Heroes—Is It In The Eyes . . . Or Elsewhere

Cr_gainsborough_nephew Cara/Andrea here,
I have been thinking about men recently—purely as research, of course. In starting a new book, the first part of the process for me always entails creating the hero. I usually have a notion of the basic elements of his character—rakish rogue, sensitive artist, honorable soldier, but I Close up 1need to really visualize him in order to flesh out the nuances. (Though most of the real details come as the story develops. Being a total pantser, I confess that I’m not always sure exactly how he’s going to react —despite my own assumptions he often surprises me!)



Portrait-Of-Richard-Tickell-$281751-1793$29 5cd89dac40e34e9cecdf7cfa4a5fefc1That naturally gives me artistic license to spend hours looking at portraits of hunky men. (Work, work, work) This time around, I ‘ve been musing on the fact that I have certain very specific elements that serve as sources of inspiration. A man’s eyes really matter to me. (“I'm very fond of handsome eyes,” says Lord Byron’s Don Juan And so am I!) 3decdf0e6b8e2d215afe8a7f6d11e40aThe intensity of his gaze has to grab me and not let go. (Color doesn’t really matter but a smoky green does add an extra little flutter to my sigh.) Thick-fringed lashes add a touch of sensual mystery. Brooding is intriguing—it hints at introspection, and layers of complexity. I confess, complicated heroes hold a certain fascination. But there also has to a glint of mischief, however subtle. A hero must have a sense of humor. It’s imperative that he recognizes the vagaries of life and be willing to laugh at himself.

4cb6f7ba18e879022843050d0dc24c72 76a78bea7bbe8b51406e48a345985d18And then there is the mouth. A full, sinuous, mobile mouth, strong, yet on the verge of curling a sinfully sexy smile. Serious, sensitive, playful—my perfect hero can quirk from one mood to the next in a blink of an eye. Part of the D340e1fcf42e32eb136345b4feba77bephysical attraction of a smile or a sardonic scowl is that it hints at myriad hidden facets of character to explore. (Somehow, I have a feeling Daniel Craig or Timothy Dalton are never bring. Difficult, perhaps, but never boring.)

Ced5ea737fe3cb0b4cf01b6d872dbe47Granted, I do look at rest of a man—after all, good research requires thorough empirical study. Height, build, hair color . . . they all come into play. But what really captivates me is a soulful stare and devilish smile.

40a7ae743d613595faa0004731165d65Now, what about you? What’s the essence of physical attraction in a man for you? Long legs? Cute bum? Nice laugh? Have any favorite smile or pair of eyes, historical or modern, to share? Do dish . . . after all, it’s all in the name of writer’s research!

200 thoughts on “Heroes—Is It In The Eyes . . . Or Elsewhere”

  1. Cary Grant for vintage, David Tennant for current day. For me, it’s always in the eyes, but I notice hands too, and the way a man stands. I also notice the clothes he wears, both for whether they look good and for what they tell me about him. I look at the overall package, including intellectual, spiritual, social — not just physical — so physical to me is an expression of the inner man. I suspect I have been doing that all my life, from childhood, because a child learns quickly that sizing up the adults that surround her is a survival necessity.

    Reply
  2. Cary Grant for vintage, David Tennant for current day. For me, it’s always in the eyes, but I notice hands too, and the way a man stands. I also notice the clothes he wears, both for whether they look good and for what they tell me about him. I look at the overall package, including intellectual, spiritual, social — not just physical — so physical to me is an expression of the inner man. I suspect I have been doing that all my life, from childhood, because a child learns quickly that sizing up the adults that surround her is a survival necessity.

    Reply
  3. Cary Grant for vintage, David Tennant for current day. For me, it’s always in the eyes, but I notice hands too, and the way a man stands. I also notice the clothes he wears, both for whether they look good and for what they tell me about him. I look at the overall package, including intellectual, spiritual, social — not just physical — so physical to me is an expression of the inner man. I suspect I have been doing that all my life, from childhood, because a child learns quickly that sizing up the adults that surround her is a survival necessity.

