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.
So, for those of you who stopped by last week, you know I'm doing a little cover critique special focusing on just some of the most fabulously hilarious Harlequin covers. I'm certainly not trying to mock Harlequin or it's authors in any way, I'm just raising some fun questions about several of their covers that give me pause and make me go "why?" So without further preamble, I give you the first of this week's covers:
Okay, so this one isn't miserable, but I feel like the photographer of this image probably gave our lovely male model here directions somewhere along the lines of "look intense, sexy, and intimidating" and, sadly, it seems this gentlemen wrongly interpreted those instructions to be "do your best to come across as a complete and utter dipshit." Success! Mission accomplished my fuzzy hat and scarf-wearing friend, you have indeed managed to look as though you have a good bout of gas brewing and need to locate the nearest bathroom, the remnants of your sex appeal carried away with the wind (Ha! Wind, get it? No? Damn).
I'm not the least bit intimidated, nor do I feel the slightest urge to remove any clothing and experience the Alaskan HEAT. If it's cold enough to necessitate a hat with ear flaps and a scarf, why is he not wearing a coat or gloves? Perhaps he's only frozen from the neck up as evidenced by his completely vacant expression, and the rest of him is waiting to light these pages ablaze. And why is he squinting at me? Do I have something on my face? I'll attempt to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, but the presence of the "good riddance" sign is fortuitous, as that's what I would say if I ever saw a man wearing this outfit, with a man purse, and that look on his face.
I have to wonder too about the people that must come up with the taglines for these books – "He's heating up her holidays," really? Is it because she's laughing so hard? I always get warm when I'm convulsing with hysterical laughter, so that must be the meaning behind that phrase. You know there have to be a bunch of people sitting at a conference table just yelling things out that may or may not apply to the book:
"He'll jingle her bells!"
"He'll stuff her stocking!"
"He'll trim her bush, er, tree!"
All I can say is, sign me up for that job, as I clearly would be unbelievably gifted at it.
Next up: Private Affairs
I. Love. This. Cover. And I mean that in a it's-so-awful-it's-awesome way. Let me tell you why. First, we have the unfortunate angle of the heroine's chin in relation to the hero's nose. Her chin partially covers his nostril, and because she has a rather bulbous chin, it looks like he has some sort of bizarre growth on his face. Combine his tumor with his beady-eyed look and you have quite possibly the least attractive romance hero I've seen in a while. Why are they always squinting? Is squinting sexy and I just haven't figured that out yet? Do women often say "squint for me baby" in the bedroom as a foreplay technique? Call me weird, but that just wouldn't do it for me.
Next, I have an age-old question for you: why is there light coming out her ass? Okay, so it's not an age-old question, but it's definitely a valid one. Why would they have the headlight from the car and her butt line up? Now it appears as though, when in the throes of questionable passion, she farts magic faerie lights (which would be something to see I would think). To make things worse, her dress is actually blowing backward as though propelled by a significant gaseous force! I must commend her on her unique ability, perhaps this is a new way of attracting attention. Peacocks strut their colorful feathers, other animals have mating calls, and we women now emit light from our back doors. Marvelous. My husband will no doubt be impressed.
Furthermore, this book is titled Private Affairs. There is nothing private about having your rear-end spotlighted now is there? No. Here honey, let's take a romantic drive out to the woods (questionable) and I'll hold you at just the right angle so it looks like you can generate electricity and wind with your sweet cheeks. I'll just give you a little tickle and you'll light right up!
Harlequin Blaze, you have truly outdone yourselves on this one:) Anyone else love these covers as much as I do? Be sure and stop by next week for the Brilliance of Harlequin cover conclusion!