What Makes a Man Sexy?

What Makes a Man Sexy?
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I’m a sucker for stories starring heroines who encounter a string of Mr. Wrongs before stumbling over Mr. Right — who’s been there all along. Maybe it’s because I’ve had more than my own share of disastrous dates. Let’s see—there was the guy who nearly bit my hand off when I stole one of his French fries. The fellow who ended up in the emergency room after kissing me—allergic  reaction to my lipstick. The film blogger who took me to a movie, went out for popcorn, and never came back . . .

Humiliating as they are at the time,  bad dates make for good stories. The weirder the dates, the funnier they seem when you describe them to your friends.  Better yet, if you’re a writer,  you can mine your romantic calamities for material—which was what I did when I wrote my new book, The Sexiest Man Alive.

This is the latest in the Mazie Maguire-Ben Labeck Escape Diaries saga. Mazie and Ben have been together ever since Mazie’s days on the lam. Convicted of murder and sentenced to prison,  Mazie—with Ben’s help—managed to escape. She and Ben teamed up to hunt down a killer, falling madly in love along the way. Nearly a year has passed since then, and as she and Ben settle into a humdrum movie-and-popcorn-every-Saturday-night routine, Mazie worries that their fireworks are fizzling.

Then the grenade.  A popular TV show chooses Ben Labeck as their “Sexiest Man Alive.” Overnight Ben becomes a female lust object, mobbed like a rock god wherever he goes. Unable  to compete with the glamour dolls who’re coming on to him, Mazie breaks up with Ben.

And suddenly finds herself single again in a world where the dating rules have changed. The pool of eligible men has shrunk; hooking up has replaced courtship; pheromone matchups are all the rage;  and guys give their dates sex toys instead of flowers.

Trading on his Sexiest Guy vibe, Ben also dips his toes into the dating pool and meets his ideal woman. She’s calm, she’s organized—and she’s never once blown up a plumbing factory. But perfection is way overrated, Ben discovers. Where are the belly laughs, the werewolves popping out of the woods, the Lucy and Ethel situations that make life with Mazie so entertaining? (And is blowing up the occasional plumbing factory really so terrible?)

Obviously, The Sexiest Man Alive has broad comic undertones, but I did attempt to address a couple of Big Questions. Such as: what makes a man truly sexy? My romance reader friends had strong opinions on the subject. No one put bulging biceps and great jawlines at the top of their  “must have” list. But they did say:

He’s sexiest when he’s cradling our baby.

Intelligence. Sexy as hell.

Kindness. Nothing sexier.

He’s sexy when he makes me laugh.

When he looks at me with that gleam in his eye—Yowza!

Remembering to put the toilet seat down. Now that’s sexy.

Naturally, “Gives great foot rubs” is on the list, along with dozens of  other deal-makers. I’d love to share them all—this proved to be a fertile topic—but  I’m already way over my word limit here,  so I’m leaving it up to you, Loveswept readers.

What makes a guy The Sexiest Man Alive?


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