Friday, January 28, 2011

Cover Critique: Romance Cover Categories Part 2

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.

For those of you who read last week's critique, you know I'm doing a series of critiques where I'm assigning romance covers categories based on the image. Don't ask me why because I don't have an explanation other than I thought it might be amusing. I like to think I'm providing all of you with yet another reason to go to the bookstore (as though we need one)–now you can tell friends, family, and significant others that you're doing "research". You're welcome.

Originally I was going to do three new categories but I found two more covers that suited one of last week's categories so we'll start there!

FIRST CATEGORY: The Absurdly Awkward Pose (again)

Oh For The Love of a Pirate, how I adore you! Can we just talk about the setting for this pose for a moment? I want to know which one of these two individuals decided that the best place to have their romantic tryst would be on the deadly, jagged rocks next to an ocean with swells that at any moment could overtake and drown them. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was her, mostly because she has a nice, cushy seat on our pirate's thigh, while he has the unfortunate task of kneeling on pointy stones while trying to support her. I'm thinking he's not altogether happy with her at the moment, and is counting the seconds until he can remove her from his leg and tend to his knees that are no doubt cut and bleeding.

She, of course, is completely oblivious to both the discomfort of her shirtless suitor and the perils of the rocks and sea, clutching him to her throat so passionately he may have to add a bruised or broken nose to the welts on his knees. I think we should make a list of all the things this pirate (though I see no evidence of him actually being a pirate, he could just be topless fellow by the water's edge) is having to endure in the name of a romance cover pose:

1. Bruised, bloody knees as a result of quite possibly the worst location to kneel ever. I just have trouble with this thought process. Here's some super sharp, very uncomfortable rocks, what shall we do while we're on them? Kneel? Brilliant!

2. It seems doubtful he can breathe adequately. Passing out from having his nose shoved in her throat, thereby blocking his airways, might actually come in handy as that way he won't have to worry about his lack of oxygen when the waves hit.

3. No shirt. It gets cold by the water people! Both of them are missing random articles of clothing - he seems to have spontaneously discarded his shirt somewhere on the hike over to the pointiest section of rocks, and she has magically lost her shoes. Spectacular. Since she has no shoes, I'm guessing he had to heft her lavender-draped behind over to their current location. This seduction is just not going his way is it?

And as a final parting note, I just want to point out that she also seems to be missing her right leg. Where has it gone? Is it back with her shoes? One would think it would be visible in the empty area between his legs or on his other side, but you'd be wrong apparently. Wrong! Maybe that's why he had to carry her? Because she couldn't hobble over the rocks on her one shoeless foot? I love shirtless pseudo-pirates and their one-legged blondes, don't you? *Dreamy sigh*

What, exactly, is going on here? It looks like our renaissance lass knows a thing or two about a striptease and is working the sensual rubbing angle to the best of her clothed ability, but there's just something strange about this pose. I can't imagine he finds supporting her by the armpits and staring at the top of her head arousing, but maybe that's his thing. They actually both seem to be asleep don't they? Oh, maybe the Crimson Lady is a narcoleptic! That would change this pose entirely wouldn't it? Now she's not sliding down his body in a seductive manner, but rather she's falling as a result of one of her spells and he's had to catch her. Except he seems to be suffering from narcolepsy too. This is not a good situation my friends. Perhaps the soft breeze blowing both of their thick manes has lulled them to sleep?

I can't imagine she's all that comfortable, it's almost like a gym exercise she's doing here with the squatting and her arms up over her head. Maybe he's her shirtless, sword-wielding trainer? This cover has a plethora of possible scenarios! Who else has a story for this pose?

SECOND CATEGORY: The Extraordinarily Fluffy and/or
Feathery Hair

Huh. Does any one have an explanation for her hair? If there is some sort of breeze (or a fan) blowing her hair in that direction, shouldn't his hair be affected as well? Instead, his dark locks are motionless while she looks like she's going to get sucked backward with great force if he lets go of her. I can't stop staring at it. It's just so orange! And there's so much of it, my eyes can't tear themselves away from all the windswept craziness.

Now, some of you may notice that this book is in the same "Notorious Gentlemen" series as last week's infamous pit-sniffer, so while I'm sure Ms. Enoch's stories are fabulous given that she's a NYT bestselling author, I have to tip my designer hat to whoever is responsible for these covers because they are ones that at first glance seem okay, but then the more you stare, the more off they become. Perhaps this gentleman is notorious for bedding woman with only the bushiest (and brightly colored) of windblown tresses, and he and his armpit-smelling friend like to compare notes on their, um, quirks. I think I would prefer a man to want me for my ridiculous hair than the fragrance of my underarms, so this guy is a giant step ahead of his friend in my book.

Next week will be my last of the cover category posts (not the last cover critique ever), and I promise to have some new and hilarious ones for you! Happy Friday!


