TOP FIVE HOT RED HEADS
Hello ladies and gents! My name is Jessica Peterson, and my latest historical romance release, THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL, hits shelves on June 2. It’s the third and final book of THE HOPE DIAMOND TRILOGY, a Regency-set series I pitch as THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR meets a (very sassy!) Jane Austen.
First, I’d like to thank PJ for having me back on The Dish. I so enjoy reading your blog, so it’s an absolute pleasure to be featured here. I can’t tell you, PJ, how much your continued support of my career in romance means to me. You’re the absolute best!
It’s funny, but when I first started to write years ago, I always imagined writing would be the equivalent of flying through rainbows on a magical unicorn: a thrilling, out-of-body experience. Turns out, actually sitting down at my computer to write is a heck of a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. You can’t wait for the inspiration to find you, I’ve learned; you’ve got to sit down and write until you find it. And let me tell you, inspiration can play tough to get like I’ve no one I’ve ever met.
No book is easy to write, but THE UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL was a particularly difficult manuscript for me. I think it’s because SCOUNDREL is the most emotionally complex book I’ve ever written. It’s a “second chance romance”; the story of estranged lovers reunited, unexpectedly, more than a decade after they fell in love as teens. I think making such a romance believable, especially considering the betrayals and secrets between the characters, is no small feat. I worked hard to that end, and I think SCOUNDREL is some of my best work yet!
Speaking of the scoundrel who inspired the title – my hero, Henry Beaton Lake – let me just say that I fell utterly and irrevocably in love with him. Maybe because he’s a spy, maybe because he’s smart and sweet and savvy; but really I think I love him because he’s a ginger.
That’s right – I’m having a MAJOR red head moment. I don’t think I’m the only one who loves a fiery-haired fellow, especially one with a man bun. To that end, I thought it would be fun to do a top five hot red heads for your reading pleasure. All of the studly gingers listed below provided the inspiration in part for Henry. Enjoy!
5. Ed Sheeran
Not gonna lie, I am totally obsessed with Ed and his latest album, X. I saw him open for Taylor Swift a couple years ago, and I’ve been smitten ever since. He’s obviously a very talented musician – I mean, who doesn’t love a cutie who can strum a guitar? – but what I really love about him is his vulnerable adorableness. He’s sexy in an understated, oh-so-charming way.
4. Jamie Fraser (really Sam Heugen) from OUTLANDER
I think red headed dudes are having a moment thanks to this guy. It took me a while to get into the OUTLANDER series, but after the first few episodes, I was totally hooked – because of Jamie. Whoever casted this series got it so, so right. Yes, Jamie/Sam is deliciously well-muscled, he’s tall, he’s gorgeous. But he’s also got the acting chops to make a romantic lead compelling. I think this is where the FIFTY SHADES movie fell short. OUTLANDER, however, knocked it out of the park. Well done, OUTLANDER movie people. Well done.
3. Prince Harry
Do I even need to explain this one? Didn’t think so.
2. Clay Matthews
So my husband is a huge Packers fan (Go Pack Go!). I am not the biggest sports nut – I never, ever watched football before I got married – but I certainly do not mind watching the Packers game on Sunday if #52 is on the field. He’s actually the inspiration for Henry’s physique and his sassy little smirk. I am also having a big man bun moment – guys with long hair? Yes, please.
1. Henry Beaton Lake (obviously)
Sorry, guys and gals, I had to do it. But I really do love my UNDERCOVER SCOUNDREL. He’s a ruthless spy – with a flair for disguises – who’s got a soft spot for his first love. And the man bun? Yikes. It was truly a pleasure to see him come to life on the page, even if it took me three drafts and lots of tears to get there. Henry, I love you, and hope readers do, too!
Is there anyone I missed? Feel free to share your red head loves and hates!