    Reply
  4. Cary Grant for vintage, David Tennant for current day. For me, it’s always in the eyes, but I notice hands too, and the way a man stands. I also notice the clothes he wears, both for whether they look good and for what they tell me about him. I look at the overall package, including intellectual, spiritual, social — not just physical — so physical to me is an expression of the inner man. I suspect I have been doing that all my life, from childhood, because a child learns quickly that sizing up the adults that surround her is a survival necessity.

    Reply
  5. Cary Grant for vintage, David Tennant for current day. For me, it’s always in the eyes, but I notice hands too, and the way a man stands. I also notice the clothes he wears, both for whether they look good and for what they tell me about him. I look at the overall package, including intellectual, spiritual, social — not just physical — so physical to me is an expression of the inner man. I suspect I have been doing that all my life, from childhood, because a child learns quickly that sizing up the adults that surround her is a survival necessity.

    Reply
  6. I just keep thinking of the Shoop Shoop song:
    Is it in his eyes?
    Oh no! You’ll be deceived

    Is it in his face?
    Oh no! That’s just his charms
    In his warm embrace?
    Oh no! That’s just his arms

    It’s in his kiss
    That’s where it is

    Reply
  7. I just keep thinking of the Shoop Shoop song:
    Is it in his eyes?
    Oh no! You’ll be deceived

    Is it in his face?
    Oh no! That’s just his charms
    In his warm embrace?
    Oh no! That’s just his arms

    It’s in his kiss
    That’s where it is

    Reply
  8. I just keep thinking of the Shoop Shoop song:
    Is it in his eyes?
    Oh no! You’ll be deceived

    Is it in his face?
    Oh no! That’s just his charms
    In his warm embrace?
    Oh no! That’s just his arms

    It’s in his kiss
    That’s where it is

    Reply
  9. I just keep thinking of the Shoop Shoop song:
    Is it in his eyes?
    Oh no! You’ll be deceived

    Is it in his face?
    Oh no! That’s just his charms
    In his warm embrace?
    Oh no! That’s just his arms

    It’s in his kiss
    That’s where it is

    Reply
  10. I just keep thinking of the Shoop Shoop song:
    Is it in his eyes?
    Oh no! You’ll be deceived

    Is it in his face?
    Oh no! That’s just his charms
    In his warm embrace?
    Oh no! That’s just his arms

    It’s in his kiss
    That’s where it is

    Reply
  11. Janice, interesting you mention hands. I looks at hands too—they say a lot about confidence, gentleness, being capable. There’s a grace about them that seems tied into deeper elements of a man.
    Clothes matter too in that how a man sees himself says alot.
    And love your comment about children learning to size people up. So true! They do tend see through all the posturing and verbal smokescreens and sense the simple elemental elements of character.

    Reply
  12. Janice, interesting you mention hands. I looks at hands too—they say a lot about confidence, gentleness, being capable. There’s a grace about them that seems tied into deeper elements of a man.
    Clothes matter too in that how a man sees himself says alot.
    And love your comment about children learning to size people up. So true! They do tend see through all the posturing and verbal smokescreens and sense the simple elemental elements of character.

    Reply
  13. Janice, interesting you mention hands. I looks at hands too—they say a lot about confidence, gentleness, being capable. There’s a grace about them that seems tied into deeper elements of a man.
    Clothes matter too in that how a man sees himself says alot.
    And love your comment about children learning to size people up. So true! They do tend see through all the posturing and verbal smokescreens and sense the simple elemental elements of character.

    Reply
  14. Janice, interesting you mention hands. I looks at hands too—they say a lot about confidence, gentleness, being capable. There’s a grace about them that seems tied into deeper elements of a man.
    Clothes matter too in that how a man sees himself says alot.
    And love your comment about children learning to size people up. So true! They do tend see through all the posturing and verbal smokescreens and sense the simple elemental elements of character.

    Reply
  15. Janice, interesting you mention hands. I looks at hands too—they say a lot about confidence, gentleness, being capable. There’s a grace about them that seems tied into deeper elements of a man.
    Clothes matter too in that how a man sees himself says alot.
    And love your comment about children learning to size people up. So true! They do tend see through all the posturing and verbal smokescreens and sense the simple elemental elements of character.

    Reply
  16. Such thorough research, and it’s oh-so necessary. You have included two of my favourite specimens so I’ve been in a little pink cloud of research here for a while. I have to confess that Sean Bean striding up the hill at the end of each episode of Sharpe was a thrill – so the back view and the hero’s walk are also important to me. But, yes, the hero’s eyes are the essential feature. Personally, I favour melting brown eyes.

