Friday, February 11, 2011

Cover Critique: Romance Cover Categories Part 4

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!


  1. Wow, I didn't even notice the monstrously huge horse until you pointed it out. It's like the time I was put on a thoroughbred when I was like...eight. Maybe he's just a ridiculously buff kid?

    And as impressive as Mr. Beast's man cleavage is, I can't stop staring at those arm veins. Wth is wrong with his arms?! It's like he's so buff, his skin just can't contain his muscles any longer, and he's about to burst open. o_o

  2. LOL! My jaw actually dropped when I scrolled down to the last picture. He gives the people on the Jersey Shore a run for their money.... He's a great shade of lemon.

  3. LMAO!!! That last cover definitely was made for your critiquing. Not only does he have boobs but he looks kind of yellow ~shudders~. And the sword well...I thought the exact same thing as you.

    As always another awesome cover critique feature!

  4. I was laughing so hard that by the time I got to Beast Man I was crying.

    So fun, thank you!

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

  5. As soon as I saw Highlander Ever After I knew exactly why you chose it, and laughed before reading your blurb. Love your cover commentary, hilarious.

  6. Oh. My. Dear. God. I laughed so much during this post I'm pretty sure my sides will hurt for the next month. The last one is just... um, disturbing? I don't know. I just, don't know. Hilarious post as always.

  7. The "look at my giant sword" is my favorite cover. Perhaps that's why I subconsciously always like sword covers ;)

  8. Cover #1: He is going to fall off and/or that horse is going to buck him off! The horse is going you idiot can't you at least button your shirt?

    Cover #2: Yes he is tiny or the horse is huge! My main problem is no cowboy would go into a river on a horse without a shirt---hello water moccasins and leeches.

    Cover #3: Oh baby--what are you compensating for LOL

    Cover #4: Man boobs aside what is up with the super veins in the arms? The yellow tinge of his skin and the really icky gray hair? It would be one thing if it was a pretty silver but that is flat out old lady gray :)

  9. LOL! The last cover the guy looks like Radon from Mortal Combat but ripped. I laughed my head off. And I agree with the miniature cowboy. He does look too small. Once again thanks for making my Friday mornings memorable :)

  10. Ok, what the hell is with the guy in the last one?! Hahaha I'm so bloody disturbed by the hair, and the colours, and the fact that his moobs (man boobs) are bigger than mine!

    bahahah awesome, as usual, Jenny! :)

  11. Um, Caging the Beast? What in the freaking world were they thinking?!?! All I can look at is his hair and the gross vains popping out all over the place.

    Thanks for posting these Jenny, always a good laugh :)

  12. I do not want to cage that beast. I mean, I do hope that he is caged somewhere. I just don't want to be the one who has to do it.

  13. Your cover critiques are always one of the highlights of the week. Shirtless guy on Cover 1 doesn't look like an officer to me. And love the phallic highlander. I don't see why anyone would find long silver hair attractive. Like kissing my grandpa. Ew.

  14. Thank you for another great laugh! I love why you chose all of them! And honestly the last one, I thought...ew, he looks kinda sickly, maybe he suffers from jaundice? LOL

  15. Caging the Beast is so disgusting! But oh so funny! Thanks for the laugh Jenny!

  16. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! You are awesome Jenny and I have to agree with you, Beast man will not be a topic of conversation in our padded cell!

  17. Liz - I did a double take on the monster horse as well, it takes a minute to realize what's off about it:) And yes, those veins freak me out.

    Cialina - As did mine! He's such an unusual color, I can't stop staring.

    Nic - Glad I'm not the only one that interpreted that sword as a body part:)

    Jennifer - Glad I could make you cry;)

    Jan - I can't help it, there are so many covers with swords out there and they all hold them like this and my mind just goes straight into the gutter.

    Caroline - Glad you enjoyed:)

    Juju - There were so many good ones to choose from, but this one really said it best I think:)

    Felicia - He can't button his shirt because he's wearing a cape/toga and it doesn't have buttons. Don't all heroes run around in capes with nothing underneath? No? And you are so right about the leeches, I didn't even think of that! He's going to be in trouble when his moose pulls him out of the water.

    Savy - You're welcome:)

    Melissa - MOOBS! HAHAHAHA Love it. I'm using that in a critique down the line:)

    Tara - I have no idea, I just don't understand how things like this make it to print, but I'm so glad they do:)

    Lenore - Nor do I. I want no part of the caging, he might poke me in the eye with his giant boobs.

    Alison - This guy seems a little young for silver hair, and combine that with the yellow complexion and it's just not good:)

    Amy - Maybe he does! Maybe that's why he needs to be caged? For medical treatment?

    Anilu - I try;)

    Avery - You're welcome!

    Bells - Thank you, I work hard at being awesome;)Beast man definitely is not the one to replace Barrons, so no padded cell entry for him!

  18. Lmao! At Caging the Beast. That cover is ridiculous! hahaha! Oh, all these studmuffins!! *fans self* lol!

  19. Omgosh I think I just peed my pants...which would match that last guys skin color perfect!!..Ewww.

    Dont feel to jealous of his boobs, I think they are bigger than mine too...:O

  20. I'm damn jealous of that dude's rack, too, "because they're just so...bulbous."


  21. Leanna - They're all very sexy aren't they? With their lack of clothes and their huge swords and their impressive man boobs. *sigh*

    Tina - Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only one whose chest has been outdone by a man:)

    Ash - Well, they are. It's a fact:)

  22. OMG- this is hilarious. I'm seriously laughing out loud. That last one is priceless, especially with his moobs. Where do you find these covers? And The Highlander Ever After?? Seriously? I can honestly say that no matter how bad my day is your cover critique post is guaranteed to make me laugh! :)

  23. The last cover is probably the worst I've seen ever...he looks like some alien porn star and that is not good.

  24. Jenny, have you ever read "Like Water for Chocolate"? There's an..ahem..intimacy scene on a horse that came to mind when I saw the first cover.

