Aug 5 2011 10:30am

Men and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Hot Boys on Hot Bikes

I don’t really like motorcycles. For starters, they’re noisy, obnoxiously so if they have those big pipes that amplify the sound. They can be smelly too, especially when the exhaust fumes get sucked into your air vents. I know I can’t be the only one who gets irritated when motorcyclists weave in between all of us cars stopped on the freeway while they’re zooming towards freedom.

But. . .

Pair a motorcycle with a sexy romance hero, and all my grievances are forgotten, because I am instantly smitten, with the man and the machine. I’ve discovered a few heroines who also succumbed to motorcycle men, for a variety of completely justifiable reasons.

Whisper Falls by Toni BlakeIn Whisper Falls by Toni Blake, the heroine, Tessa, lives by herself in the woods, and she’s concerned when her new neighbor seems to have a lot of bikers coming and going. She soon learns Lucky is an artist, custom painting motorcycles for all those visitors. At the beginning she is about as keen on bikes as I am, but then Lucky describes what he loves about riding:

“When you’re on a bike,” he said without a moment’s hesitation, “nothing matters but the wind and the view and the machine underneath you. It’s the perfect combination of freedom and power and speed. And. . .” He stopped, squinting slightly, appearing to think it over. “ And a little bit of danger. Just enough to make you feel. . .alive, ya know?”

Yeah, I think I do know now. . .

Some health concerns have made Tessa decide to live a bit more dangerously, so when Lucky asks if she wants to go for a ride, she agrees, after changing into an outfit she worries makes her look like a pirate:

“All set?” he asked.

Her eyes were drawn instantly to the bike he’d pulled out into his driveway. “I think.” She was no motorcycle connoisseur, but this one struck her as attractive, the sleek body black with simple red flames painted on, the under carriage parts done in bright, shiny chrome accentuated with two long, curving pipes.

Without another word, Lucky turned to her, lowering a helmet smoothly onto her head and buckling a strap beneath her chin—so that now she felt like an alien pirate. And her head suddenly grew heavy from the added weight. Then he slid a black helmet painted with more intricate red and orange flames onto his own head and situated himself on the bike. Upon starting it up, a loud and familiar sound—plm, plm, plm, plm, plm—vibrated from the pipes as Lucky yelled over top of the noise, “Climb on.”

It was awkward hoisting her leg over the seat, especially since it was curved in such a way as to push their bodies instantly together, her front against his warm, broad back. The contact shocked her and she automatically tried to lean away, but it didn’t make much difference—she was now officially stuck like glue to Lucky Romo.

“Um, what do I hold onto?” she asked loudly over his shoulder.

He turned his head just enough that she could see his eyes within the helmet. “Me.” Then he faced forward again, instructing her, “Wrap your arms around my waist.”

A whoosh of breath escaped her at the very notion. Plus she was close enough to smell him now—he gave off a clean yet musky scent that instantly appealed. She slid her hands gingerly around his torso, unable not to press her breasts into his back. And when everything inside her vibrated madly, she wasn’t sure if it was from the rumbling machine between her legs or the big, sexy man she was plastered against.

Make Her Pay by Roxanne St. ClaireLizzie, the treasure-hunting heroine in Roxanne St. Claire’s Make Her Pay, encounters a different kind of danger during her motorcycle ride. She grudgingly goes along because the hero, Con, has something she wants, “one of the most valuable diamonds in the world,” in his backpack.

She slid her leg over the leather and scooted into him, pressing her chest against a priceless treasure and her legs against his rock-hard thighs. “Fine. Go.”

“Good girl.”

He took off and she held on, and suddenly didn’t feel like a very good girl at all.

It isn’t long before they’re being chased by bad guys, giving Lizzie a thrill ride she hadn’t counted on:

“Hang on,” Con called.

She clutched his stomach tighter, squashing her thighs against his. Wind whistled through her helmet and smacked her face every time she leaned around Con’s bare back to look in the rearview mirror.

