Cue the Meet Cute
Every romance has one. That moment when two people meet and their lives are forever changed.
In books, television and movies, we call it the meet cute.
Sometimes the meet cute between two characters is fraught with tension, or instant attraction, or instant dislike. At the very least, the moment is memorable.
My favorite is when Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy. Who can forget the line about her not being handsome enough to tempt him? Never thought they’d get past their pride (and prejudices).
(Clip of the scene in A&E’s Pride and Prejudice miniseries)
In my newest novel, Reckless Hope (book 2 in the Letting Go series), I play around a little with my characters’ meet cute by having them exchange cheesy pickup lines that actually increase the sexual tension of the moment. Granted, it had more to do with how they said it, not what they said. It didn’t hurt that one of the character’s had sex appeal oozing out of every pore of his hot body.
Here’s a sneak peek at Micah and Sebastian’s meet cute:
Once a month Micah escaped. Once a month he stepped away from the demands and responsibilities of his day-to-day life to lose himself in the chaos of light and music, dancing and flirting. Once a month, when the club hosted an underage night, he could pretend to be someone else, a guy who didn’t have to take care of his mother, watch out for his younger sister or work two jobs while going to school part-time. This was his chance to let loose.
It would be easier, though, if his best friend hadn’t flaked on him. Without his dance buddy, he had to deflect come-ons and roaming hands. Avoiding the heavy-lidded stare from the guy next to him, Micah leaned against the bar, waiting for the bartender to come back with his bottled water.
“You come here often?”
Speaking of come-ons… “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?” he responded, deadpan. He rolled his eyes before turning to the guy who’d spoken.
Whoa. The guys who resorted to cheesy lines didn’t usually look like this. This guy was jaw-droppingly, eye-poppingly gorgeous.
The stranger propped an elbow on the bar, neatly pushing aside staring-dude.
“My sign?” Christ, he looked like an Abercrombie model, all blond hair and blue eyes.
Micah cleared his throat. There were dozens of gorgeous guys at the club. No reason for this one to rattle him so much. “Yeah, you know, zodiac. I assumed we were exchanging cheesy come-ons.”
The other guy’s wicked grin did funny things to Micah’s stomach. Jesus, get a grip. “Nah, I’d be more creative in my pickup lines.” The blond leaned in close and whispered in Micah’s ear, “Something like, if I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?”
The warm puff of air over his ear, the husky tone, sent shivers all the way down to Micah’s toes. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to flirt a little bit. He swallowed hard. “I’d have to ask you to leave.” There was a flash of surprise in the blond’s eyes before Micah finished with, “You’re making all the other guys here look bad.”
“How about… You know what would look good on you?” Mr. All-American’s lips grazed Micah’s ear. “Me.” With every word he moved closer until they pressed tightly together.
Holy sex-on-a-stick. It had been way too long since Micah had messed around with a guy, and his hormones were working double-time. He dug his fingernails into his palms. He had rules about this kind of thing. No casual club hook-ups. No anonymous sex. Recklessness had been his parents’ thing, not his. He was there to dance and relax during his evening off. Only to dance and relax.
His body didn’t care about the rules, though. Almost against his will, he leaned closer.
“Then there’s my personal favorite,” the blond murmured. “Do you kiss strangers? If not, let me introduce myself.”
Their lips were a bare fraction of an inch apart. Micah could see the intent in the other guy’s expression. His lust-hazed brain panicked. Things like this didn’t happen to him, not this fast, not this hot. Not to boring, predictable Micah. “I may not be Fred Flintstone,” he said, the words coming in a rush before he could stop them, “but I could make your bed rock.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fun writing a scene before. If you go online, the vast array of pickup lines, lists and memes is crazy. And in order to keep the scene from sounding like a string of clichéd lines, I had to select only a couple to use. Here are a couple of my favorites from the ones that didn’t make the book:
“Is your body from McDonald’s? ‘Cause I’m lovin’ it.”
“Well, here I am. What were your other two wishes?”
“If I had to rate you from one to ten, I’d rate you a nine, ‘cause I’m the “one” you’re missing.”
Okay, yeah, those are pretty bad. If you go online, do an image search for bad pickup lines. I swear, the memes some people create make the silly pickups even funnier.
So, I’ve got two questions for people, mostly out of prurient curiosity. First, what is your favorite meet cute from any book, movie or television show you’ve read/watched? And second, what’s your favorite, cringe-worthy bad pickup lines?
About RECKLESS HOPE:
What's life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you're Sebastian Carlisle. He'll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah's got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can't let them down. Or at least that's what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah's family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he'll let him.
Book two of Letting Go
About j. leigh bailey:
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of New Adult and Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.