Please welcome author Melissa Frost. She’s the author of a new YA romance, The Dating Tutor. Keep reading for an excerpt and find out Melissa’s top 10 favorite romantic heroes. Be sure to chime in with your faves!
* * *
Ellie is hardly the most sought after girl at Noble High, so she is completely surprised when the boy most likely to become prom king asks her out. Her short-lived glee quickly turns to panic as she admits to herself that she doesn’t know the first thing about dating.
After a fair amount of wheedling, she convinces her best friend and hockey star, Alec, to tutor her in the ways of love. Only once things start, she finds she knows even less than first suspected. Dating is full of more codes and unspoken rules than she ever imagined.
Even more difficult is the effort not to cross lines with Alec. Every lesson brings her closer and closer to the boy next door whom she’s never had a romantic thought about before in her life. Each caress and playful scenario has Ellie wishing more for her best friend’s affection than the boy he’s teaching her to woo.
Ellie walked to her front door with her arm tucked into Alec’s. “This actually was a really fun night,” she reluctantly admitted. “I had my doubts, but date Alec is actually an okay guy.”
“You had doubts?” His tone was light and playful as he led her up the front walk. “You should have known I’m quite the catch way before now. I don’t know why it took you so long to figure it out.”
She shrugged a shoulder. “Oh, I don’t know. Could it be the usual behavior I see from you?” She poked him accusingly in the ribs. “Spraying me with your garden hose, burping, leaving your dirty gym shorts on your bedroom floor for weeks on end, and the many other boy faux pas you commit.”
“Dating Alec and hanging out at home Alec are like two different men.” He winked. “You’re one of the rare people who have ever gotten to see both sides of the coin. In fact, you might be the only one.”
She nodded with an affectionate smile. “No one knows you like I do.”
“No one,” he agreed.
As she reached the first step of the porch Alec tugged her hand to pull her to a stop. As she spun to face him, the question died in her throat when he cupped her face in his hands and pressed his lips to hers.
The kiss caught her by surprise. It came so suddenly that she didn’t have time to worry over what to do or how to react. She simply melted against him with a content sigh.
Alec swept her hair back from her face and deepened the kiss. His body moved forward to brush ever so gently along the front of hers.
This was unlike any kiss she’d ever experienced before. The few attempts she’d made of it in the past had been anything but spectacular. An awkward brush of lips. A quick, shy peck. This was…ethereal. This was what it was like to really be kissed.
Just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, he nudged her lips apart. His tongue grazed ever so gently across her bottom lip before flicking up to caress her own.
Her heart nearly stopped as she leaned closer to him, wanting more.
And just as suddenly, he pulled back. He took a few steps backward with an amused chuckle. “Very good. Do that Saturday and Jake will be putty.” He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his slacks and bobbed his head in farewell. “I’ll see you Monday for the game?”
Ellie felt as if her brain had been fried. She couldn’t think. She couldn’t breathe. She just stared at him feeling numb. Yet warmth was radiating through her chest, and she felt as if her skin was electrically charged. Knowing she needed to respond, she forced her head to nod. “Y…yeah. I’ll see you Monday.”
“See ya Monday.” With that, he turned and sauntered down the driveway to head to his own home.
She watched him retreat and tried to convince her heart to…stop…whatever it was it was doing. He’d kissed her. So what? It hadn’t meant anything. To either of them….right?
My Top Ten Romantic Heroes
Please feel free to comment and name some of your own favorites. I’m always looking for a new read!
- Drake Vireo – The Aisling Grey series by Katie MacAllister
Drake is at the top of my sexy guy list of romantic heroes for many different reasons. Those emerald green eyes and black hair give him the tall, dark, and mysterious vibe from the first moment he steps on the page. Drake is so interesting to me because he and Aisling have such a complex relationship. To say they have fire is cliché, as he’s a dragon, but they do! The heroine is caught between believing him a murderer and wanting to kiss him silly. Drake Vireo does not disappoint!
- Eric Sinclair – The Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson
Another tall, dark, and deadly; which apparently I’m a sucker for. Sinclair is king of the vampires and rules in designer suits. He’s cool and suave with just enough sense of humor to have readers drooling.
- David – The Living With the Dead series by Jesse Petersen
David used the zombie apocalypse to reconcile his failing marriage. He’s humorous and down to earth and knows exactly what it takes to kill his marriage counselor with a high heel (It’s cool because she was a zombie). David and his antics had me laughing harder than any one person ever should during the end of the world.
- Joseph Morelli – The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
Sexy cop. Bad boy attitude. Need I say more?
- Peeta Mellark – The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Peeta is pretty much every girl’s dream man. He’s self-sacrificing. He’s loyal. He’s loving. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the woman he loves survives, even if that means dying himself. He is one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever read, which earns him a spot on my list.
- Christian Grey – 50 Shades Trilogy by E.L. James
Christian’s lack of romantics is actually what lands him on my list. He is a man who knows nothing about selflessness or being gentle. He is a damaged man in need of fixing. Throughout this trilogy, the softer side of him is forced out into the open, and it is the gradual shift into a good man that makes Christian romantic in my eyes. The heartache he suffers and the road to getting him to a better mental state is what made these books worthwhile.
- Fang – The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Fang is brooding, quiet, and reserved, but he is always there for the heroine, Max. Being a teenager with wings who is on the run from the government has given him a tough life, but he’s stepped up to the responsibility of watching out for his fellow “mutants”. There is one memorable moment in this series where Fang makes a sacrifice for his group that had me crying like a baby for a good ten minutes. That chapter alone earned him a spot on my list.
- Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I had to throw a classic on this list. Mr. Darcy is a very private man but a generous one. Despite her faults, he is unbelievably patient with Elizabeth and all her accusations against him. He’s also got that old world set of manners that makes a girl’s heart flutter.
- Kisten Phelps – The Hollows series by Kim Harrison
Though the heroine does not end up with Kisten, his transition from what I thought would be the bad guy into boyfriend was a thrilling ride. He was the ultimate bad boy with a very dark and dangerous past. He is the type of vampire (living vampire) that brings fear to the word. In the end, he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the heroine, placing him on my list. I can’t resist a bad guy turned good.
- Jaime Lannister – A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
Jaime’s romantic nature has nothing to do with relationships but more of a code of morality. He is greatly misunderstood and labeled a bad guy until readers got to see things from his point of view in the third book of the series. His bond with Brienne (the ugly girl) unraveled a completely different side to him. In a moment that would make any woman swoon, he jumped weaponless into a bear pit to save Brienne, though the two were hardly even friends. Though he’s made some very poor decisions over the course of the series, his honor earns him a spot on my list. Plus, he’s a knight. What girl doesn’t love a knight?