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Heroes: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Last week I blogged about the actresses I used as inspiration for my heroines. I said then that I was less happy with the cover art for some of my heroes and this week I’ll prove it!

For the hero of LORD LANGDON’S KISS I suggested Rutger Hauer. I was on a Ladyhawke kick (anyone else love that movie?) and though of course the garb is not period, the whole “stalwart knight” thing suited his personality. I don’t think that quality translated through the obligatory Regency smile but at least he is tall and blond as I described him.



Part of my inspiration for Philip, the hero of THE INCORRIGIBLE LADY CATHERINE, was a recording I had of Bryn Terfel singing folk songs. I imagined Philip as a man with a wonderful, rich baritone voice, not conventionally handsome but with striking eyes. I sent in an image of Terfel that I thought might work but what a mistake that was! Can you feel my pain?



With THE REDWYCK CHARM my luck improved. I sent in Michael Vartan and though I’m not sure this cover hero resembles him (and the hair is a bit weird) at least he is good-looking!



My best cover hero came in SAVING LORD VERWOOD. I learned later that the cover model was the popular John DeSalvo but he does capture the look I was going for with Jeremy Northam. Overall, it was a nice cover and came in 3rd in the historical series category of the All About Romance cover contest that year. I’m not complaining, this hero is very fine. 🙂



Now to my last cover hero. I sent in Colin Firth and got…this dude. Ack! I was glad the background color was striking and the actual image was so small. If anyone could really tell how Very Wrong this hero looks, I would have cried.

So what do you think?

And though I already know the likely suspects, who would you most like to see on a romance cover?

Elena
www.elenagreene.com

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Diane Gaston
14 years ago

What a silly question, Elena—why, Gerard Butler, of course!

I rather like your clinch cover for Lady Dearing’s Masquerade. It has passion.

Jane
14 years ago

There has been a lot of chatter about Richard Armitage of “North And South” fame. He would definitely be a great inspiration for a hero. I agree with Diane, Gerard is perfect choice too. I would also add Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Yes to all those. I may “use” them sometime. 🙂

I know what you mean about the LDM cover, Diane. The pose (also the partway open shirt!) suggest that it isn’t a tea-cuppy Regency. I’m OK with it as long as no one looks too closely at the hero…

Ladyhawk
14 years ago

LadyHawke!! Obviously, a personal favourite!

I have to ask: Did they even look at your suggestion for Terfel?

Dark and handsome: Richard Cerqueira is definitely my fave cover model! No secret there.

For the blond look, then Sean Bean. Though Frodo is my favourite character in LOTR, I have a black and white of Boromir (Sean Bean). Every time I look at it, all I can think is THAT’S what a knight is supposed to look like.

Fun post, Elena!
~Judy T

Cara King
14 years ago

I love this series of posts, Elena! Fascinating hearing what went on behind the scenes (and behind the covers)! 🙂

Count me as a Ladyhawke fan too! And though that hero of yours looks nothing like Hauer, he’s very nice nonetheless. Actually, I find Philip is the only disappointing one — he just looks kind of weird! 😉

Cara

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

I’m sorry about LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE…that could hardly be LESS Colin Firth.

As for my choices for cover models, I think my feelings about Sean Bean are well-known. Also, there’s my usual list of “men from Joss Whedon shows”–Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, James Marsters. And I think all my fake news secret boyfriends (or, as a friend of mine calls them, “thinking woman’s chew toys”)–namely Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, and Jon Stewart, in that order–would make wonderful Regency heroes, but I’m not sure their appeal translates to cover modeling.

For obvious reasons, my baseball boyfriend, Ichiro Suzuki, wouldn’t really fit a Regency cover–though I find myself trying to figure out how I could get a samurai to Regency England or a Regency miss to Japan just to make it work!

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Actually, I find Philip is the only disappointing one — he just looks kind of weird! 😉

Kind of like an overweight adolescent, if you ask me!

