Season’s Greetings, dear readers! Time for a little fun. No doubt you’re preparing to shop up a storm to find the perfect holiday gift for your man.
But what if you were a heroine in a Romance novel? What would you buy for a vampire, a super spy, or a Regency lord?
To answer that question, I started brainstorming and came up with these fun ideas for 10 archetypal Romance heroes. Of course, you may feel inspired to add to the list — so please do! Let your imagination run wild as you share your own gift ideas in the comments section below.
You would give your favorite, furry Alpha the moon, if you could, but let’s face it: you want him to be wowed by your own heavenly body. So here’s my recommendation. Use your trusty magic wand to whisk yourself away to the Amazon River basin. While Fang is working up an appetite, tracking your exotic (steak?) scent through the jungle, you can bribe the local dwarves to hand over a cartload of a certain, luminescent gemstone. If waving a wand breaks your – Talons? Claws? Fingernails? — ply the dwarves with Spud Ale so they’ll crush all that ore for you. Voilà! You have a full year’s supply of moon dust — er, I mean, moonstone powder. Apply it liberally so that your skin glows like a Lunar Goddess’s. Now Fang will have something to howl about!
For your favorite Stud in Spurs, might I suggest a licorice lariat? (Wait a minute, this is a PG column, isn’t it? Rats!) As you know, I write Western Historical Romance novels, so I am an authority on all things naughty and nice for the Sagebrush Romeo. If you are a prim-and-proper mail-order bride, you might wish to apply your expertise in the sewing arts to craft buckskin trousers. (::yawn::) I, however, would recommend something more devious. How about the gift that my sheep-ranching, spitfire of a heroine gave her cattleman lover in Texas Wildcat? Moonshine! Yep, Bailey pretty much drank Zack under the table. To salvage his pride, Zack scooped her into his arms, carried her upstairs and well . . . You know. (Bailey reports, “Best Christmas ever!”)
What do you get the Lord of the Seas? I vote for potable water. (Hey! I’m just being practical.) And speaking of practical, every pirate loves a galley slave. (Like to cook? You know what to do!) Now for you more imaginative sirens, I suggest that you make friendly with Ursula, the Sea Witch. For the mere cost of your voice, (you weren’t really planning on conversation after your man returns from a six-month voyage, were you?) you can procure the ultimate prize for your favorite swashbuckler’s galleon: a cloaking device. (Watch out Flying Dutchman!) Prepare to have your treasures pillaged after such a clever gift!
The Scottish Highlander:
A Laird is a hearty lad, who doesn’t much mind the winter chill. He’ll draw his sword in a heartbeat if he thinks his clan needs defending, and that can put a big crimp in your holiday plans. My recommendation? Help the Big Galoot take his mind (and his hands) off the freaking broadsword. If he thinks his castle is safe from marauders, he can finally kick back and suck down a tankard with you. That’s why the best holiday gift for the Highlander is a giant-sized moat, filled with Nessie. Sounds like a lot of work? Pshaw. Scotland is full of pixies, who are notoriously enthralled by good music. (Uh . . . just a thought: leave the bagpipe at home.) Now you have a pixy in your pocket, a monster in your moat, and a hunk in your bed. My hat’s off to ye, Lass!
Let’s face it: the Super Sleuth thrives on thrills. World domination is his game. You have to compete for his attention, and that means you have to be more interesting than the terrorists. No problem! Give him exactly one week to find seven risqué articles of your clothing, which you, of course, will “drop” in seven, exotic cities of your choosing. (Think “Carmen Sandiego,” Sleuthettes, and you’ll be on the right track.) While your 007 is racing the clock to find the next clue in your international scavenger hunt, you can hole up in some top-secret day spa for Spy Babes and luxuriate in the knowledge that you have a man who is clever enough to be your mate.
The Military Man:
If he were my hero, I would send my Stud with Guns a sealed wooden crate. On the exterior, I would affix a laser-etched crowbar, bearing his name. My mysterious gift would contain no bow, no instructions, and absolutely no return address. When he opened his present, what would he find inside? Moi! That’s right! I would jump out, wearing especially skimpy camouflage, designed by Victoria’s Secret.
This one is sooo easy: give your favorite tin-star a pair of fur-lined handcuffs! What’s that, you say? You gave Lt. Long-Drink-of-Handsome his own personal, bedroom manacles last year? Bummer. Looks like some canny creativity is required here. If your cop is a detective, you might try the Sleuthette’s scavenger hunt — scaled-down to a local level, of course, since the Boys in Blue don’t make as much money as Interpol Agents. But if Detective Darling were my mate, I’d get to work early, creating a life-size Clue board game (kind of like Wizard Chess from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.) Invite your friends! Assign them roles! The whole neighborhood will be dying to get into your holiday party, while you and Col. Mustard sneak off to the bedroom with the candlestick.
The Business Shark:
A billionaire’s attention is difficult to capture, unless, of course you are spouting stock tips in a skimpy black négligée. But never fear. Executive assistants can make canny allies. Once you convince Ms. Hathaway that you will lobby mightily for her raise (sucker!), instruct her to divert Mr. Shark’s limousine so he climbs into yours. Of course, your vehicle will be rigged for pleasure: hot tub, chilled champagne, oysters, and a device that locks the doors via your voice — and only your voice. By the time your Money Mogul realizes his mistake, he won’t care! While you and The Shark are negotiating the terms of his release, the chauffer you hired will drive the car into the belly of a cargo plane. (See how easy it is to kidnap a billionaire?) You and your workaholic mate will then jet to an uninhabited, tropical island. Naturally, this island has no cell phone or Wi-Fi. Let the fun begin!
What does every Vamp need? That’s right! Some soul! Help your favorite neck-nipper rock away his holiday blues: whisk him off to the Big Easy! New Orleans is the city that never sleeps. Your Vamp will feel right at home on Bourbon Street. Enjoy some great jazz, feast on fried alligator and crawfish etouffee, and get your fortune told by a real, undead Voodoo Queen. Christmas on the Bayou, chere: you’ll never miss the snow!
The Regency Lord:
What do you give the aristocrat, who owns (most of) England? Hint: a bird’s eye view of his realm! Gather your team of seamstresses, m’lady, and soon you’ll have a candy-cane striped transport to the clouds. Sure, it’ll be a bit nippy in your hot-air-balloon-built-for-two, but isn’t snuggling part of your holiday plan? (Sheesh. Work with me here!) Once your balloon basket is decked out with garlands, mistletoe, and plenty of wassail to take a bite out of the Yuletide chill, you and your lover can chase rainbows under the morning star. And what could be more romantic than that?