Friday, November 14, 2014

Move Over Fabio! There's a New Cover Model in Town!

I’m sure we all remember the sexy, Italian stallion of male models, Fabio, His chiseled face and rippling pecs graced the covers of countless romance novels. Coincidentally, before I became a romance author and he catapulted to stardom as the face of the bodice ripper novel, our paths crossed back in the eighties, at a nightclub on Long Island. I was trolling the place with a group of my friends when a very large man in a shadowy corner waved us over. At that point, none of us knew that he was on the verge of becoming a household name. He was just some guy autographing glossy photos of himself and trying to garner female attention. My friends and I declined his photos, laughed and walked away, not at all interested in fawning all over him. Now twenty plus years later, while I happened to be trolling the halls of the Renaissance Hilton at the October NJRW Conference, I had the distinct pleasure of crossing paths with a new male cover model, the gorgeous and charming John Antonino. I admit I felt a slight jolt of deja vu as I watched him chat up a slew of adoring females, sign autographs, give hugs and pass out postcards and book jackets with his sexy photo emblazoned across the front. But this working actor and cover model was more than just a pretty face. Not only was he an absolute sweetheart and extremely approachable, but he also impressed me with his wit, candor and genuine gratitude for all his good fortune. He was so engaging and down to earth, I almost forgot that steamy pictures of his naked torso as well as him in various states of undress, were displayed on a table right under my nose, but I somehow managed to look into his eyes the entire time.
This Jersey boy has graced the covers of many magazines such as Men's Fitness, Men’s Exercise, Fitness, and yes, Playgirl. He's in a new HBO series called, “The Knick,” where he plays an Italian immigrant worker, as well as a show on the History Channel called, “Escaping the Holocaust.” This smoldering actor has also been featured on TV shows such as “Lipstick Jungle” and “Lights Out.” His film credits include, “Sex and the City 2.” It was a true pleasure getting to know John and not for his washboard abs, although I can appreciate that kind of pure, male beauty as much as any red-blooded female. Honestly, I found his complete lack of ego or any trace of arrogance refreshing. The fact that he cooks and adores his mom impressed me even more. Even though John isn’t on the cover of any of my books, I certainly enjoyed the experience of interviewing him and would highly recommend checking out his website.