Mini-Contest #1!

Hi, all! The seven day countdown to the release of The Betrayal of the Blood Lily begins!

While we’re filling in the time before Blood Lily, I have an article up today on Historical Tapestry about Why I Love Men in Black Masks.

There’s just one slight hitch. When the article was posted, the title originally came up as Why I Love Men in Black Tights.

Um… interesting. Not quite the same thing, but I can see the merits of it. To be fair, the article was nearly about Why I Love Men in Knee Breeches (a first cousin of black tights) but it somehow managed to turn into a very dry scholarly discourse on the Long Eighteenth Century and had to be scrapped. (If anyone would like to use it as a sleep aid, it’s still in my files somewhere, along with that paper I wrote on the Regency Crisis of 1810-11 and a historiographical essay on Jacobitism.)

So here’s today’s question: which do you prefer? Men in black masks or men in black tights? (Or knee breeches.)

Since today is Night Jasmine‘s paperback birthday, I’ll be giving away a copy of Night Jasmine the Paperback to one person chosen at random from among the comments.


  1. Sealz on January 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I prefer men in black masks. Or black eyeliner is always nice!

  2. Lora on January 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Masks! No tights. No ballet dancers, no men who weigh less than I do, please! Also, pantyhose=not manly.

    Knee breeches are fine so long as they are confined to their correct historical period and do not appear as alternative formalwear in 21st century social scene. Ugh.

  3. Rachel Kennedy on January 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Prefer men in knee breeches (tights, if necessary).

  4. Laura on January 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I prefer black knee breeches.

  5. Courtney on January 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    The correct answer is obviously “Both!,” as Wesley in “The Princess Bride” so clearly proves. πŸ˜‰

  6. J on January 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Black masks. Though knee breeches are fun too.

  7. Christine on January 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Masks! Air of mystery, danger, and total sexiness.

  8. Tara on January 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I prefer men in black masks who say mysterious, provoking things by candlelight!

  9. Danyelle on January 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I prefer black masks.I think knee breeches are nice too.

  10. Lauren on January 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Black masks, for sure. Men in masks are mysterious, which is a huge turn-on. That being said, I love to look at guys’ legs, and black tights would definitely serve to enhance the lovely shape–or, depending on the guy, the lack thereof–of said legs.

  11. Rina on January 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Tights! Better yet, both!

  12. Edna Bayon on January 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm


  13. Amanda on January 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Totally masks!! Sexy and mysterious.

  14. Diana on January 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Black Masks…they are sexy no matter what time period. Although knee breeches on a good pair of legs is always good.

  15. Michelle Kind on January 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Both! Masks provide the obvious air of mystery while black tights prove a guy’s confidence is very much in tact… both equally seductive if you ask me.

  16. Cassie on January 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I would probably have to say black masks. Even though, both would be awesome too… =)

  17. Zoe J on January 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Black masks, as long as it’s in a NON-THREATENING way, we are talking masks and not ‘balaclava’, aren’t we?! Not all men have the ‘right’ legs to wear knee breeches or tights, nothing worse than a boney bow legged man in tights (eww, think I might have given myself too much of a visual on that one, lmao!)

    Yes, definatly the mask, an air of mystery and mystique and the thought of a strong man with his warm breath brushing against your neck while wearing a black mask is QUITE alluring. Haha, hmmm, might need a cold shower now, nope, just think of the boney kneed bow legged tight wearing man, yep, that’ll do it. Enough rambling, that’s my two penneth.

  18. Meghan on January 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I am so not picky! I will take either! Masks *are* mysterious, though…. But knee breeches leave so little to the imagination…… And I’m off. Haha.

  19. Hillary on January 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I would definitely say that masks would be my preference. However the only unfortunate matter would be what he actually looked like behind the mask. In that case, knee breeches/tights could be quite enjoyable so long as the man can pull them off. πŸ™‚

  20. Angela on January 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I prefer black masks. As westley from the Princess Bride would say ” They are quite comfortable, I think everyone should be wearing them in the future!”

    I cannot wait to get my hands on the new book!

  21. Lisa Maddox on January 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Oh knee breeches!

  22. Rebecca on January 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Such a hard choice, really! But…I think I’m going to go with the knee breeches. Especially if said knee breeches are paired with an eyecatching waistcoat. Waistcoats always make things better!

  23. Karen Bice on January 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Knee breeches…so I can see his legs. πŸ™‚

  24. Anastasia on January 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Black Masks of course…While black tights or knee breeches have their merits, there is just something about the mystery behind the mask that is too intriguing to pass up.

  25. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on January 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Totally masks. They scream sexy spy or pirate… combined with tights they are fine, tights alone… depends on the rest of the outfit. But masks… do you need anything else?

  26. Kelly on January 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Mysterious masks of course!

  27. Georgia on January 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Masks, hands down. I am not a big fan of the tights look.

  28. Natasha on January 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Masks! I’ve always thought they added mystique… πŸ™‚

  29. Chelsey on January 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Ooooo, black masks! Very mysterious and sexy!! Tights? No. Now- tight, black knee breeches is quite another story :->

  30. Tracy Grant on January 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Masks. And, as you point out in the article, in the masks can be metaphorical. In fact in some ways that’s even more intriguing. That’s part of what fascinates me about spies–trying to find the real person beneath the aliases.

    Happy release day!!!!

