The definition of the word charming is: delightful; pleasant; attractive. Can a man really ever be too much of that?
Well in Megan’s view – heroine of Too Charming – the answer is a resounding yes, he can. In my view, as I struggle to remember the last time a male in my household paid me a compliment, the answer is definitely no.
I suppose it all depends on your previous experience (or in my case lack of) with charming men.
When I started to think about the hero for my next book, I wanted him to be everything the hero in my previous novel (Mitch in Do Opposites Attract – out July 2014) was not. It wasn’t that I hadn’t fallen in love with Mitch, I had, but I fancied a change of pace (in my fantasy world I love a bit of variety – in my real world, one man is definitely enough!). So instead of rugged and gruff, I was itching to create a hero who was handsome and smooth. Both have their appeal – Sean Connery or Roger Moore? Daniel Craig or Pierce Brosnan? Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds? How can a woman not appreciate both ends of the male spectrum?
With the outline of his character in place, Scott now needed a job where his pushiness, his confidence and his eloquence would be an asset. Suddenly I had this image of him striding into court, bristling with self assurance, mesmerizing the jury with his wit and intellect. Defence lawyer Scott Armstrong was born. He’s a ladies man. A handsome flirt. He’s irresistible.
Of course if he were, there wouldn’t be much of a story. So before I got too carried away, I needed to create a heroine who wasn’t so easily convinced by Scott’s charm. A woman strong enough not to be immediately captivated by a gorgeous man showering her with compliments.
Enter Megan, my feisty, no-nonsense heroine. She was badly let down by a man who dazzled then seduced her, so she’s not about to be taken in by Scott – another smooth charmer. When I first pictured her she was standing up to a man who towered above her, jutting out her chin, not prepared to give in. The pieces of my story began to slot into place. I’d make her a police officer. Not only did it suit her character, it added to the tension between her and Scott. Now he had to work really hard to impress her. Not only is he too charming, he spends his days defending the very people she wants to imprison.
I love that about writing – you can play with your characters. Invent them, bend them, shape them. Put them into situations and watch how they cope. My husband would say I love being in charge…
So there, in a nutshell, is how Too Charming started. Of course to be a truly irresistible hero, one who might have a chance of changing the mind of a woman as strong willed as Megan, Scott needs more than his flashy good looks. He needs substance. I had great fun thinking of ways I could show this side of Scott, both to the reader and to Megan.
Was Megan ultimately persuaded, or does she still think Scott is too charming? Sorry, but to find out you’ll have to read the book.