Sarah M Anderson Guest Post and GIVEAWAY!

Chest Hair

No, no, not mine. Chest Hair of the male persuasion.

First off, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I married what the kids call ‘a bear’ in today’s slang. And my son, at the ripe old age of seven, is well on his way to out-furring his father. So, clearly, I don’t have a personal problem with hairy men.

However, in a romance sense, there are clear lines about body hair in general and chest hair in particular. It’s bad enough that all heroines are supposed to be Brazilian-ed until their poor nether regions have had all the fun nerve endings permanently stripped off. Must men suffer this same fate?

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Who could forget the scene in The Forty-Year Old Virgin, where poor Steve Carell had his God-given turf peeled of? Or the scene right after of him walking down the street and bleeding through his shirt?

I felt for Steve’s character, and I know my husband was cringing in horror. Sure, he was stoic about the whole thing, but I know that man, and I know he was thinking, “I’m never doing that.” I think it was harder on him than if poor Steve had been kicked in the balls by a troop of angry acrobats or something.

The reason I bring this up is that I recently read a romance (no, I’m not going to tell you which one) where the hero is, for lack of a better term, ‘swarthy.’ He gets to be this swarthy because he’s Greek. And apparently, those Greeks have hellaciously sexy chest hair. If Steve Carell were Greek, he’d be a freaking demigod. Maybe even a god.

How do I know this? Well, the author (no, I’m not going to tell you who) went out of her way to describe not only the hair on our hero’s head, but his forearms, legs, and of course—the holy grail of hair—his chest. (What did you think I was going to say?)

This one part, in particular, got me. Our hero has just undone his bow tie. He and the heroine are having a fight. And we get this bon mot: “Distracted by the cluster of dark curls at the base of his throat, {she} gulped.”

Yes. In the middle of an argument with a man she’s already seen naked, she can’t help

but staring at his chest hair. And here’s the kicker—instead of recoiling in horror, instead of finding the whole thing kind of funny—she’s turned on. All those dark curls? Her Stairway to Heaven.

I have tried and tried, but I cannot get past this one line. First off, I expected that “cluster of dark curls” to occur somewhere else on our swarthy hero. Second off, what the heck kind of hair is this guy sporting?

I mean, he just took off his bow tie. He didn’t unbutton his shirt, didn’t do the stripper-ripping-the-shirt-off thing. Just a bow tie was all that stood between our hero’s chest hair and the rest of the world.

Now don’t get me wrong. I like a man who’s got some fur. I don’t want men to be manscaped, buffed, and polished until they’re either practically de-sexed or reduced to a carbon copy of some sort of denuded model. The hero for my February Desire novel, The Rancher’s Valentine, is my first hero with facial hair, and my heroine couldn’t have been happier about it. Nothing says ‘manly man’ like some good, old-fashioned body hair.

But I have to draw the line at clusters of dark curls so vigorous, so aggressive that they can’t even be contained by a shirt. Hell, I feel like his chest hair should have had its own stylist to make sure that each curl was perfectly shaped and placed.

Am I wrong? Is a “cluster of dark curls” at the base of your hero’s throat the ultimate symbol of virility? Tell me where you stand on the chest-hair spectrum and I’ll draw one commenter at random to win a copy of A Man of Privilege. 

Plus—bonus—every week I’m giving away one of these handcrafted (by me!) book necklaces from everyone who commented throughout the week! Check theAuthorial Moms blog every Sunday to see if you were the winner!

*I will leave this open until July 3rd 2012 @ 11:59pm EST*

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She isn’t what he expected.

Blue-blood lawyer James Carlson is working on the case of his life. After winning this trial, his career will be set. He won’t let anything…or anyone… alter his course. Then he meets his witness.

Maggie Eagle Heart makes him question everything–his family, his goals, his future. Because she’s the one woman he wants, and she’s the one woman who is completely off limits. Yet even as he struggles to keep their relationship all about business, he can’t deny the attraction is mutual–and irresistible.

James has always done what is expected of him…until now. A Man of Privilege is available! Visit your favorite bookseller, at Amazon, or for the Nook.

Bio: Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two

history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.

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This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of Privilege/Distinction Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of Privilege.

Next tour stop is June 29:

The Stiletto Gang http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/

29 Comments

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I enjoyed the blurb for A Man of Privilege. Putting it on my TRL.
    I can’t imagine what ‘s up with a man who removes his bow tie and his “curly hair” turns her on ? lol What an odd visual. lol
    I like a man who has some hair on his body and face. Too much hair, not so much. Thanks for your post Sarah.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. I like a little hair – it’s manly – but too much is too much.

    A MAN OF PRIVILEGE looks wonderful.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  3. Hair is fine, Tom Selleck on Magnum was probably right at the point were it could tip over into too much, but as long as he didn’t have back hair (or it coming out of his ears) it’s fine. It sounds like the unnamed author might have forgotten the button part, because, really, hair escaping over a buttoned collar is a bit werewolfish. I also prefer my authors to not write excessively about hair period.

    We have a “hobbit” in our family because even his feet are furry. We have no clue were it came from because my father and older brother have light body hair.

    acm05atjuno.com

  4. Lol love the bowtie chest hair. Personally, I like a little hair (which is why I prefer weres to vamps–is it just me or do all vampire romances mention his completely hairless chest?) but not monkey-stage. Too much at the top would be more likely to make me laugh than turn me on.
    A Man of Privilege looks soo good! Thanks for the giveaway

    karen.wapinski at gmail dot com

  5. I can tell that Mary, Anne, and Karen are all on the same page I am! BRING BACK CHEST HAIR (in reasonable quantities!)

    We’re having a family crisis, so if I am unable to reply to everyone, please know I’m not ignoring you. Thanks so much for reading!

    Sarah

  6. Sorry Sarah, I like clean shaved men with little chest hair. And I’m not into waxing. Glad I married my hero! So it comes as no surprise that a perfect bunch of curls does nothing for me except cringe. But as a reader I can appreciate when a leading lady enjoys her hairy man. After all, I don’t have to make out with him!

  7. ouch.. i dont really like cluster of dark curls at the chest but people common says that there is a simbol of of virility for man, not sure why lol

  8. This is actually tricky. My DH is fairly hairy but light in colour. I have written blonde heroes with no hair, blond heroes with tight curly chest hair, dark hero clean skins and am editing one at the moment with enough chest hair to mesh her fingers through but only on the chest and that narrow arrow pointing south ;). None of my heroes will ever have back or buttock hair (apart from DH). I have a particularly gorgeous blond with a beard. As for the curls. If you look at someone like Daniel Day Lewis or Ben Hill they have quite high chest hair right below that sexy little hollow at the base of their throat. http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/57330539/Daniel+DayLewis.jpg

  9. Jennifer, I appreciate a smoothish chest as well, but the totally bare waxed look doesn’t work for me on either sex!

    Eli, I wonder why that is? Because it is sort of symbolic, at least in certain books!

  10. I’m not a fan of a bare chest. I want a man to look like a man. I don’t want a lot of hair but some hair is nice. I find it so masculine.

  11. I think that for the cover art of a romance novel, it’d probably be really weird to see a bear with a man’s head (so to speak). . . And perhaps that’s because I’m conditioned to see bare chests, rather than bear ones.

    The description you cited was nothing short of ridiculous. . . and while I love reading romance novels, and I love writing romance, myself, I’ll be the first to admit there is some bad, BAD writing to be found in this genre. One of my favorites to cite on the topic was an author who used “his pants disappeared as if by magic” more times than I could count in one of her books. It was novel the first time. Every time I read it afterward, I rolled my eyes, and groaned (and not in the good way!). But I digress.

    Personally, I like a nice sprinkling of chest hair (in real life, or in a book–which I don’t think I’ve ever seen–but I guess vampires don’t come equipped with it, and mostly what I read is paranormal romance). If a romance author is going to spend time describing hair, it’d better be on his head, on his face, or perhaps, leading someplace good. 😀

    I LOVE the pendants, by-the-way.

    contessaofcrochet(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Hi Contessa! Thanks so much–the necklaces turned out really well, I think. But I may be biased. 🙂

  13. Thanks for the fun post and great excerpt. I don’t mind chest hair as long as he really doesn’t look like a grizzly. I don’t understand that line How can the heroine see the heroes chest hair without him undoing any buttons from his shirt? That’s gotta be some mighty long hair. Maybe he should braid it. I agree that there’s gotta be some middle ground. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Mary, I can respect that and we can still be friends!

    Joanne, I’m still snickering over the ‘braid it’ comment!

  15. If I wanted to rub on fur I would get a dog! LOL A little hair is ok but too much is just a mouthful of gross!! Zero hair would be a little weird also. I would feel like I should be arrested for being with a minor. I cannot wait to read your next book. The first one was great.

  16. Oh, Carol and Fiona, I see that you commented, but for some reason, I didn’t see those comments until now. *waves* HI!

  17. ROFL!!! OK, Sarah, you’re cracking me up! First, congrats on your new book! Woot!!! And well, I’m not a huge fan of lots of body hair, but I know that everyone’s different–I think some people find lots of it appealing, and others not so much 🙂 Good thing DH doesn’t have loads–I’m not sure he’d take well to removing it ;p

    And gorgeous pendants! What a neat way to commemorate your books!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  18. Oh. Em. Gee. Alright, that passage borders on ridiculous, sure, but I understand. I don’t know what it is with me, but a man with chest hair just makes my heart race. And, when a few strands escape, it’s like a hint of what’s to come. I know, I’m funny that way, but it’s just how I roll. I even wouldn’t mind someone with a ‘carpet’. Sigh. It makes a nice pillow, if you know what I’m sayin’ 😉

  19. I’m still waiting for mine…and waiting. The working title of my WIP is “Real Werewolves Have Chest Hair..” if that gives you any indication of how I feel about most paranormals these days. And DO NOT get me started on Twilight!

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