    Reply
  17. Such thorough research, and it’s oh-so necessary. You have included two of my favourite specimens so I’ve been in a little pink cloud of research here for a while. I have to confess that Sean Bean striding up the hill at the end of each episode of Sharpe was a thrill – so the back view and the hero’s walk are also important to me. But, yes, the hero’s eyes are the essential feature. Personally, I favour melting brown eyes.

    Reply
  18. Such thorough research, and it’s oh-so necessary. You have included two of my favourite specimens so I’ve been in a little pink cloud of research here for a while. I have to confess that Sean Bean striding up the hill at the end of each episode of Sharpe was a thrill – so the back view and the hero’s walk are also important to me. But, yes, the hero’s eyes are the essential feature. Personally, I favour melting brown eyes.

    Reply
  19. Such thorough research, and it’s oh-so necessary. You have included two of my favourite specimens so I’ve been in a little pink cloud of research here for a while. I have to confess that Sean Bean striding up the hill at the end of each episode of Sharpe was a thrill – so the back view and the hero’s walk are also important to me. But, yes, the hero’s eyes are the essential feature. Personally, I favour melting brown eyes.

    Reply
  20. Such thorough research, and it’s oh-so necessary. You have included two of my favourite specimens so I’ve been in a little pink cloud of research here for a while. I have to confess that Sean Bean striding up the hill at the end of each episode of Sharpe was a thrill – so the back view and the hero’s walk are also important to me. But, yes, the hero’s eyes are the essential feature. Personally, I favour melting brown eyes.

    Reply
  21. Its the whole package really but if I had to itemize it would be eyes,hands voice -then a cheeky grin of course !A sense of humour is a must! And preferrably a scottish accent – I used to sit through the match of the day programmes at some ungodly hour on saturday nights just to listen to Alan Hansen one of the pundits -oh he has a lovely voice!

    Reply
  22. Its the whole package really but if I had to itemize it would be eyes,hands voice -then a cheeky grin of course !A sense of humour is a must! And preferrably a scottish accent – I used to sit through the match of the day programmes at some ungodly hour on saturday nights just to listen to Alan Hansen one of the pundits -oh he has a lovely voice!

    Reply
  23. Its the whole package really but if I had to itemize it would be eyes,hands voice -then a cheeky grin of course !A sense of humour is a must! And preferrably a scottish accent – I used to sit through the match of the day programmes at some ungodly hour on saturday nights just to listen to Alan Hansen one of the pundits -oh he has a lovely voice!

    Reply
  24. Its the whole package really but if I had to itemize it would be eyes,hands voice -then a cheeky grin of course !A sense of humour is a must! And preferrably a scottish accent – I used to sit through the match of the day programmes at some ungodly hour on saturday nights just to listen to Alan Hansen one of the pundits -oh he has a lovely voice!

    Reply
  25. Its the whole package really but if I had to itemize it would be eyes,hands voice -then a cheeky grin of course !A sense of humour is a must! And preferrably a scottish accent – I used to sit through the match of the day programmes at some ungodly hour on saturday nights just to listen to Alan Hansen one of the pundits -oh he has a lovely voice!

    Reply
  26. I’ve been trying to decide how I’m not attracted to a specific feature. I guess it’s kinda “Palladian,” meaning its how the disparate features, including hair, together produce visual harmony.
    The ladies and I saw a movie yesterday that had the most delicious assortment of different types of male beauty. Dominic West’s tawny locks flowed as he danced. Winsome is the only word I can use to describe George MacKay. Ben Schnetzer’s eyes just radiated charisma. Voice is important, and I do like a “foreign” accent–English, Irish, Welsh, French, etc.

    Reply
  27. I’ve been trying to decide how I’m not attracted to a specific feature. I guess it’s kinda “Palladian,” meaning its how the disparate features, including hair, together produce visual harmony.
    The ladies and I saw a movie yesterday that had the most delicious assortment of different types of male beauty. Dominic West’s tawny locks flowed as he danced. Winsome is the only word I can use to describe George MacKay. Ben Schnetzer’s eyes just radiated charisma. Voice is important, and I do like a “foreign” accent–English, Irish, Welsh, French, etc.

