Do any of you remember the book MEN ARE FROM MARS WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS by John Gray? I started thinking about this book other night after my husband and I had a discussion about my birthday. First let me set the scenario.
Next week is my birthday, and I was telling my husband I wanted him to take our two boys to a certain store and let them each pick a charm to give me for a charm bracelet. Not just because I adore getting presents, I do, but I have some ulterior motives. I want my boys to understand the importance of remembering special occasions and of thinking about someone else, what will make them happy, and doing something nice for that person. In other words, I want my boys to grow up to be men who put value on making the women in their life feel special and happy.
Of course presents are not the only way to do this; they are just a miniscule part of the total package of being a thoughtful man, in my humble opinion that no doubt matters only to me!
My husband is wonderful in many ways, but one of them is not his gift buying abilities. He tends to buy Christmas gifts the day before Christmas. Birthday gifts tend to be gift cards, and he has even forgotten a birthday before. This is just for me. Everyone else he knows can forget it. Unless you are on MY radar, you are not getting a gift from my husband because he just doesn’t think about it.
Does it mean he’s not caring? No. He is caring, but he is a man and men, in my opinion once again, think much differently than women. Not all men but some.
In the midst of getting ready to release my first historical novel the whole birthday conversation with my husband got me to thinking how some of the best books I have read highlight the misunderstandings that can occur because of the inherent difference in the way men and women think. I looked up John Gray’s book and found myself realizing the differences he discusses regarding men and women are many of the variances I like to see played out in books as conflicts, especially funny conflicts.
In my soon to be released Regency Romance BARGAINING WITH A RAKE the first time my hero and heroine meet they immediately have a communication problem, which leads to a funny misunderstanding.
Here is a little excerpt:
Between her father and Mr. Mallorian Gillian was trapped in this room with no escape. Except… She studied the dark corner where long, red velvet curtains covered a window and formed a crimson puddle on the floor. It was the perfect place to hide until they moved on.
She shouldn’t. It was scandalous. The very idea that she was worried about her name being associated with scandal made her giggle. Thank goodness, no one paid her any mind. She’d hate to add suspicions of lunacy to the taint associated with murder on her first day back in society.
She moved toward the shadowy alcove with a glance to see if anyone observed her. For the moment, no one gawked at her. Taking a deep breath, she scurried into the dusty darkness.
Her heavy breathing filled the cramped space. How was it possible that it was hotter in here? What if she swooned and fell into the crowd? Father really wouldn’t like that. The ton would be ablaze with talk about the Duke of Death’s odd daughter who hid behind curtains at balls. She could picture the next ball. Gone would be the attempts at hushed whispers and sideways glances.
She and her sister would be laughed right out of the ballroom. Gillian cared little for herself, except it would make meeting Mr. Sutherland extremely hard, but to imagine Whitney being ostracized made Gillian ache. She gulped down her lemonade and groaned. Men had to have had a hand in the latest fashion. No woman would have designed so many layers. The silk suffocated her. Her chemise already clung to her damp skin. She rubbed her temples. Some escape plan this was. She glared at the corner that confined her.
Breathing seemed to be harder behind the curtains. She reached to part the heavy material, but the velvet opened, and light from the ballroom split the darkness. A man plunged into the alcove and yanked the curtain closed behind him. She drew in a sharp breath smothered by the warm hand he clamped over her mouth.
“No need to scream,” a baritone that promised nothing but trouble ordered. “I assure you I mean you no harm.”
She pushed his hand away. “I feel completely better now. I bet all murderers assure their victim the same thing before slitting their throat.”
“Well, if I was going to kill you, which I’m not, I certainly wouldn’t do it in the middle of a ball, and I would kill you with pleasure.”
She frowned at the odd statement. “Fine. I won’t scream, and you may go.”
“I’m sorry,” the man said in a voice that indicated he was anything but. “I didn’t realize you owned this curtain.”
“You’re funny. Run along and display your wit for a debutante that cares.”
“Interesting twist,” he said with a laugh.
“I beg your pardon?” She tried to instill a frosty note of warning into her tone.
“Don’t worry, kitten. I want to play. I bet you get a hundred marriage proposals this season with that sweet disposition.”
“I don’t need a hundred.” She bit her lip against her loose tongue.
His hand touched her waist. She jumped at the contact and pressed against the window ledge. “Got one special fellow in mind, do you?” Husky tones vibrated his voice.
Thank God, it was too dark in here for this man to see her face. Her cheeks burned from the blood gathering under her skin. “You’re not very astute, sir.”
“Is he meeting you in here?” His deep chuckle filled the space at the same moment that his hand brushed her hair back.
“Stop that!” She slapped at his fingers, but he didn’t release his hold. The grind of her hair between his fingers grated in her ears.
“Good, God,” he whispered. “I’m sorry. I thought you were someone else.”
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt. My hero being a man thinks my heroine is simply playing games with him, and my heroine thinks a lecherous lunatic has just popped into the curtain she picked to hide behind!
I’d love to hear about a hilarious misunderstand you have had with a man based on the differences in the way men and women think.
Have a great day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem