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 meant simply to be humorous and not insulting.
Okay everyone, today marks the last day of my romance cover categories series (not the last critique ever) and I think I have a few winners for you so I hope you all enjoy! I have one new category to introduce and then some additions to ones I've already mentioned, because, really, some of the past categories warrant a return visit.
CATEGORY: The Stud on a Steed
Let's start with the one on the left shall we? Her officer and gentleman here seems to be in danger of not only falling off his horse, but losing his, um, shirt? cape? toga? as well. Poor studmuffin is doing his best to stay on board by putting a freakishly clawed hand on the horse's flank while he glances behind him with the utmost seriousness, though it seems to me he's facing the wrong direction. If the horse is rearing in fear (as seems to be the case given the wide open mouth), it's obviously afraid of something that has crossed its path. Presumably in front of it. If something scared it from behind, it would most likely be running forward and away. So, as it stands, there appears to be a threat off-page in front of the horse, but our hero is staring down the lack of threat from behind. Well done sir, well done.
I think we should all take a closer look at the horse's head, specifically at the presence of reins miraculously growing directly out the side of its mouth. This is a special horse people. It can grow leather straps from its head. Impressive. Now, even if you haven't spent a lot of time around horses, common sense will help you with this next part. Typically, the reins are attached to either side of the bit in the horse's mouth to help with navigation. Again, not the case here. Both reins are attached to just the left side of its mouth, so I imagine this officer/gentleman combo spends a great deal of time going in circles as he tugs futilely in a single direction. Maybe that's why his cape is dislodged? Clearly, the speed at which he's been spinning in circles for an indeterminate amount of time has disrobed him. Marvelous.
Let's move on though, as there's so much more to see. At first glance, Destiny's Captive seems like a fine cover, nothing overly impressive but also nothing outrageously laughable. Except, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear this shirtless cowboy is either miniature in size or riding the biggest horse ever created. Look at its head in comparison to the cowboy's body! It's enormous! The front half of this horse is grossly disproportionate, it's like he's wading through the river on a moose. And why is he shirtless? I've ridden a lot of horses in my time and I'm pleased to report that I never spontaneously lost my shirt. Not once. Amazing! Of course, I didn't ride mutant water-dwelling moose-horse hybrids either, so maybe that has something to do with it. I guess we'll never know for sure.
CATEGORY: The Prop (again)
Here's what I imagine is going through this highlander's head at the moment:
I am a man. I want all who gaze upon this cover to know that I am a man. A man of muscles who rocks a tartan like nobody's business. If you are unable to tell I am a man given the red, flourish-y font covering up my impressive naked chest, just look at what's in my hands. A sword. That's right, it's long, wide, and I wield it with spectacular skill. As I do the magnificent appendage hidden by my kilt. You're welcome for that visual.
There's nothing wrong with this cover per se, I just find it entertaining that his entire upper and lower body is covered with type, leaving his hand-covered groin as the only part of him we can clearly focus on. Since our gaze really has no where else to linger once we've read the author's name and title, we can't help but notice him holding the large sword so it juts out at just the right angle from his crotch, leaving anyone with a less than clean mind (such as myself) to draw a parallel between the sword we see and the sword we don't but will no doubt be introduced to once we start reading.
CATEGORY: The What Were They Thinking? (again)
It's almost as though the designer of this cover was thinking of me when he created this. Like he knew how happy the utter ridiculousness of it all would make me. And he was right. It makes me giddy happy and completely made my day when I saw it for the first time. Has it made yours?
I think we all know by now that I'm not one to mince words when it comes to these critiques, so I'm just going to say it. This man has quite the rack. Color me a little jealous! I'm pretty sure he has me beat in both size and perkiness. They're just so firm aren't they? Not even a hint of saggage. I wonder if it hurts when he runs? I imagine given their size they get a good bounce going when he moves quickly, so I can't help but be curious as to what sort of support he gives them when he works out. Look at his face too–he's got that little smirk going on that says he knows he's got impressive man boobs and he's just daring us to look away from them, which of course we can't do because they're just so...bulbous.
Once we've blatantly stared at his breasts and gotten our fill, we then have the long silver hair, the black collar, and the large shoulder veins to deal with. It's a visual overload and there's entirely too much to take in at once! I feel like my brain might short circuit due to a prolonged exposure to this magnificent beast–a beast we are apparently going to attempt to cage if we decide to read. He is a marvel, and this is perhaps my new favorite cover ever.
A big thank you to Katiebabs for finding this last cover and to Ash for bringing the find to my attention! Happy Friday everyone!