Hi everyone! The blog has been a little crazy the past several weeks with book tours and fun interviews and things so I haven't been able to do a cover critique. This week I have a special treat– Ruby of Ruby's Reads enthusiastically volunteered to do a guest post and thought she would try her hand at the Friday fun here at Supernatural Snark. This week however, just to shake things up a bit, Ruby is going to take a closer look at some superior book titles because, let's face it, some of them are even more hilarious than the covers themselves. Take it away Ruby!
We're all familiar with Jenny's uproarious Cover Critiques. It's that special time of the week when we all need a little something extra to get us through to the weekend, and we tune into Supernatural Snark for our weekly dose of uncontrollable giggles. For my guest post, I thought I'd do something a little different, but not entirely so. We all know that romance books are cursed with the most unfortunate covers you can get for your money, but what about their equally unfortunate titles? Today, I'm going to look at a few of the choicest gems I could find, starting with:
Did you catch the title? In case you didn't, let me reiterate in bigger letters:
THE SHEIKH'S VIRGIN STABLE-GIRL
There's no doubt in my mind that the title is purposefully small. If I were Sharon Kendrick, I'd be asking my publisher if my name could possibly be smaller than the title. Like, microscopic. Like, why does my name need to be visible at all? Then again, check out the description:
Claimed by the sheikh -- for her innocence! Polo-playing sheikh Prince Kaliq Al'Farisi loves his women as much as his horses. They're wild, willing, and he's their master!
Stable girl Eleni is a local Calistan. Raised by her brutal father on the horse-racing circuit, she feels unlovable. When her precious horses are given to Sheikh Kaliq, she refuses to be parted from them.
The playboy sheikh is determined to bed Eleni--and when Kaliq realizes she's a virgin, the challenge only becomes more interesting....
So, Kendrick is clearly into the whole sheikh/stable girl thing. That's great! I have to wonder, though, can a man be a sheikh and a prince at the same time? A sheikh is an Arab leader, and a prince is, well, a prince. Wouldn't a prince object to being called a sheikh, given that it's not a royal title? It'd be like calling the Prince of Wales the managing director. (Heh: The Managing Director's Pregnant Virgin Governess Bride). One thing I'm grateful for is that the publishers didn't add insult to injury by adding "Playboy" to the title. Though I suspect that's only because The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl wouldn't fit comfortably across the cover. Especially since their contract with SexySatinSlips.com stipulates that at least three inches of SexySatinSlip must be visible to the viewer at all times.
Also, while I applaud Kendrick for writing a book where the heroine isn't a housekeeper/governess/secretary, why a stable-girl? It makes me picture a heroine with horse manure encrusted boots, hay-studded hair, horsehair ridden clothing, and general odor of the stable emanating from her person. Though, this is a romance novel, so she's probably exceedingly lovely beneath all that grime. But at least she's a virgin. What a relief! Plus, she's wild, willing, and he's her master! What more can a sheikh ask for?
*butting in* Funny that you should mention "playboy" Ruby, as I think this book either was previously, or is currently, titled The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl, which, clearly, makes it even better:) For those of you who haven't read the review of this one by the hilarious ladies over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, PLEASE take some time (it's long) to read it, you will be crying and struggling to read all the awesomeness through your tears. Their review is HERE.
Alexa Harcourt only ever spends one night, perhaps two, with Guy de Rochemont—never more. On her arrival at his Italian villa or his Monaco mansion, designer dresses and diamonds await her. But Alexa knows she can never be anything more than the de Rochemont Mistress.
Guy's name is a byword for wealth and power—and now his duty is to wed. Virgin heiresses covet pride of place in his marital bed. But Alexa—the one woman Guy wants—is also the one woman whose reputation forbids him to take her as his wife….