    Reply
  28. I’ve been trying to decide how I’m not attracted to a specific feature. I guess it’s kinda “Palladian,” meaning its how the disparate features, including hair, together produce visual harmony.
    The ladies and I saw a movie yesterday that had the most delicious assortment of different types of male beauty. Dominic West’s tawny locks flowed as he danced. Winsome is the only word I can use to describe George MacKay. Ben Schnetzer’s eyes just radiated charisma. Voice is important, and I do like a “foreign” accent–English, Irish, Welsh, French, etc.

    Reply
  29. I’ve been trying to decide how I’m not attracted to a specific feature. I guess it’s kinda “Palladian,” meaning its how the disparate features, including hair, together produce visual harmony.
    The ladies and I saw a movie yesterday that had the most delicious assortment of different types of male beauty. Dominic West’s tawny locks flowed as he danced. Winsome is the only word I can use to describe George MacKay. Ben Schnetzer’s eyes just radiated charisma. Voice is important, and I do like a “foreign” accent–English, Irish, Welsh, French, etc.

    Reply
  30. I’ve been trying to decide how I’m not attracted to a specific feature. I guess it’s kinda “Palladian,” meaning its how the disparate features, including hair, together produce visual harmony.
    The ladies and I saw a movie yesterday that had the most delicious assortment of different types of male beauty. Dominic West’s tawny locks flowed as he danced. Winsome is the only word I can use to describe George MacKay. Ben Schnetzer’s eyes just radiated charisma. Voice is important, and I do like a “foreign” accent–English, Irish, Welsh, French, etc.

    Reply
  31. It’s not something that can be captured in a photo, but I like a man who moves well. If he moves well it indicates he’s comfortable in his body and in control. Watching Sean Bean as Sharpe run toward a battle or a young Frank Langella as Dracula (saw him on stage where the entire female part of the audience audibly sighed as he embraced the heroine) — be still my beating heart!

    Reply
  32. It’s not something that can be captured in a photo, but I like a man who moves well. If he moves well it indicates he’s comfortable in his body and in control. Watching Sean Bean as Sharpe run toward a battle or a young Frank Langella as Dracula (saw him on stage where the entire female part of the audience audibly sighed as he embraced the heroine) — be still my beating heart!

    Reply
  33. It’s not something that can be captured in a photo, but I like a man who moves well. If he moves well it indicates he’s comfortable in his body and in control. Watching Sean Bean as Sharpe run toward a battle or a young Frank Langella as Dracula (saw him on stage where the entire female part of the audience audibly sighed as he embraced the heroine) — be still my beating heart!

    Reply
  34. It’s not something that can be captured in a photo, but I like a man who moves well. If he moves well it indicates he’s comfortable in his body and in control. Watching Sean Bean as Sharpe run toward a battle or a young Frank Langella as Dracula (saw him on stage where the entire female part of the audience audibly sighed as he embraced the heroine) — be still my beating heart!

    Reply
  35. It’s not something that can be captured in a photo, but I like a man who moves well. If he moves well it indicates he’s comfortable in his body and in control. Watching Sean Bean as Sharpe run toward a battle or a young Frank Langella as Dracula (saw him on stage where the entire female part of the audience audibly sighed as he embraced the heroine) — be still my beating heart!

    Reply
  36. Have you all noticed there’s not one specific mention of six-pack abs and flowing locks so far? Makes one wonder if today’s shirtless cover art is on the right marketing track. For me, soulful eyes and sensitive lips are good, intelligent voice is even better. But I have to agree with Artemisia: in person, at least, decent hygiene is a must. 😉

    Reply
  37. Have you all noticed there’s not one specific mention of six-pack abs and flowing locks so far? Makes one wonder if today’s shirtless cover art is on the right marketing track. For me, soulful eyes and sensitive lips are good, intelligent voice is even better. But I have to agree with Artemisia: in person, at least, decent hygiene is a must. 😉

    Reply
  38. Have you all noticed there’s not one specific mention of six-pack abs and flowing locks so far? Makes one wonder if today’s shirtless cover art is on the right marketing track. For me, soulful eyes and sensitive lips are good, intelligent voice is even better. But I have to agree with Artemisia: in person, at least, decent hygiene is a must. 😉

