When Jackie (The Hardcover Harlequin) asked if anyone would be interested in posting about our favourite book boyfriends, I practically fell over, I rushed to join in! And really, there was only one boy I wanted to write about. He took over my brain right after I met him, and he’s still one of my all-time favourite characters. And luckily for me, fandom has settled on the perfect boy to play him.
Meet Etienne St. Clair of Stephanie Perkins’ lovely novel Anna and the French Kiss:
- Age: 18
- Eye Colour: Brown
- Hair Colour: dark brown (messy, long and a little curly)
- Nationality: American
- Lives in: Paris
- Clothing of choice: Black peacoat, uniform, Anna’s scarf.
- Languages: English and French
- Dreamcast: Harry Styles (pictured)
When we first meet Etienne, Anna’s just knocked clear into his path.
He shakes his head, a little dazed. The first thing I notice is his hair–it’s the first thing I notice about everyone. It’s Dark brown and messy and somehow both long and short at the same time. It’s artist hair.Musician hair. I-pretend-I-don’t-care-but-I-really-do-hair. Beautiful hair.And he’s English…Seriously, I don’t know any American girl who can resist an English accent. The beautiful boy gives an amused grin. “Etienne,” he says. “I live one floor up….Well. I’ll see you around then, Anna.”Eh-t-yen says my name like this: Ah-na.
And so it begins. Etienne quickly turns Anna (and the reader) into a puddle with his quips and general Boy-Masterpiece-ness.
“A moment of reserve. “That was it? The whole story?”
“Yes. God, you’re right. That was pants.”
I sidestep another aggressive couscous vendor. “Pants?”
“Rubbish. Crap. Shite.”
Pants. Oh heavens, that’s cute.”
I love it when he cocks an eyebrow whenever I say something he finds clever or amusing.
I love listening to his boots clomp across my bedroom ceiling.
I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent.
He’s not perfect, however, and makes a bunch of mistakes because of his own fear of being alone. (Which, okay, is kind of adorable since it’s never really going to happen.)
His mother is quite ill, and Etienne’s unabashed love and admiration for her is just one of his best traits. He is devoted to his friends, and refuses to do anything to hurt them. Both Anna and Etienne learn to be better people because of each other:
“And I realize … it’s okay. It’s okay if St. Clair and I never become more than friends. His friendship alone has strengthened me in a way that no one else’s ever has. He swept me from my room and showed me independence. In other words, he was exactly what I needed. I won’t forget it. And I certainly don’t want to lose it.”
He values honesty and tells Anna everything, as she does for him (which we see in Lola and the Boy Next Door). He tries to be fair, even when it’s difficult.More than anything else, Etienne is a friend to Anna, one who respects her decisions and never tries to control her, but just loves her deeply.
Perfect Date: The cliche answer is “Dinner at the Eiffel Tower.” But since I know that Etienne is absolutely petrified of heights, I won’t even try to suggest it. Instead, I’d love to go to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Looking at my favourite artist’s paintings with the most gorgeous boy in the world? Yes, please. Then we’d take a boat ride and dance around at sunset, just like in Anastasia.
“Most people in Atlanta don’t have an accent. It’s pretty urban. A lot of people speak gangsta, though,” I add jokingly.
“Fo’ shiz,” he replies in his polite English accent.
I spurt orangey-red soup across the table. St. Clair gives a surprised ha-HA kind of laugh, and I’m laughing too, the painful kind like abdominal crunches. He hands me a napkin to wipe my chin. “Fo’. Shiz.” He repeats it solemnly.
Cough cough. “Please don’t ever stop saying that. It’s too-” I gasp. “Much.”
“You oughtn’t to have said that. Now I shall have to save it for special occasions.”
“My birthday is in February.” Cough choke wheeze. “Please don’t forget.”
“When it’s right, it’s simple.”