Friday Fiction Fun: Let the swooning begin

Fabio - Dangerous coverDangerous
Fabio and Staub

Submitter: Remember Fabio?  The supposed epitome of male beauty?  (Yeah, I remember him too and from my male perspective, definitely not the epitome of male beauty, that would be me! (yeah right!) 🙂 The story seems to be typical paperback romance faire, but what is interesting is that you could not only sign up for the Fabio fanclub, but enter for a chance to win a date with Fabio!  Unfortunately, the contest ended in September of ’96.  Sorry ladies.

Holly: Oh, man!  Totally missed my chance.  This book is looking a little worn around the edges.  That’s good – it means it was well-loved!  It’s time has come and gone, and 15 years of life out of a romance paperback is a pretty good run.

Dangerous - back cover

Fabio International Fan Club

win a date with Fabio


  1. I read some Fabio romances just to see what they were like. (He was always ugly to me. Especially that long, stringy, greasy looking hair. Though I hear IRL he’s an absolute doll who treats every woman, no matter what she looks like, with kindness and respect. For that alone I’d like to meet him, to see if it’s really true that he doesn’t judge a woman by her looks.) They were some of the worse romance novels I ever read. Only without all the rape that was in a lot of romances from the 70s and 80s.

    For a guy who’s dead set against women being abused IRL, there was a lot of “spanking her for her own good” type stuff going on. Lots of trying to get the woman to give up everything she dreamed about and wanted to make her settle down and have a bunch of babies. With the man always totally in control.

    Only one without any keeping her imprisoned or spanking her was the one where he was suppose to be some Cuban guy who moved to America and worked undercover to break up drug rings. Runs into the woman who used to be his lover back when she thought he was some big bad murderer. Ends with them defeating the real bad guys, getting married, and living in Cuba where she has to hang laundry out to dry, they have a slew of kids, and is barefoot and pregnant at the end of the book.

    Not romantic at all to me. The kid part I don’t mind. If I could have kids I wouldn’t mind being a mom of one or two. But I want a dryer, a pair of shoes that would fit my pregnant swollen feet, and to not have to change my name and move to another country incase anymore drug cartel people are out to kill me.

  2. Yay, my goal from a couple weeks ago has been fulfilled! I’m still unsure as to whether I should be happy or a little saddened about this book being featured here. Also, it means I already know this book is in our collection, so I don’t have to look for another book today.
    @Jami: As a guy, I have always wondered what the attraction was. But maybe, it’s because, like you say, IRL he is a nice guy.

  3. I wonder what the women who entered the contest wrote down as their fantasy date with “Fabio”. Also, Fabio looks like a bad attempt at drawing a gay romance character.

  4. @Jamison – Likely. I mean, a guy could look like a cross between Erik (The Phantom Of The Opera) and Quasimodo (The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame) and if he’s nice (and has good personal hygiene because women do not like BO) he can be extremely successful with women. Despite what many people would have you believe. 99.9% of women want a man who treats her with kindness and respect.

    I mean, Fabio is totally NOT my type. I prefer men built like Barry Manilow as I’ve said before. Short, clean cut hair. Clean shaven. But I’d happily date a guy with a beard and long hair who’s a body builder if he treats me and other women kindly and respectfully. So yeah, that’s probably Fabio’s real appeal. He’s always campaigning against abuse.

    Oh! I should send the gals the anti-smoking poster featuring Fabio for them to put up with this!

  5. According to wikipedia, Fabio was on a rollercoaster at Busch Gardens and “during the rapid descent on the 210-foot drop after the lift hill, a goose collided with Fabio, leaving his nose covered in blood. He received a one-inch cut on his nose but no one else on the roller coaster was hurt. The goose was later found dead on the ground under the roller coaster with a broken neck.”

    I nearly laughed out loud at this while on the reference desk.

  6. I can’t believe this one isn’t in my library! I can’t believe it’s not butter used him for a while. “Buttered up” a few ladies in the ads, as I recall..

  7. I was once driving a backroad between Volcano and Sutter Creek (California) and discovered the word “FABIO” painted across the road. I have to wonder at the backstory to that. Maybe someone was filming an adaptation of one of the Fabio romances? This book reminded me of “the Fabio road.”

  8. Lucy, I know that, but he had some say in them. (And if I remember correctly the ones I found the absolute worse he actually did write some of them then had someone else edit and write them fully.)

  9. A friend of mine worked with him at a gig in Anaheim. She said he was funny, nice, and willing to pose for photos with anyone. While I don’t like his “type” of look, I do like hearing that he is great guy.

  10. Could they have used any more fonts on that FABIO page?

    BTW, there is video of Fabio’s collision with the goose (at least, the aftermath of his collision, when he alighted from the roller-coaster holding his bleeding nose). I think he was participating in a promotional event when it happened.

  11. Not to mention his Old Spice ads. Very funny. Doesn’t push my personal buttons, but hey, a job’s a job so good on him.

  12. Never heard of him – maybe he never made much of a splash on this side of the pond (though I’m hardly in his target audience). I don’t know if he’s really “champion of romance and fitness” (when are the romance championships anyway?) but he’s clearly “champion of self esteem”!

  13. Now I’m curious. I figure Yale’s dark secret is that he’s really Emmett living a double life (witsec maybe?) but I doubt I’ll ever have the urge to read the book and find out.

  14. @Julie Wow, somebody from my neck of the woods (Angel Camp, CA). I have seen that road too and wondered as well.

  15. Yay! So many people here don’t fancy Fabio?
    That just leaves more of him to me ;-D

    I think he’s completely yummy! And kind&courteous as well! And even with a sense of self irony, not stuffed up and acting like Important Guy as so many celebrities unfortunally do.

    Oh well. People like Fabio is for dreaming about, and looking at, in a poster-on-the-wall kind of thing. Not for real life.
    I already have an everyday-hero in my life. But I may still look at the pretty boys from time to time.

  16. The more I hear about how nice he is, the more I am disappointed that the “Win a fantasy date” contest is over. I want to see for myself how nice he is.

    Maybe he’d actually help me unload the car instead of sitting on his butt, watching the Lakers, like my brother does.

  17. I never knew who Fabio was. Huh.

    So while I can’t say I have any interest in this “win a date with Fabio” thing, I have always felt slightly disappointed when seeing contest opportunities and such in old books. I read The Baby-Sitters Club a lot when I was younger, and technically they were still coming out with new books but it was pretty much done with. I didn’t see the “name the new baby-sitter” (Abby) contest until years later. I felt gypped, especially since I actually was at least ALIVE for that one. I think I would’ve been about 5.

    Okay, so I probably would never have entered any of them anyway. But I still always feel like I missed out.

  18. I never really liked Fabio. I always thought of him as a gigolo. I actually laughed when I found out about what happened to Fabio with the goose on the rollarcoaster. Looks like pretty boy’s face ain’t so pretty anymore!

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