Today, not only am I going to post excerpts from two of my favourite books, but I would also like to write about my favourite 'male protagonists' in ROMANCE books.
One is "Matthew Farrell", from "Paradise", a CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE novel, written by "Judith McNaught".
The main reason that "Matt" appealed to me was that his love for Meredith (the female protagonist) was completely selfless and unconditional.
For example, when, during their period of separation, Meredith told "Matt" that one of the reasons why they should not remain married was that she might be unable to have children, he still pushed for reconciliation and wanted to continue their marriage. Not out of sense of obligation, compromise, or ulterior motive but only because he loved her. He was willing to lead a childless existence as long as she was in his life.
Towards the end of the story, when she discovered that there was a hope of her having a baby, though with a slight risk to her life, he was adamant that she shouldn't take even that very small risk. Her love and companionship was all that he wanted from her. Her life meant more to him than any child that they might have.
Eventually, he only agreed to let her try for the child because she felt that it was necessary for her happiness...and Meredith's happiness was the important thing for him.
The other is "Ian Thronton", from "Almost Heaven", a HISTORICAL ROMANCE novel, also written by "Judith McNaught".
One great reason for liking "Ian" was the honesty and courage he displayed by acknowledging his love for Elizabeth (the female protagonist), both to himself and to her, right from the very beginning.
One more impressive quality that both "Matt" and "Ian" shared, was that they were self-assured and confident men, with their egos strongly intact.
They felt no compulsion to either intimidate others or ingratiate themselves, to prove their superiority and prowess, nor were they threatened by the abilities of other people.
For example, when, at some point in the story, both of their respective 'heroines', expressed feelings of inadequacy, both men actually tried to build up their self-esteem by showing how "Meredith" and "Elizabeth" had great power over "Matt" and "Ian", respectively.
It was also their love, and faith that their love was sincerely reciprocated, respect for the qualities and abilities of the women they loved, and trust on their innate goodness that they won't take unfair advantage, that allowed both men to behave like this.
Moreover, the same highly intelligent minds that contributed to "Matt's" and "Ian's" professional success provided them with an insight that their wives's self-confidence would eventually benefit their life together, and also, their innate integrity enabled them to motivate rather than disparage.
"Matt's" underlying sensitivity beneath his valiant ambition and aloof demeanour, a sensitivity that was often depicted by his instinctive smartness and intuitive compassion, endeared him to me as much as his sense of humour, that was at times naughty, usually disarming, and always attractive.
Trying to seduce his wife, Meredith, in an attempt at reconciliation, when they were officially separated and living independently...
"I know you want to kiss me back, I can feel it. Why not indulge the impulse," he invited her huskily. "I'm more than willing and completely available..."
To her horror, his teasing statements doused her anger and gave her simultaneous impulses to giggle and to do exactly what he suggested.
"If I die in an accident on the way home tonight," he cajoled softly, his mouth sliding over her cheek towards her lips again, "think how guilty you'll feel if you don't."
As for "Ian", it was the streak of vulnerability that came through at unexpected moments, that touched me:
"You can do this, calculate all those figures in your mind? In moments?"
He nodded curtly, and when Elizabeth continued to stare at him warily, as if he was a being of unknown origin, his face hardened. In a clipped, cool voice he said, "I would appreciate it if you would stop staring at me as if I'm a freak."
Elizabeth's mouth dropped open at his tone and his words. "I'm not."
"Yes," he said implacably. "You are. Which is why I haven't told you before this."
Embarrassed regret surged through her at the understandable conclusion he'd drawn from her reaction. Recovering her composure, she started around the desk toward him.
"What you saw on my face was wonder and awe, no matter how it must have seemed."
"The last thing I want from you is 'awe'," he said tightly, and Elizabeth belatedly realized that, while he didn't care what anyone else thought of him, her reaction to all this was obviously terribly important to him.
Every great author usually has an expertise in some specific aspect of writing.
For example, though most of my favourite ROMANCE authors, in my opinion at least, are about equally talented in delightfully addictive writing, witty dialogues, humorous situations, intricate plots, interesting stories, emphasizing important qualities in relationships, skilful characterisation, inventing lovable protagonists, and weaving superb romance, including both 'ideal love' and 'physical chemistry', between them.
However, I prefer "Georgette Heyer" for her entertaining escapades, authentic period details and slang, and most importantly, for her ability to maintain decency by exquisitely manipulating words to imply physical attraction between the lead characters, without going into intimate details,
...whereas, "Judith McNaught" is my favourite for invoking emotions, developing empathy and emotional attachment with characters, and above all, for her flair for creating, extremely wonderful and absolutely enthralling, male protagonists! ☺
For this reason, I can go on and on describing the adorable qualities of both "Matt" and "Ian" ...but I think that I should better stop gushing about them otherwise some of you might start thinking that I have developed a crush on these fictional characters ☺
Romance readers and authors are welcome to join my group:
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