Solo, but that's a list for another Valentine's Day.

Almanzo Wilder of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series
My original literary crush, Almanzo is the sort of man who would do well with my brand of crazy. By all accounts, in real life and fiction, Almanzo was a well-mannered, hard-working man, and that is super appealing. Plus, he has horses, and I've always had this wish of being a bit of a cowgirl.

In exchange for riding lessons, rides to and from work (think of all the reading I would do if I didn't have to drive!) and his supportive demeanor I could, like, bake him a pie. And I promise not to forget the sugar if I'm throwing rhubarb in it.

Out of all the crushable hunks on this list, Manly is my most innocent and pure. I've had a crush on this guy since I was seven, so my feelings are totally PG. But they're there.

Sam Roxton of Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number
When I read this book last year, I fell hard for Sam. He's the new mysterious man on the other end of the phone. Initially business-like, behind his guard he is a genuinely nice and loyal man. Super brilliant, he makes nerdy look super sexy.

I sure do love a sexy nerd.

Plus, the man proves that despite is aloof and seemingly independent streak, the man knows how to follow orders every once in a while. And, talk about making grand gestures. Be still my heart.

Roarke of JD Robb's Death in series
Giving the term renaissance man new meaning, Roarke has it all: millions of dollars, a smooth dresser, an eclectic collection of fine items and more power than God. Totally handsome, he is a futuristic Prince Eric with dark hair, blue eyes and a determination to go after the woman he loves.

But beneath that smooth veneer lurks a man with a dark past, a dirty record and a mystery you can bite into. He's loyal, loving and willing to support the woman he loves, even if her chosen career field makes me more than a little uncomfortable. If you took all of those wonderful characteristics away, he still has one serious attribute in his favor: Irish accent.

Double swoon.

Peeta Mellark of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trio
This guy is total jailbait, but I don't care. Peeta may be 16 or 17 in Hunger Game years, but that's like, 27 or 35 in real life. I'd snuggle up for warmth with him in a cave, listen to his stories about the Games and eat his baked bread, if you know what I mean. (Seriously, do you know what I mean? Because I don't.)

Sensitive, charismatic and did I mention he bakes? Don't go waiting for this one to turn legal, ladies, because I already have dibs. Like the finest of wines, this hunk is only going to get better with age.

And call me crazy (or don't, because you'll likely agree with me), the movie franchise of this has done a lot to improve the looks of the cast. Not only does JHutch look better as a blond, but Jennifer Lawrence makes a damn good brunette. And the future Mr. Miley Cyrus also looks good with dark hair, too, but whatever.

Captain Wentworth of Jane Austen's Persuasion
Aside from his obvious attributes (handsome, passionate and good looking), all Captain Wentworth has to do is read me the letter he drafted Anne Elliot over and over. Just take a look at this excerpt if you don't already know what I mean.
You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.
OK, are you still with me or did you faint away, because of the overall swoon factor? The man admits his faults, expresses his undying love and comes off as a total babe, especially in the parts I highlighted. I'll be the first to admit reading this makes me feel all weak in my knees and willing to do whatever the man says if he'll only send this letter to me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off. I still have to light some candles, turn on my most romantic playlist, pull out my collection of scented candles and slip into something more comfortable (flannel PJs).

I have myself a date.

Read Also:
Famed Literary Lovebirds

Which literary heroes are you crushing on this Valentine's Day?

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  1. Helen Fielding's Mr Darcy does it for me but yes, Sam from I've Got Your Number gets a shoutout too. Also Will from Jojo Moyes' Me Before You, Ben from Mhairi McFarlane's You Had Me At Hello and lastly Joe from Alice Peterson's Ten Years On. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Reading, Sooz x

    1. Oh, Mark Darcy. How forever you will shine in my heart. I haven't read a few of those books, so I'll have to put them on my list.

  2. Ohmigosh, Laura, I cannot stop laughing over the "baked bread" comment. You are too funny! What's interesting is that you and I are in complete agreement on so many of these guys (Darcy, Almanzo, Wentworth, Sam Roxton . . . DROOL), but we are in opposite camps on others (Team Gale all the way! And Christian Grey can DIAF for all I care.) I did almost include Roarke on my list the other day! You will have quite a manly harem to keep you warm on Valentine's. And now you're making me want to settle in for a cozy read with a book hunk tonight, too. I just don't know which of my many book boyfriends to choose . . .


    1. You can have Gale. More bread for me. LOL

      Happy Valentine's to you, too! Time to get our reads on.

  3. AH! Love it! You've given me some excellent morning giggles. Also, I'll need to check out that hockey team. I am Canadian, after all. Hockey is in my blood, haha.
    Happy Valentine's Day to the best virutal bestie a girl can ask for! :)

    1. Awww. So much <3 for virtual bestie. Totally check out that Rachel Gibson series. Those hockey men are such studs.

  4. Awesome list! I am Team Peeta as well... but I will let you have him since I'm spending Valentine's Day with Mr Bates! ;)
    Your Mr Bingley is such a cutie!! I also woke up to a kitty cuddle and a vomit-free floor. Nothing better to start the day! :)