  1. Oh my God, I was laughing over the pseudo pirate but you KILLED me with the narcoleptic crimson lady!!!!!
    I wanna go to the bookstore with you and laugh my ass off as we wander the aisles and you provide commentary =)

  2. LMAO. This feature gets funnier every week. I really hope you never run out of bad covers because I love your critique :)

  3. hey - one-legged people need to have fun, too! Maybe that's why he's taking such a brutal beating on his knees. He feels bad for her, obviously!

  4. LMFAO! Okay I am not really one to look to much into poses in covers or whatever but your so right in all of your points and must I say hilarious!

  5. Love this column each week! Thanks for a fantastic laugh!

    The Enchanted Book

  6. Cover #1: Oh I love me some pirates but I haven't met a pirate cover that I love! Really, I know they were a rough sort but pointy rocks with hardly a shirt on? I don't think so :)

    Cover #2: It does look like she fell asleep--how embarrassing. Or maybe she is faking sleeping because she did the "rub" and didn't get "enough" of a response LOL

    Cover #3: Conditioner---that is all I can say :)

  7. bahahah that first one...I'm pretty sure there's a tsunami about to hit them on the aforementioned jagged rocks. I hope the romance is worth it ;)

    as always, jenny, this feature cracks me up like no other. thank you!

  8. OMG! Where do you find these...LOL...thanks for the good laugh..again...:D

  9. Angelique - How much fun would it be to go to the romance section with a bunch of bloggers and categorize everything? Best. Day. Ever.

    Nic - I don't think I'll ever run out of material;)

    Ash - You make a good point, her one leg shouldn't stop her from getting some inexplicable outdoor lovin:)

    Blueicegal - Thank you, glad you enjoyed!

    Selena - You're welcome:)

    Felicia - I'm going to make it my mission to find a good pirate cover. And I agree she could definitely be faking sleeping since he seems rather bored and that's never a good thing in a romantic situation is it?

    Melissa - Right? He better give her the best he's got before they drown:)

  10. Kelsey - Lots and lots of searching, but it's so worth it:) Glad you enjoyed!

  11. HAHA! Thank you for the great laugh this morning!

  12. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Well on the first one, what about the altitude?!?! No good loving when you are struggling to breathe!! However, one has to assume that due to the chosen locale that perhaps they are into the kinky, so who knows?

    On the second - she is clearly passing out from boredom, not passion. A hot bod does not a good lover make, no?

  13. @Jenny If you find me a good Pirate Cover---I will send you a crochet gift!

  14. LOL - I was wondering where her leg was too. She looks like she is precariously balanced on one toe.

  15. Hahahaha Now I can never look at Romance novel covers without laughing at them :D

  16. You and I both seem to have obsessions with bad covers. I'm always finding the worst cover I can so I can have a good laugh.

    In #2 I'm not sure who is who. They are both a bit chesty and both have long hair.


  17. loooooooooooool

    that's the most articulate I can get about my reaction. I'm sick off my butt, and doped up, so I've been dorkily sniffling and giggling this entire post.XDDD

  18. Amy - You're welcome:)

    Linds - I didn't even think about the altitude! Good call:) And very true on the second one, he does kind of look like things would be boring in the bedroom. He couldn't look more uninterested if he tried.

    Felicia - You are on! I won't quite until I find one:)

    Karen - I find a lot of romance cover models are missing appendages, I have no idea why.

    Misha - I consider this weekly segment a success then:)

    Flippin - They're awesome, how you can you not love finding the worst covers ever?

    Liz - Glad I could make you laugh while you're sick, feel better soon!

  19. My tummy hurts from laughing...:D

    These covers are great I agree- who makes out on jagged rocks and that hair color is just not right...

  20. You just completely made my day! These are absolutely hilarious! Why haven't I seen them earlier? Lol. You're right though...some of those poses are just ridiculous. What were the artists thinking?

  21. I do enjoy the way you make me laugh---thanks

  22. Ahahahahahah! I saw the cover for the Crimson Lady and I about died! It does look like there is some sort of awkward strip tease going on! Who could sustain that kind of pose comfortably LMAO!

    My Blog Hop

  23. LOL!!! I can't stop laughing at the first two. That rock looks so uncomfortable. I think that wave is going to drown them any minute. And I do believe my arms would start to hurt if someone held me by the armpits like that. Who comes up with these! I love your commentary. Fabulous!

  24. Lol, the first thing I noticed about the last cover was the orange hair and the pose on the second cover looks ridiculous!

  25. LOL! You hit on what I was thinking about the second one. Couple yoga! Obviously! ;) The last one, I'm also guessing she has warned him not to mention her frizzy hair and he is hiding a laugh. He does look like he is smirking. Perhaps it's the thrill from the arm pit. LOL! Love this meme.

