I find ships incredibly sexy.
Particularly sailing ships — powerful, beautiful, graceful and dangerous. They fly in the face of Nature’s strongest force, the sea. In the era before electricity and the engine, they were a nation’s greatest weapon. To master the sea was to be master of the world.
Ships. Are. Sexy.
The men who captain them are sexier yet. The sea offers a hard life. A man (or woman!) needs extraordinary strength of character and courage to tame it.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I adore a gentleman of land and society who can drive a pair with ease and lead a lady in a waltz dressed to the nines. But while Mr. Darcy makes me swoon and Mr. Knightley speeds my pulse, it is Captain Wentworth who commands my heart. He is gentleman, warrior and adventurer all at once — a perfectly breathtaking combination.
So I write books with ships in them, and my office is papered in images of ships. Sailing ships from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries line my walls — stately brigantines, massive frigates, punky little sloops, sturdy barques, and graceful schooners. I have ship calendars and books about historical sailing ships, some of them gorgeous coffee table volumes filled with period paintings, others technical manuals, and others that were actually used by sailors during the Regency period (like Falconer’s Dictionary of the Marine, which plays a role in my upcoming book, In the Arms of a Marquess).
Take a little stroll through one of these image databases, or even google, if you will. Search whatever you wish: “ships”, “captain”, “hunky Regency sailor”. Find anything sexy?