The Bachelors of the Books

Since women (and men alike) were introduced to the devilishly handsome vampire Edward Cullen and “shutup you’re not really 18” heartthrob Jacob Black from the Twilight series, there has been a noticeable influx of paperback princes in romance novels with authors trying to create that perfect man for readers to swoon over. Insert GPOY here.

As a romance novel enthusiast, I’ve decided to list my top 6 “Bachelors of the Books”. These men, commonly referred to as “book boyfriends”, not only steal your heart but make you feel that love – because everyone deserves to be loved, even if it’s within the confinement of a novel. Brace yourself and get ready to swooooooooon.

NOTE: The images provided are pictures of men who I believe represent the character exceptionally or actors who have been cast as the character in movie adaptations of this book.

#6 Dean Holder (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover)
“Dean Holder? Messy brown hair? Smoldering blue eyes? A temper straight out of Fight Club?” This quote represents Mr. Dean Holder perfectly. Dean Holder has this captivating aura of confident swag about him – “You probably faked passing out the other day, just so you could be carried in my hot, sweaty, manly arms.” However, like most bad boys, he’s troubled. Women loooooove their troubled men. Here’s to thinking that Sky is one lucky, lucky gal.

#5 Daniel “Monty” Montgomery (Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns)
One of the best things about Outback Dreams was how close to home it was (on the other side of the country, but still). The best thing about it, however – and other readers could attest for this as well – was the character Monty. A true man’s man, this outback handyman knows what he wants and goes for it, regardless of the consequences, whether it be for his dream farm or for Faith Forrester’s heart. A couple of dick moves here and there, but hey, nobody’s perfect. He sure comes close to it though. What confuses me is this: how Faith could overlook Monty for so long is beyond me.

#4 Christian Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James)
Everybody’s favourite bajillionaire BDSM dom enthusiast Christian Grey has won over a lot of hearts since Fifty Shades of Grey. The word “damaged” doesn’t even begin to describe how royally fucked Christian is: he’s cold, distant, controlling and unnecessarily possessive. Underneath all of that is a caring, gentle soul that is just in need of some tender lovin’ care. He’s got to be incredible for putting up with Anastasia for so long. He’s also totally baben, but that’s beside the point. I dare you to listen to Prelude in E Minor by Frédéric Chopin (a song he plays on the piano in the first book) and not feel how much pain he’s in. Jamie Dornan might be the new Christian Grey, but I still think Jessie Pavelka is my Christian.

#3 Bennett Ryan (Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren)
The title Beautiful Bastard describes Bennett Ryan to a tee – he’s beautiful, and he’s a deadset asshat bastard. Although, much like Chloe Mills, you couldn’t help but find the young CEO intriguing. Also a gajillionaire so early in his life, Bennett is the type of man that can irritate you one moment and have you wrapped around his little finger the next. His charm is almost outweighed by his arrogance. He’s spontaneous, he’s handsome, and he’s a horny prick. Stock up on underwear and avoid being alone with him in the stairwell… just kidding. Women would jump at the chance of a stairwell encounter with Bennett.

#2 Michael (Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson)
Michael (only referred to as simply Michael) is a dream man – literally. Why? Because he’s imaginary. 9-year-old Jane Margaux (Claremont, if you watch the movie adaptation) needed a friend. Enter Michael, the handsome imaginary friend who knows everything about Jane – her hopes, her fears, her favourite dessert… you name it. Several years later and this imaginary heartthrob is back. Who doesn’t want a big, masculine man to walk you to and from work after giving you flowers? Michael is also willing to punch out his friend for disrespecting women – yeah, that happened. A little spoiler alert: Michael becomes real, so at least you can say you’ve fallen for a real book character, not an imaginary one.

#1 Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire)
Travis Maddox is the right balance of sweet charm and rough badass. A panty-droppin’ player turned one-woman man, Travis is the whole package: he’s big, he’s strong, he’s got killer tatts, he rides a motorcycle and can also fight with the best of them. He’s also motivated and cunning and romantic and knows how to make a woman feel as if she’s the only one. Only Travis can make a nickname “Pidgeon” totally adorable. His never-give-up attitude is infectious and his need for cuddling makes him seem the ultimate gentle giant. If you want a man who is that dedicated to you that he gets your name tattooed on his arm, well, Travis is your man!

If you’re still alive after all that epic swoonage, I suggest you purchase all of these books from your nearest bookstore (preferably Dymocks because I love that place) and join the world in falling in love with fictitious men. It’s not as insane as it sounds.

The storylines aren’t bad either.

– by The Black Widow

My Take on the Fifty Shades Movie

If you’ve been living under a rock or your mind has been too smothered by the whole political vote in Straya, then you wouldn’t know that the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey have officially been cast for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. As a Fifty Shades enthusiast and overall lover, I have my own opinion on the cast and what I like and don’t like about them.

