Men I Have Loved is a series of interviews with male characters I’ve adored in today’s fiction. I am totally over the moon to bring you my interview with Andrew. I fell for him bad. He still haunts me. When I buy my coffee, it’s his hands that I watch make it (it’s kind of sick when you dub your barista after your book crush).
Andrew is the kind of guy who gets under your skin. He’s the ‘hero’ in E.Mellyberry’s books My Lea and I Won’t Break. These books quite literally broke me and I highly recommend them if you love Asian culture and a heartbreakingly real love story.
A little about Andrew from E.Mellyberry: He’s so flawed, he’s real. He’s a hero, but not the ordinary Prince Charming. He’s a villain, but not the heartless monster who burns down every living thing within his sight. He’s a human being, not a knight in shining armor. He’s a coward; he’s a warrior. He’s one contradicting man with many layers to his personality. I don’t even want to start mentioning his bleak past.
NLK: What most surprised you by Lea?
The one quality Lea has that renders me speechless is her ability to forgive and to love without judgement. She has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen on a person.
The other thing that surprises me is her smart mouth. When I first met her, I didn’t expect this. I bet you wouldn’t either. She looked young, innocent, and sweet, you know, like a baby princess, you wouldn’t have thought she could be anything but harmless. Then she opened her mouth and shot me down. Multiple times. I have to think really hard if I want to win a game of verbal wits with her. I don’t think I’ve ever won though.
NLK: Can you describe the moment when you first met?
Her look took my breath away that first time we met. As you might expect, the cocky bastard in me wanted so much to rattle her with my charm. My intention was to make her blush, because who wouldn’t want to see a gorgeous girl blush, right? Well, she flushed all right. But she also responded to my bullshit in a manner that was different from the other girls I knew. She was genuine, funny, and sincere. She reminded me a lot of my younger days when I was just a simple boy and not a guy who’s screwed up.
NLK: How far would you go for love?
I’m not the kind of guy who writes poetry or something, so I can’t give you metaphors. But I can tell you this: I’d die to make Lea and my family happy. Literally.
NLK: What is the biggest injustice in the world?
It breaks my heart every time I see a smart kid can’t pursue his/her higher dream because their social economy situation won’t let them. There are already many philanthropists and donors who support this cause, yet it’s not enough. I wonder if there will ever be enough.
NLK: What characteristics does your ideal woman possess?
She must be smart, funny, and humble. I’m always drawn to strong women, maybe because my mother is one. I admire her for having the strongest steel for her backbone and the sweetest, softest cotton candy for her heart. All my life I’ve been surrounded by powerful women who are not afraid to stand up for themselves. It’s important, I think. You must stand up for yourself first before you can inspire others to do the same.
Excerpt from ‘My Lea’:
His eyes scanned over her Eurasian features. They were the perfect blend of exotic and royal, the best of East and West. She and Jo had the same straight, dark-brown hair and hazel-caramel eyes. The only difference was the shapes of their faces; Jo with an oval-shaped face like their Chinese mother’s, while Lea’s was more heart-shaped.
He decided to test his charm on her. Let’s see if he could make those sparkling eyes—which were currently stopped dead at his mouth—laugh. If Jo disapproved, well, let Jo be damned. He never told him that his sister was off-limits. Besides, someone needed to give her a proper American welcome. A proper Andrew welcome. He was excited at the prospect of ruffling Lea’s feathers. It’d been a fucking while since the last time he felt excited. Hell. It’d been a while since the last time he felt anything at all.
He made a big show of dragging his tongue across his bottom lip like he was licking his favorite lollipop. He leaned forward a few inches, catching the widening of her eyes at the sight of his now moist lips.
Good job, honey. Focus on my mouth.
He was a cocky son-of-a-bitch, but hey, at least he was honest up front. He’d never pretended to be a humble son-of-an-angel anyway.
He dropped his normal voice, reserved for panties combustion occasions only. “Done checking me out?”
She yanked her hand free. Her expressive brown eyes widened even more. He swore the caramel-honey color melted with embarrassment. Her cheeks looked as if they were being pinched pink. Andrew had to bite his lower lip not to grin like an ass. Every girl he’d encountered so far had turned into a giggling, blushing Jell-o at his blatant flirting. Lea was blushing all right, but the words—not giggle—that came out of her mouth made him want to kiss her right there, right now in front of her whole family.
“Not quite. Could you please”—she gestured with her hand, making a circling motion—“turn around?”
Andrew wanted to bite those pinkish cheeks.
Fine. If the princess wanted to play, he would play. “Happy to.”
Connect with E.Mellyberry