Cover Model Potential for Historical Romance Heroes by Jessica Jefferson

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Tiger Beat.

The name of the beloved teen magazine evokes images of vintage David Cassidy and countless other young stars who’ve graced the cover wearing jeans that are far too snug and sporting perfectly coifed hair that couldn’t possibly be achievable in real life.

I was never a huge fan, but I wasn’t above taping a pic of the New Kids up on my wall to keep up appearances amongst my friends.  Much like bubble gum flavored lip gloss, my feigned interest in Tiger Beat fell away, as do most things that we obsess about as preteens.

But the other day, I was participating in a Facebook party (shout out to Gina Conkle and her newest release, The Lady Meets Her Match) and as I scrolled through dozens of images of shirtless men, I couldn’t help but draw similarities between the Tiger Beat of my past and the men of Historical Romance that consume my present.  It’s no longer about blond rock gods (Poison, anyone?), but the gentlemen and rakes that grace the pages of some of my favorite reads.

So, if they made Tiger Beat for romance junkies – let’s call it Cougar Tempo, then this list represents my top picks for historical romances’ finest cover models…

  1. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser from Outlander. Preferably shirtless, wearing a kilt. He’s strong, romantic, and who doesn’t love a man with a brogue?
  2. Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. This debonair southern gentleman is anything but. He’s literature’s bad boy, which makes him perfect Cougar Tempo potential.
  3. Sebastian Ballister, Lord Dain from Lord of Scoundrels. His father never loved him and now he’s got a chip on his well-muscled shoulder. A rake, redeemed. Who doesn’t love a bad boy made better with the help of a good woman?
  4. Any Bridgerton from Julia Quinn. The Osmonds, the Jonas Brothers… the Bridgerton men. Readers love a group of brothers. Bonus if they’re all insanely attractive.
  5. Mr. Darcy. If I need to tell you which book he’s from then you’re on the wrong blog.
  6. Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades trilogy. Not historical yet, but judging by sales, will one day be. Cougar Tempo prides itself on discovering historical romance superstars before they were, well, history.

Which one of your favorite Historical Romance heroes should grace the covers of a magazine?  Let me know in the comments!

 I love hearing from readers.  Check out my website or like me on Facebook for updates on all my new releases and random musings about both romantic and non-romantic subject matter.

Follow Jessica Jefferson:

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in Almost-Chicago with her husband, nine and three year old girls, guinea pigs, and English bulldog Pete. When she's not busy trying to find middle-ground between being a modern career woman and Suzy-Homemaker, she loves to watch "Real Housewives of [insert city here]" and performing unnecessary improvements to her home and property. Jessica writes Regency-era historical romance with a modern twist, infused with humor. She always tries to create endearingly flawed heroes and one of a kind heroines that you'll want to continue knowing long after you read the last page. Fall in love with romance again...

21 Responses

  1. Nancy

    Let them keep their shirts on. Some look as though they need bras, besides the fact that it is wasteful to tear up so many shirts because they didn’t open down the front until late n Victoria’s reign. I do like a man who is clothed. They look so much better. Jo Beverley ahd a cover of three men named George— great three men in red coats. I think all of Jo Beverley’s rougues and mallorans would do great on covers. The hero of The Mystery Kiss by Judith Lansdowne would make a great cover. I prefer Captain Wentworth in his naval uniform to Darcy and will take Alan Rickman in any guise.

    • jessicajefferson

      I love Alan Rickman! And too funny about the bras! Sometimes, it is sexier when men leave something to the imagination on these covers. I love a fully clothed man giving off a good smolder. Except Mr. Fraser (he’s like my kryptonite).

  2. Ki Pha

    LOL Cougar Tempo~ Glad our fun party with Gina and the rest of the fab authors got you thinking about sexy men in our lives. 😉 And can I say, I love them all?

  3. Victoria Vane

    Love this post, Jessica! Made me laugh. I think your list covered the bases pretty well but I would have to add a Heyer hottie to it. She is still my favorite historical romance author.

  4. Ally Broadfield

    LOL, Jess! I was more likely to be reading Equus or Practical Horseman than Tiger Beat, but I do love historical heroes. I’m with Nancy on this one – Captain Wentworth in his uniform. And I agree with you. Any of the Bridgertons.

  5. Barbara Monajem

    Love Lord Dain! Jamie Fraser is awesome, too, and Mr. Darcy as long as he’s played by Colin Firth.

  6. Sandra Owens

    Any Bridgerton or Sebastian Ballister, Lord Dain from Lord of Scoundrels, Jess. LOL, noticed no one’s gone for Fifty Shades.

  7. ginaconkle2013

    Jaime Fraser? Agreed. Funny that you mention cover heroes, because my favorite trilogy (Josie Litton’s Viking trilogy) featured not a single man or woman! You got me thinking here (that’s dangerous). The cover of the dual book Dream of Me/Believe in Me is gold foil with Viking design imprints. The third book, Come back to Me, has a Viking ship with a blazing red-orange sunset in the background. Amazing. I bought books without a single heaving bosom or chiseled abs (not that I’m complaining about the abs). As always, you got me smiling.

    • jessicajefferson

      So, I have to admit that I’m not all about half-naked men on my covers. Granted, my latest release does feature a half-naked man on the cover, but I’ve always been partial to gentlemen with shirts. Except when it comes to Outlander…then suddenly I’m okay with the exploitation of the male body.

  8. Patricia WIssore

    Any Bridgerton, Ian Maitland (The Secret by Julie Garwood), Devil Cynster or any of his cousins (Stephanie Laurens Cynster novels) list could go on and on from there!

  9. dholcomb1

    You already took Mr. Darcy and Rhett Butler… Rochester–though he’s a bit broody, and there is the hidden, crazy wife


  10. Alyssa Alexander

    Jamie Fraser. Oh, how I love thee! 😉 But I could go with Mr. Darcy if he’s Colin Firth too!