Friday, November 5, 2010

Cover Critique: Rumor Has It


Let me preface this post by saying that my design critiques of these covers are in no way, shape or form a reflection on the author, the content or the publisher. I know the authors have very little, if any, control over the design. These are strictly my thoughts stemming from my design experience.

Um. Anyone want to try and explain what's going on here? I spent a solid five minutes attempting to wade through these tangled limbs in an effort to formulate a hypothesis as to what is taking place other than what seems to be a game of naked Twister gone terribly wrong. Because this cover reminds me of one of those posters where you stare at it, squint at it, cross your eyes, and then maybe you see what your supposed to if you look just right, I'm just going to list the things I think I know about what's happening as opposed to a formal critique.

1. They're in a car. (I've astounded you with my brilliance again haven't I? It's intimidating, I know).

2. As this is a Harlequin Blaze novel, I'm guessing the shirtless fellow here is engaging in a, uh, pleasurable oral activity with a female companion. If that's the case, our male friend must be endowed with the tongue of a giraffe as his head seems to be only at her knees and not nearly close enough to reach his destination for the suggested activity.

3. Her legs seem closed. How is his head in between them if they're closed? It almost looks like Ms. Calves of Steel has decapitated him. There really is no sign of life from him at all. For all I know, he's draped over the seat completely unconscious while she's acting out a praying mantis-like fantasy. Ew. That's not sexy at all now is it? No. And if his head isn't between her legs, where is it and what is he doing?

4. What is the blue bit in the lower left corner? Is it the front seat? Is he leaning over it to get to her, or are they both in the back seat? I originally assumed they were both in back, but that blue corner confounds me. If it is the front seat, our female lead has superpowers as her hand would have to have physically gone through the seat to get to him. So confused.

5. This woman, for all the femininity of her legs, has incredibly masculine hands. Are there three people in this car? Perhaps it really is a game of Twister, and this mass of body parts is the end result. Pity I wasn't invited, I rule at Twister. Rule, I tell you.

6. I think in addition to having freakishly strong, potentially murderous calves, our heroine is also graced with the ability to stretch her limbs to extraordinary lengths. Seriously. Just stare at their positions for a moment, how is it even physically possible? Quick, someone run out to your car and see if this is could even happen. She must be contorted beyond all recognition for her arm to be able to reach around his back like that while her legs are up in the air. Is her face smashed against the back of the front seat? Where is the rest of her? Perhaps I don't want to know, ignorance is bliss after all. Maybe she's related to our gumby-bride? I guess we all should sit back and admire her flexibility, he certainly seems to be enjoying it.

7. It appears as though a ghost wants in on the action as well and is attempting to invade the pants of our gentleman caller. There's an odd, white, vaporous blob hovering right over his no-doubt rock solid cheeks, what's that about? I guess he could have passed gas, but that would ultimately kill the moment wouldn't it? Nothing puts a stop to romance quite like a good fart, especially when in the confines of a car with the windows rolled up. How decidedly unpleasant.

I find this cover utterly baffling. I'm flummoxed. Befuddled. Downright bewildered. So please, please, leave me your thoughts and theories as to what is happening here, maybe we can all figure it out together. We're all intelligent people right? This cover can't beat us. It won't. I refuse to let it. Darn you Harlequin Blaze! Just give me a cover with some pecs and abs and a title having to do with a millionaire and the virgin mistress he's purchased for pregnancy and call it a day!

32 comments:

  1. OMG!! That's not a cover I would lust for...really, what's going on in here???

    I couldn't stop laughing at your comment about the male hand xD

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  2. I looked

    I drank more coffee

    I looked again.

    umm...wow.

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  3. Very, very disturbing. Your comments crack me up!

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  4. hahahahhaha I love your cover critiques. But honestly, what is going on here? I have no clue either. But.. there is actually a movie (James Bond - Goldeneye I believe, yet it's Goldeneye)where a woman does in fact kill someone by squeezing him with her caves of steel. Much like this picture - it is in a time of.. pleasure. But I actually have no clue what is happening either - you are right, it looks like a game of twister gone wrong.

