Monday, October 3, 2011

Crazy Covers: Awkward Position Edition

When it comes to romance novel covers, there are a few classic techniques used to catch a prospective reader's eye. The most obvious is to show a person, or more often a couple, in a seemingly intimate situation. But not too intimate. Like, right before the clothes come off. We're not talking erotica here, because in that context awkward positions are likely to land our characters in the hospital.

I covet this woman's dress.
Isn't that beautiful? I call this sort of thing The Vampire Pose. He's smelling her neck like it's a delicious steak, and she's loving it. Notice that he has to stand to the side of the enormous (but gorgeous) dress just to get anywhere near her. Find true love AND triumph over fashion.

She's either turned on or exhausted. Possibly both?
Where I find the first cover to be enticing, I find this one a bit disturbing. Can anyone tell me what the f*** is going on in this picture? No, really. She's kneeling and leaning forward with her dress pulled up, possibly getting her ass grabbed, but you can't really see a hand or anything else behind her. In fact, it appears to me that she's alone, despite the look of ecstasy on her face. I honestly think the cover artists were just screwing with us on this one.

Picture taken right before our male model got up and beat the camera man mercilessly. Or made love to him.
I like this one not just because of the pose, but because of the looks on our models' faces. She looks all smug about the fact that she's...humping his side? And he looks super intense, like he's pissed that someone is snapping a picture of this very serious side-rubbing/shirt removing action. Please, Mr. Model, don't hurt me.

This lovely gem can be found on the inside cover of Lisa Kleypas' Devil in Winter.
Never mind that the heroine is outdoors in her nightgown kneeling on the ground. Never mind that she looks like she's fainting (from the cold...or from the PASSION?) What has always bothered me is...where is his freaking shirt? He has a cape on! Who puts a cape on without a shirt? What kind of person wears a cape, for that matter? I know, maybe it's appropriate to the time period, but I doubt it. And I don't think there has yet been a time period when a cape paired with breeches and boots and NO SHIRT has been socially acceptable.


  1. hehe...too funny. I'm loving this post!

  2. OMG....seriously I cannot breathe I am laughing so much. Especially about the cape a no shirt comment. Sometimes I think the people who orchestrate covers for romance books think that unless they do something really outlandish we won't realise that the book is meant to be a romance.

  3. This post made me smile so hard! I love how horrifically awkward romance covers can be. Sometimes they can be totally swoon-worthy, but I think more often than not they just make me go, "uh...what?" But I love the covers of the UK editions of the Julia Quinn Bridgerton books-- those ones are just so cute and classy.

  4. Haha, just love these descriptions! Too many books have women looking faint on the covers... how could she enjoy what is coming if she faints? And your cape-but-no-shirt rant really made me laugh...

    Look closely at this cover:
    anything look strange?

  5. I'm happy to keep everyone amused!

    Lara--Now I remember that picture! GREAT photoshop job on that one!

  6. Such a funny post! I am laughing so hard at your cape and no shirt comments :)

  7. You had me dying laughing about the cape/no shirt thing. Can you picture a society where this is the normal standard of dress? Hahaha. Brilliant post!


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