Confession: I can not read a book without a quick (haha—I mean exhaustive) tour around Pinterest to find face grabs for the lead characters. I take it very seriously. I can NOT go on until I cast them in my head. Now you might ask: but what if there’s a picture on the cover!? Well, I pretend I didn’t see them, because in my world, I am the head casting director of my own fantasies, and auditions are always open.
Maybe it’s the writer in me—I have full Pinterest boards of pics of my own characters for my WIP—or maybe it’s my affinity for T.V. and movies, but I need that very clear visual image. Maybe in multiple outfits. Maybe doing different activities! Pinterest really helps with this particular obsession, so I thought I’d share with you the leading men of some of my favorite books. As cast by me. In my dreams.
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
The hero in this book was one of the easiest to cast. As soon as I read a little bit about Dan— mid-thirties, husband, dad, provider—a picture I already had Pinned (don’t worry about that particular board. It’s locked) popped into my head. Now, I’m going to give you the name of a man who most recently played a gross, alien Symbiote, so some of you might balk at first, but this actor has a lot of different looks. To me, Tom Hardy, cockney accent and this particular face was Dan. He’s full hot dad in a sweater in this picture and yeah, Dan was pretty swoony, especially in the end. He deserves a face like Tom’s.
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Something about Sam Roxton has never left my romance-filled brain. He was just so…quietly sexy. The book was written only from Poppy’s POV, and for a good portion of the book we only knew Sam from the other end of a phone call, which added to his mystery. But when Poppy finally meets him, THIS is what he looks like, hands down, in this exact suit. If you know me, have visited my Twitter or (hopefully not) my Tumblr, you know Andrew Lincoln is my ultimate celebrity crush. I have to work hard not to cast him in every book I read, so let me tell you what a compliment it is to this character that I chose Mr. Lincoln to play him (in my head). There can only be one, and Sam Roxton is it.
Sustained by Emma Chase
Jake is a playboy, career obsessed, defense attorney who by way of a plot I’m not going to spoil, becomes a stand-in dad for six(!) kids. I’ll admit I’m not usually into the reformed playboy trope, but something about Jake made me keep reading and I ended up really enjoying this book. Jake is endearing and chivalrous and he deserved a face to match. Matt Bomer is that face for me. That boyish smile that can erase any infuriating thing he might have just said. Those eyes that say there is so much more than what this character is giving on the surface. That hair. And of course he looks every bit the lawyer in this get-up. We have a winner!
Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella
I hope Laura Spinella will forgive me for my casting of Levi St. John. Her description of him is nothing like the face I have chosen, other than the glasses, but as soon as he came onto the page, he was Gabriel Macht (in glasses) in my head. Maybe it’s because I’m used to seeing Gabriel Macht in a dress shirt because of Suits, but he just gives off that you might hate him at first vibe which was basically Levi’s entire aura. Harvey Specter is a very different character than Levi, but that one-eye squint thing he does when someone has irritated him would be perfect in many of Levi’s initial scenes. Not to mention the rolled up dress shirt sleeves. The author might not agree, (maybe she would!) but I’m sure the heroine will thank me for this casting decision.
Forked by Melanie Harlow
I’ve actually used Marco Pigossi for my own character inspiration in one of my WIPs, but I’m lending him to Nick Lupo because that grin is exactly how I pictured him. Reality show vet, restaurateur, and former love of Coco’s life, Nick was just too adorable in this book. He was the kind of hero who always had a smile and a joke, and sometimes it made Coco roll her eyes in frustration, but when he was serious, it was impossible not to bat your eyelashes the way I do when I even see a picture of Marco Pigossi. Nick Lupo is Italian and Marco Pigossi is Brazillian, but with that dark hair, twinkling eyes, and that infuriatingly adorable grin, he still gets the job.
There are my dream leads. If you’ve read some of these books, hit me up on Twitter (@lhmae_me) and tell me if you agree or if you’ve (gasp) cast someone else entirely!