Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Deirdre Martin | Crushed

March 14, 2008

I’m 46 and I still get crushes.

I’m not talkin’ seeing a Russell Crowe movie and thinking,”Hootchie Mama, that’s one fine lookin’ Aussie.” I’m talkin’ lying on my bed mooning. I’m talkin’ trawling the internet for info and pictures. I’m talkin’ the full Tiger Beat treatment. And you know what? I think they play a pivotal role in my writing romance.

I got my first crush when I was five. It was Davy Jones of the Monkees. Those big brown eyes. That British accent. Of course, if I’d known he was only 4’3″, I might not have felt the same. But when you’re five, you don’t wonder why your idol is the same height as you.

Next? George Harrison. He had the best Beatle hair and I thought he was deep. I actually credit George with launching me on the road to writing romance. In sixth grade, I used to write G-rated stories about me and George. I still have them and they’re hilarious.

Then came Pete Townshend of the Who. I know: His nose is so big he could smoke a cigar in the rain; but he’s so smart, with the most gorgeous blue eyes…. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones followed. So what if his teeth were rotting, he shot heroin, and combed his hair with an eggbeater. Keith was cool, my first bad boy.

You may detect a pattern here: musicians. As an adolescent, music was my sanity saving device.

I’m not sure why, but eventually, my taste moved on to athletes. Pale, skinny guys with guitars just didn’t do it for me any more. I needed to go alpha.

And boy oh boy, did Mark Messier, former Captain of the New York Rangers, fit the bill. He had a body built for sin, and a primal intensity that has never been matched in the history of sports. As a leader, he was unrivaled. Lots of female hockey fans had it bad for “Mess,” despite the fact he’s kind of, well, simian looking. It was Messier’s animal magnetism that prompted me to create the character of Ty Gallagher in my first book, BODY CHECK, so my crush on Mess actually helped me get published.

I almost fell for British soccer star David Beckham but there are a couple of problems “Becks”: first, he seems as dumb as a bag of hammers, and second, he’s got a high pitched cockney voice. I pictured him taking me in the arms, but when he’d say, “You’re the most beautiful woman in the world,” in that Mickey Mouse voice, my libido took the last train to Clarksville.

I know lots of women who can appreciate guys purely as eye candy, but I can’t. If the object of my desire doesn’t have a brain, I’m not interested. In fact, it’s often the brain that drives the crush for me rather than the other way around. If they have a sense of humor, too, so much the better.

This explains my current crush on Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. Yeah, he’s got a great bod and luscious lips and cool Elvis Costello glasses; but the main thing is, he’s funny and smart—and he plays the guitar, an added bonus. The kiwi accent doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ve stopped being embarrassed about my crushes because…they’re fun. They make me feel tingly all over, like the first time a guy I really, really liked asked me out. They expand my imagination. They jump start my libido and help me write those hot sex scenes in my books (At least, I hope they’re hot). People who say crushes are immature don’t know what they’re missing. Crushes keep you young. As I cruise into middle age, I’m glad I still have the capacity to get giddy over some guy who floats my boat, even if it’s only in my dreams.

Now excuse me while I go online to see if I can find any new pictures of Jemaine….

Deirdre Martin is a New York Times Bestselling author of six romances. Here latest book is JUST A TASTE. You can visit her website at:

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