Dreamy eyes, strong jaw, ripped with muscle, washboard stomach, wild and unruly hair, full lips, and eyes that say 100 dirty sensual thoughts and all the right equipment below the waist makes a guy character book sexy? I am not sure if those are all the requirements pour moi per say but it is a start. A very drool worthy start. What is book sexy? Well it isn't Fabio with his princess lovely locks that is for sure-then again, like most women who started reading romance novels in the late 90s, there had to be a few of his covers that that said, "That's right baby, you want to by me. For all you know this could be a Swedish cookbook or IKEA stereo instructions but look at me in all my blond, brawn, and tight ass glory...buy me." and you bought the book and you might just have gotten through it or stopped after the first three chapters. So tell me, what's book sexy to you? Are you a cover girl or are you like me-you gotta have a combination of cover , story, and author?
Why be a cover girl? Some readers believe it or not will only buy a book if the beefcake on the cover sets their loins aflame? Actually that is a bad visual. Who actually is responsible for referring to anything below the belt and above the knees as "loins" anyhow? Seriously if I rolled over and told my husband, "I need you to slake the ache of my loins?" he'd look at me and probably tell me to hit the local CVS drugstore or tell me to scoot over because he's not catching it. As a regular purchaser of books, a cover is what catches my eye, it says, "Hey there, yeah c'mon over and check me out doll face." If the cover can draw my attention then the blurb on the back has to give me a reason to go to the nearest cash register and pay money that will no doubt take away from my latte fund or heaven forbid the grocery fund(hey, the kids can do without meat that week, right?). Some authors believe it or not would rather have eye catching font (and yes I will be the first to admit I have passed books up because I like to have a visual aid rather than font to occasionally glance at when I'm reading or my husband is well snoring on the couch-don't worry, I'm seeking therapy). There is nothing wrong though if you base the bulk of your book buying/reading on the cover. So tell me, what guy do you like to see on the cover? Someday I might tell you who my book fantasy man is.
Yeah, who wouldn't want to have a slice of that? Take this time to get your drool rags, it's okay after all drool on the keyboard is unsightly. I'll wait.
If having a sexy Adonis on the front cover isn't your forte, then perhaps you are more into painting your own picture in your head than something visual to draw you to a book. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, how many times have you probably bought a book with a hot hunk with that come hither look on his face or with a damsel in near undress in his arms only to find out that after the first three or four chapters just left you regretting paying for the dang book in the first place? I won't mention any names, but I have sunk good money into books that "looked" promising yet were all filler and no substance. As a writer, I want people to read more than just the first few chapters. There is no doubt that sex sells but a good story is what builds a fan base and keeps people buying which makes everyone happy. Again this should also dispel the myth that the sole reason why women and even men read romance novels is because they are love lorn or want to read "book porn". I started out reading historical romances because they often had better stories that went beyond just the hot and steamy scenes. If the blurb can give me enough synopsis to capture my interest and hook me in, then the Adonis on the cover takes a back seat. However if I read the back and it just doesn't spark interest for me, it wouldn't matter if Johnny Depp was on the cover practically naked. Let me stress it would be HARD to return the book to the shelve but I would muster the strength.
I'm a combo kind of gal. I like a combination of both great cover art and an enticing blurb on the back. Seriously, I think both the cover and blurb go hand in hand when it comes to gathering interest for a book especially if one is a relatively new or Indie author. It kind of makes it the total package.
So what is book sexy? Still lingering over that question? Well I think that it just depends on you the reader and the individual. For me, a guy doesn't have to be the most buff stud in the box. I like dark and mysterious, but the muscle bound bad boy works for me too. I first fell in love with the lusty Vikings, hard battle honed Highlanders, and sinewy Native American warriors that graced the books by authors like Johanna Lindsay, Lynsay Sands, Georgina Gentry, and Cassie Edwards. Then came all my favorites by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kerrelyn Sparks, J R Ward, Lora Leigh, Lora Adrian, and Denyse Bridger who all have great combinations of sexy cover art as well as blurbs that hook a reader in.
After all it is really up to you the reader what catches your fancy whether its a hot hunk on the cover or an enticing blurb on the back cover, or a book that is simply by your favorite author. A well written romance novel no matter what genre is going to have characters both male and female, a story that transports the reader like Alice through the looking glass, and is going to leave the reader wanting more. So happy reading. Tell me what book or books has you ensnared and enslaved and what made you just have to add it to your reading library.