For obvious reasons, my baseball boyfriend, Ichiro Suzuki, wouldn’t really fit a Regency cover–though I find myself trying to figure out how I could get a samurai to Regency England or a Regency miss to Japan just to make it work!

I would love to read that one, Susan!

Georgie Lee
14 years ago

Mr. Knightly is so dreamy. The cover artists did a good job with him. It’s been so long since I saw Ladyhawk, I may have to check it out again. I remember liking it.

seton
14 years ago

I like the languid blondes so it would be Leslie Howard for me. And he was a gentleman spy in real life AND played Sir Percy Blakeney so he’s perfect. But Michael vartan and Jeremy Northam are both awfully cute too. 🙂

LORD LANGDON’S KISS = Ted McGinnis of REVENGE OF THE NERDS fame

THE INCORRIGIBLE LADY CATHERINE = Harrow-ing frat boy with double chin

Susan Wilbanks
14 years ago

I would love to read that one, Susan!

You’ve actually got me trying to figure out how to do it! It was during Japan’s era of seclusion, so it’d be tough…but I’ll add it to my mental what-if list.

Susan/DC
Susan/DC
14 years ago

What doesn’t come through in the cover are Rutger Hauer’s piercing blue eyes. “Ladyhawke” was such a romantic film, even if Matthew Broderick’s character was distractingly anachronistic and more appropriate for a movie set in Manhattan than in the Middle Ages.

I’m in complete agreement about Sean Bean, and I add Simon Baker to the mix for blond heroes.

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

Okay, I’m not sure who that insanely grinning puffy guy is, but I’m definitely sure it isn’t Bryn Terfel!

doglady
14 years ago

Great post and some really great covers too. I guess they have to get it wrong every now and then. I have to agree with the Divine One. Gerard is DEFINITELY cover worthy! Clothed or unclothed.

I am also a big fan of Clive Owen and Matthew MacFaddyen.

Baritones, by the way, in opera at least are always much better looking than the tenors who normally sick the hero’s part. Baritones are usually the villains, but they are much better looking as a rule. I have sung with some gorgeous baritones and some heinous looking tenors. That in and of itself is not a problem. I’m no raving beauty, BUT, I once threatened to walk out on a great role because I refused to sing with then tenor. I told the director I would not sing with a man who was a bigger B#$%H than me!

Todd
14 years ago

Susan wrote:

You’ve actually got me trying to figure out how to do it! It was during Japan’s era of seclusion, so it’d be tough…but I’ll add it to my mental what-if list.

I’d love to read that one, too! To get a Samurai out of Japan, you could always use the same trick that Sondheim, Weidman and Wheeler used in Pacific Overtures–having him blown out to sea by a storm, and not allowed to return by the law forbidding the Japanese to travel abroad.

To get a heroine into Japan would be tougher. The Dutch had an enclave in Nagasaki; I don’t know if women were allowed there or not, but they certainly wouldn’t have been permitted to venture outside. However, here’s an interesting tidbit from Wikipedia:

In 1808, the Royal Navy frigate HMS Phaeton entered Nagasaki Harbor in search of Dutch trading ships. The local magistrate was unable to resist the British demand for food, fuel, and water, later committing seppuku as a result. Laws were passed in the wake of this incident strengthening coastal defenses, threatening death to intruding foreigners, and prompting the training of English and Russian translators.

Todd-who-can-see-it-all-now

Diana
14 years ago

Yes – For the hero of LORD LANGDON’S KISS – Rutger Hauer would be certainly a good choice. Although he is not so often the ‘romantic lead’ he has that certain something, not to mention the lovely blue eyes. You should see him in some slightly more modern films – Blindside, Past Midnight or Voyage for example.

Elena Greene
14 years ago

Diana, I’m with you on those blue eyes but waaaayyy behind on my movie-watching. Adding a few more to my list… 🙂

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