Is He Scruff Enough? More Beards Appear on Romance Heroes

Amazon Book ReviewA manly bit of scruff on cheek and chin has always been de rigueur for romance heroes, but more and more I'm seeing square-jawed cover models with, well, beards.

This clearly follows a real-life trend. Here in Seattle, you can't walk a block without passing a lumbersexual/metrojack who disdains the razor, and national advertising features more and more bearded gentlemen. Now beard-mania is seeping into romance novels, which has rarely gone for full-face fuzz (except, of course, among shape-shifters).

Here are a few books featuring guys with an admirable amount of scruff.


Hawke by Sawyer Bennett - Hawke clearly is in the Stanley Cup finals, during which hockey players traditionally stop shaving, and I bet his teammates look just as scruffy. The beard is a bit on the wild side...but so is Hawke (which made this book one of my Best of the Month picks).
Suddenly in Love by Julia London - The copy for Julia London's newest book even calls out his manly beardedness: "she encounters a scruffy but attractive man named Brennan." Turns out that he's a rock star hiding behind a woolly disguise. Embrace your new look, Brennan!
A Most Delicate Pursuit by Pamela Labud - This historical romance hero clearly has a great valet, because those are some nicely defined and wicked-looking whiskers.
Someone Like You by Lauren Layne - I loved Layne's last Oxford novel, I Wish You Were Mine, as well as her latest NYPD Finest novel, Cuff Me - and both made my Best of the Month lists for romance. Can't wait to read this yummy-looking Oxford novel sporting a hero with scruff that seems to be flirting with being a beard but hasn't totally committed.
At the Edge by Laura Griffin - I'm a big fan of Griffin's work (including Deep Dark, which releases May 24 and is a romance Best of the Month pick). This novella is part one of a two-part adventure. Part two, Edge of Surrender, also has a hairy cover hero - so two thumbs up for doubling down on the facial hair.


What do you think? Do you want more or less scruff on your romance covers?

Beards on romance cover models
The more scruff, the better
Clean-shaven, please
quiz generator


Feel free to expand upon your thoughts on facial hair - and what about man-buns? (I refer to the hairstyle) - in the comments.


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Comments (6)

I prefer the shadow over the scruff.

Posted by: Linda Brueggeman | Tuesday May 24, 2016 at 12:32 PM

I prefer clean shaven or shadow to all that fuzz.

Posted by: Kathy | Tuesday May 24, 2016 at 2:20 PM

I like scruffy ( 5:00pm shadow) or a well groomed beard, don't like the "man bun" style, give me long, short, bald, in-between haircut, sleek pony tail but no "man bun".

Posted by: Di | Tuesday May 24, 2016 at 3:45 PM

I love the scruffy look. It tickles!!

Posted by: Becky Holl | Tuesday May 31, 2016 at 12:10 PM

I prefer clean-shaven bit a shadow-y scruff is OK. But Please, no "Duck Dynasty" types. And no man bun -- not now not ever!

Posted by: Lena Pinto | Tuesday May 31, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Love a sexy shadow or well kept short full facial hair. No goatees or under lip patch only for me. Man buns are for sleek thin model types but they are not my attraction.

Posted by: Pam | Wednesday June 22, 2016 at 4:04 AM

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