This one is totally groan-worthy. My first reaction when I read this title was, they so did not go there. Oh, but they did. But when you put aside the terrible pun (is that the right word), the title makes even less sense. Forbidden basically means for bedding, especially in the romance world. What you don't do with forbidden women is marry them. The title should be Forbidden, or For Marrying (Despite the Fact that She's Not a Virgin and Therefore Unsuitable)? Unless I'm reading the description wrong? Or maybe this is another case of an accurate title taking up too much cover space?
Speaking of the description, poor Alexa! How can she compete with virgin heiresses? Sister to sister, here's my advice: next time, choose your lover more carefully. It's never a good idea to succumb to a man who considers you good enough to go to bed with but not good enough to marry. No amount of designer dresses and diamonds are worth the heartache. Especially since you spend only one or two nights with him, and I'm guessing the designer dresses will be off more than on.
When Zarios D'Amilo meets Emma Hayes again, she is no longer the awkward teenager who tried to kiss him, but a beautiful, confident woman. Now he wants her!
To claim his inheritance, this untamed tycoon must curb his wild ways. He needs a convenient fiancée, and Emma needs a million dollars. So Zarios seizes his opportunity—he will have her! But passion soon leads to pregnancy, and suddenly, the stakes are higher…..
This title was chosen by Jenny herself. She shot it back to me lickety-split, as soon as I pitched my idea for this guest post. Her words?
I have a fantastic one for you, I saw it at Target the other day:
Bedded for Passion, Purchased for Pregnancy
What!? Greatest. Book. Ever.
Seriously, who comes up with these titles? Because I want in on the action. I could totally sit in a room and come up with romance titles All. Day. Long. Do you think there's a group of people (men) sitting around a table, coming up with these gems? Here are some more delicious examples:
- Expecting: Baby (Besides a baby, what might be expected? An alien invasion? Her copy of Kiss of Snow?)
- Officer Daddy (Suggests wildly inappropriate bedroom games)
- The Governess and the Sheikh (Cliche squared)
- The Billionaire's Housekeeper Mistress (Does he makes her wash the sheets after they sleep together? That's cold.)
- Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin (What is a virgin doing undressed? Doesn't she know that's the best way for her to lose her title?)
I can totally do this. What do you think of these?
- Housekeeper or Baby Mama? (The story of a cattle baron's housekeeper, who becomes pregnant after a torrid, stormy night with her boss.)
- The Billionaire's Virgin Governess (When his former lover dies, a billionaire is suddenly saddled with the daughter he never knew he had. Because he's too busy trying to stay a billionaire, he hires a governess who turns out to be an angel with children and, despite her virginity, a maven in the bedroom. Score!)
- The Sheikh's Virgin Scullery Maid (Hey, if a sheikh can afford a stable-girl, he can afford a scullery maid. Especially a pretty, virgin one who's life has been miserable due to her genius, but temperamental, alcoholic French chef of a father. Whose both emotionally and physically abusive.)
- Playboy Doctor, Unexpected Pregnancy (A hotshot neurosurgeon beds his devoted nurse, never realizing that their night of passion will lead to a nine-month surprise!)
I don't read a lot of category romances, though I make an effort to glance through the selections when they are newly released. I've even been known to flip through Margaret Way's titles (Outback stories, with lovely heroines who speak cryptically, and with plenty of emphasis!!). What I like best about category romances is that they remind me that romance novels are as fantastical as books about angels, vampires, werewolves and magic. It's just a different kind of fantasy. Who, I ask you, doesn't dream of being rescued by a handsome playboy sheikh after putting in a long day in the stables?
Thanks for letting me indulge myself in an exploration of Sobriquet Study (too fancy? I wanted the alliterative element. Is Title Talk any better?). Thanks, also, to Jenny for being her awesome NBF self, and for letting me purloin her blog for a while.
Thanks so much for stopping by Ruby, I think I might have to make you a frequent contributor to the Cover Critique segment right along with my dad:) If you haven't checked out Ruby's blog yet, pop over and check it out, she rocks (and she has spectacular taste in fictional men *cough HAWKE *cough)! Have a great weekend everyone!