  31. Ashlee on January 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Men in knee breeches. Every time I see the 2005 “Pride and Pejudice” with Matthew Mcfayden…. pfhew! There’s a certain scene (where Elizabeth is in his house and he follows her out) – he’s wearing the dark blue coat and such – that I’m in love with. I keep trying to get my husband to find that costume for me but alas, no luck.

  32. Trish on January 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    masks, indeed; tights not so much!

  33. Susan on January 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    It’s a toss-up. It might depend on what is filling out the breeches. And it could also depend on the face behind the mask. I might have to go with mask, based on a few other novels I’ve read recently.

  34. Katie on January 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I like both. Black masks can be very lovely and mysterious for spies and for fancy dress events (I have always loved Cary Grant in “To Catch a Thief”). Due to my love of period films and literature, I also am quite fond of knee britches.

  35. Sheila on January 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hmmm…Depends on what else, if anything, they are wearing….

    Definitely the knee breeches…just look at the covers of those old bodice rippers…speaking of which, I personally am grateful for the lovely covers we are seeing more of these days…

  36. Robyn on January 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I prefer men in black tights or knee breeches whichever, but I would certainly take a man in a black mask.

  37. Chloë on January 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I would have to go with a mask. While knee britches would certainly be appealing, a mask is much more mysterious and exciting. πŸ™‚
    Since I love the Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux very much, I have been drawn to the man beneath the mask scenario. The mask seems to be rather more symbolic and representative of a spy… N’est-ce pas? <3

  38. Chloe on January 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    P.S. I’m re-posting because the above post was mine but my name was misspelled.

  39. Mayghan on January 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Knee breeches. There is nothing like a nice cut calf!

  40. Carol Cool on January 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I’d have to vote for knee britches. I’m a cynical sort, so the mask would make me fear he was a man not to be trusted.

  41. Beth on January 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Black masks are the way to go. You can tell so much from a man’s eyes. You can see that glint when they are being devious and passionate. I believe you can read someone by looking at their eyes.

  42. Brooke on January 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Masks…I have always loved the Princess Bride.

  43. Alexandra Nicole Penler on January 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm


    What ever happened to Masquerade Balls?

  44. Gina on January 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I say…masks, I think. Tights are just too….well, tight. Masks are just great – the mysterious fellow, doing heroic deeds in the still of the night and all that.
    Read reviews of Night Jasmine! Congrats! I totally agree with them both. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for Blood Lily!

  45. Morgan on January 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Black masks for sure! They are so mysterious, and really make you focus on the eyes, which are wonderful!

  46. Rachel on January 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Well if it’s masks vs. knee breeches, breeches all the way, but tights aren’t really my thing (unless it’s cary elwes as robin hood:))

  47. Cho on January 5, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Both, obviously! Why settle for one when you can have them both? But I’d prefer the breeches every day, since it would be irritating never to see his face. But he could wear it when he was being mysterious and a spy πŸ˜€

  48. Julie on January 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Black masks are way sexier than knee breeches. They are mysterious, mystifying, and give men a bad boy look that is extremely hot.

  49. Bonnie Snowden on January 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    black tights, always. the title recalls good old fashioned mel brooks humor and ‘men in masks cannot be trusted’ as Princess Bride clearly states!

  50. kellie on January 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I prefer knee breeches—if the gentleman has a Fine Leg, of course!

  51. Mary K. on January 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Both? :o) If not, I pick black masks. The air of intrigue and the unknown.

  52. Teje on January 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Masks for sure. Knee breeches and wet shirt if it is Cplin Firth, however.

  53. Alyson on January 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Masks. Its manlier, sexier and mysterious.

  54. AngelB on January 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I have to go for black tights because of Mikhail Baryshnikov. I can watch that man any day, any day, any outfit. Dancing, walking, standing, heck, even singing.

  55. AngelB on January 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Now that I think about it, being the football geek that I am, I should have said tight knee breeches – football style. Those pads do wonders for those skinny little wide receivers. πŸ™‚

  56. Renee on January 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I think I’d have to say knee breeches or tights, but only because it allows better wearing of boots. I’ve recently decided that all the best heroes wear those black boots. Bit of a turn-on for me πŸ™‚

  57. Kate P on January 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I would have to say masked men in knee breeches. Why choose if you can have both!

  58. Jennie on January 5, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Knee breeches!!! They remind me of colin firth as Darcy in bbc’s pride and prejudice. Perfection, and quite possibly the love of my life πŸ™‚ Really, there is something irresistible about a man in knee breeches.

  59. Chelsea on January 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Masks… I think. Luckily they usually go hand in hand, so we don’t really have to choose!

  60. Hortencia on January 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Knee breeches for me! I guess I’ve been seing all those bbc dramas and that just stands out, especially when the hero is posing so galantly and debonair!

  61. Katelin on January 6, 2010 at 12:36 am

    I have to go with masks it makes them mysterious and sexy.

  62. Jessica C on January 6, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Men in black knee breeches. Men in black masks are fun, but there is always the chance that you will end up with the WRONG man in a black mask – Amy’s mistaking Georges Marston for Richard in Pink Carnation proves that point! Mmm, Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in knee breeches… *drools*

  63. Kt on January 6, 2010 at 2:05 am

    that’s a hard one…. hmm. With Masks, we have V from V for Vendetta and the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. (Even though their masks weren’t black)Knee britches, we have Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester. Can I have both????? Please?!

  64. Jennifer Reinhardt on January 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

    would have to say knee breeches, just never know whose behind that mask.

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