Monday, September 13, 2010

Then and Now

Monday, September 13, 2010
Remember when Fabio was all the rage? When he graced the cover of what had to be about 90% of all books in the Romance genre?

The tan body, the long blonde hair, the rippling muscles...

The wind machine, the strong jaw, the intense gaze...

Yes, Fabio had his time to shine and he was bright for a very long time, but the trend has shifted. 

   The muscles are still there (that's for sure!)  But we've got a definite crop of bad boys.

Darker looks. Tattoos, tattoos, tattoos. From tribal to serpents and everything in between.

We still get an occasional blonde, but the longer tresses are few and far between.

Who would've thought that bald would make the cover? Well it has and I believe it will continue to do so.

But we don't just get the bad boys. We do get pure innocence wrapped in a very nice package. This last model may very well be my favorite of all time:

Innocent, right?

So how about you? What type do you like to see on the front cover of your book? And for those that aren't interested in this type, what about certain covers draw you to pick up a book?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi


Mary Jo said...

Funny that. I've always been attracted to dark haired men with deep blue eyes. Oh, with maybe a few exceptions...but never a Fabio type.

I've seen bald as exciting if the eyes were wondrous. Think You Brynner in his day. My turnoff in covers is overly muscled men and heaving bosoms in women. What draws me into a cover is the mood it sets for me or the smile it engenders.

SIS BJ said...

I never went for the Fabio type. Dark hair and tattoos for men. Dark or red hair for the women. I love it if the cover has a dark theme to it. Both man and woman need to look strong. No wimps please.

Elle J Rossi said...

Mary Jo,

I also like dark haired men. I have never been a blonde fan (okay maybe there has been an exception or two).

My husband is bald and I think it looks great on him, so I am a definite bald fan.

I too don't care for covers like the heaving bosoms one you described. No wind machines either, please. I go for either fun covers or dark ones. I actually love Diana Rowland's covers. Check those out.

Elle J Rossi said...


No Fabio for you either? Surely, someone must have been a Fabio fan?

I'm with you. Love the dark themed covers. Have you read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. One of the best covers ever! In my opinion, of course. I don't know if an online picture would give it justice. If you find the hardback in a book store, make sure you check it out.

Edie Ramer said...

Though I enjoy looking at all those pictures, I'm drawn to covers with a dog on them. lol So I guess cute and hairy does it for me.

Seriously, I prefer covers like your sister Beth's.

Elle J Rossi said...


That's not the first time I've heard this. Many people are drawn to covers with animals on them.

Beth will be thrilled. I'll let her know.

Tori Lennox said...

I liked Fabio well enough, I guess. But I prefer dark hair. Not that all his covers had him as a blond. I was always a bit more partial to Stefan Schwarze.

Beth Ciotta said...

I dug Fabio... in his prime. And as Tori said, he wasn't always blond. I actually saw him, was within a few feet of him at my firt RT con in 1994. It honestly didn't matter much what he looked like. The man ooozed an animal charisma. Hard to descibe, but it was amazing.

Personal preferences. I go for dark hair more. And, yes, tattoos. Especially Celtic ones. An ornery smile is sexy. There's a Danielle Steel book, ROGUE, I think it's called. The cover is a man who looks to be in his late 40s/early fifties. He's wearing a tux, tho the tie is undone. He's quite handsome and has this little grin. I thought it was one of the sexiest covers ever. ;)

SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...


I googled Stefan Schwarze and about a bazillion fellows popped up. None worth looking at. Then I added "cover model" and hit the jackpot. I see why you liked him!

Krys said...

Not much of a Fabio fan myself, either. I'm usually attracted to covers that have desolate moonlit landscapes, old buildings and structures, and shadowy shapes and figures. Go figure.

Elle J Rossi said...


I wouldn't have taken you for a tattoo gal.

I googled Rogue by Danielle Steel. Cool cover. Great look. Definite ornery smile!

Krys said...

I should have added in my previous post, if we're talking about people on the covers, of course a woman or two or three will grab my attention, but it's not so much the body as it is the expression on the face, how they're dressed, the pose they're in and what they're doing.

Elle J Rossi said...


I like those kind of covers too. Well, the first comment about covers you made, not the multiple women comment. Ha!

Shadows are fantastic and can mean so many different things.

Krys said...


Exactly! I like covers that could mean any number of things, and you have to read the novel to find out which!

Anonymous said...

For my two cents - Fabio was a short-lived fantasy, especially when he wasn't blond. It didn't have a whole lot to do with his appearance, more with the romance that he exuded! :)

I've always preferred the long dark haired type. The true bad boy - or at least the appearance of it. Motorcycles, the Cowboy dressed in the black hat keeping his face partially covered, someone in the shadows, etc...

The darker the cover with hues of blues, purples, and reds the more likely I am to at least read the back.

Overly muscled men and heaving bosoms are a real turn off. I like a glimmer in the eyes and a smile that is intriguing and impossible to decipher. That goes for the men or women on the cover.

Krys - I agree with you that landscapes play a huge part in the appeal of a book cover. Then again, sometimes a name says all I need to know. :)

Elle J Rossi said...


I love your description of the cowboy. I would buy that on the spot.

It's also interesting that you know which colors draw you.

I'll take the muscled men, but am totally fine with nixing the heaving bosoms. Now give me a bad ass girl with weapons and that's a whole different story!

Berinn said...

Ooh, great cover models. For me, I like covers that I would be proud to read in the airport (the ole Fabio covers definitely don't leave the house). Give me a cover with tattoos and muscles, and I'm happy!

Elle J Rossi said...

I know what you mean, Berinn. Sometimes, I'd like to have a cover for my cover!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Elle - I'm totally with you on a bad ass girl! It's great when the "main guy" thinks he's all that and then a girl shows up who shows him up. LOL

Beth said...

I have always been attracted to dark haired and muscled men. I love dark covers on a book also. You know, I think the guy who plays Jacob on Twilight would be an awesome cover model for a book.

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