Monday, December 21, 2009

Male On Monday - On the Bright Side

Blaze author Hope Tarr visits with shades of light and dark and a whole lotta hunkiness...

I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t ordinarily go for blondes.

Gentlemen may prefer them, but this natural brunette (hey, I’m just sayin’) ordinarily comes squarely down on the side of tall, dark, and handsome. Add a dash of “strong” and a pinch of “silent” into the mix and well, we have us the ingredients for an angel fallen from heaven.

And aren’t fallen angels the absolute best? (Note: not really a question). ;)

As Smart Bitches Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan attest to in “Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels,” while modern romances (versus those from the “Old Skool”) boast a diversity of heroic types as well as diversity, period, the dark-haired alpha hunk still rules the roost in “Romance Landia.”

Amen and As It Should Be.

My hero of my Christmas Historical Blaze, TWELVE NIGHTS, Callum Fraser, is the classic romance hero, a raven-haired warrior and rogue with abs of steel, and a sexy, penetrating gaze that can see straight through to a woman’s soul, not to mention her…unmentionables. Who better to serve as a role model-cum-muse than the “Dark Knight” himself, multi-talented actor, Christian Bale?

His most un-heroic mommy-shoving episode aside, Bale is hands-down “hawt” not to mention one of the few child actors in Hollywood (“Empire of the Sun”) to ace consistent box office wonder-dom as a grown-up.

But then every so-called rule has at least one exception and my Tall, Dark and Swarthy Rule is no different.

Ralph Sylvester, scalawag turned semi-respectable private secretary in THE TUTOR (August 2010), my Victorian Blaze work-in-progress, is inspired, dare I say modeled, on fair-haired Aussie TV and film actor, Simon Baker.

I’ve followed Simon Baker’s…career for some time now. My fan-ship started late in the game when Baker starred as Nick Fallon on the short-lived CBS drama series, THE GUARDIAN (2001-2004). A recovering coke-addicted attorney, Simon’s Fallon found redemption through child advocacy despite being thwarted in love. I so wanted to help him out. With the love part, I mean.

But it’s Baker’s current portrayal of yet another tortured anti-hero, Patrick Jane on the hit crime solving series, THE MENTALIST that gave me the idea for THE TUTOR. As a former con artist turned police investigator with razor sharp observational skills, Baker’s vest-wearing Jayne strikes the perfect balance between being tortured by the past and exhibiting jaunty cockiness in the present. Sublime! I hope my Ralph Sylvester will prove equal to the task. I’m still writing so fingers crossed…

Ok, so I’ve shown you mine. It’s your turn. Do you like your heroes dark and brooding or light and easygoing (on the surface, anyway)?

Hope Tarr is the award-winning author of a dozen books (and counting) including TWELVE NIGHTS, her current Harlequin Blaze Historical Christmas release. Look for THE TUTOR in August 2010 and her novella, “Tomorrow’s Destiny” in a Harlequin Victorian Christmas anthology with Betina Krahn and Jacquie D’Alessandro coming December 2010. In the meantime, please visit her website and blog at


  1. Christian Bale has certainly managed to blot his copybook in Real Life Landia... But in Romance Landia? Yum, I can still see the appeal, especially when he gets all brooding and intense as the Caped Crusader.

    Simon Baker I've never heard of.. But I'll definitely be checking him out now.

    An inspiring post Hope. Have a great Christmas.

  2. Thanks so much, Heidi. And yes, do check out THE MENTALIST. It's a good program and well, the eye candy is worth the hour spent. ;)

  3. Hope,

    I've asked anyone who'll listen to do Simon Baker. For a slot on Male on Monday that is, that's what I meant...

    I LOVE this man. I've loved him since back in the day when he played a teacher on Home & Away. His smile just about kills me and I kinda want to hurt him physically, if you get my drift. I have a standing agreement with my husband, I get to leave him for one man only and he gets his one choice too. My bag is packed and stuffed into the back of my wardrobe for the day Simon Baker's car breaks down outside my house.
    Yeah, I know, fantasies are fantasies for a reason but still, it gives me hours of pleasure just to think about it.

    Thank you so much for posting and bringing him to the attention of Heidi, who I cannot believe hasn't heard of him. He was in a movie in 2006 titled 'Something New' and it's one of my all time favourites. He's absolutely to die for in this movie and the script is brilliant and the plot is brilliant get the picture. Rent it please. Everyone should see this film.

    All the best,

  4. Hey Aideen,

    Thank you fr your enthusiastic post and having my back on Simon Baker. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and this beholder finds Mr. Baker delicious. And talented! He even sparkled in the supporting role in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. I so totally was rooting for him and Anne Hathaway to make a go of it even tho strictly speaking, his character wasn't so nice.

    You've gotta save up those "marital mini-breaks" for someone special, and Simon Baker is definitely the thinking (wo)man's hunk. ;)

  5. Normally I like my heroes dark and brooding like Richard Armitage in North & South and Robin Hood but Simon Baker is a cutie. Maybe its the fact that he's Australian. Something about an Aussie blond.

    Simon Baker played an adorable landscape gardener in a movie with Sanaa Lathan where she had to choose between him and the black woman's kryptonite Blair Underwood. It was a struggle but she chose Simon Baker's character. I find his smile irresistable, even when he's in crappy movies with Hilary Swank like the Affair of the Necklace.

  6. That's the one, he takes landscape architecture to a whole new level! And yes, even in movies I wouldn't normally watch twice, I'll make a sacrifice just to see his smile. It's just so completely disarming.

    Just went and watched another episode of The Mentalist afer my last post, it seems I'll forever be an 'aspiring' writer if I insist on being distracted. But he's just so darn hard to say no to!!


  7. Oh, Elizabeth, I'm so happy you reminded me of that movie. I know, poor girl, having to choose between Simon Baker and Blair Underwood. Quelle difficult life! And I have to add, while I'm not usually a fan of bibbed overhauls, based on that movie I'm moved to make an exception.

  8. See, now I feel like a total wally that I've never heard of this guy.... Some serious research is clearly in order!

    H x

  9. LOL, Heidi, someone's gotta take one for the team. ;)