Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jane Austen, M/M Romance, & Opposites Attract…

(by Ava March – official moocher of Shawn’s blog)

…three of my favorite things. I love Jane Austen. My favorite book of hers is Pride and Prejudice (which some of you may have picked up on already). I love M/M romances, and I love Opposites Attract story lines. And yes, all three things actually go together.

When I read Austen’s books, I can’t help but think that some of her heroes would be better suited to each other, than to their heroines. Not just my favorites, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, but also Mr. Knightley and Frank Churchill (Emma), and Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility). Of course, this could be because I tend to have M/M romances on the brain - I do write them and spend a lot of time mulling over new plots and characters. But Austen’s works are also prime ground for my overactive imagination because she tended to write one reserved/pragmatic hero and one playboy/easy-going hero. My personal opinion (and I’m no literary scholar) is that Austen used the two types of heroes to play off each other and drive the primary heroine to her ultimate hero.

I personally love to write gay heroes who appear as opposites but actually go together perfectly. I find the dynamics of such a pairing quite interesting. Letting the heroes smack into each other and bouncing back rather like the ends of a magnet, until they snap together like puzzle pieces. And no, not just in the physical sense. *g* But that moment when they realize how well they complement each others’ strengths and weakness, making each stronger when they are together.

That’s pretty much the underlying theme of a novella I just finished. In Convincing Arthur, one hero is the ultimate rakehell, just seeped in vice and debauchery, while the other is the workaholic solicitor. Shawn also uses opposites in a number of her books. The Other Side is a prime example, along with At Long Last, The Squire and Pulling Away, to name a few. And I also happen to know that Car Wash, which will be out in June, features a yummy pair of opposites. I love Kevin!!! He's so darn cute. *squee*

OK. Fan girl moment over, back to the post. Opposites and Austen. My personal favorite pair that never was is Bingley and Darcy. Darcy is so stuffy and reserved, and he’s not much of a social butterfly, to the point where he’s a bit intimidated to attend a country dance. But easy-going, sociable Bingley would be perfect for him, tempering Darcy’s rigid exterior. Darcy’s so aware of social standing whereas Bingley is so unassuming he doesn’t even realize he’s the object of every match-making mama. Plus, Bingley's the type to fall in love at first sight whereas Darcy has to analyze everything. The two men are the best of friends in the book, which emphasizes my belief that they’d be well suited to each other.

And Frank Churchill doesn’t really want Jane Fairfax. He’d be better suited to Knightley.

(and please excuse Frank’s hair – I don’t know what the stylists were thinking. Poor Ewan McGregor.)

My second favorite pair that never was is actually Edward and Willoughby.
All right, so that’s a rather brooding picture of Willoughby, but I think it’s hot so I included it. Perhaps this one suits the post better -

 happy. The devil-may-care playboy who takes Marianne for fast carriage rides about the countryside. And I think Edward would be a total missionary-man if left to his own devices (or if left with Elinor), so he needs someone like Willoughby to spice him up. *g*

So there you have it – why Jane Austen’s works inspire me to pen M/M erotic romances. Who is your favorite Austen pair that never was? Do you like Opposites Attract storylines, or do you have a different favorite? And what movies/books inspire you?


Bound to Him, Loose Id
Convincing Arthur, Loose Id/July 2009


  1. Lovely post as usual, Ava.

    And I do love the opposites attract storyline. I do have a confession to make. I've never been a big fan of Austen's work (sacrilege I know). I might have been more of a fan had she done the male pairings!

    Funny, I've always imagined men in movies together. Oh say Aragorn and Legolas in Lord of the Rings would make a beautiful pairing. I've had friends nudge me in movies, saying, I know what you're thinking and of course I always was, LOL.

    Anyway, great post!

  2. And actually I was much more partial to Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, if we want to talk period pieces. :-)

  3. Um....yeah...I haven't read the Oscar Wilde one. lol

    Glad you like the post, Shawn!

  4. Well you just haven't lived. They didn't have you read it in high school British Lit class? Shocking! What is with Frank's hair by the way? lol. Love the Hugh Grant pic, though. I can totally picture him as a hero in a Regency setting (one of yours of course)