    Reply
  39. Have you all noticed there’s not one specific mention of six-pack abs and flowing locks so far? Makes one wonder if today’s shirtless cover art is on the right marketing track. For me, soulful eyes and sensitive lips are good, intelligent voice is even better. But I have to agree with Artemisia: in person, at least, decent hygiene is a must. 😉

    Reply
  40. Have you all noticed there’s not one specific mention of six-pack abs and flowing locks so far? Makes one wonder if today’s shirtless cover art is on the right marketing track. For me, soulful eyes and sensitive lips are good, intelligent voice is even better. But I have to agree with Artemisia: in person, at least, decent hygiene is a must. 😉

    Reply
  41. Insufficient data for a proper statistical analysis. Suggest consulting Suzanne Enoch’s facebook page for a string of potential additions. Research is so important, I am surprised Suzanne gets any writing done!

    Reply
  42. Insufficient data for a proper statistical analysis. Suggest consulting Suzanne Enoch’s facebook page for a string of potential additions. Research is so important, I am surprised Suzanne gets any writing done!

    Reply
  43. Insufficient data for a proper statistical analysis. Suggest consulting Suzanne Enoch’s facebook page for a string of potential additions. Research is so important, I am surprised Suzanne gets any writing done!

    Reply
  44. Insufficient data for a proper statistical analysis. Suggest consulting Suzanne Enoch’s facebook page for a string of potential additions. Research is so important, I am surprised Suzanne gets any writing done!

    Reply
  45. Insufficient data for a proper statistical analysis. Suggest consulting Suzanne Enoch’s facebook page for a string of potential additions. Research is so important, I am surprised Suzanne gets any writing done!

    Reply
  46. The eyes are most important, and I prefer warm brown eyes or green. But I do also have a predilection for curly locks, and a nice pair of shoulders.

    Reply
  47. The eyes are most important, and I prefer warm brown eyes or green. But I do also have a predilection for curly locks, and a nice pair of shoulders.

    Reply
  48. The eyes are most important, and I prefer warm brown eyes or green. But I do also have a predilection for curly locks, and a nice pair of shoulders.

    Reply
  49. The eyes are most important, and I prefer warm brown eyes or green. But I do also have a predilection for curly locks, and a nice pair of shoulders.

    Reply
  50. The eyes are most important, and I prefer warm brown eyes or green. But I do also have a predilection for curly locks, and a nice pair of shoulders.

    Reply
  51. I’m more than a little old fashioned, but I think many of us “imprint” on a physical type as a teenager (like a baby duck). Of course, as we mature we come to appreciate all types of masculine pulchritude. For me, character is much more important than appearance. A man whose eyes and behavior show regard for others and whose hands are gentle is a hero in my book. As my grandma used to say, “Good looks don’t last. Character does.”

    Reply
  52. I’m more than a little old fashioned, but I think many of us “imprint” on a physical type as a teenager (like a baby duck). Of course, as we mature we come to appreciate all types of masculine pulchritude. For me, character is much more important than appearance. A man whose eyes and behavior show regard for others and whose hands are gentle is a hero in my book. As my grandma used to say, “Good looks don’t last. Character does.”

    Reply
  53. I’m more than a little old fashioned, but I think many of us “imprint” on a physical type as a teenager (like a baby duck). Of course, as we mature we come to appreciate all types of masculine pulchritude. For me, character is much more important than appearance. A man whose eyes and behavior show regard for others and whose hands are gentle is a hero in my book. As my grandma used to say, “Good looks don’t last. Character does.”

    Reply
  54. I’m more than a little old fashioned, but I think many of us “imprint” on a physical type as a teenager (like a baby duck). Of course, as we mature we come to appreciate all types of masculine pulchritude. For me, character is much more important than appearance. A man whose eyes and behavior show regard for others and whose hands are gentle is a hero in my book. As my grandma used to say, “Good looks don’t last. Character does.”

    Reply
  55. I’m more than a little old fashioned, but I think many of us “imprint” on a physical type as a teenager (like a baby duck). Of course, as we mature we come to appreciate all types of masculine pulchritude. For me, character is much more important than appearance. A man whose eyes and behavior show regard for others and whose hands are gentle is a hero in my book. As my grandma used to say, “Good looks don’t last. Character does.”

