Friday, December 3, 2010

Cover Critique: The Brilliance of Harlequin Part 1

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!


  1. LOL kissing eyeballs? That crack me up. I love your cover critique so funny and amusing.

  2. I DO like the dude's chest in the first one though... ;)

  3. ROFL! I love Cover Critiques. The panting and kissing eye balls are awesome. That was the first thing that I thought when I saw each of the covers before the commentary.

    I agree with the third one. You can pull off an innocent cover and still make it sexy. Can't wait for next week to see what you come up with. :)

  4. Bahahahahaha those first two covers had me thinking "WTH people think that's sexy?!" Love the cover critique, as always, Jenny! :D

  5. Savy - Thanks! I quite enjoyed both of these covers:)

    Mollie - Agreed! But I don't love that they're trying to eat each other. Weird.

    Rummanah - Thanks!

    Melissa - I know I don't, if my husband came at me with his mouth gaping like that I would not be amused:)

  6. This post is so much fun! :) I really like seeing these covers and your comments about them. :)

  7. lmao- I love your cover critiques. The first one looks weird.

  8. Haha! Love this! Your commentary is hilarious. :D

  9. Bwahahhaha! How could you not like starfish suction on your eyeballs! Get with it, Jenny!

  10. Love your critiques - that first one is just weird - they look like they are going to eat face rather than suck face ;)

  11. Oooo the guy in the first one sort of looks like Jesse Metcalfe! *le sigh*

  12. Another great bwahaha moment, Jenny ;-) This is fantastic, and I love that this post had multiple covers :-)


  13. Lol that was a great post!

    As covers go, these turn me right off! The stories might be great but a lot of people do still judge a book by it's cover.

  14. Nina - Thanks!

    Tori - Doesn't it? I just kind of stared at it for a while wondering why she looked as she does.

    Adriana - Thank you much:)

    Ash - I know, I know, I'm no fun at all;)

    Heather - Thank you and I completely agree. Ew.

    Juju - He does! Maybe that's why she's all excited:)

    Darkeva - Thank you so much, I've got multiple next week as well. I <3 Harlequin:)

    Slowest - I agree!

  15. ahahahahahahahahaha! Oh thank you, I love your Cover Critiques, they always made me happy and this is no exception! Have a great weekend :D

  16. LOL this post was hilarious!! That tagline "The Wrong Bed! Again and again" makes me laugh so hard. How does she manage that? :D

    I do like that last cover much better!

  17. Pamela - You're welcome, glad I could make you laugh!

    Danya - I imagine it takes a pretty special person to continually get in the wrong bed, so I kinda want to read the book just to see how she manages it:)

  18. Ok, so I was trying really hard to stifle my laughter, maybe a slip of a giggle here and there, but I lost it at "breathy vixen." I gave up completely with that poor inept eyeball kisser and just let the laughs rolls out.

    All I can say is, I'd better remember never to eat or drink anything when I read your cover critiques, otherwise it's going to end up all over my screen when I break into guffaws.

  19. LMAO!

    Maybe she is trying to butterfly kiss his nose?

    The Tutor cover is lovely! *le swoon*

  20. I love these posts, they crack me up! Thanks for making me giggle :-)

  21. LOL I love your critiques! awesome job Jenny! =)

  22. Hilarious and spot-on critique. I also laughed out loud at "The Wrong Bed: Again and Again!" Very silly.

  23. Bwahahahahaha, Jenny, you absolutely rock! Love these critiques, so, so true. Especially about the guy kissing the eye-ball. That was the first thing I thought when I looked at that cover, teehee.

    I do like the cover of the last one, though :D

  24. You do have a good "spin" for these covers Jenny and that last one is just so easy on the eyes in comparison once read your other descriptions! Thanks for the fun wake up to post this morning, it made the rest of my day by starting it off laughing!

    jackie >_<

  25. I love this post! You absolutely made my day.

    The last cover is really pretty. Let's not talk about those other two, you described them very well.

  26. LOL! Great post. Kissing eyeballs and panting in the face are very unattractive.

    The last has a nice romantic feel about it :)

  27. *flops down and collapses on the floor in laughter* I have to wonder about the Panting in the face one though - I hope there's no case of halitosis involved there - because that would just be the ultimate mood killer. Oh how I love these posts of yours Jenny. :D

  28. Great!! But in that last cover -- isn't she tired from the blood rushing to her head? LOL