Heroes that Grow on You

The-Wickedest-Lord-Alive-by-Christina-Brooke275x450Hi all! I can’t believe it’s less than a month before my next in the Westruthers series, THE WICKEDEST LORD ALIVE comes out.

To celebrate, I’m giving away an audio recording of LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL today. Those of you who know how much I adore listening to books will understand how excited I was when St. Martin’s sold the series to Tantor!

Today’s post was inspired by my recent (and belated) compulsive viewing of The West Wing. I have to admit that I watch for the personal relationships and character arcs rather than the politics. Let’s not go into politics on this blog. Heaven forbid!

Anyway, the Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House is Josh Lyman. Now, while not unattractive, not even his mother would say Josh gives Brad Pitt a run for his money in terms of pure good looks.

tumblr_m145gcr7bK1rnzm51o1_500But when Amy Gardner comes on the scene, wow! The chemistry between them is almost bigger than the show. They have a feisty relationship (in the best sense of that word) and I admit, I love it when intelligent, strong lovers fight passionately.

But it’s Josh’s intensity that takes him from lukewarm to sizzling hot.

 Josh can be in the middle of an intense conversation at the office about an appropriation bill but when Amy walks by, he loses his train of thought.

That’s great acting, and that’s what we all want in a hero, isn’t it? Who cares whether the government can afford to keep running? The girl he says he’s “bewitched” by has just sashayed past.

tumblr_m2uvr6T9mn1r9i0fuo1_500Another character who would not ordinarily rank at the top of my hotness list, is Michael Westen from Burn Notice. (I know, I’ve probably mentioned him before.)

And yet, the intensity with which he loves Fiona, his partner and on-again, off-again girlfriend, is riveting. They go through a lot together and their relationship isn’t easy. He’s a burned CIA spy and she’s an ex-IRA agent. Now they work freelance, often doing bad things for good reasons, but there’s always a line they won’t cross.

No lineWhen Michael is about to violate his own rigid code of ethics, it’s to save Fiona. She says to him, “There has to be a line!” His response: “There is NO line when it comes to you.”

Give me a man who will say that and mean it over Brad Pitt any day. Of course, if Brad Pitt wants to step up… *G*

What about you?


Do you find a certain male character attractive because of his chemistry with his lover?

What couple do you think has the best chemistry on television or in the movies at the moment?

One lucky reader will win an audio copy of LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL!

Posted in , , , , ,



  • Jane says:

    Hello Christina,
    Love the chemistry between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” I guess we can see why they hooked up. I thought the chemistry between Captain America and Black Widow in “The Winter Soldier” was great even though there’s no romance between them.

    • Jane, congrats on the Golden Rooster!

      I should have thought of BP in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And don’t you love chemistry between enemies sometimes? I haven’t seen a Captain America movie–must rectify that!

  • Cathy P says:

    I love the chemistry between Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. As far as onscreen chemistry goes, I will have to go with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

  • Amy Conley says:

    A movie I jjust saw, ABOUT TIME. Didn’t know any of the actors light it was a fantastic love stories / movie.

  • Christina, what a fun piece. I actually had a bit of a crush on the Burn Notice guy – I love that long lean style of bloke who can wear an Armani suit like jeans! Yum! But I got sick of the increasingly silly cliffhangers at the end of each series and gave up on it after about three or four series, I think. None of which stopped me appreciating a fine-lookin’ fella!

    So looking forward to your next Westruther book – I’ve loved all the others. And Xavier is shaping up to be one of those delicious, intense heroes too!

    • Anna, I know what you mean about the cliffhangers but I remained totally sucked in by all the spy stuff. I know, I’m a tragic! You’re right about the Armani. Yum!

      Thank you for the kind words about WLA. You’re a sweetheart!

  • Helen says:


    I am so so looking forward to the next story woohoo 🙂 can’t wait.

    You know I don’t watch TV or see many movies these days but if I had to choose I would choose Rhett and Scarlet so good and bad together 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Shannon says:

    I can never remember old movies, character names, and actors.

    The one that comes to mind is Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Philadelphia Story.

    I do remember two recent movies that I loved the love story, and probably the chemistry between the lovers.

    One is Word and Pictures:
    A flamboyant English teacher (Clive Owen) and a new, stoic art teacher (Juliette Binoche) who is serious ill collide at an upscale prep school.

    The other is Belle where Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle and After meets an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on changing society and an aristocratic second son who would give her entree into the ton. I cried at the last scene where the lovers embrace. I want to paste a spoiler her but I wont.

    • Shannon –

      Haven’t seen Belle yet, but I want to. Your post makes me want to see it that much more 🙂

    • Shannon, YES!! I think you and I must have similar taste in movies. Philadelphia Story is one of my all time faves and I’ve just seen and cried in Belle, too. Must hunt down Word and Pictures. I love Clive Owen! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Love the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in their romantic comedies. They were just so cute together. Also Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd in Moonlighting played well off each other. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone also come to mind. I haven’t seen a more recent movie where that is the case although Brad and Angelina weren’t bad together.

    • Debbie, they’re all classic pairings, aren’t they? It’s a pity these days rom coms aren’t what they used to be. I hope there’s a rom com revival soon!

  • Ah, now see, THAT’s exactly why I like Michael Westen. Intense. Loves completely. Will DIE for his woman…yeah…that’s the best part!

    That seems to be one of the things I tend to do with my heroes. Have that one moment of complete clarity re:the heroine. MINE. Sigh…Love that!

    • Suz, your heroes are to die for and now I know why–they have the Michael Westen factor! I agree, that moment of clarity is absolutely key to a great romance.

  • Minna says:

    Dempsey and Makepeace! I still like the series, though I think it has suffered quite a bit in the hands of time. But the chemistry between the actors is still there. Apparently, the actors Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber had so much chemistry between them that they fell in love while making the series and are married to this day.

    • Thanks, Minna, I’ll have to check those out. It is kind of special when you know they’re in love in real life, isn’t it? One reason I really enjoy THE LONG HOT SUMMER, knowing that sizzle between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is real and it endured the rest of their lives.

  • Christina –

    Those are two great heroes. Haven’t seen West WIng in a long time, but then I’d probably get caught up in the politics. 🙂

    There was a moment in Silver Lining Playbook when Bradley Cooper looks at Jennifer Lawrence while they’re dancing that just takes my breath away – it’s so intense. Amazing how a good actor can convey that emotion with just a look. I like to think my heroes can do that, but maybe it’s just in my world. LOL.

    • Amy Conley says:

      silver linings playbook was just too good. Bradley Cooper blew that movie away. chemistry between the actors come so late in the movie for me anyway it is easy to miss.

      • I’ve been meaning to see SLP and haven’t gotten around to it. That’s going on my list. Love it when my blogs result in great viewing or reading pleasure 🙂

    • Donna, you’re so right about “the look” and I think that’s what the Josh character does so well. Even if he manages to keep going with his conversation, you can tell it’s an effort because Amy has just walked in the room. Love it!

  • bn100 says:

    Brad and Angelina

  • Deb says:

    I agree with Cathy P. about John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s chemistry. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr had wonderful chemistry in AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER.