Friday, March 06, 2009

Caroline Linden GuestBlog: Hail to the (Romantic-in-)Chief

From Michelle: We're always thrilled to have Bella Caroline Linden entertain us for a day at RBTB! Her much-anticipated new romance, "A View to A Kiss," is not. to. be. missed. I'm still in love with the master-of-disquise, hot-as-hades hero. I mean, I knew who he was, and I still was taken in by his masquerades for king and country. Buy the book, Bellas. And offer up Caroline your warmest "I SO don't want to think about the Lincolns in that way" Bella buongiorno...

From Caroline: Buongiorno, Bellas! So cool to be back! Since I just finished a book ("For Your Arms Only," coming in December 2009!), I suddenly find myself with free time. Well, except for all the cleaning I have to catch up on, and the books I've been dying to read for fun instead of for research, and a few (hundred) long overdue trips to the gym. But my guilty pleasure of late is definitely following the new President and his wife.

All politics aside, I—as a romance writer—am utterly charmed by the close, affectionate, romantic relationship between the Obamas. The Bushes had an affectionate air about them, but they also had that 'long married couple' look: what a HEA looks like twenty-five years down the road. The Obamas look like they get it on, regularly. (Man, I hope the Secret Service isn't reading this) I love the photo of them on the left. Look at just the left side, and then look at just the right side. He looks like he's whispering sweet nothings in her ear, but she's laughing. Is the President of the United States telling the First Lady naughty jokes?

I think this is a great thing. Why shouldn't the president set a good example for the rest of American men, remembering to buy flowers for his wife on their anniversary and making sure to kiss her frequently? We could use a Romantic-in-Chief. Happily-ever-after isn't just fiction, it's what we should all be aiming for in our relationships, and yeah, it's a darn good thing the President has that part of his life on the right track. He should be thinking about more important things than if he's going to be sleeping on the sofa, you know?

One website had a contest to see who was the hottest freshman congressman (Aaron Shock, Republican of Illinois, was the winner), and now you can vote on the hottest man in the White House. Not that these gentlemen are in the same league as the Italian footballers Michelle likes to post for the bellas, but I am clearly not the only one who is fascinated by political…er… animals.

Who's your favorite political couple, or the most attractive national/international leader? Doesn't even have to be modern--John and Abigail Adams, anyone?

AUTHORS and BELLAS: Donate an item for the high-visibility "RBTB & Friends" page in Brenda Novak's Online Auction for Diabetes! Write Michelle @ to donate!
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 3.31 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!


Stacy~ said...

Hey Caroline, welcome back. I need to catch up on your books. I read the first one and really enjoyed it. Now I need to get to the others.

I love the relationship between Barack and Michelle (yeah, like they're my pals). I think it's such a cool thing for the world to see a happily married couple who truly enjoys each other, in many way ;) It's healthy and positive and hey let's face it, pretty hot.

I don't know that I've ever really considered any politicians in the past to be attractive - there usually seems to be some hint of scandal involved. I do think the current president and his wife fit the description to a T. I hope this sets a new standard - that fidelity is sexy.

ev said...

Politics aside, it is nice to see a husband who opens the car door for his wife, doesn't mind holding her hand in public and actually looks like he knows he has a good thing. Maybe it's the age difference- not theirs but the general age of someone who reaches that status is usually much older, and as you said, has that old married couple air.

I noticed it watching the ceremonies in January and commented on it to my husband that is was nice to see a powerful person who wasn't afraid to show his feelings and that it would make him seem weak in the eyes of others.

He now has a platform in which he can send the message that being a husband and dad is cool.

Anonymous said...

Young president Reagan was hot. Senator John Glenn, too. I remember most of the poli sci majors of my acquaintanceship being decidedly NOT hot, however . . . maybe it's best to come into a leadership role from the side rather than directly (at least as far as hottitude is concerned).

Phoebe Belsley said...

fidelity is sexy

Yes! That's exactly what I was getting at, Stacy. That you can be married with kids and still be hot for each other.

And Michelle, for shame, mentioning the Lincolns like that. There was a love triangle there, with Stephen Douglas and Honest Abe both courting her. Just think what Mr. Lincoln must have done to win her heart.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Welcome back, Caroline; always a pleasure. If all politics is local, I venture all politicians is sexy.

Nothing is sexier than power. Nothing. Which is why so many politicians make those silly, stupid mistakes 3/4 way through a happily married life w/wife an kids. They've got needy chicks lookin up to em and they fold at some point cause they had some weakness to begin with that they never wanted to explore.

That said, what Stacy said about Barack and the crew like him is dead on: They make fidelity look hot. Haven't you ever just sighed (I remember this from being single) over a great guy you meet who's wonderful, down-to-earth, likes kids/puppies, is completely appropriate and...married? Then you see how he treats his wife great and, again, appropriately, includes you in their relationahip as a friend, etc. But you can't hate him or her, you can only admire him, cause he's one of the good ones.

I agreee w/Kerri, that young Reagan and Glenn were hot. Even young W in a frat boy kinda way. He and Laura were a really cute couple. But as much as I like Al Gore -- who was so handsome in his uniform as a young man -- I still can't get that ravishing hug and kiss he gave Tipper on-stage out of my mind. shiver.

And, ok, I'll cop to having woken up one morning way back in the day and turning to Dave and saying, "My Gawd, I just had an erotic dream about that candidate, Bill Clinton."

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Just think what Mr. Lincoln must have done to win her heart.

well, Caroline, he was a very big man.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

ev, you wrote: I noticed it watching the ceremonies in January and commented on it to my husband that is was nice to see a powerful person who wasn't afraid to show his feelings and that it would make him seem weak in the eyes of others.

I just read this article where this rough/tumble city cop told how he opened up to his wife after years of having never communicated; she finally threw him out for 3 days. He said, "It takes b*lls to be sensitive."

That sounds oxymoronic, I guess, but 'real men' understand it, and have the courage to pull it off. It ain't easy for em cause society tells em not to be vulnerable and nobody teaches em differently. And women, who say they want sensitivity, often eschew it when they get it from their men. hmmm. poor bastards.

And may I just say, it still feels good to be able to write bastard and not get filtered.:)

Playground Monitor said...

I love the First Couple too. They're both smart, good-looking, hip enough to be cool but no so hip they look like idiots and totally into each other.

But what I really love are those First Daughters. As an older member of the RBTB gang, I remember the Kennedy children playing in the oval office. I understand why the FD's are kept out of public scrutiny but I'm delighted to see kids in the White House again. And how neat their Grammy gets to live with them too.


P.S. Getting ready to put on my blue jeans with my blue shirt and a blue scarf around my neck. I'll wear blue socks and a blue hoodie. Sorry to say I don't have any blue undies or shoes.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

oh, Caroline! My husband, Male Perspective Guy, and I had a little tiff yesterday because of your post! He's got this big crush on John Adams since he read McCullough's book and watched the HBO series(although he'll deny it. Let's see what he says today). He says John/Abigail's was a great love story. I say John abandoned her at one point, with the kids, in the midst of one of the most dangerous times inour nation's history, w/out even writing her. I say she had little choice -- that the sitch worked well for him -- and that it was decidedly not romantic, and that McCollough was being celebrated for bringing history alive in a non-fiction construct when in actuality he was romanticizing it.

Dave said, "well, you read all those historical romance novels and they do the same."

And I said,"the difference is, we know there's not a shred of truth in the love story. We don't expect men to act like that in real life. And what we learn about women that empowers us, we learn from the author, not necessarily from the actions of the heroine. But because the historical details are researched, we don't assume it's a manual about love in historical times."

And he said,"WEll. You should just read the McCullough." And I'm not certain, but he may have made a raspberry.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Marilyn, good for you! I'm all in blue, too! And I;m with you on those kids. They are clearly kept in hand but well loved. I always felt the same about Chelsea Clinton, that they did a remarkable job of keeping her above the fray, just as avg a kid as possible. bright, with all the bells/whistles a prez's kid gets, but centered.

But I got a little nervous for poor Barack when I heard the mil was coming to live. My mil and I laugh at how Michelle even keeps him in hand. But we all can id with that, no? Actually, I just think she's genuine and doesn't change when the cameras start rolling. I suspect other First Ladies did the same off camera. I totally believe the 'behind every great man..." adage. I think with Obama and Clinton and with many (not all) couples of their generation, the adage becomes "beside every great man..."

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline - waving. Had to stop and say hello. Love your blog. Politics is a subject rarely covered in romance, probably because it's bad for romance. Sad to say, the obsessive demands of a political career tend to put relationships a distant second. It's why so many bad political marriages are revealed behind the perfect facade.
BUT I totally believe in the Obamas. They are so adorable. I hope they set a new fashion and show up-and-coming pols that there IS time for more important things.
And Michelle, you are right. Power is very sexy.

Monica Burns said...


What a week I'm having 30hrs w/o power and heat. Not fun, especially when the power blips off in mid-sentence. Worse the houses across the street DIDN'T lose power!! Grrr

Caroline, what a great post!! I can't believe that no one here is mentioning Dolly and James Madison. GREAT love birds. The reason we have Hail to the Chief is because of Dolly. James was so short that other men towered over him and kept talking when he entered a room because they didn't see him. SHE in her infinite female wisdom had Hail to the Chief written and played every time Jimbo entered the room. Madison adored her, and Dolley abandoned her Quaker faith for him (although something tells me it wasn't just because of him). This couple had it all.

But Caroline is right. It's awesome to see a first couple in love like this. Although I think he's the more smitten of the two. I told the DH on Inaugural night that the man adores her.

Oh, and as a native Illinoisan, the way Abe won Mary's heart was to walk away when she tried to use Douglas to make Abe grow fonder of her.If I recall correctly, they'd been engaged and then she started flirting with Douglas and Abe broke the engagement. The two of them had common interests too. Love of literature AND depression. *grin*

What fun to talk history!!!

azteclady said...

Welcome, Ms Linden!

I love the image that the Obamas present, for sure--and man, but Stacy hit it right on the bull's eye: I hope this sets a new standard - that fidelity is sexy.

Because there have been a number of really good looking politicians all over the world in the course of history, but how many of them were actually faithful to their wives/husbands?

So here is wishing the Obamas the strength to remain in love with each other, and loving each other, regardless of outside forces.

(Also in blue over here!)

Phoebe Belsley said...

Well, Michelle, as a Bostonian (by marriage) I am very proud of John and Abigail Adams. But lots of men in that time went off and left their wives in charge. Those were some tough chicks, I tell you. George left Martha to run everything while he went to fight a war--BTW, did you bellas see her wedding shoes? Purple satin heels with sparkles on them, oooooh my. And the re-created portrait of Martha as a hot young woman instead of the maternal older lady? I am not thinking they got married just for money.

What was I saying? Oh yeah--romance readers moan about long separations between a couple, but that's in a book where you only have 400 pages to relate their story. If they spend 200 pages apart, that's a big void to deal with. But I got the feeling from what I've read of Abigail's letters that she supported John's activities; his involvement was the closest she could get to them herself, after all, and she was an immensely thoughtful, intelligent woman. To me, the fact that they could stay so affectionate and connected with each other in spite of his long absences does make it a greater love story.

And I HAD forgotten about the Madisons, thanks for the reminder Monica.

Phoebe Belsley said...

Forgot to wave hello to Miranda and azteclady and all the other bellas!

Also: the first daughters are way too cute. If they had a FD-cam, like the Puppy Cam last fall, the internet would crash from people watching it. The last time a kid under age 12 lived in the White House was Amy Carter (I think) and I was even younger than she was, so didn't know or care who lived in the White House. But the Obama girls are roughly the same ages as my kids, which makes them very interesting to my daughter especially. It's been like a personal civics lesson, as she is so intrigued by what their lives must be like.

scottsgal said...

