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Tall, dark, handsome? Not according to Britain's romantic novelists. Loyal, honest and intelligent is rather what makes the perfect man according to a poll published today by the Festival of Romance, the UK's only literary festival dedicated to romantic fiction. The Festival of Romance is calling on the women of Britain to take a similar poll and see if they agree.

Romantic novelists don't think that wealth, height or good looks matter. Essential attributes of the perfect man include having a sense of humour, being kind and principled and having good personal hygiene. It's not even that important that he's good in bed – romantic novelists said this was desirable in the perfect man but not essential. And they really don't care what car he drives. But perhaps the women of Britain think differently?

The perfect man, according to romantic novelists (% agreeing), is:

Loyal (91%)
Honest (89%)
Personal hygiene (88%)
Kind (86%)
Sense of humour (86%)
Intelligent (85%)
Principled (81%)

Desirable but not essential:
Weight (65%)
Great in bed (62%)
Height (60%)
Self-confident (60%)
Good looking (60%)

Not important:
Good car (79%)
Religious persuasion (77%)
Political persuasion (64%)
Social standing (55%)
Wealth (53%)

The survey also revealed that romantic novelists believe that while people no longer expect everlasting love, they still hope for life partners. And while most romantic novelists say they prefer to write books that end with marriage or a commitment to a relationship, in society people don't need marriage to prove they love each other. Romantic novelists confess to being romantics at heart (86%) although their real life is not as romantic as their books. Half of them have been disappointed in love (50%). They think men have, however, become more sensitive in recent years (76%) although women know that their best chance of finding a romantic man is between the covers of a romantic novel (64%).

“The Festival of Romance is calling on the nation's women to let the novelists know what they think makes the perfect man,” says Kate Allan, chief romantic at the Festival of Romance. “This vital poll could change the way that romantic novels are written!”

To take the short survey click here.

The closing date is 19th September 2011 and a winner will be drawn from all the entries to win tickets to the Festival of Romance.

Notes for Editors

The Festival of Romance is the UK's first literary festival dedicated to romantic fiction of all kinds. The Festival takes place from 21 to 22 October 2011 at Hunton Park, near Watford, Herts. Events at the festival include an interview with bestselling novelist Carole Matthews and a debate on why men don't read or write romantic fiction, except they do, with male Mills and Boon author Roger aka Gill Sanderson.


The survey of romantic novelists was polled online between 21st and 23rd August 2011 and interviewed 58 UK romantic novelists including many well known authors.

The Festival of Romance was the idea of Kate Allan, a 35 year old romantic novelist and mother of one. As well as organising the festival and bringing up a toddler, she works part time in publishing.

Press contact:

Tel: 07973 218434

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Festival of Romance in the following categories: Men's Interest, Entertainment & Arts, Leisure & Hobbies, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit