Do You Love Half-Naked Men?

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The girls here in the lagoon know I’m a bit more conservative than most of them.  Gorgeous guys on book covers are not what make me personally tick.  Still, this gorgeous cover for Gwen Hernandez’s newly released Blind Fury, really has me thinking.  Do I really need to be that shy about my heroes best physical assets?

For Valentines Day a year ago, we were asked to contribute a photo of a hot hunky guy that was half-dressed.  We needed to reveal why this “character” was a hero and put the photo we felt matched that hero the best up on the blog.  This is what I posted:

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“What may you ask is my husband’s feet doing in the midst of all these jaw-droppingly gorgeous guys.  Well, the call to action was a half-dressed man, wasn’t it?  My DH is my hero for so many reasons, but last year when my feet ached so badly I couldn’t walk another step in my heels, he took off his shoes in the metro (subway for you non-DC people) and gave them to me!  For me that’s the most romantic thing in the world and I’ll love him forever for that … and so much more.”

As I get nearer to publication, it’s becoming obvious that there might well be a half-naked man on one of my book covers someday soon.  And I see most covers  fall into four categories (yes there are others, but humor me):

First, Hunky half-dressed guy like on Gwen Hernandez’s Blind Fury up top.  Here are some more examples:

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ecover1-e1389639097930Highland Seer by Willa Blair, Carey Baldwin’s Hush, and Robin Covington’s Secret Santa Baby all feature half (or perhaps more) naked men.  Just like in Blind Fury, I’d have to be really blind not to see the eye-popping value of this kind of cover.

Then there are the fully or mostly dressed men on the covers.  This is more my style but I wonder if I’d be shooting myself in the foot with a cover that , let’s say, didn’t go all the way?

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Books like Candice Gilmer’s fabulous Under His Nose, and her newest, Before His Eyes, or Lena Diaz’s also wonderful Tennessee Takedown convey a lot of punch for covers where the amount of male flesh is pretty minimal.

Next we have the “relationship covers.  These can get hot and steamy.

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Carlene Love Flores’ book Sin’s Haven, Rachel Grant’s Withholding Evidence, and Manda Collin’s Why Earls Fall in Love really can give a girl hot flashes!

Finally there are the covers that are all about the girls — the female protagonists.  I really love these examples, too:

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Confession by Carey Baldwin is so eye catching, as is Althethea Kontis’ Nebula (Andre Norton) nominated book Hero (Yay Alethea!), and don’t you wonder what is going on in Lena Diaz’s Undercover Twin?

So let me know what you think.  What kinds of covers do you like best? If you’re a writer would you prefer hot and steam, naked, or intriguing? As a reader, do you ever feel intimidated by some of these covers when reading in public or buying at the grocery store?  Let me know, I’d really like to know what you think.