Anastasia Steele
Who they’ve cast: Dakota Johnson

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

Who I think they should’ve castMary Elizabeth Winstead

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

I didn’t have a very high opinion of Anastasia to begin with and because, as a reader, you take her perspective, I couldn’t really get a clear image of what she looked like. What I pictured was a somewhat beautiful brunette who bit her lip way too much. Now, this isn’t a knock on Mary Elizabeth because the woman is stunning, no questions asked, but she is the closest I could get to what I thought Anastasia looked like. Now, when Dakota Johnson eventually dyes her hair brown for the role, I can actually see a bit of Anastasia in her, but I’m going to be perfectly honest – I couldn’t care less about the casting of Anastasia because the character is as dull as white walls.

Could Johnson play a good Anastasia? Maybe. I haven’t seen her in anything that I can remember but she has the look to be a “self-conscious and really annoying” character. You can bet your bottom dollar I will be critiquing everything when the movie comes out, and if she doesn’t step up to the plate as Ana, manure will be hitting the ceiling.

Now onto the more important role of the movie…

Christian Grey
Who they’ve cast: 
Charlie Hunnam

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Who I think they should’ve cast: Jessie Pavelka


This is “my Fifty Shades”, as Ana would say.

While Jessie isn’t really known for his acting chops, I quite frankly do not give a damn. Buy the man some acting lessons if you must because when I pictured Christian in my head, he looked exactly like Jessie Pavelka – albeit a little less happy. So needless to say I was almost outraged when I saw Charlie Hunnam cast in the role because he is not what I had in mind. At all. Ask my parents how outraged I was because they got the brunt of my anger.

In Hunnam’s defense, he is an exceptional actor as I have witnessed on Sons of Anarchy and it’d be interesting for him to shift into the role of the calm and mysterious Christian Grey. If he lets me down, however… manure. Ceiling.

Christian is the main thing I like about the series and I will be absolutely devastated if they don’t get it up to my – and a lot of other readers – standards. So, Hunnam, you have got some VERY big shoes to fill. At the end of the day, I am anxiously waiting for the movie to come out because I am ecstatic to see the world of Anastasia and Christian come to life!

– by The Black Widow

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I know I’m about two years late on the Fifty Shades bandwagon, but I finally found the time and motivation to read it. It was always one of those things I was “going to get around to eventually”, except this time I actually got around to it. Anyway, I just finished it and am therefore going to review it.

Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in the series trilogy.

Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in the series trilogy.

If you are in the percentage that hasn’t read this book, allow me to introduce you to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, the female and male protagonists in this romance novel/series, although I’m not too sure if the word “romance” is the right word for it. Fifty Shades of Grey puts the reader into the perspective of Anastasia, a twenty-something just-about-to-graduate college student who gets thrown into an interview with the dark and alluring Grey which pretty much sets off the following chain events.

I’m just going to say it – I felt absolutely no connection with the characters whatsoever until the very ending, which I won’t recount in case of spoiling the events of anyone reading this. I found Anastasia to be really irritating and generic; I’ve read many o’ book of female protagonists who aren’t confident and aren’t “sure of themselves”. I also found her to be an unrealistic portrayal of a woman who falls in love with a man five minutes after meeting him. Anastasia brought nothing new to me in that aspect. When it comes to Christian, I think the general consensus was that the reader is supposed to swoon over him, but swoon I did not. I found him to be quite repulsive and if I were to encounter him, given he were a real person, I’d probably kick him in the pants.

The way it was written was both sophisticated and annoying. The use of language in this novel was smart and intelligent and sometimes even witty. The writing was engaging in that it kept me wanting more and more. In saying that, there were times when it felt like big words were used just for the sake of sounding smart and throwing big words into the mix. One thing that college has taught me is that, despite there being several words and ways one can write “She said, she said, she said,” it’s best not to stray too much. Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t follow that method, however, with a lot of uses of other words like cajoled, which was used several times.

One part of the writing that irritated me no further was the constant reference to Ana’s subconscious and her “inner Goddess”. At first, it was pretty funny seeing what both of these entities thought of Ana’s shenanigans, but when they were both brought up time and time again, it was a bit tiring.

The storyline was interesting to say the least. If I may make an Anchorman reference… “well that escalated quickly”. That’s the most I can say about that without spoiling too much so I will go no further.

Storyline: 7.0/10
Style of writing: 5.4/10
Overall: 5.8/10

All in all, while it was a book I couldn’t for the life of me put down, I was pretty disappointed with it. I didn’t empathise with the characters and the writing wasn’t enthralling. The storyline was probably the saving light of this novel, it being the only really interesting part of the story. However, I will be eagerly hunting down the sequel as I am dying to know what happens with Anastasia and Christian next.

– by The Black Widow