The Meet Cute

Elena blogged yesterday about the first time and I’m blogging today about the Meet Cute (with or without a hyphen), the very first meeting of hero/heroine.

Although Wikipedia defines it as an element of screwball comedy or romantic comedy, I think it’s a staple of romantic fiction, because it determines the elements of hero/heroine interaction. Rarely do a hero/heroine meet and find that everything is compatible between them straight away. Austen gives us a prime example of the Meet Cute when Darcy first encounters Elizabeth: She is not handsome enough to tempt me.

So we get Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s reaction to each other, their misconceptions about each other, and, miraculously (if we knew how Austen did this academia would grind to a halt, the mystery solved) their attraction to each other despite themselves.

Since I have a sinus infection that is making my nose look like a banana (misshapen, not yellow) I’m going to invite you to share your favorite Meet Cutes of all time in romance, and share with you the Meet Cute from my WIP. I think this scene will stay, although I’ve just figured out the plot and a lot of stuff has to be rewritten:

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.. there is someone sprawled on a chair. He wears plain black—very fashionable for a gentleman, of course—but on this man it looks as though he intends to fight a duel and possibly conduct the funeral service over his unlucky opponent all in the same day. His dark hair is unruly, also eminently fashionable but in a way that, along with his unshaven chin, suggests he has but recently risen from his bed.

Goodness.

He is lean, dramatic, handsome as the devil, and I suspect the bed was not his.

A rake!

Will my reputation fall around me in tatters if I approach him?

I regard the soggy handkerchief in my hand and regret that the bosom of my gown, fashionably brief, does not allow for extra cargo.

While I have been staring at him I have in fact been moving toward him, like a mouse fascinated by a snake, so I arrive in front of him as he looks up—his eyes are shadowed, naturally, his eyelashes dark and lush, his face lean and bony—and gazes straight at my bosom.

He yawns.

And hop over to History Hoydens today where our very own Amanda McCabe is talking about sixteenth century navigation!

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