Monday, February 14, 2011
Male on Monday: The Enduring Appeal of the Mystery Man!
The name Valentine comes from the Latin valens meaning strong, worthy or powerful. As we probably all know, Saint Valentine’s Day is on February 14, but the saint himself is something of a mystery man. Nothing much is known about him except his name and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia near Rome on February 14. Wikipedia tells us that the feast celebrated on February 14th might even commemorate more than one saint of the same name.
The mystery aspect of St Valentine might explain why his day is the day chosen for lovers. Mystery is a vital ingredient in romance. In former times, it was said that the first person of the opposite sex a person saw on St Valentine’s Day must be their Valentine. (This sounds rather random, but people were apparently allowed to keep their eyes firmly shut until the right person came along! Hmm...)
Many romance covers show heroes and heroines whose features are obscured, perhaps so readers can imagine the character of their dreams. The face of the hero on my latest cover is partly obscured. Like Valentine, he looks strong and powerful and, because his features are obscured, I like to this he has that air of mystery about him.
Do you like covers like these? Or do you prefer to see covers showing more of the hero’s features? And do you think the actual story is stronger when the hero maintains an air of mystery throughout? Or should it be the heroine who keeps something back?
Carol Townend writes medieval romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her latest title, Bound to the Barbarian is set in eleventh century Byzantium. It is a stand-alone novel, the first in a mini-series called Palace Brides.
Out of her depth and into his arms…
Sold into slavery, maidservant Katerina promised one day to repay the Princess who rescued her. Now that time has come, and Katerina must convince commanding warrior Ashfirth Saxon that she is her royal mistress.
Spending balmy days and long sultry nights with this man make Katerina’s task increasingly impossible. How long will she be able to keep up her deception? And how long before she finds herself willingly bedded by this proud barbarian?
Bound to the Barbarian is released by Mills & Boon on February 4th 2011. For more about Carol and her writing, please visit her blogsite: www.caroltownend.co.uk