D is for Danny
So . . . I was thrilled to be assigned the letter D. Seriously, when I heard what we were doing with this scavenger hunt, the first thought to come to my mind was, "D is for Danny." Because one of my favorite parts about Chick Lit stories happen to be the men. I know, I know. It's called Chick Lit, and there are so many fantastic things about Chick Lit that don't involve men. But what can I say? I'm a girl who likes her dudes.
Now, that I bring it up, you're maybe wondering (or maybe you weren't, but you're on board now, right?) why didn't I say "D is for Dudes" when I had that letter? Well, when I say I'm all about the guys, I really mean that I'm particularly fixated on a couple. Their names both happen to be Danny. And the beautiful thing about both of these men is how different they are from each other. (D is for Different, too.) I consider them to be representative of two of my favorite types of male characters to appear in Chick Lits.
With that background established, let's get to know the boys, shall we?
Danny 1: The Quirky Comedy Relief
Our first Danny is from Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. We meet him in Book 3, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, as Becky's NYC neighbor. He happens to be a wannabe designer who has gone so far as to say he's worked with a famous designer (he handed him coffee once, which totally counts, right?) and actually tried to hang his own work in Bloomingdale's to trick his brother into believing he's making progress in his career to avoid being financially cut off.
See. Quirky comedy relief.
He's also wonderfully supportive of Becky and always has her back. (Like in Shopaholic & Baby, when arrives on motorbike to deliver a pair of boots she absolutely has to have to make a deal.)
But aside from the laughs and humorous heroics, the best part about Danny is how he serves as a support system for Becky. She makes a lot of stupid mistakes, but he's there to listen to her problems with no judgment. He never questions her feelings or makes them seem unsubstantial. He never treats her as a silly little woman, but instead encourages her to let it out and be her best self.
We all want a Danny in our lives. Heck, we all deserve him. At the very least, we need characters like him in our Chick Lit novels. Because even though our fun, fabulous heroines are their own women, they're somehow better when they're partnered up with such a great buddy.
I'm lucky, because I have this kind of Danny in my life. I actually recognized one of my best friends in this character when I picked up the series. My Danny is hilarious. He once teasingly chastised me at a "castle" for speaking to a driver, because, "we're at a castle, we don't speak to the help." He says things like, "You say potato, I say vodka." My Danny is supportive. Whenever we're on one of our long phone calls, he always asks about my current writing projects. He's one of the most generous people I know, and I could totally see him motorbiking to my rescue if I ever needed him. (Actually, he's super in shape, so he might just cycle in.) And most importantly, he's such a huge support system for me. He never tells me I'm being crazy. He never thinks I'm over-the-top. Like Becky's Danny, he loves and supports me in a non-romantic way, and it's perfect.
See why I love this sort of character in my Chick Lit?
Danny 2: The Darcy-Like Romantic Interest
But back to my point. In The Mindy Project, seasons one and two, Danny is Mindy's curmudgeon of a co-worker, who actually seems to have something deeper and sweeter going on behind that grouchy facade. When we first meet him, he's handsome, brilliant, and serious. He also seems like a giant butthead, kind of like Mr. Darcy was at the beginning of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Sure enough, over time, we get to know Danny better and we find that he has his reasons for being jaded and jerky. We also realize (even if he hasn't) that he loves Mindy, and she makes him want to be a better person. And like Darcy, Danny doesn't find it that easy to win over the girl. He has to make some grand gestures.
Like creating a Christmas dance for her . . .
Running through the city to find her . . .
There's something to love about a flawed romantic interest. And while this may not be a practical match-up in real life, there's something I kind of love about escaping into a story where you can believe two imperfect people can find perfection in each other against all odds. Just like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. And just like Danny and Mindy (in the first couple of seasons, at least).
In Chick Lit, I love to have both types of Danny. The best friend who is there for laughs and to have your back, and the love interest who doesn't come easy, but can maybe be worth it in the end.
Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry." Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!
The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt, E, is here. If you'd like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here.
This week, to celebrate International Chick Lit Month and #ChickLit May, the first two books in my Queen of the League chick lit series are on sale for 99 cents each!
Going for Two: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads***Let's keep in touch. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.***
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