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.
This week's critique is going to focus on Harlequin covers in particular because, let's face it, they have some pretty fabulous material to work with. Please don't think I'm bashing Harlequin in any way, I'm sure the writing behind these covers is entertaining and well-written, but some of the artwork just makes me giggle. I'm going to do my critique this week in more of a running commentary format, just giving you my random thoughts for your reading enjoyment.
First up: Surprise Me
You know what really gets me in the mood? Having my husband frantically pant in my face through his wide open mouth while I test the limits of the hinges on my jaw and stretch wide like a hippo attempting to swallow him whole. Tonsils are sexy you know, I try to look at them as often as possible. I just love inhaling the air he's just exhaled while I rub the tip of my nose against his. Glorious, I tell you. Nothing sexier than looking down your partner's gaping maw and being able to tell exactly how long ago they brushed their teeth and potentially even what they had for lunch or dinner. I also don't quite know what exactly he's doing to elicit this open-mouthed, sheet-fisted reaction, but that single arm around her back must be magically vibrating with orgasmic goodness to get her all worked up like that.
Apparently anything can happen under the covers people (so says the tagline), but it seems to me not much is happening here outside of an impressive display of breathing techniques. He seems to be having trouble supporting her, his left arm braced on the covers while she attempts to cover up his tighty-whities. Clearly no one informed her about how this activity actually works. You're supposed to uncover, not cover, him you little breathy vixen!
Oh, and according to the blue circle she's in the wrong bed (oops, hate it when that happens) and it's a recurring problem for her since it also says "again and again". I wonder how many times she's stumbled into the incorrect sleeping arrangement? Perhaps if anyone could hear her over the sound of her deep inhalations, they could inform her she's made a mistake. Awesome.
Next up: Unguarded
Huh. Why is this gentlemen trying to kiss her eyeball? I know this may be way too much information about me and for that I apologize, but I personally love it when my husband comes at me and attempts to suction his lips to my eye like an aroused starfish, so perhaps that really does it for this redhead as well. To each his own right? Right.
It seems to me this black-clad fellow closed his eyes a bit too early and suffers from navigational ineptitude, thereby causing him to veer off course before reaching his target destination. This does not bode well for him in the bedroom, it in fact leads me to believe that if he has trouble with prematurely closing his eyes to kiss, he may also have some other difficulties with prematurity. How unfortunate! He needs to do a quick blink and get himself headed back in the right direction before he does some permanent damage to her vision.
This young woman doesn't seem to mind however, though she may not be aware he's managed to get himself lost in just the three inches separating them, but I can imagine she's going to get an unpleasant surprise when she gets a mouthful of stubble and chin instead of a pair of lips. Kinda makes me wish I could give her a little heads up, woman to woman, that she's about to have her eye assaulted by Zorro in a hotel lobby.
After viewing this cover, I'm a little unsure of what a "super" romance entails. Super awkward? Super bad kisser? It's certainly super something, I'm just not sure I necessarily want to look at or read about that something in particular.
Now, lest you think I have something against Harlequin, I thought I'd close with a cover of theirs that I think works well.
Last up: The Tutor
See? No wide open traps. No inadvertent attacks on eyeballs. Just an image that manages to be innocent and sexy at the same time and doesn't make me feel uncomfortable in the least. It can be done! What do you guys think of these covers?
Be sure and stop by next Friday for my continued analysis of the Harlequin best of the best!