To Wax or Not to Wax...

Touch of a Scoundrel

Click to order TOUCH OF A SCOUNDREL!

A few years ago, my editor was running a couple possible cover pictures by me and we both agreed that one fellow was especially yummy eye candy. We settled on him almost immediately. Then my editor sent me an email back saying “And don’t worry. We’ll photoshop out all that chest hair.”

I liked the chest hair. It’s a distinctly masculine trait (At least, one hopes!) I argued in favor of leaving it. I was promptly over-ruled.

If you check my Books page, you’ll see a number of lovely male chests. Only one of them is as God made it. Griffin Nash, the Earl of Devonwood, from Touch of a Scoundrel, has a dusting of dark hair on his pecs. And I didn’t even have to lobby in favor of it. The talented artists at Kensington did it without any input from me.

At RWA Nationals last week, I was signing copies of this new book and amid the general acclamation for this gorgeous cover, several readers commented on the novelty of seeing chest hair. They liked it too.

Then I took another look at the cover for Waking Up with a Rake (You can see it on my Coming Next page.) And viola! Not only does he have hair on his chest, but Rhys Warrington has a tantalizing line of dark silky hair that disappears into the waist of his trousers. Am I seeing the birth of a trend here?

So what do you think? To wax or not to wax? Bear in mind that this is for posterity–or at least for the next time I get a chance to weigh in on a cover–so make your vote count!

30 thoughts on “To Wax or Not to Wax…

  1. Mia says:

    Well, thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts on the subject of male cover model chest hair. My DH is so relieved that most of you seem to prefer a bit of fuzz. He says now he won’t have to go through that whole waxing thing the next time he poses for my cover!

    1. Nynke says:

      LOL :)


    I hate it when they have all this ‘testosterone’ removed! Mind you, it doesn’t have to be a Sean Connery chest hair, but it looks so much better w/it!


    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Yes, Sean was “marvelously well-equipped” in the chest hair department, maybe a little overly endowed, but I’d forgive him anything because of his voice!

  3. Tammy says:

    Chest hair all the way!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks for weighing in, Tammy!

  4. Sharlene Wegner says:

    P.S. That cover is beautiful!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Sharlene. I think so too.

  5. Sharlene Wegner says:

    I much prefer some chest hair. They usually look fake without it. I can see no hair if it is a particularly muscular man & you want to see the muscle definition. However, I find chest hair sexier!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I get that body builders don’t want any distractions from their muscle mass, but my heroes aren’t the type who can deliver “the pec pop of love.”

  6. alisha woods says:


    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Ok. The other side is finally heard from. Thanks for weighing in so unambiguously. Do you mind sharing why you feel that way?

  7. Kellianne says:

    For the past several years I have amazed that the cover guy shows no chest hair, but the same guy in the book is described with chest hair. Do they think it is good to think about, but not to see? I think it’s highly masculine.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Just one of many things covers sometimes get wrong. Add it to the list of eye and hair color, period clothing and, in Christina Dodd’s case, the number of arms for the heroine!

  8. Tina B says:

    I like some chest hair, but don’t want him to still look like he is wearing a shirt when he takes his off. Lol.
    However, if I have to lay on that chest, I prefer it bare, cause, well, it tickles. :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Sometimes tickling is good! ;-)

    2. Nynke says:

      Hmm, yes, the tickling is a drawback. Still, I valiantly endure it almost every night because he smells so good…

  9. Tonya says:

    I like the chest hair too. Not too much though. Just the right amount is very sexy.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I wonder if it’s a generational thing, if younger readers prefer less hair. Don’t worry. I won’t ask for anyone to reveal their age… just thinking out loud here.

  10. Deborah N says:

    As a long time romance reader, I personally hate the no chest hair trend. I likes me a manly man with chest hair, but not too much (a la Austin Powers!). The older romance books I own feature men with chest hair, the way God intended! :D

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Well, yes, I agree that chest hair could be overdone. None of us want to see Cousin It on the covers, do we?

  11. Laura Polito McEleney says:

    Chest hair is sexy! Love “Touch of a Scoundrel’s” cover!!! Can’t wait to read it :D

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Laura. Hope you love Griffin!

  12. Nynke says:

    I have to confess I was never a big fan of chest hair until I hooked up with my current boyfriend (and now I’m really all for it, and heaven forbid it should ever be shorn off!), but even so, I used to think it was okay. And on book covers, I think all those smooth chests look a bit over-polished. Let’s face it, European men did not shave their chests before the late 20th century! (At least, It would really surprise me if they did, after the classical period…)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Waxing is a painful process, but according to one doctor, who was getting his eyebrows waxed at my hair salon, it supposedly hurts men more than women. His reasoning was that their hair is coarser. Or maybe it was because he yelped like a whipped pup when the technician pulled off the wax! ;-)

  13. Melody May says:

    Lol. Mia, I actually love the cover to Touch of a Scoundrel. I think that chest hair does make more masculine. Honestly, I can go either way. Before I would have said no chest hair, but with you up coming book i LOVE IT. I do like your up coming book cover.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Melody. Me too. Wonder if Touch of a Scoundrel will be the start of more chest hair on covers …

  14. Penelope says:

    My vote counts the most, right? Hee hee! CHEST HAIR CHEST HAIR CHEST HAIR! Can you tell I like chest hair? It’s natural, sexy and very manly. Love that cover!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Penny! No surprises from you, m’dear. Not with your manly bearded heroes. ;-)

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