My first reaction to this question was headed, all-the-way! As a general rule, most romance covers are pretty generic and a girl can only see so much man nipplage before they all begin to blend together. My original thought was that adding a face to go along with the six-pack helps to differentiate one rock-hard body from another but what happens when the model doesn’t match the image that I have of a particular character inside my head? If it’s a new book in a series that I haven’t read yet, that’s usually not a problem but is it just me or does Wrath kinda look like Eric Northman? I’ve pictured the BDB leader a certain way for the past 11 installments and when I first saw the cover of The King it definitely gave me cause to pause. That is NOT the blind king!
I’m not sure if my guy will agree with this statement but I personally think that when the dude on the cover has a head it’s a little less… pornographic. Seeing the hero’s face makes me view him as an actual person rather than just another hunk of man meat for me to drool over. Then again, that’s also part of the appeal where headless artwork is concerned; it allows me to create my ultimate fantasy guy and ignore minor details like, for instance, the character being blonde in the author’s description. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against fair haired men but my preference tends to be for the tall, dark and silent types.