Today, Fiona Harper explores the fickle nature of women's male preferences. When we have a girly get-together and the topic of hot men comes up, we often surprise each other with who gets our pulses racing. And sometimes we even surprise ourselves!
Tall, dark and handsome. That's supposed the be the archetypal romance hero, right? And let's face it - this variety of male does appear prominently in many a series romance. Yet, when we delve a little deeper, we find that women's real life crushes are surprisingly varied.
Take me, for example. Recently I surprised myself my noticing Hugh Lawrie was quite attractive. He does have the most amazingly striking blue eyes...
No, not like that! Like this:
That's better. Now, I can't be the only one who thinks the gruff, selfish, antisocial Dr House isn't a little sexy, can I?
And here's another man who wouldn't necessary work as a Harlequin/Mills&Boon hero - Patrick Stewart. He's...mature, shall we say. And follically challenged. I really couldn't imagine my editor going for the idea of a bald hero. Not impossible, maybe, but it'd be a tough sell. But then again, I've never put looks at the top of my list when it comes to men I find attractive. I think qualities like integrity, intelligence and a good sense of humour trump a pretty pair of eyes or a well-defined six-pack. Mr Stewart has presence and gravitas. Don't care about the lack of hair. In fact, I think it works for him.
Okay, and if we're really going to let it all hang out here... Draw closer. I have something to whisper... Dear old Patrick isn't the only man lacking thick, dark locks that I think has a little something about him. I also think Phil Spencer from BBC TV's Location, Location, Location is cool. Can't analyse it - apart from the fact that he's got a nice smile and wicked sense of humour. But they always say that women like a man who makes them laugh.
And, I suppose, I ought to mention the flip-side of the subject - Men Everyone Else Seems To Fancy, But I Don't. Like these three:
Robbie Williams, David Beckham and Brad Pitt. Sorry guys. But I can't imagine any of them losing sleep over my admission.
So... Come on! I challenge you to reveal your guilty crushes! Who do you think is hot, even though you shouldn't?
Fiona's next book, Housekeeper's Happily-Ever-After is an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for April! It's out now in the North America and Australia/New Zealand (and available as a 2-in-1 with Jessica Hart's new release, Oh-So-Sensible Secretary from Mills&Boon in the UK)
Ellie Bond tries to escape her past by taking a job as jet-setting Mark Wilder's housekeeper. But the accident that killed her husband and daughter have left scars, both inside and out, and she worries she'll never be able to leave the past behind and find true happiness.