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  5. hahahaha omg Jenny, you crack me up. I have to admit that when I saw this, I thought in the very first instant - "why does this idiot have feet for a head, and where the frick does that hand come into play?!?!"

    Love this feature every week :)

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  6. It's too early for this. I have no idea wth is going on there. None. At. All.
    Thanks Jenny. Now I will fixate on this all day.

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  7. OMG, these covers you find are priceless! I laughed so hard with this one too.
    This couple has some crazee stretching abilities indeed :D

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  8. LMAO Jenny, I just have one word to say, contortionist!

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  9. I laughed as soon as the picture popped up. I started to think, "Is he in the front seat? Are those her legs? Well, what he seems to be doing cannot be comfortable for his neck, leaning of the top of the front seat like that, with his arms dead at his sides. Maybe he's not having as much fun as she is? Dude!, did that hand just pop out from the seat? How did that get there?"

    As usual, this was fantastic. Loved the giraffe tongue and ghost bit! Your last sentence was fabulous. Now I must run next door and get my friend to read this!

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  10. HAHAHAHA I can't stop laughing. but that cover is really weird.

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  11. THOSE ARE LEGS!? Thank goodness you just broke this down for me, because that was as mesmerizing/baffling as a Magic Eye puzzle. Goodness gracious...hilarious!

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  12. Oh my gosh I cannot stop laughing! I love your critiques! Ghost orb, man hand, legs and contortionist! LOL

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  13. What in Sam Hill? This is hilarious! I would show it to my teenage daughter for a good laugh, but that would be wrong. Very wrong. Oy!

    Jen @ I Read Banned Books.

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  14. Your cover critiques are always hysterical and this one takes the cake!!!! Again how did this get passed for publication.

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  15. Ahah, I have to agree with most of your points! This is why I'd love to get into sleeve designs, as there are so many not-so-good covers out there, & really, a lot of people do judge a book by it's cover!!

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  16. Hiya!
    Just wanted to return the blogger parajunkee friday follow hop along, but also, this is one of the most hilarious posts that I've read--you hit upon almost every cover concern that a designer should have addressed! ;-) Plus, it was so entertaining that it made my day ;-) New follower :-)

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  17. Hi,
    Thanks so much for the laugh. Can't even begin to help you figure this one out.

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  18. Thanks everyone! I'm so glad to see I'm not alone in my confusion over this one. There's really no explanation for it which makes it completely and utterly awesome:)

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  19. haha! This made me laugh so much! I'm with you on the hand comment - there has to be a third person in that car. lol!

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  20. Ha, the man-hand totally freaked me out. Unless there is a disembodied male hiding somewhere in the cover also partaking in the fun?

    It also seriously took me a while before I actually figured out that those were feminine legs. Who knew?

    Also, if they are in the back seat of the car (maybe), would she not have to be lying in an open trunk area in order for that, uh hum, position to actually be possible?

    LOL - it's certainly one big mess, isn't it? Fabulous cover critique as always. *grins*

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  21. I noticed all the "oddness" of it too and just laughed out loud at your critique. Haha! ^__^

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  22. OMG, I almost did a spit-take on that one. what the heck is going on?! I was laughing so hard at the calves of steel comment that my dog gave me a weird look.
    Anyways, I wanted to return your Book Blog Hop comment and say thanks.
    New follower :)

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  23. I have got to wonder, were they intending it to look like some...uh, oral action? Or do you think this cover was just some unfortunate mistake?

    I'm just wonder if romance covers have become that graphic without my notice.

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  24. OMG, you crack me up. And yes I am astounded by your powers of observation!

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  25. Jenny!

    ROTFLAMO!

    You commentary brought tears to my eyes!

    I'm gonna rule that he is a were-giraffe and that she is in the Genis book of world records for longest limbs ever.

    Maybe? It could happen.

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  26. lmao You have managed to crack me up this morning. That is definately a weird cover! I laughed so hard I woke the hubby up!

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  27. LMAO!!! I just read this to hubs and he got a kick out of it. I loved the praying mantis bit, and the tongue of a giraffe! bwahahha! :)

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  28. I agree with Missie - were-giraffes, the both of them!

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  29. Hahaha thanks for the great post!

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