Today the Pink Heart Society is thrilled to welcome Harlequin Heartwarming author Mel Curtis. Take it away, Mel!
It's that time of year again - People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue hit newsstands on Friday. This year's pick was David Beckham, who has always been some good eye-candy, but if you look at this video retrospective...well, I wouldn't have predicted him winning any sexy awards.
Which made me wonder if all hunkalicious dudes were once...well, not quite so hunky. Here's what I found:
Here's one of my favorite transformations - Joseph Gordon Levitt starred in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. Now he's a major movie star and we couldn't be happier! Not only is he good looking, but he has a sense of humor (and if you've read any of my other posts here - or my romances - you know I like a man with a sense of humor!).
All you Harry Potter fans have got to be blown away by the transformation of Neville Longbottom, aka Matthew Lewis. He was a heroic player in Gryffindor, who showed up in the final movie completely transformed! I saw him interviewed soon after the movie was released and he poo-poo'd any hunk label. Humble and hot! I'm loving that!
If any of you have sons who watched Disney XD channel, you'll recognize the early picture of Daniel Curtis Lee. Today, he presents a much different picture - actor, rapper, intense. Le sigh. Who would have guessed this transformation would ever occur? Not me, my friends.
Freddie Highmore charmed us with his wide-eyed wisdom in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory opposite Johnny Depp. Sure, he was nerdy and oh so average back then. Now he's got depth as the tortured anti-hero Norman Bates in the Bates Motel.
I may write a lot of sweet romance for Harlequin, but that doesn't mean my heroes aren't hunky. But even I was shocked to see the cover for my December release - A Memory Away. Duffy looks hot! I mean, like he's been hot from birth! Not only is he gorgeous, he has a sense of humor, which he'll need to deal with Jessica, who woke up from a car accident without memory of how she got pregnant and thinks he's the father of her baby. This is the first Heartwarming of mine Harlequin has labeled a romantic comedy and I can't wait to share it with the world (so much so, I've got a pre-order $50 sweepstakes you can enter here). Here's a taste of their first meeting...
A man got out of the truck. Dark hair. Straight nose. Familiar eyes.
She leaned forward, peering through the paned glass, her heart sailing toward him, over hope-softened waves of roses and rainbows. Jess didn’t usually let herself dream. But now…today…him…
He wore a burgundy vest jacket that clashed with a red, long sleeve T-shirt. Worn blue jeans. A black baseball cap. Instead, she saw him in a fine wool suit. Black, always black. A navy shirt of the softest cotton. A silk tie in a geometric pattern. Shiny Italian loafers…
He took the stairs two at a time, work boots ringing on wood.
Jessica’s heart sank as certainly as if someone had drilled holes in the boat carrying her hopeful emotions. Clouds blocked the sun. The rainbow disappeared. Unwilling to sink, Jess clung to joy, to hope, to illusions. To the idea of him.
He entered without a flourish or an energetic greeting. He entered without the smile that teased the corners of her memory. He entered and took stock of the room, the situation, her.
Their eyes met. Same color, same shape, so heart-achingly familiar.
It was the cool assessment in them that threw her off. Not a smile, not a brow quirk, not an eye-crinkle.
He came forward. “I’m Michael Dufraine, but everyone calls me Duffy.”
His name didn’t ring true.
Had he lied to her?
She couldn’t speak, could barely remember her name.
The wind shook the panes. The house creaked and groaned.
He smiled. A polite smile, a distant smile, an I-don’t-know-you-smile.
Disappointment melted her insides. Jess resisted the urge to dissolve into a pity-puddle on the floor.
“And you are…?” He extended his hand.
On auto-pilot, she reached for him. Their palms touched.
Jessica’s vision blurred and she gripped his hand tighter as clips of memory assailed her – his deep laughter, him offering her a bite of chocolate cheesecake, his citrusy cologne as he leaned in to kiss her.
It is him.
Relieved. She was so relieved. Jessica blinked at the man – Duffy – who she vaguely remembered and, at the same time, did not.
She’d practiced what to say on the hour drive up here. Ran through several scenarios. None of them had included him not recognizing her.
She should start at the beginning. Best not to scare him with hysterics and panicked accusations, of which she’d had five months to form.
Don’t raise your voice. Don’t cry. Don’t ask why.
And don’t lead the conversation with the elephant in the room.
Despite all the cautions and practicing and caveats, she drew a breath, and flung her hopes toward him as if he was her life preserver. “I think I’m your wife.”
Do you have a favorite hunk who wasn't always so hunky? If so, please share!
Award-winning USA Today bestselling author Melinda Curtis writes contemporary romance that spans the fun and sexy scale. As Mel Curtis she writes the fun, steamy Hollywood Rules series. As Melinda Curtis she writes the sweet, light-hearted Harmony Valley series and the sweet,romantic Bridesmaid series. To find out about Melinda and her books, please check out her website.