    Reply
  56. Good commentary — great photos — a very young Timothy Dalton and one of Sean Bean — although I’ve not seen photo shots focusing on Sean’s eyes.
    I am impressed with great legs and thighs…. strong, not spindly — the ones that hold you safe and warm and…….

    Reply
  57. Good commentary — great photos — a very young Timothy Dalton and one of Sean Bean — although I’ve not seen photo shots focusing on Sean’s eyes.
    I am impressed with great legs and thighs…. strong, not spindly — the ones that hold you safe and warm and…….

    Reply
  58. Good commentary — great photos — a very young Timothy Dalton and one of Sean Bean — although I’ve not seen photo shots focusing on Sean’s eyes.
    I am impressed with great legs and thighs…. strong, not spindly — the ones that hold you safe and warm and…….

    Reply
  59. Good commentary — great photos — a very young Timothy Dalton and one of Sean Bean — although I’ve not seen photo shots focusing on Sean’s eyes.
    I am impressed with great legs and thighs…. strong, not spindly — the ones that hold you safe and warm and…….

    Reply
  60. Good commentary — great photos — a very young Timothy Dalton and one of Sean Bean — although I’ve not seen photo shots focusing on Sean’s eyes.
    I am impressed with great legs and thighs…. strong, not spindly — the ones that hold you safe and warm and…….

    Reply
  61. A guy’s voice can stop me cold. Low, rumbling, inflected, accents…it’s getting hot in here, haha. And the way a man moves (have you seen Mads Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair in the dancing scene? holy gawd) I’m agreeing about the eyes, too.

    Reply
  62. A guy’s voice can stop me cold. Low, rumbling, inflected, accents…it’s getting hot in here, haha. And the way a man moves (have you seen Mads Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair in the dancing scene? holy gawd) I’m agreeing about the eyes, too.

    Reply
  63. A guy’s voice can stop me cold. Low, rumbling, inflected, accents…it’s getting hot in here, haha. And the way a man moves (have you seen Mads Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair in the dancing scene? holy gawd) I’m agreeing about the eyes, too.

    Reply
  64. A guy’s voice can stop me cold. Low, rumbling, inflected, accents…it’s getting hot in here, haha. And the way a man moves (have you seen Mads Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair in the dancing scene? holy gawd) I’m agreeing about the eyes, too.

    Reply
  65. A guy’s voice can stop me cold. Low, rumbling, inflected, accents…it’s getting hot in here, haha. And the way a man moves (have you seen Mads Mikkelsen in A Royal Affair in the dancing scene? holy gawd) I’m agreeing about the eyes, too.

    Reply
  66. The glance is always the first contact and the beginning of the relationship. Since the eyes are the organs that bring this about it is of primary importance in the whole appearance of the person. Voice can be a game-breaker but first before anything else there is the Glance. Non-verbal, but powerful communication.
    BTW.. lovely research material in your post 😉

    Reply
  67. The glance is always the first contact and the beginning of the relationship. Since the eyes are the organs that bring this about it is of primary importance in the whole appearance of the person. Voice can be a game-breaker but first before anything else there is the Glance. Non-verbal, but powerful communication.
    BTW.. lovely research material in your post 😉

    Reply
  68. The glance is always the first contact and the beginning of the relationship. Since the eyes are the organs that bring this about it is of primary importance in the whole appearance of the person. Voice can be a game-breaker but first before anything else there is the Glance. Non-verbal, but powerful communication.
    BTW.. lovely research material in your post 😉

    Reply
  69. The glance is always the first contact and the beginning of the relationship. Since the eyes are the organs that bring this about it is of primary importance in the whole appearance of the person. Voice can be a game-breaker but first before anything else there is the Glance. Non-verbal, but powerful communication.
    BTW.. lovely research material in your post 😉

    Reply
  70. The glance is always the first contact and the beginning of the relationship. Since the eyes are the organs that bring this about it is of primary importance in the whole appearance of the person. Voice can be a game-breaker but first before anything else there is the Glance. Non-verbal, but powerful communication.
    BTW.. lovely research material in your post 😉

    Reply

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