Let’s Get Physical!

James Marsden and his yummy mouth.
James Marsden and his yummy mouth.

I’ve talked recently about what makes a great romance novel hero and heroine for me, but I want to throw it out to you today on an absolutely superficial level and ask, what kinds of men and women do you find most attractive on a purely physical basis? Do you like a hard-bodied man with big, rippling muscles, or do you prefer a lankier type? Do blonde women really have more fun, or are brunettes the stunners that catch your eye? How about faces? What do you notice first about them? Eyes? Lips? Proportions? Expressions? Do you think thin, angular women are sexier, or those with curves and a little meat on the bones? When you watch a man walk, are you checking out his shoulders, his legs, or, ahem, somewhere in between? Does size really matter?

Girls like me wanna know.

I’ve heard red-headed heroes don’t fare particularly well as romance leads. Is that true for you? Flaxen hair seems more common on heroines than ebony tresses – or do I maybe just notice that more? And do heroes or heroines EVER have rich chocolately eyes instead of those the color of the sea in a storm?

Bradley James as Prince Arthur
Bradley James as Prince Arthur

I myself prefer the tall, dark, handsome, and somewhat lanky hero type, a la Robert Pattinson or Ralph Fiennes. With gorgeous blueish-greenish-grayish-yummyish eyes. I guess that’s more medium than dark. Whatever. As a teen in the 80’s I thought there was no one sexier than a blond-headed man. Yet now? Not so much. With exceptions, of course, including my beloved, sexy, snaggle-toothed (at least before he fixed them) Bradley James, who played Prince Arthur in the recent BBC series Merlin. Whoah, mama, he’s fine. But most of the time it’s the tall, chestnut-haired, light-eyed, leanly muscled fellows that are gonna start me drooling. Especially if they have nice mouths. I notice mouths a lot. Is that kooky? If so, blame my mother – she’s the one who taught me to focus on lips and such because she always talks about them herself.

Holiday Granger
Holiday Granger

As for women, I admit it, I tend to think of blonde-haired blue-eyed beauties for romance heroines. Bad Margaret. Bad. (In my defense, of the 5-6 additional stories I’ve sketched out, I’ve made sure to have 3 of the heroines have darker locks – and two have darker eyes, as well.) I like my women to have curves, too, because, well, I do (although they don’t need as many as I have, unless they’d like to help me out by taking a few of these pounds off my hands. And my hips.).

Isn't she gorgeous?
Isn’t she gorgeous?

Hopefully as I get farther down this writing path I shall challenge my own preferences, because certainly there must be people out there hankering after fellows with straw-colored hair and walnut eyes, just as there have got to be people for whom anything less than a raven-haired vixen with mahogany orbs just won’t do. And I haven’t even mentioned people of other ethnic backgrounds, although there are certainly many men and women from all over the world and all sorts of heritages that I find super sexy. I guess when reading romance, because I read Regencies, perhaps, most of the characters are white-skinned. Most, not all. Have you read romances featuring a broader selection of ethnicities?

In any case, let me know what gets your juices flowing. And if you need a little eye candy to help you out, here’s my Pinterest board full of people I find attractive. Which of course I have purely for research. Right? Right.

Whatcha Think?