She did anyway. The SUV was gaining on them. He whipped to the left, accelerating to a heart-stopping speed that made her squeeze her eyes shut. The left? They were in the left. That meant. . .

Lizzie opened her eyes to confirm they were on the wrong side of the street, headed into oncoming traffic. The lights were a half mile away, but in an instant they’d be hit.

She gripped tighter instead of screaming, and wished to God she’d had a chance to say good-bye to Brianna.

A car whizzed by, the horn blaring. Con flung them around another car, more horns blasting. The bike swayed left and right, braiding the oncoming traffic as if the cars were merely cones in a motorcross route. The cacophony of screeching brakes and furious horns added to the insanity, deafening even over the bellow of the full-speed motorcycle.

She stole a glance to the right. They’d outrun their pursuer by about fifteen car lengths. Con rolled them to the left again, doing another tip-until-you-touch turn that stopped Lizzie’s heart, righting them as he turned left again into a side street.

Mine Until Morning by Samantha HunterIn Samantha Hunter’s Mine Until Morning, the heroine, also named Tessa, is not exactly enamored of motorcycles, until her new husband Jonas shows up with one at the end of their wedding reception:

Surprise didn’t cover what she saw.

Jonas. Dressed completely in black leather, sitting on a huge, black motorcycle, smiling up at her.

He looked. . .dangerous. A thrill ran down her spine.

He’d mentioned the bike, but hadn’t ridden it since getting his sight back, and she’d wondered why.

The bike was decorated with Just Married décor, and he dropped the kickstand, taming the roaring noise as he hopped off and met her at the top at the door.

“Ready to leave on our honeymoon?” he said, taking her hands in his.

“On that?” she asked, looking at the bike apprehensively.

“You’ll like it,” he said, nuzzling her ear. “I promise.”

She wasn’t so sure.

However, during the bike ride to the airport, Tessa discovers just how fun it is to get from Point A to Point B—and that’s while the motorcycle is stopped, in a secluded spot off the side of the road.

So who else loves motorcycles as much as I do?

Motocycle image courtesy of daveynin via Flickr 


Donna Cummings writes lighthearted contemporary and historical romance. She can be found at, or talking incessantly about coffee on Twitter @BookEmDonna.

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
I can't say that I love 'em, but I do enjoy them on paper. I have another example for you:

Parker from Nora Robert's "Happy Ever After" gets on a motorcicle with her hero, against all expectations from her friends and family.
2. Janga
I share your love for Lucky and Con, Donna. The best motorcycle scene in romance IMO is Cameron Lynde's ride with Jack Pallas in Something About You by Julie James--brilliant example of sexual tension.

My favorite biker hero is Walt Arneson in A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr--a gentle, intelligent, long-haired giant of a man with a passion for nature and for the heroine. A beta hero in totally unexpected guise! You find biker heroes in surprising places. Debbie Macomber's the last author I'd expect to put a hero on a Harley, but she does just that in A Turn in the Road.
Donna Cummings
3. Donna Cummings
@bungluna -- I'm with you. I prefer them on paper. LOL I'll check out the example since I like when someone acts against expectations. :)

@Janga -- I've heard about the motorcycle ride in Something About You, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I definitely will now! And I love Robyn Carr, so I will include A Summer in Sonoma to my bursting-at-the-seams TBR pile.
4. Samantha Hunter
Thanks so much for including me, Donna! :)

Donna Cummings
5. Donna Cummings
@Samantha -- How could I NOT include you? :) After reading this wonderful scene in your book, I thought, "You know, there ought to be a post about motorcycles. . ."
6. torifl
I love motorcycles in real life and on paper. Some of my fav scenes:
Dark Hunter Ash and Tory's ride for their life in SLK's Achenon. Plus, all the were hunters ride bokes. YUM!

Clare and Cam's sexy ride in Nora Robert's Divine Evil.

Even Stephan King puts a romantic beta hero on a bike to help his fair lady in Rose Red.
Donna Cummings
7. Donna Cummings
@torifl -- Thanks for even more recommendations. :) Clearly I have some good reading ahead of me!
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