Okay, so this subject came up because I was chatting to my editor a couple of weeks ago about a hero with facial hair (the character was actually the brother of the hero in the book I was writing) and could I/would I kind of thing. Turns out that after some extensive research (also known as asking several friends if they liked bearded heroes or bearded men in general) that the jury still seems to be out on the whole 'what-is-too-much" or "what-is-not-enough" hair adorning the chiseled jaw of romance book heroes.
Continuing with the extensive research (scouring the Harlequin and Amazon sites) it seems that the more erotic contemporary romance books have a higher proportion of bearded heroes than other genres...like this one....
And then, just when I was convinced that the more soft-core romance lines were all about smooth jaws.....I saw that gorgeous LoveCat Kandy Sheperd's November release has a bearded hero on the cover (looking uber hot don't you think)
According to Wikipedia - Throughout the course of history, societal attitudes toward male beards have varied widely depending on factors such as prevailing cultural-religious traditions and the current era's fashion trends. Some religions (such as Sikhism) have considered a full beard to be absolutely essential for all males able to grow one, and mandate it as part of their official dogma. Other cultures, even while not officially mandating it, view a beard as central to a man's virility, exemplifying such virtues as wisdom, strength, sexual prowess and high social status.
And what about in the movies....Eric Bana's Hector from the movie Troy? Mandy Patinkin as Avigdor in Yentl. Gerard Butler in pretty much anything where he's sporting a beard (or not)
So, are you partial to a bearded hero? Or a five o'clock shadow? Or do you prefer a smooth jaw?
Here's another sample to help with the decision......
You know my hubby has had a beard for probably 39 years and we have been married nearly 40 so I don't mind them but I must admit that I do not like really long bushy beards that last example you posted it fab love it but the tattooed one no way :)
So for me as long as they are not over the top I very much like a beard :)
Hi Helen - I'm with you, trimmed and neat! :)Delete
Oooh, I'd love to know what your ed said, Helen as I'm writing a bearded hero for my latest medicl romance at the moment and am nervous about what my ed is going to say. He has pic 1 and pic 4 type beard but the tats of pic 2 :-)ReplyDelete
I like the trimmed beards on hot men in pics that I'm not married to :-) Not a fan of the full bush ranger. It nust kind of looks like pubic hair on the face.....
Hi AA - hehe, love the bush ranger concept.Delete
Hmm...I'm more nay than yay where beards are concerned. And I really don't like those big beards (love AA's description of "the full bush ranger" even if I don't like the look). But a bit of five o'clock shadow? Yes, please!ReplyDelete
Hi Michelle - five o'clock shadow....sigh....Delete
It's hit or miss for me. Tidy well trimmed ones looks good, but ones that are longer, even when well kept are off putting to me. Eg pic 2 is too long for my liking and a friend has one even longer that while I know he and his fiance like it, makes me cringe when I see it. I do feel like beards are another element of male hair and preferences.ReplyDelete
AA - I hope he makes it through the editor.
I'm still looking for my own Mr Right, so unsure whether I could handle a man with a beard in real life.
Hi Lyn - Yes, tidy and trimmed is good...I don't go for long and untidy look...but as you say, it's a personal preference thing. I have a friend who adores her hubby's beard which is half way down his chest. She likes to remind me how I made my husband shave off his moustache when we were first dating...makes me sound kinda mean lol.Delete
Definitely yay. My partner has a beard and when he shaves it off, I can't wait for it to grow back. Also, I prefer dark-haired men, which makes me wonder if I would have liked his beard as much had it been a different colour (blond or red, for example).ReplyDelete
Hi Natalija - now you have me thinking...blonde or dark...:)Delete
No, especially long beards. Don't mind 5 o'clock shadows though.ReplyDelete
Hi Pam - I'm with you, five o'clock shadow's look good!Delete
Beards are really in over here in Ireland and, my goodness, they know how to do the whole groomed look to perfection. There are beard barbers everywhere... And I mean all over. I only remember seeing them in the Perth CBD in Oz.ReplyDelete
You can even search a local news compiler by beards (check out the whacky half-beard and the Christmas style): http://www.thejournal.ie/beard/news/
Hi Karina - I must g and check that site. I'd heard that 'beard' barbers were popping up in the big cities. Thanks for the link!Delete
Helen, I like a trimmed beard, like your last example. Definitely not into those big, bushy versions. Amy's description is perfect.ReplyDelete
Hi Sue - looks like the trimmed beard is a popular choice :)Delete
I have never seen my husband's face sans beard! Although, these latter years his beard is more of a goatee. I really like the trend now of shaped and groomed beards but the biblical beards of the seventies and eighties were a bit much! There is a saying... A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt. I like my eggs both ways.ReplyDelete
Hi Melanie - ha, I love the moustache reference :)Delete
I like a clean face --nothing hidden --what you see is what you get no facial hair for me ------Lyn WReplyDelete
Helen, the funny thing about my cover for Greek Tycoon's MistletoeReplyDelete
proposal is that the hero in the book doesn't actually have a beard! But apparently a lot of cover models do these days because beards are so fashionable.