Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top 5 romance novel covers with hairy chests

List by Annie

"What's with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?"
- Erma Bombeck

So, what do you prefer in your romance heroes? Hair or no hair on their chests? Yep, there are guys out there who are naturally hairless. Oh, and some supes, too – elves for instance. (Legolas with hair doesn’t bear thinking about.) What I can’t get are the hairless shapeshifters. Surely, if you turn into a wolf / bear/ tiger / panther (whatever) part of the time, you’d have chest hair while human?! One of my workmates dared mention ‘the boy from Twilight’ – my reply – ‘BOY! I’m not talking about BOYS!’ Oh yes, the search for these covers led to some interesting discussions in the workroom, and voting on covers – ‘Is that chest hair, or just a shadow?’ and ‘Yeah, there’s hair, but it’s not like it's Burt Reynolds, is it?’ After hunting on the shelves, I saw one cover – with chest hair – that has completely traumatised me. I can’t even remember which shelf it was on, it was so bad. Usually I don’t mind hanging out in the romance section, checking out covers – and sniggering where appropriate – but this cover left me feeling sullied. I swear, the only reason I figured out the figure on the left was the hero was the chest hair. NOTHING else gave it away. While on a roll here, how many barbarian lords would have had perfectly hairless, i.e. waxed, chests! Hmph. Just the right amount of chest hair means he’s a real man, doesn’t it? (I’m not talking Burt Reynolds, or hairy backs or other such icky things.) Damn fashion.

Herewith, my top 5 covers with chest haired guys...

Honourable mention:
  • The lost duke of Wyndham / Julia Quinn - I love most Quinn novels, this one I’m a bit undecided on.

    Nauti nights / Lora Leigh
    In Nauti Nights, Leigh delivers an even hotter tale of a Kentucky marine who'll anything to get the woman he wants. Luckily for him, she wants it bad. James "Dawg" Mackay has lusted after sweet Crista for years. Just as many as she's spent running from him-and from a dangerous attraction. But for Crista, running isn't an option anymore because Dawg's got a plan to get her and keep her. It's kind of low-down-but completely hot.

    Annie's comment: When my mother saw this one – with the ‘Warning: Sexually Explicit Content’ label all over it, she said ‘You read this sort of stuff?’ This from the woman who introduced me to romance novels and Dennis Wheatley? Not a leg to stand on, I say. And, yes, the warning is justified. Just so you know. PS this is the one that inspired the Burt Reynolds comment.

    Black magic lover / Cynthia Cooke
    "A chilling phone call brings Laura Larame back to the Louisiana bayou, where her mother inexplicably vanished twenty years ago. She has no memory of one terror-filled night - or of the man who saved her from a horrifying death. Sensual, enigmatic Drew Michel awakens a hunger Laura aches to fulfill, unaware that the handsome Creole psychic is part of the dark magic that stalks her... All his life, Drew has been haunted by visions of death. Now, unless he can stop it, Laura will die as an ancient blood prophecy comes full circle. But Laura's return stirs something deep inside him. Can Drew again vanquish the evil that demands Laura's sacrifice... or will the demon haunting them take all?" -- Publisher's description.

    Annie's comment: One of the Nocturne series – set in the bayou with voodoo and twisty plot lines.

    4b. Guardian's keep / Lori Devoti
    Kol Hildr had spent the last century battling hellhounds and warlocks who sought to usurp his portal's magic. A mighty shape-shifter with the ability to change into wolf form, Kol made accessing the powerful gateway nearly impossible—unless you were a witch of Kelly Shane's talents. She had a score to settle and would do anything to close the portal that led to her unearthly prison. Though an alliance with her compromised Kol's very purpose, something about the little witch overwhelmed his fierce, battle-worn soul. But when he learned that Kelly's life might be in jeopardy, could Kol put aside the one thing he thought he valued most—the portal—to journey to the other side and save her?

    Annie's comment: Shapeshifter meets witch. Nice. And a shapeshifter with hair while in human form! Will wonders never cease?!

    Lord Scandal / Kalen Hughes
    After a handsome rake sets out to seduce a woman whose past is every bit as scandalous as his own, he surprises himself by falling in love.

    Annie's comment: Scorching and steamy historical scandal and sex!

    Demon night / Meljean Brook
    Beautiful Charlie Newcomb is being hunted by vampires, for she is the link to a medical miracle that could be invaluable to the night stalkers. Her only protection is her guardian, Ethan. But will he be enough to save her when darkness falls?

    Annie's comment: Bad boy cowboy turned Guardian. What’s not to like? Check out the rest of the series, too.

    The heir / Grace Burrowes
    "Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the Duke of Moreland. To escape his father's inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper... Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper. As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna's secrets threaten to bring the earl's orderly life crashing down--and he doesn't know how he's going to protect her from the fallout..."--P. [4] of cover.

    Annie's comment: My number 1 and not just cos it’s funny with the homophone and all. But number 1, because it’s a great first novel. It has characters who are real, and they CARE. Their dynamics are understandable. The dilemmas are heartfelt. I want more. Pretty please. And now.
    ~ Annie.

    Annie said...

    You found a quote! Skill :)

    catatonia said...

    I did! I have to be honest and say I was hoping to find one much funnier but I do heart Erma Bombeck :)