For the JC author spotlight, here is another post Ween did over at our old blog.
Women the world over want one thing from men. One of many things I’m sure, but one thing in particular.
To be accepted and loved for who they really are, both inside and out. Now, let’s face it, most guys – especially the hot guys – don’t really notice the wallflower or the plain jane and they most definitely don’t notice the chubby chick sitting across from them checking them out. How often do you hear a really hot guy say, “Holy cow, look at the brain on that girl? That’s hot.”
Not so often.
You hardly EVER hear of a gorgeous man falling head over heels in love with a chubby Plain Jane type. It just doesn’t happen. Society these days have brainwashed everyone to think that you’re only hot stuff if you’re super duper skinny and don’t eat for twenty days. If you’re not rocking the latest hip threads and dressed and looking like a million bucks, odds are you’re not going to get a Justin Timberlake or a Hugh Jackman. It really sucks but that’s the way of things these days.
But that’s not the case with Cal Morrissey.
When we first meet Cal Morrissey we’re furious with him because of what he agrees to do with Minn Dobbs. But he makes up for that and more when he fell in love with Plain Jane Chubby Minn Dobbs. With everyone that was trying to change Minn to be skinny and NOT herself, it was a refreshing change to see Cal, this gorgeous Greek God, trying to make her realize that she was perfect the way she was, plus size and all. He accepted and loved her just the way she was and it made me love Cal Morrissey all the more.
There are plenty of stories where the heroine is not so skinny and the hero falls in love with her anyway. But, usually the heroine goes through a tremendous change in appearance where she goes from a really chubby chick to a really skinny and gorgeous heroine. We’re made to believe that the hero loved her for who she really was and not who she became. In Susan Donovan’s He Loves Lucy, we know that Theo Redmond, the hero falls in love with Lucy O’Callahan, the heroine while he’s helping her lose weight for her job. So yeah, he falls in love with her, but by the time they fall in love, she’s not so chubby anymore and I’m not saying that Theo didn’t love Lucy any less than Cal loved Minn, I’m just saying that it would have been nice to see Theo fall in love with Lucy BEFORE she lost all of the weight.
The difference between Theo and Cal, is Cal loved Minn just the way she was, Minn didn’t have to lose all this weight for him to love her more, she just was who she was and Cal fell in love with that. He was in love with her and loved how she completed him as a man.
One of my favorite scenes in Cal’s book, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, is the scene where Cal goes to meet Minn’s family for the first time. You see, Minn’s sister is getting married and she has to lose all this weight to please her mother, and to fit into the dress that they got a size too small for Minn to get her to lose weight before the wedding. The following scene ensues and it just made me love Cal Morrissey.
“Bread?” Min said, shoving the basket under Cal’s nose.
“Yes, thank you.” Cal took a roll and handed her the basket back. She took one, too, and her mother spoke again.
“Right,” Min said and put the roll back.
“So you own your own business,” George said, skepticism heavy in his voice.
“Yes.” Cal frowned down at Min. “Why can’t you have a roll?”
“I told you, I have this dress I have to fit into,” Min said. “It’s all right. I can eat bread again in July.”
“Min is Diana’s maid of honor next weekend,” Nanette said. “We don’t want her to get too big for the dress.”
“I’m already too big for the dress,” Min said.
“You should come,” Diana said to Cal, leaning across the table. She hadn’t touched the bread, the butter, or her beef, Cal noticed. Her water glass was getting quite a workout, though. “To the wedding. And the rehearsal dinner. Min needs a date.”
Before Cal could answer, George said, “Who are some of your clients?” and Nanette said, “How long have you and Min been dating?” and Min tugged on his sleeve. When he looked down at her, she said, “Do you have family?”
“Yes,” Cal said, trying to sound noncommittal about it.
“Are they this awful?” Min said.
“Minerva,” Nanette said, warning in her voice.
“Well, they do let me eat bread,” Cal said, keeping his eye on Nanette. “Other than that, pretty much.”
“I beg your pardon?” George said.
“Look, I don’t mind you grilling me about what I do for a living,” Cal said. “Your daughter’s brought me home and that has some significance. And I don’t mind your wife asking about my personal life for the same reason. But Min is an amazing woman, and so far during this meal, you’ve either ignored her or hassled her about some dumb dress. For the record, she is not too big for the dress. The dress is too small for her. She’s perfect.” Cal buttered a roll and passed it over to Min. “Eat.”
Min blinked at him and took the roll.
Cal looked past her to her mother. “I’ve never been married. I’ve never been engaged. My last relationship ended about two months ago. I met your daughter three weeks ago.” He turned back to Min’s father. “The business is in the black and has been for some time. I can give you references if you’d like to check. Should things between Min and me ever grow serious, I can support her.”
“Hey, I can support me,” Min said, still holding her roll.
“I know,” Cal said. “Your dad wants to know that I can. Eat.” Min bit into the roll and he looked around the table. “Anything else anybody wants to know?”
Diana held up her hand.
“Yes?” Cal said.
“Are you Min’s date for the wedding?”
Min tried to swallow the bite she’d just taken.
“She hasn’t asked me.” Cal looked down at Min. “Want to go to your sister’s wedding with me?”
Min choked on her roll and he pounded her on the back.
“Of course she wants to go with you.” Nanette said, smiling for the first time. “We’d be delighted to have you. The rehearsal dinner, too.”
“Good,” Cal said, feeling progress had been made as Min gasped for air.
You gotta love the way Cal took control of the situation and put everyone’s mind at ease at the same time. Cal is a tall, dark and extremely handsome man and he could have any woman in the world. Him turning his nose up to all those model types and falling for someone as plain and simple as Minn gives all of us normal girls hope that we too can end up with the boy. Not just any boy or a boy, but the boy. I love it.
Cal wasn’t the perfect hero and that worked for me, he had his issues like any normal family but I loved the way he stood up for Min, and I loved it when he called her insufferable mother a dragon of a mother. I just loved it. I loved how he was always on Min’s side no matter what, he didn’t play with her emotions, he couldn’t help falling in love with her and when he came to grips with it, there was no turning back for him, he went after her with all he had. What more could you ask for in a man?