I received an email from Cordy, who loved a particular element of Seize the Fire and is looking for more scenes like it:
It isn't just vague handwaving about how she's so attractive and [insert body type] is his favorite and [hair color] is so hot to him. It was about his kind of visceral “Oh my God it's a glorious amusement park I want to live here” response, which made me realize that this is kind of lacking in a lot of the (mostly historical) romances I read….
What I liked is that he seems kind of struck dumb by her, physically – it isn't necessarily about her specific bodytype (for me as the reader; I think the hero would disagree) it's just about his kind of sensory dazedness, I think, his stunned lust.
Here are a couple of examples:
“She was so much smaller than he, in spite of her bountiful figure; and so soft, so soft, like a baby bird or a newborn lamb, when life in general was so deucededly full of hard edges. He left off kissing her and buried his face in the warm curve of her neck, holding her tightly in his arms.
…but when he'd stood in the shop, thinking about unbuttoning them [the boots he bought her] to reveal her tender ankles, his throat had gone dry at the image. So he'd laid out ten guineas for the set.
She was squeaking protest while he shaped the round curve of her thigh. He kissed her again, to keep her mouth busy, and moved his hand up until his fingers found her lovely plump belly. Excitement surged through him; he spread his hand over the luscious swell.“
I discovered Devil In Winter ( A | BN | K | ARe) from you, and I don't have any quotes rattling around in my brain, but I thought it had something similar going, with the hero going dry-mouthed and stupid because of the heroine's body. I find it, you know, charming to read. :p
Is this too obscure of a thing? Do you by any chance have any recommendations I could check out? The heroine's body type doesn't really matter to me, it was just the hero's gleeful response to it that I found strangely charming. Thank you so much!
Oooh, yes. As I said to Cordy, there's a moment in Devil in Winter where he goes brainblank at the sight of her. She's his ideal and he didn't quite know it. I do like that trope, a LOT. Especially when the hero is all, “You're gloriously hot don't change a thing.”
This is different from the more commonly found trope/cliche of He usually preferred women who were [insert attribute here] but her [opposite of his usual preference] were surprisingly perfect, which is a shorthand method of distinguishing the heroine as The Perfectly Perfect One for the hero. If he loves tall, thin women with blonde hair, and all of a sudden he's got it bad for a short, curvy brunette, maybe it's romance heroine, or maybe it's Maybelline, but it's pretty repetitive.
If I'm understanding Cordy's request correctly, she's looking for the hero who is poleaxed at the sight of the heroine, all dazed with lust and desire. She's already named my brain's first suggestion, Devil in Winter. My other suggestion, if I'm remembering it correctly, is Take Me by Bella Andre ( A | BN | K | ARe), about a curvy woman who models her sister's lingerie in a fashion show and catches the eye of the dude she's been crushing on for years.
Another suggestion that's tickling the back of my memory is Wishes by Jude Deveraux ( A | BN | K | ARe), which is about as off-the-wall as historicals get, with the guardian angel doing penance by fixing the problems of a young woman in 1890s Colorado. I can't remember if it's the hero's fixation on Nellie and his desire for her that I'm remembering, or if it's the part where said guardian angel thinks making Nellie thin will solve all her problems – which it doesn't, and the hero wants her just as much anyway.
I agree with Cordy that the gleeful, reaction of the hero and his “sensory dazedness” makes for wonderful reading. Do you recall any books or scenes that Cordy might like?