Monday, June 03, 2013

Male on Monday: Puerto Rican men

Harlequin Romantic Suspense Author Melissa Cutler shares the inspiration for the black ops soldier hero of her June release, TEMPTED INTO DANGER


ICE Special Agent Diego Santero first appeared on the page in my 2012 book Seduction Under Fire. Before his first scene, I'd already set him up as a Puerto Rican-American and one of the best black ops agents in the world, but I had no idea until he swaggered into the room that he was going to be a profanity spouting Jersey boy with a short fuse and a biting sense of humor. Color me surprised.


When I set out to find an inspirational picture of Diego to share with the Harlequin art department to help them out while designing a book cover, I already had a clear picture of him in my head (and he was hella hot!). First, I googled "Puerto Rican models" and there wasn't a huge selection. The most notable was Carlos Ponce. Sexy, right? Well, in this picture, anyway. But then I found out he played the long haired, skinny dipping, horny yoga instructor in the movie Couples Retreat. Remember that guy?



Next I googled "Puerto Rican men" to broaden the search. Look who Google came up with: Ricky Martin, looking ever so fine.


I was perfectly content with Ricky Martin as Diego—albeit a foul mouthed, foul tempted Jersey accent sporting black ops soldier version of Ricky—until I saw this guy on Pinterest. I don't even know who this guy is, but I'm in love. He is the perfect Diego Santero and exactly matches the image in my imagination. So yummy! This is the kind of guy I'd want protecting me if I had to go on the run in the Panama jungle with a bunch of bad guys on my tail. Wouldn't you agree?


The Harlequin art department did a phenomenal job on the book cover. They captured one of my favorite sexy scenes in the book and came up with a great model to represent Diego (that shoulder! that hand!). I can't wait for you to meet Diego Santero for yourself.


Tempted into Danger is available all over:


Check out TEMPTED on Goodreads, too:


My thanks to the Pink Heart Society for having me on Male on Monday. I love hearing from readers and am really easy to find at, on Facebook ( ), and Twitter (@m_cutler). And you can always email me at or sign up for my newsletter ( to find out about my latest books and upcoming events.


Bio: Melissa Cutler is a flip-flop wearing Southern California native living with her family in beautiful San Diego. In 2008, she decided to take her romance novel devotion to the next level by penning one herself. She now divides her time between her dual passions for writing sexy, small town contemporaries for Kensington Books and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin.


  1. Great post michelle. I really loved these article.

  2. I LOVE the pictures!!!!

    I'm going to remember this guy, when I read about Diego!

  3. Thank you for hosting me today, Michelle and the other Pink Heart Society ladies! I had a great time.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm so happy to hear that, Kimberly! It's great when my vision about a character comes through the words on the page.