The standard romance these days usually features a beautiful woman who meets a handsome man, sees muscles and thinks of sex. The handsome man sees a beautiful woman with long legs, and he thinks of sex. Sometimes they even like each other, but I don't know why. They don't talk. They think - mainly about the other's body parts but often about how clever and wonderful the other is. They have no basis for this opinion - if you ignore that each is good looking.
After reading a couple of pages of this I put down a book and find something else to do. I don't know about other people, but I couldn't fall for a man who didn't stimulate me mentally. I want to know he's at least as smart as me - though now I come to think of it, I had lots of boyfriends who were good to look at. The first was as smart as a rock but at the time I thought that was funny. He was sort of a feminist experience for me, a role reversal of the rich old man with the stunning young wife, not that I was rich or old at the time, or thinking about marriage. When I went out with him, women's jaws dropped, figuratively speaking.
The funny part was that I was the only one who knew he was a mental midget, because he was so good looking that women were too intimidated by his looks to try a conversation with him. He was also taken with his looks, and so we didn't last very long together. However, my experience with him taught me that if I homed into the best looking guy at parties, I did pretty well.
In real life, women are scared of handsome men, but handsome men are not necessarily dumb. The strange thing is that the best looking men don't seem to chase beautiful women. It's hard to work out the psychology there but I've also noted that beautiful women aren't too interested in handsome men, but that might be because of the fight for the mirror in the morning. So, I don't write heroes whose first impression of the woman he is about to fall in love with is that she is beautiful - not normally.
However, I am at this time trying to get Charlotte, the third of my historical romances, into shape. Charlotte is the only beautiful heroine I've written and she is beautiful so that I can show how little looks matter in the long run. You see, my hero is even more beautiful. Each has been damaged by being beautiful and each has discovered that looks are not as important as character . . . but I'm not telling the story here. I'm just saying that I don't use either a beautiful man or woman in a story just as throwaway line. They need more than skin deep beauty.
I meant to be talking about dialogue here, but I sidetracked myself again. I'll get there, another day . . .