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Fun Friday—Who Would You Put on the Cover of a Romance Novel?

Friday, February 17, 2012

It’s no secret that modeling for the front cover of romance novels has made someone very famous. And then, there’s Fabio. 😉

Did you know that Corbin Bernsen got his start modeling—and did some covers for Harlequin? Even though I’ve never been able to find an image, I met an author at a conference a couple of years ago whose first Harlequin featured Bernson as the hero on the front cover.

And then there’s this guy:

If you’re a fan of HGTV (or if you follow me on Pinterest), you recognize this guy: it’s John Gidding from Curb Appeal.

Yes, that’s right, John Gidding got his start as a model and did several romance novel covers (a few more of which you can see here, here, and here).

Of course, in this age of the proliferation of self-publishing—and of authors doing their own book covers, we might find that we see more and more self-designed covers like this:

Does that guy look familiar to you? Maybe because it’s a Photoshopped, flipped rendering of this actor’s headshot:

(How has this author gotten away with such a blatant use of a famous person’s image? Still trying to figure that out.)

Because they’re the key romantic leads in the series I’m working on right now, I’d love to have a “rendering” of these guys on my next three books:

Henry Cavill as Andrew Lawton (Follow the Heart); Chris Hemsworth as Dr. Neal Stradbroke (An Honest Heart);
Daniel Craig as Lord Stephen Brightwell, Viscount Thynne (The Heart That Waits)

So even though we’ve done this before (but it’s been a long time), I thought it would be fun to do it again.

Who would you like to see on the
front cover of a romance novel?

Get creative, get obsessional. And it doesn’t have to be just men, seeing as how images of women are so popular on the front covers of historicals in the Christian market. Be sure to post a link to an image if you can so we can see him/her, too!

  1. Norah Deay permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 12:29 am

    My immediate answer was Sean Bean. From Sharpe to Game of Thrones he’s got that hard exterior with the soft interior that we all love.


  2. Friday, February 17, 2012 5:11 am

    Colin Firth. He was just the perfect Mr. Darcy in my mind. I’d buy a book with his face on it.

    For a female: Natalie Portman. I think she looks like a fresh-faced-girl-next-door type.


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:46 pm

      Natalie Portman was the physical template for Charlotte in the Ransome series (looks only, though, as I can’t stand her as an actress). I think they got pretty close with the model on Ransome’s Quest.


      • Monday, February 20, 2012 1:08 am

        I confess I haven’t read that trilogy yet (they’re waiting on my Kindle for me to finish my own editing). I LOVED your Brides of Bonneterre series and I’ve read the first in the matchmakers series (the rest also waiting on my Kindle).


  3. Friday, February 17, 2012 7:34 am

    Maybe the famous person’s “people” haven’t discovered yet what she did?


  4. Friday, February 17, 2012 7:40 am

    One of the poses of Dan Stevens in “Sense and Sensibility,” has been photo shopped at twice. I think there was a third, but forgot what book it was.

    Here is my sister’s blog entry all about it.


    • Sylvia M. permalink
      Friday, February 17, 2012 1:19 pm

      Well, the other guy on Surrender the Wind has to be Rupert Penry Jones.


      • Saturday, February 18, 2012 2:08 pm

        Dan Stevens is also in Downton Abbey as Matthew Crawley 🙂

        I always thought the book cover for Surrender the Wind was based on those two actors! It’s so obvious.


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:52 pm

      Is it just me, or does the girl in the background on The Glassblower look just like Jessica Findlay Brown as Lady Sybil in DA?


      • Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:26 pm

        It does look like JFB! And there’s no mistaking that’s Dan Stevens on the cover.


  5. Friday, February 17, 2012 7:47 am

    Don’t forget to post links to images!



  6. Kara permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 8:13 am

    I would say Matt Bomer (Neal Caffery), from White Collar…


    • Friday, February 17, 2012 2:40 pm

      Oh, definitely. But he’ll always be “Bryce Larkin” from CHUCK, to me!


  7. Misty permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 9:39 am

    I like the men of Criminal Minds. 🙂

    Matthew Gray Gruber
    Reid, hmmmm, I don’t know what it is about him, but I think he’s a cutey-patoot.

    Thomas Gibson
    Hotchner is handsome even though he frowns all the time. I like his serious face, although he does look rather thin lately.

    Shemar Moore
    Derek, I pictured him as the matchmaker in the Brides of Bonneterre series, can’t think of the character’s name at the moment.


    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Friday, February 17, 2012 1:00 pm

      First 2 are good choices!


      • Misty permalink
        Friday, February 17, 2012 1:20 pm

        Yes Hotch and Reid are my faves. I’ve never seen Matthew Gray Gruber in anything besides Criminal Minds. But I remember Thomas Gibson from Far and Away years ago and thought he was handsome even though he played a jerk in that movie.


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:58 pm

      I love Criminal Minds, and especially Thomas Gibson and MGG.

      My favorite Thomas Gibson role, though, was in the made-for-TV movie The Inheritance, based on a little-known Louisa May Alcott novel, in which he played the romantic lead.


      • Misty permalink
        Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:27 am

        I forgot he was in that movie! Oh that’s a good one! I haven’t watched it in quite a while. Have to look it up.


  8. Friday, February 17, 2012 9:55 am

    I’m going with Sean Bean, and this particular image 🙂


    • Friday, February 17, 2012 2:38 pm

      I like him. When he was in “Flightplan,” I couldn’t decide, until the end, whether he was a good guy or a bad guy! 🙂


  9. Sarah Richmond permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 11:12 am

    Luke Benward From Minutemen.


  10. Sarah Richmond permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 11:18 am

    Here’s his picture.


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:59 pm

      He’s a bit young to be on the front cover of a romance novel, isn’t he?


  11. Abigail Richmond permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:00 pm

    Roy Rogers
    Gordon Macrae
    Debbie Reynolds

    Teresa Wright

    Deanna Durbin
    Eddie Albert

    Gene Kelly

    Judy Garland

    They are all good pictures!


  12. Friday, February 17, 2012 2:36 pm

    Wow . . . So many pictures!!

    How about this for my leading man – Canadian actor Yannick Bisson (Kaye, you knew I’d pick him!

    Leading ladies? How about Emily Deschanel?


  13. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Friday, February 17, 2012 3:33 pm

    Shemar Moore! On the cover of MY book, since he’s the template for my hero.


  14. Ann Street permalink
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:14 pm

    Most definitely Shemar Moore!!!!


  15. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:23 pm

    Speaking of Jessica Findlay Brown/Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, I think this image of her would make a fantastic book cover:


  16. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:25 pm

    Of course, then there’s always Benedict Cumberbatch:


  17. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:38 pm

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (I know his character in Game of Thrones is skeezy, but as I haven’t watched that yet, I can still appreciate the man’s good looks):


  18. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:42 pm

    Luke Evans

    He’s like a cross between James McAvoy and Orlando Bloom. And if you haven’t seen him in The Three Musketeers yet, once you do, you’ll have him on your list, too!


    • Misty permalink
      Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:30 am

      GASP!! He is sooo good looking!


  19. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:44 pm

    And even though he wasn’t a romantic lead, I would have loved to have seen Ransome’s Quest feature the most villainous pirate in the Caribbean, Shaw:


  20. Mara Mittelman permalink
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:48 pm

    Hugh Jackman, Shamar Moore, Adam Levine. I am sure I can think of moore!


  21. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:53 pm

    Getting back to “famous” people being used on book covers, notice any similarities between the (blurred) image of Bobby on the front cover of Love Remains (on the left) and the image of actor Tahmoh Penikett, my template for Bobby (on the right)?


  22. Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:58 pm

    or Joe Flanigan 🙂


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:01 pm

      or an older hero like Richard Dean Anderson!


      • Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:13 pm

        This may be sacrilege for someone who had a RDA/MacGyver poster hanging in my bedroom through Jr. High and High School, but I think I actually liked him better as Jack O’Neal than as MacGyver. More opportunities for his unique style of humor! (And I’ll also admit that I stopped watching SG1 when he left as a series regular.)


        • Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:48 pm

          He was way better as O’Neal. I thought I wouldn’t like the show after he left but Ben Browder’s character Cameron Mitchell ended up being a favorite character of mine. And I really liked Vala too. Personally, I never cared for Michael Shanks or his character. I always wished they had left him off the show and kept Corin Nemec as Jonas. He would make a good cover!


        • Monday, February 20, 2012 1:35 pm

          Jack O’Neill was the reason I bought nearly every season of SG1. Even when he hair turned gray, he was my favorite leading man. As for his McGyver days, it’s hard to take seriously someone with THAT much mullet . . . . 😉


    • Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:10 pm

      I ❤ Joe "John Sheppard" Flanigan.

      But if we're going to mention Joe, we also have to mention Jason Momoa:


  23. Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:56 pm

    I’m really too old for this game because I would also like to add Sam Elliott 🙂


  24. Monday, February 27, 2012 8:12 pm

    Richard Armitage. Yes – Richard! Did I mention Richard Armitage?! : )


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