Rumor has it Harry Styles and Taylor Swift have been getting cozy lately, but could the couple become serious? If you ask British journalist James Desborough, who recently released the tribute book "One Direction… What Makes Them Beautiful," the answer is yes.
"It is not impossible to see Taylor and Harry lasting the distance," Desborough says. "I'm not sure in the short term that it's going to be that practical, because both of them are touring next year with album releases, but there is a spark there, and people who saw them at 'The X Factor' have said that she never looked happier." (In fact, it was on the set of "X Factor" that co-host Mario Lopez spotted the pair holding hands.)
"Harry’s always linked to these girls, but Harry has said for a long time, 'I just want a nice, warm, loving girl who I can just talk to and be me around," Desborough continues. "I think everyone knows Taylor's a girl who's looking for a proper relationship. It may not immediately spark up -- it may be that we have to wait till the latter phase of 2013, when they’ve both got some time off, for them to actually become a proper couple."
In fact, Desborough says Swift and Styles are great candidates for the next "first couple" of pop.
"Taylor is such a big star, and One Direction's star will get so much bigger next year, with their concert film," he says, mentioning a 3D movie set to hit theaters in August 2013. "They would be the next Justin and Britney. We haven’t had a proper A-list pop-star-royalty couple for a long time. These are two people in the peak of their careers, whom people are fascinated with."
While Styles, 18, has been labeled the ladies' man of the group, Desborough says that he's also the matchmaker. "He’s like 'Hitch'," he says, referring to the 2005 Will Smith flick. "That’s what Louis nicknames him. Not only did he introduce Louis [Tomlinson] to Eleanor [Calder], he also introduced Liam [Payne] to his girlfriend. He is like eHarmony for traveling musicians. He not only attracts women but can divert them in your direction. He's the ultimate wingman --just a really fun guy to be around."
Desborough picked up plenty of other tidbits on the fivesome while working on the tome, a collection of photos, facts and interviews. For example, while Zayn Malik, 19, is prone to reenacting Bruce Lee films, Liam, 19, is the real tough guy of the group, having trained as a boxer.
Traveling on a tour bus with Niall Horan, 19, may result in olfactory displeasure. "Niall has been voted the smelliest member," says Desborough. "They think it's mainly due to the fact that he's an absolute sucker for sausages. Harry says whenever you sit next to Niall in the back of the car, you make sure you're next to the window with it rolled down."
Louis, 20, is beloved for his sense of humor with fans. After he proclaimed a preference for girls who like carrots, prior to the band's first tour, security guards at the arenas were baffled as to why concertgoers came bearing bags and bags of the orange vegetable. "Tom Jones had bras thrown at him; these boys have carrots thrown at them," Desborough says.
And it's fitting that Zayn's name is an anagram for zany, as he has a penchant for practical jokes, such as pouring lemon juice in Niall's brand-new limited-edition sneakers. "That was the closest the band had ever come to having a fight," Desborough says.
It may take a lot to cause an argument among the boys, but one thing's for sure: No one wants to be mocked in one of Swift's breakup anthems, if her relationship with Styles turns sour.
"Liam has spoken to Harry and said, 'Look dear boy, for God's sake, don’t break her heart, because we don’t want an album written about us'," Desborough says. "'What Doesn’t Make You Beautiful' -- you don’t want a song like that."
Click here to buy "One Direction... What Makes Them Beautiful," and take a sneak peek at images from the book in the gallery below.