One Night of Unbridled Passion

In the spirit of romance, I asked some willing authors: "If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be?"

Janet Evanovich: Uncle Scrooge, from Carl Barks's Disney comics. He's always going on adventures, he pushes his money around with a bulldozer, and he wears a top hat but no pants. Does it get any better than that?

Janet Evanovich (Phobo: Deborah Feingold)

Diana Gabaldon: Ah, that would be Lord Peter Wimsey from Dorothy L. Sayers's Busman's Honeymoon, among others. An Englishman of wit, humor, intelligence and compassion, capable of suddenly breaking off in the midst of a wittily bantering conversation and saying huskily to his wife, "Tu m'enivres!" (You inflame me) -- to say nothing of quoting John Donne soon after his wedding night: "License my roving hands, and let them go, Behind, before, above, between, below...."

Philippa Gregory: Cleopatra, as described by Shakespeare. Fabulously beautiful, amazingly sexy, ready to die for love! No contest. Just Cleopatra, a snake and me.

Susan Isaacs: You have to ask? Edward Rochester, of course, from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. He's got that quivering-with-barely-suppressed-passion business, but he's also elegant. (A guy has to do more than simply spritz testosterone when the sommelier hands him the wine list.)

Adriana Trigiani agrees: Rochester -- he's a mysterious man on a horse in the English countryside -- sounds like a keeper to me.

Lisa Scottoline: I would spend the night with the Three Musketeers from Dumas's classic novel. My motto is "One for all, all for me."

Diane Johnson: That hunk Lord Byron's Don Juan, without a doubt. In addition to his attested charms as a Valentine, he was funny, smart, and idealistic -- all qualities in short supply during the past few years, and now happily back in fashion.

Barbara Taylor Bradford: Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind because he exudes masculinity and excitement, is gorgeous, dashing and gallant, a dangerous dude who smacks of soldier of fortune, the type that sets a woman's heart pounding in anticipation. But it must be Rhett Butler in the image of Clark Gable for me -- nothing less will do!

Go ahead: Confess. Who would you choose?

-- Ron Charles

By Ron Charles |  February 18, 2009; 7:03 AM ET Ron Charles
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What?! No one picked Mr. Darcy? He's my pick!

Posted by: choirgirl04 | February 18, 2009 9:42 AM

I can't believe no one picked Mr. Darcy! I would happily spend one night with him.

Posted by: virginia82 | February 18, 2009 10:31 AM

Not sure it'd be my final choice, but I always liked the way Pete Dexter described Carl Bonner's wife in PARIS TROUT. Bonner, once "the youngest Eagle Scout" and now a divorce lawyer, reminisces about her in their college-dating days. Here's a bowdlerized version:

"that afternoon...Tufts University, her hand under the blanket, it felt like ice.... He had...a moment before Holy Cross scored, and the whole side of the stadium had groaned."

Posted by: lheffelkcrrcom | February 18, 2009 10:42 AM

Scheherazade. But will only one night be enough?

Posted by: prokaryote | February 18, 2009 11:40 AM

For me it would be Jay Gatsby. The lengths to which he went to win his beloved Daisy amazed me. And of course he became very rich and gave amazing parties. And if he happened to look like young Robert Redford as well. . .

Posted by: imzadi | February 18, 2009 12:38 PM

Man: Etienne from Zola's Germinal. He's smart, sweet, and gets super cool as the book progresses. Plus, tortured past from L'Assommoir. If he's unavailable, I'll take "The Master and Margarita"'s devil. Oh, Woland...

Woman: Natasha from "War and Peace". Something about all the ladies there... any one of them would do. Same for the gents, though. In fact, any one of the characters would be good for me...

Assuming these relationships are most chaste, of course.

Posted by: Biblibio | February 18, 2009 12:40 PM

It is Busman's Honeymoon, and Lord Peter did not quote John Donne on his wedding night, but later in that week.

Posted by: Mary17 | February 18, 2009 1:18 PM

Thanks, Mary. Fixed.

Posted by: ronchar | February 18, 2009 1:22 PM

I can't believe Diana Gabaldon didn't pick her own Jamie Frasier. She's written about him for so long that I guess he's lost his charm for her.

Posted by: smtsm | February 18, 2009 1:46 PM

When I was ten it would have been Superman. Twelve - Laurie from "Little Women". Sixteen - Mr. Rochester from "Jane Eyre". Now - I just might have to go with Janet Evanovich's pick of Scrooge McDuck. I'm not as much of a romantic and all that money would come in very handy.

Just have to add that I read this blog before the correction went in for "Bushman's Honeymoon". My imagination went a little wild - especially with that John Donne quote in mind. Oo la la!

Posted by: elyrest | February 18, 2009 2:55 PM

Susan Isaacs didn't pick her own Nelson Sharpe from Compromising Positions. After I read that book, I had a major crush on that dude for months.

Posted by: psworley | February 18, 2009 3:19 PM

Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces." :~D

Posted by: cjbriggs | February 18, 2009 4:14 PM

If not my darlin man..would have to be Ranger from Janice Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series..yummmmmmmmmmm!

Posted by: redhdedwench | February 18, 2009 6:19 PM

Since it's only one night, I think I'd agree with Isaacs and pick Rochester. He's elegant and charming, but also a little bit dangerous.
But I don't think I'd keep him around for more than a couple nights. He's very possessive in the book and wants Jane all to himself. A girl's got to have a life.

When I was younger, I would have picked Teddy Kent from L.M. Montgomery's Emily novels. He's sweet and a true romantic and artist.

Posted by: writergal85 | February 18, 2009 10:52 PM

Cindy Murkett from John Updike's "Rabbit is Rich," my vote for the Number One Pin-Up in late 20th Century American fiction.

Posted by: rodneypwelch | February 19, 2009 8:12 PM

RE: Gabaldon's night.

Mary17: "It is Busman's Honeymoon, and Lord Peter did not quote John Donne on his wedding night, but later in that week."

ronchar: "Thanks, Mary. Fixed."

I'm confused. So those were not quotes above? How do you fix someone else's (I suppose written) quote? Or did you misquote what she originally said/wrote? Or were those never intended to be quotes?

If Gabaldon said it she said it, and it shouldn't be fixed. There's nothing wrong with being wrong some of the time.

Posted by: prokaryote | February 20, 2009 3:24 PM

prokaryote - the fix was for the typo misspelling of "Busman". At first in the post it was spelled "Bushman". This had nothing to do with Gabaldon. This was the only thing that was altered. The quote stayed the same.

Posted by: elyrest | February 21, 2009 10:29 PM

I would have to go with Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser.

Posted by: Jackalynw | February 22, 2009 9:19 AM

Natasha from War and Peace.

Posted by: jweissmn | February 23, 2009 8:23 AM

eylrest, Thanks for the explanantion. Reading Mary17's post about when Lord Peter quoted Donne implied the quote originally was different than "soon after his wedding night", which doesn't sound like "on his wedding night" at all.

Posted by: prokaryote | February 25, 2009 11:24 AM

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