As some of you may be aware, Fabio was the special guest model on America's Next Top Model this week. I shall pass over what were given as romance "plots" for the photo shoot because it's a show about modelling, after all, except to say that perhaps a producer or somebody should have, you know, consulted with an actual romance editor or writer. Because some of their suggestions were just so wrong.
Anyway, about Fabio: I have never found him particularly attractive. I don't really understand his appeal. I have never, ever imagined him as the prototype for my hero, or anyone else's, for that matter.
What men on my covers have I found attractive and appropriate? Well, sometimes, the pictures of the menfolk are really too small for me to say one way or the other, so as long as the hair color's right and he doesn't look goofy, I'm pleased.
However, there have been a few where I've thought, "Excellent choice!" and there's one that, if I could only ever have one male cover model for every book? He'd be the guy.
This is the cover of my very first book, A WARRIOR'S HEART.
While I'm not too enamored of ye olde medieval mullet, I think this guy has nice lips and a good chin, and a fine nose, and a lovely eye -- and let me tell ya here and now, never underestimate the sales appeal of an eye patch.
I also like that he looks like a man old enough to have seen battle and lived to tell about it.
Model John DeSalvo is featured on the cover of THE SAXON. He's been on a few of my covers, and not only does he look good, I like the way he often looks a little worried. I like to think of my heroes as often worried about what the heroine's up to. Sometimes he can look a little too young, but usually, I'm very happy to see him on one of my covers.
Most of my heroes tend to have dark hair. I guess I just like tall, dark and handsome. The hero of THE WASTREL, however, was fair-haired. And doesn't he look fine? Nice features, and especially nice pose.
I should mention one other thing I like about this model. I'm not a fan of the "muscle-bound" types, the ones who look like they've spent several hours a day in the gym. The body type I always assume my heroes have is more like Olympic rowers -- well-muscled but lean. Working muscles, not "pretty" muscles.
And last but certainly not least, we come to the fellow I would chose to be my cover model if I could only ever have one. What do I like about this guy who could be a cousin of Alex Baldwin?
Dark hair, good looking, and most of all, he looks like a resolute, mature man whose had some major life experiences.