I’m often asked about who my favourite hero is when I write. Funny thing is, my favourite isn’t one of my own. In fact, he’s the creation of Elizabeth Peter’s (aka Dr. Barbara Mertz aka Barbara Michaels). To be honest, he’s not a true hero, but an anti-hero. If I were honest, he’s an art thief who doesn’t believe in violence against his own person. He’s British and very bold and daring, as long as he gets out before the cops arrive. But there is his feelings for Vicky Bliss- the woman who aggravates him and enthralls him at the same time. In fact, it’s his words that give me the ultimate declaration of love that just makes me sigh and whimper in need.
The Vicky Bliss series is the first series I read by Elizabeth Peters before I discovered the Amelia Peabody series. I found myself reflected in Vicky and when it came to the book, Street of the Five Moons, I found myself reluctantly falling for the bad guy– or so I thought he was. Who was he? Sir John Smythe, who is really John Tregarth. As the books progressed, John and Vicky’s on again, off again relationship progressed and regressed as they got into various troubles of the antiquities kind (she is a museum assistant curator, he a thief of said items). But in Trojan Gold, it came to a head when they were facing death by avalanche. John said something to Vicky as the roaring drowned out his voice– and she wanted to know if what he said was what she read on his lips. Thus came the most romantic line ever– at least to me.
“I love you,” he said flatly. “I- love- you. Shall I elaborate? I have loved you. I do love you. I will love you. I didn’t want to love you. I tried not to love you. I will undoubtedly regret loving you, but- God help me- I love you- so much-“
*sigh* Can we say that declaration just takes the cake when it comes to love? It’s also why I hope one day my heroes can reach the pinnacle that Sir John has in my heart. Why else would I take his last name as my own?