Monday, March 13, 2017

Is a Guy with a Big Beard Sexy?


Congratulations to "Anita H.", the winner in Miranda's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Let’s face it, beard styles have “grown” a little crazy in the last few years. Suddenly popular are those super fluffy beards called the Bandholz style, named after a guy who got negative comments at his job in the corporate world by wanting to grow his beard to its limit. He left corporate life and founded a highly successful company of beard-care products…and helped spread a trend!

Other styles of facial hair are popular too—Robert Downey, Jr. wears the Balbo style, Hugh Jackman (in his X-men role) mutton chops. And then there are also short stubble and goatees.

When my hero and heroine first meet in my new release, CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING, the hero has a very bushy beard that the heroine does not care for at all. (She uses the terms “Wolverine” and “Unabomber” to poke fun at him.) In fact, she doesn’t care for him at all—she feels he’s entitled and over privileged. He’s the son of a billionaire, hiding out from the media after he left his high-society bride at the altar, and he’s ducked into a church to escape the press. He’s been keeping a low profile in the small town of Mirror Lake, and letting his beard get pretty long and bushy.

My heroine has just gone AWOL from her bereavement group that’s meeting in the church basement. She’s desperate to start her life again after her husband’s death from cancer, but she’s terrified and unsure of how to begin—she only knows that she’s got to try.

My hero just happens to overhear my heroine’s conversation as she makes a call to a guy she’s had a few dates with. She’s trying to ask him out again and completely fumbling the call—so she starts coaching her!

You can read the excerpt below. (You’re also welcome to read the whole first chapter on my website at mirandaliasson.com.)

Comment below about how YOU feel about big bushy beards for a chance to win a $5 Amazon card and an e-copy of the first Spikonos Brothers book, CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU. (This book is the second in the series, but the books can be read as stand-alones as well. For the month of March, the kindle edition of the first Spikonos Brothers book, CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU, is on sale for just $1.99 on Amazon.)

EXCERPT:

“I want to sleep with you,” Maggie McShae said into her cell phone. “I’m ready to take the plunge.” Her words echoed in the high-ceilinged vestibule of Mirror Lake Congregational Church, where her bereavement group was meeting at this very moment in the basement.
The bereavement group, that is, from which she’d gone AWOL, possibly forever. It was not the group she led as part of her practice as a psychologist either, but the one she’d attended since her husband’s death over three years ago.
“Did I just hear you right?” Greg Pollard, a fireman on the Mirror Lake squad, asked from the other end of the phone.
“Yes, you heard me right. I’m ready. It’s time.” There, she’d done it. Finally taken a step forward. Greg was a nice guy, and they’d had three fun dates. He was good-looking and polite, and she wanted him to know she was ready to move to the next level. Being a psychologist, even she could congratulate herself on the progress.
What would Corey think? She could see him sitting in heaven, in his favorite easy chair, laughing his ass off at her awkwardness. Or maybe he’d be scowling instead. He’d been gone three and a half years, but going on a date still felt like she was cheating on him. She squeezed her eyes shut to block out those thoughts. She was doing so well. Keep going, Maggie, she thought, trying to cheer herself on inside her head.
“Um, Maggie, I’m at work. Can you give me a sec?”
“Oh, sure. No problem, Greg.”
The sound of male laughter echoed around her in the high-ceilinged space, bouncing off the big glass windows that faced Main Street of Mirror Lake, Connecticut. As Maggie slowly turned around, she saw someone sitting on one of the three wide white marble steps that ran the length of the vestibule.
Oh, firetruck. It was her best friend Bella’s obnoxious brother-in-law, and he’d just heard everything. Well, she wasn’t going to let him sit there and gloat. “Oh hi, Ted Kaczynski,” she said, waving. “What made you join civilization today?”
The man smoothed out his rather bushy beard and smiled. Even under all that hair (which he’d seemed to grow to hide behind in the past year and a half since coming to Mirror Lake), that smile was beaming out some major wattage. She’d never personally seen him without the Wolverine look, but she’d seen photos in the tabloids, and honestly, she was grateful for the massive sprouting of hair that hid his make-women-swoon sexy looks. Not that they’d ever make her swoon, mind you. She was immune to scoundrels.
Above the beard, his eyes crinkled, showing a few lines that in a man like him spelled interest and experience. He smiled, displaying brilliantly white teeth, reminding her he wasn’t a country hick hiding out in Mirror Lake but rather a polished gazillionaire businessman. But the hiding part was right.
Actually, they’d met when he’d run in off the street straight into the group therapy session she was leading, looking for sanctuary from the press after his botched wedding. She was afraid he was deranged and called the cops. She smiled a little thinking of that day when a gorgeous AWOL guy in a tux burst through her office door. She’d gotten to know him a little since he was the brother of two of her best friends’ husbands, but she didn’t have a very high opinion of him. In the looks department, he was blessed, but the rest of him left a lot to be desired.
“Don’t mind me,” he said. “Just keep on with your…um…booty call.”
She covered the receiver of her cell and dropped her voice. Because they were in a church, after all. “It’s not a booty call. We’ve had three perfectly wonderful dates, and he wanted to…he wanted to… Why am I telling you this? It’s none of your business.”
He held up a hand. “Right. Sure you don’t need a few pointers?”
From him? The guy who created a national scandal when he dumped his gorgeous socialite bride at the altar—at the altar, for God’s sake—a year and a half ago in front of a sizable crowd at St. Patrick’s Cathedral? Which had been covered by all the major outlets, starting a media firestorm that he’d been lying low from ever since. “Like I’m going to ask you for pointers in matters of the heart. That’s a laugh, because you clearly don’t have one.”
He placed his hands dramatically over his chest. “You slay me, Maggie. You just slay me.” He waited for her eye roll before he said, “This doesn’t really sound like a matter of the heart. More like a matter of…”
“Oh, hi, Greg,” she said, because he was back on the line. “Yes. I was just wondering if you’d like to try…another date.”
Put him on speaker, Drew mouthed.
No way, she mouthed back as she turned away a little. She didn’t like Andreas Poulos. He’d had the reputation of being a love-’em-and-leave-’em kind of guy even before his high-profile engagement, dating beautiful women from around the world. Then, of course, he’d left poor Anika in tears. He was clearly full of himself, rich and entitled, and he would rather act like a recluse than face his problems. All dishonorable traits in her book. Even the New York Post ran the headline: THE HUNK’S A PUNK, after the wedding debacle.
But there was one thing he had that just might come in helpful. Tons of experience with women. Why not use it to her benefit? He’d already heard what was going on. Plus, she hadn’t had sex in over three years. These were desperate times, and clearly, she could use a little help here. Despite her better judgment, she pushed the speaker button.

CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING

SHE WANTS TO MOVE ON…WITH SOMEONE BLAND AND BORING.

Widowed psychologist Maggie McShae is ready to find someone who won’t make her heart beat fast, her knees grow weak, or her body go hot and cold at the same time. No one she can really love, because love brings too much pain.

Drew Poulos, son of a billionaire, is hiding out in Mirror Lake, working at his brothers’ brandy company. He inspires those very feelings Maggie’s determined to avoid. The hunky businessman, who left his high society bride at the altar, is the last person she’d ever seriously date. But he might just be perfect for a fling…

HE NEEDS A DATE FOR HIS BROTHER’S WEDDING…WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN CALM HIS QUIRKY FAMILY.

Drew’s too heartbroken to ever trust any woman again, but the sexy psychologist is the perfect person to deflect his family’s attention as his brother marries the woman Drew once thought was his.

As sparks fly, two injured hearts might just find that true love can be even better the second time around.


GIVEAWAY:  
One lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry will win a $5 Amazon card and an e-copy of CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING (winner may choose a signed print copy instead if in the U.S.)

AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS:
Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about everyday people who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! A former Golden Heart winner, she’s written contemporary romance for Montlake, Entangled, and soon for Grand Central. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mirandaliasson/
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Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 14th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me, Maureen! :) Always a pleasure to be here.

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  2. Sounds like a fun book, looking forward to reading this!! :D

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Forgot to mention - beards are hot (mostly). Not wild and out of control but it does bring a certain appeal to some men.

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  3. I am not really a fan of bushy beards, but for a character it does not matter to me... thanks for sharing!

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  4. I must admit, I was relieved when my hero shaved, lol. :) Thanks for stopping Colleen!

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  5. not really a fan

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  6. I'm not a fan of beards.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  7. I'm okay with lighter coloured beards that are barely there. We have a friend with a long grey beard - and we call him Santa all the time. It's either that or saying he looks homeless; we think Santa is kinder to him.... Yeah, a five-o'clock shadow type of beard can be sexy to me, but not if it's black. My husband's was black and he looked downright sinister. His brother's is reddish and I think it looks fine if it's trimmed often. Besides, it hides his triple chins, LOL.

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    1. I always forget to mention it: Maureen has my email address.

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    2. Hi Laney, thanks for the laughs! My husband wears a beard sometimes (close shaved and I really like it) but when he's shaving it sometimes he shaves the sides so he has that mustache-and-goatee look that I think makes him look like I wouldn't want to meet up with him on a dark street, LOL. Thanks for sharing:)

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  8. Great excerpt! Thank you for sharing. I love me some beard and I purposely seek out books that feature heroes with beards. Sad to hear he shaved it :)

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Wow, seriously? I love it! I don't know if this is still true, but a few years ago I heard that you won't see many bearded heroes on book covers because women don't prefer that...but maybe that's changed now that beards are more popular? My second Mirror Lake book has a bearded hero on the cover but they would only give him a light beard for that reason!

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  9. I'm not a big fan of huge, bushy beards -- I'm more into clean cut men but I don't mind a nice, trimmed bearded look.

    The book sounds great, adding this to my TBR list!
    thebigbluewall77 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks Anita and I agree with you--close shaved and trimmed, I really like that look :)

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  10. I'm a NBB gal ( no bushy beards) lol ��
    One dad of stubble you might get away with me but then you better get that Gillette out lol ��
    I just wish my sons weren't into this trend !
    They are So trying to look older ! Lol ��
    Oh there will come a time and they'll try to reverse it I'm sure !! and shave lol ��
    Have a fab day x

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    1. Violet, my son came home for his college spring break last year looking like a mountain man. I was very careful to bite my tongue and say nothing (well, I suppose I did compliment him on his ability to grow hair, LOL) but I was so ecstatic when that thing got trimmed! Thanks for stopping!

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  11. (NOT entering) This book is so fabulous! The winner is going to love this one. I am with Maggie on this one because I am not really a fan of beards, especially bushy ones. Although the Unibomber jokes cracked me up, I was SO happy when Drew shaved!

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    1. Hi Heather--thanks so much for stopping by and being a cheerleader for my book :). I was so happy when he shaved too :) :) :)

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