I think the Obama's have such a loving and modern relationship. I think they've brought such a positive awareness so far - they seem like such a loving family. Regular people like next door neighbors.

Eve Silver said...

It's beautiful to watch the Obamas interact. And while I'm here, I must squee over A View to a Kiss. Fabulous book (but I'm a die hard Caroline Linden fan).

Lis said...

Hey Caroline! Great topic - and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks President Obama is so cool for always acknowledging his wife, and showing his affection for her and their children. It's refreshing to know that he sees her as an equal and important part of who he is and what he's about, and I would bet that she will be a remarkable First Lady doing more as his partner instead of just the wife who's in the background.
And Michelle, yes, it's nice to be see you're telling us exactly what's on your mind, in your own words! And I'm all in blue today too!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bellas, Michelle and Caroline!

Can I gush about VIEW TO A KISS for a minute? This book has got some HOT scenes when the hero sneaks into the heroine's bedroom, many of them pre-sex. CL knows how to string out the sexual tension for sure!

But I'm biased, of course. :)

The Obamas--love them. Love the way he looks at her. Love the new swing set.

Did anyone mention the Reagans? They seemed to have a grand love affair.

Michelle, can I do a shameless plug? My next Kimani romance, September's CAMPAIGN FOR SEDUCTION, features a senator running for president and the senior Washington correspondent he falls for ...

And guess who helped me through plot difficulties on this one? That's right--Caroline!

Anyway--great post!

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Caroline. I'm looking forward to reading "A View to A Kiss." I do agree that Michelle and Barack are a very attractive and elegant looking couple. The important thing is that there seems to be real affection between them. France's first lady Carla Bruni and her husband Nicolas Sarkozy are another great looking political couple.

Phoebe Belsley said...

My mother was a HUGE fan of the Reagans. Apparently Nancy once said that her life began when she met her husband, which just made my mom smile and sigh to no end. (I think she also had a thing for Ronnie, since he was still a movie star when she was young)

I'm just tickled by men in power who are also in love with their wives. It IS cool that Obama's not too important or stuffy to show how much Michelle means to him.

Ah, Ann, you kill me. A political romance starring one of YOUR heroes? I am so there, baby.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Caroline, I am (almost) duly chastened (as a woman whose favorite city in the world is Boston). In my defense, I did make the point that she could probably have done the job as well as he, but never would have been given the chance or been taken seriously. come on, could you please hang on my side on this for a sec or two?

Hi, Jan! Good political couple choice; very attractive. I guess it was kinda scandalous how much younger she is. She also is Italian which, alas, doesn't make her perfect. I guess she made some comment about 'being glad she's 'french' after berlusconi made that unfortunate comment about barack being 'suntannted' with led some Italians to say, "Hey, France: Keep Bruni, give us back the Mona Lisa!"

Ann Christopher, frankly I'm shawked. Shameless self promotion, here? At RBTB? Um, when exactly does the book drop? Very nice to see you!

Eve! Gawd, your whole gang is here! The book is very squee worthy.

cool, lis! I think you're right about Michelle Obama, too. I'll be some of the first ladies would have done more, but even back in the 20th century, they were held under the thumb of the government itself. they may have had more power wayyyy back in the day, like in the days of Dolly Madison, to manipulate things for their husbands, if not the country.

I like that, scottsgal, like next door neighbors. My husband thinks Obama's cool. I keep trying to tell hime that we're so uncool, we make even the kinda nerdly Obama look snazzy.

That is a lovely, loving wish for the Obamas, azteclady. How much stress that position must bring to a relationship. I don't think we're naive as a nation, but don't you just get the sense that they're the real deal? I think I'd be stunned to find marital infidelity skeletons in that closet. And not just for the fact that Barack's a little ascared of Michelle. There. I sed it!

And thanks for wearing blue Azteclady! (you know, I've been thinking about your 'back in history fantasy' lately, and wishing somebody'd write an Incan romance or one set in ancient Mexico or something...)

