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.
Welcome to the last week of my brilliance of Harlequin cover critique special! Just to reiterate, I'm not trying to bash Harlequin or it's authors in any way, I just can't help but laugh uncontrollably when I see some of their covers, they are a snarky girl's dream come true! I think I've got some good ones for you today, so I hope you all enjoy.
First up: Long Summer Nights
Okay, can we discuss for a moment what is happening with his shirt? She's obviously ravenous for him and is attempting to rip it from his body, but is it me, or is there something incredibly awkward about where she has paused in her strip show? It feels a little naughty because we're getting a little boob peeking out, but it's also very conservative since both his nipples are covered as though it would be too bold to show them. You don't fool me Harlequin, I know you guys aren't shy! I've seen many a cover with a spectacular showing of man nipples, so I refuse to believe it was a concern in this cover though I don't have any other explanation for why that shirt looks as it does.
It actually almost appears as though his lightweight cotton tee has snagged on his nipple and can go no further. This raises some rather interesting questions I think. Just how big does one's nipple have to be in order for fabric to snag on it when it's being forced upward by the strength of an obviously aroused woman? More importantly, should she be concerned that perhaps size on our male friend here is a bit disproportionate and where he is larger than average in some areas, he may be lacking in others? Maybe he has huge nipples and therefore small equipment. How sad for her, that boat in the background may not end up rocking as much as she might be hoping.
And let's just ponder that little teal circle next to the title shall we? "Where you least expect IT?" What exactly does that mean? That he's well-endowed where I would least expect it, like with his obviously engorged nipples? That they're going to have "relations" where I least expect it? Judging by the boat and water in the background, I'm going to hazard a guess that that's where they're headed. Is his manhood located somewhere unusual that is going to throw me for a loop? What do you mean Harlequin Blaze! How you taunt me with your odd statements and single-word emphasis!
And now, I present to you a little vintage cover action. TA DA!
Next up: Virgin with Butterflies
Um. Someone explain this cover to me, I find I'm at a loss for words. I need a moment to collect my thoughts and recover from the shock of what I'm seeing.
Okay, I feel I've recovered enough and have just a couple of things on which I'd like to comment. First, the obvious: just what the hell is going on here? Are these potential suitors she's turned into floating heads with wings by the strength of her virtue? Can the power of her virginity cause a metamorphosis of this proportion? That would certainly be an interesting power. Why are the wings coming out their ears? I'm not the only one that thinks this is creepy right?
Second, what, exactly, does being a virgin have to do with butterflies? Does she collect butterflies as an activity that keeps her from falling prey to the sensual charms of these heads? Is sleeping with her a magical experience that when it's over, butterflies emerge from under that striped skirt to celebrate the occasion? They could be trained butterflies capable of doing all sorts of interesting aerial formations and spell words like "keep going" and "almost there" as a sort of encouragement during the act itself. A butterfly sexual cheer squad if you will.
Perhaps moths have taken up residence in her womanly parts since no one has been there to tend them properly and they've gotten old and musty? So many endless possibilities to ponder! Maybe it's some sort of transformation metaphor; just as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly so the virgin gets made a woman by five insects. It's like a SyFy movie! What could we call it? Insecti-virgin? Deflowered by Butterflies?
How can the men cast a net for her (as our tagline suggests they do) if they have no arms? Riddle me that Harlequin! All they can do at the moment is flit about with smiles on their faces, inevitably contemplating exactly how they are going to de-virginize her when they lack any of the necessary parts to do so. She's certainly a little tease though isn't she? She's got that skirt up around her waist, but has those freakishly uneven in length legs crossed and squeezed shut so not even the most cunning of butterfly/human hybrids could possibly wiggle their way in even though they have to be pretty quick and agile one would think. I can just picture these funny winged heads dive-bombing her crotch at every available opportunity! Not sure what that says about me, but that's neither here nor there.
You know what would be fun? If you all attempted to guess what this book is actually about based on the title and cover. I just really want to know what kind of plotline could accompany this masterpiece, what could the blurb possibly say? Don't cheat and look it up! Maybe I'll post it tomorrow for kicks:)
I hope you've all enjoyed this series of covers, I've certainly had a blast finding them and sharing my thoughts. If any of you have answers to the questions I've posed this week, I'd love to read them in the comments:) Happy Friday!
NOTE: I just want to say that this is not the last cover critique ever, just the last in this Harlequin grouping. Fear not, the cover hilarity will continue next week!