  26. Tina - My thoughts exactly! Sharp rocks = no good for the sexy time:)

    Natalie - Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it:)

    Cathy - Welcome:)

    Carissa - No one! I wonder how long she had to stay like that for this shoot. Maybe that's why she's asleep, she's been in that position for hours.

    Julie - I don't know who comes up with these, but I will hug them if I ever meet them:)

    Zahida - Agreed, I have no logical explanation for book 2:)

    Melissa - Ohhhh good thought. Yoga didn't occur to me, my mind was more in the gutter:) Last weeks fellow was awfully turned on by armpits, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a whole group of them with that fetish:)

  27. Lol, I love this feature! The second I saw the 'Crimson Lady' cover, I thought 'they must be acrobats having a tryst in a circus'. Weird how my mind works, but it almost looks as though she's supporting him on her shoulders. Maybe she's the resident Strong Woman, closing her eyes tightly in concentration as she performs before a breathless audience. The weirdness of these poses make me want to read the book, or at least the synopsis, so maybe there's something to bizarre covers as a marketing technique after all! :)

  28. I don't know what to say the first two covers are so bad. The background for the first cover doesn't make any sense and for god's sake there's a huge wave coming. The two should be running not making love.

    The second cover looks like the girl is doing some weird dance move where's she's grinding on the guy.

  29. My Friday nights are never boring when this feature is up! This time, I showed my sister (this post and a few of the past ones) and we both laughed to the point of being completely out of air. Thanks Jenny. I needed some cheering up. :D

  30. Kat - I like the way you're thinking, all solid possibilities! And I kind of want to read it now too:)

    Jenny - Exactly! I'm concerned about the intelligence of these two:)

    Missie - Yay! Well, not yay about being out of air, just yay about you guys laughing so hard:) Glad I could cheer you up *hugs*

  31. Brilliant, as usual! I asked my husband if he would kneel on jagged rocks for me and he said no. Apparently only pirates do that.

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

  32. I am so glad I was not drinking anything when I read this or else it would have gone up my nose. Holy crap you always make me laugh hard. But I can see where you get your points. Nice post!!

  33. Lol I don't know what's funnier, the pirate one or the crimson lady who is clearly a narcolepsy sufferer ;-) lol There are just so many things wrong with the pirate one, most of which you've pointed out, but yeah -- seriously, jagged rocks?? lol No normal dude would ever do that as Jennifer's husband attested to ;-)


  34. Ha - I was so echoing every thought and word you wrote when I first saw the covers (before I started reading). Seriously? A jagged, rocky and mountainous place to woohoo? Tsk. Methinks they're taking the term carpet burns to a whole new, higher and masochist level. Maybe that also included chopping off her right leg. In which case, they are both to be avoided at all costs. Love, love, love your critiques Jenny :) They just make my day.

  35. Say, Miss Roses in her hair from last week's "Awkward Pose" could fit in the "Fluffy Hair" category, too.

    Yeah, that guy in the first cover doesn't look terribly piratical. And the expression on her face! There's no passion there at all. It's as if she's thinking: Must. Crush. Him.

    Oh, for The Crimson Lady, you'll notice, I hope, that he happens to be carrying a "big sword" *wink, wink*

    I hear romance is the top selling category for e-books. Doubtless because people are embarrassed to be seen reading books with covers like these.

  36. Too good to be true, but there it is...omg, that first cover just blows my mind. What were they thinking. I am feeling uncomfortable just looking at it

  37. Juju - :)

    Jennifer - I asked my husband the same question and was also rejected:)

    Savy - Happy to amuse!

    Anita - The pirate one is my favorite, it's awesomeness will stay with me for a long time.

    Tammy - Clearly we all just don't know what romance is about. Romance is painful rocks. It's the possibility of drowning. It's having only one leg! We need to get with the program;)

    Madigan - HAHA! I did notice he had a sword, though it's hanging limply by his side. Not a good sign;)

    Blodeuedd - Whenever I see jagged rocks now I'm going to think of this cover and any romance cover scouts that might think it's the ideal place for a photo shoot:)

  38. This is HYSTERICAL! You have me laughing out loud over here. I especially like your comment about the girl missing her leg- you are so right....where did it go? This feature is hilarious. I love it. Oh, and thanks for your advice regarding Italy. I appreciate it!

  39. Maybe if the redhead was shot out of a sling-shot or cannon, towards her man, that hair could be achieved... just sayin'. Thank you for the hysterical cover critiques! Cheers, Westie

  40. Brilliant, as always! Those poses are just absurdly absurd. No offense to the cover artist, but seriously, what were they thinking?

  41. Oh gosh, I was saving this post for when I had both the time to fully read it and the privacy to laugh out loud. You so didn't disappoint! I love your cover critiques. That poor pirate and his bloody knees! Maybe he should take a trip to the second cover. They seem very relaxed there.

  42. LMAO I love these posts of yours!

    that first girl is also on her tip toes... on pointy rocks... what?