Mon!!! Sorry about your power and heat! how horrid! we had no air conditioning for 4 days two summers ago and we acted like animals. I can only imagine you're handling the sitch with far more aplomb. :)

Love your sharing of the Dolly stories! She was quite the woman of intellect and taste. He was a lucky man. Just like our husbands, no? And Dave would tell you he did something similar with me (although not to do w/another guy) to win my affection. He likes to gloat about it. :) men.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Caroline, that's so funny. I saw pics of Martha when she was young, and also when she was entertaining for George, and she seemed quite the thing.

Hiya, Miranda! I like your hope that they'll inspire the up/coming pols. :) The thing I really like is that they're not waving their fidelity and family life in anyone's face; they're just living it.

David B. said...

Okay, all my good stuff has already been covered here.

Michelle is right. I consider the story of John and Abigail Adams something of a love story in that their love endured some of the most trying and dangerous times that our country has ever exerienced. Their letters to each other are beautifully written, and sometimes speak in a sexually frank tone. Their really is some great stuff in those letters.

For me, they represent true american heroes. So that's my vote. I highlt recommend the biography. A simply magnificent read.

Portia Da Costa said...

That is such a lovely picture of President and Mrs Obama. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

hiya, portia! I always kinda liked the Blairs. But i couold have been drawn to his what we'd call'blue collar' background.

hi mpg.

David B. said...

Michelle wrote..."And I'm not certain, but he may have made a raspberry."

I don't remember any raspberries, for sure.

What's a raspberry, anyway?

Male Perspective Guy

Kristi Cook said...

Waving 'hi' to Caroline! What a great picture of the First Couple! I agree--it's so cool watching them together. Power is sexy, and a powerful man showing his feelings for his wife in public is even sexier! They're probably my favorite political couple ever, though I'm also fascinated by the Adamses, too.

And A View to a Kiss?? Simply fabulous!

Phoebe Belsley said...

Aw, thanks everyone, for your sweet comments about the book. And hey, the hero has political aspirations, even...

Jane, good call on Carla Bruni. Whatever Sarkozy lacks in hotness himself, she makes up for. I don't think there's the same 'love you forever' vibe from them, though, that the Obamas seem to have--maybe a more Continental attitude toward love and marriage.

And Michelle, I'll never forget reading the line in Bridget Jones about Britain finally electing a PM she'd have voluntary sex with (Tony Blair). I guess he does have that crisp British accent going for him. :-)

Estella said...

John F and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, estella! My mil loved/es them, too. jackie had such style! I caught an exhibition of her gowns once; very cool.

lol on the bridget jones.

hiya, kristina! Jabigail. That's what I'm calling them now. does everyone in this godfosaken place have a crush on john and abigail the way my husband does? really, I'm much more of a Sam Adams girl myself. Or Paul Revere...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

gawd, mpg. It's when you stuck out your tongue and made the 'ptthhthththt' noise. See? I teach him all the classy stuff.

amy kennedy said...

Oooooh...Caroline--I missed Caroline. I love Caroline.

Dang. And I was looking forward to this all week--but of course, life. Happened.

Plus, this was the first "Hop" (school dance) I was attending without Michelle--and I was all befuddled and bewildered. Still.

Caroline, I feel the same way about the Obamas--you just know they have sex--and they like it! But, of course, it's more than that--the intimacy that is tangeble between them is so refreshing.

Sorry I missed the fun.

Laurie G said...

I love the Obama's and their intense connection!

I also think that Maria Shriver and Arnold S Gov of Calif have a great relationship even overcoming political differences!

Jill & Joe Biden are another couple that looks very "happy together"!

Caroline, your book souunds like an excellent read!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Laurie! Great call on Maria and Ahnold! I never understand how folks in opposite=sides-of-the-aisle relationships get along. Like Mary Matalin (sp?_ and james carville. They're both so bright and passionate about their parties. I always wonder whether they're not closer in beliefs than they appear. And i agree onthe Bidens, too. He seems happy to have found someone else who'll tolerate his eccentricities.

Hey, ames! I am so sad about the hop. It was always a great cocktail party sans cocktails. I hope at least there were some cute dads.