    The second had a prompt cleverly located in case people didn't get the idea.

    The third..*shudders* I think he was rejected from Chippendales. Don't you think?

  25. ROFL!! Seriously, you need to be an art critic. I'm serious!!! You artfully rocked the first category! :) Oh and I love the critique of the middle one. *blushes* I'm so innocent... I have NO idea what you were talking about. 0:-) The last... does he have a crick in his neck. Doesn't seem to be able to turn it well. Oh I so love when you do this meme!!

  26. Day totally made!

    Please, for the love of all that is perky, do not cage that beast! And do not, under any circumstances, put him in the vicinity of that miniature cowboy, least the cowboy be used as a toothpick for stealing the beast's mutant horse!

    OMG Jenny, you have tears springing to my eyes once again! So freaking funny.

  27. "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."

    LMAO LMAO LMAO I almost died when I read that! I love reading these every week. It makes my day so much more fun!

    My Blog Hop

  28. I guess because I'm not a big romance book fan, I just can't find it in my heart to like any of the covers. They just aren't the style I'm drawn to. They all seem so detailed and a bit exhausting to look at.

    That being said, you analysis was FANTASTIC and enjoyable to read - Thanks!

  29. I can't look at these kind of covers in the bookstore anymore without thinking of you!

    You need to do a presentation of these one day.

  30. Christina - I hunt for them. I scour the internet for the best of the worst:) And sometimes, like with this last one, people bring them to my attention.

    Jenny - He most definitely does look like an alien porn star:)

    Rummanah - I haven't, but that poor horse! No animal should have to endure people having the sexy time on their backs. Just saying:)

    Melissa - Sure you don't, I'm sure his sword didn't at all bring with it the thought of his um, package;)

    Missie - YES! Love it when I make your day:) I wonder what it would look like if we did combine the covers of Destiny's Captive and Caging the Beast - it's be pure awesomeness! Maybe I should do that for a critique one time, combine covers...interesting:)

    Carissa - They are bulbous! I've never seen ones so plump:)

    Gina - I'm a huge romance fan and some of them are really well done...just not these;) And the nice looking ones aren't nearly as funny, so they usually don't make it to the critiques! Glad you enjoyed my thoughts:)

    Midnyte - YES! Mission accomplished:) Maybe I should do a book of critiques, that would be fun:)

  31. LMAO I love these critiques! these books are just too much! damn!

  32. Oh My God Jenny, I have to start reading these earlier in the day. My child is trying to fall asleep next to me and I am shaking the bed up and down laughing so hard because I'm trying to keep it inside. I'd love to see you do this critique at a bookstore with an audience. You'd have everyone rolling on the floor and running to the bathroom. My favorite is the Highlander, they are proud of them aren't they? And good lord Caging that beast let's let the zombies eat him. Thanks for the laughs. I can't look anymore my son wants to go to sleep:(


  33. Larissa - Thank you, thank you, glad you enjoy:)

    Heather - Uh oh. Don't let your son look at the beast cover, he might be scarred for life! I know his man boobs will certainly be haunting me;)

  34. Love this feature (especially after a hard week)! I can't believe you noticed a little detail like the horse's reins but it's the yellowish skin on the last cover that's really bugging me ...

  35. LMAO ! I really needed this laugh today. I know i can always come here when I do thank you.

  36. Okay, I stumbled across this post in my blog roll earlier today and died laughing. I had four other bloggers over this evening and we sat here and back tracked through your posts and laughed until we cried our eyeballs out! I even got a very painful charlie horse in my stomach of all places!! It was GREAT!! Please don't stop!!

  37. Zahida - It's a sickness I think, noticing little details like that:) The yellow skin is awful, but it only adds to the brilliant miserableness of the whole thing!

    BLHmistress - Oh good, glad I could help!

    LMW - YAY! I'm glad to know people enjoy the critiques:)

  38. As the child of three generations of 'horse people', I really got a kick out of the proportions of the horse on the first cover! And the other guy is holding his horse's reins up to his chin (though he's riding Western)-- apparently, the reins not only one-sided but dangerously loose as well. :)

    But the Caging the Beast cover is perfect for this series' grand finale. I can't imagine being able to keep a straight face if I caught an eye-full of that cover while the person next to me was intently reading it in a waiting room. These posts are genius, Jenny! I'm really sad that you won't be posting them as regularly now, but thanks for all the laughs!

  39. *dies* Yes actually, that last cover did in fact make my day. WHY?

  40. LMAO!! Oh gosh, ok, ok, the first two covers were great. I love the serious look the first guy is giving as he gracefully slides off his mutant horse. And that second guy's horse really is monstrously huge. As is the, ahm, sword wielded by the skirt wearing stud on the third cover. I love the obvious "LOOK HERE LADIES!" thing that cover has going on.

    And then you give me the golden man-boobied beast! I was smiling, nodding, even chuckling a bit, but when I scrolled down to that last cover I lost it. I could barely get through your beyond hilarious critique! I have to know, is he some sort of alien? But really, all I can think about now are his man boobies, and I'm both stunned and perplexed. Thanks! :P

  41. Oh man, the Caging the beast cover just kills me. Sure they might be caging his beastly instincts, but no one warned us about him unleashing his man boobs. I'm pretty sure they beat mine in terms of size :D *snorts*

  42. The Stud on a Steed! LOL Nice!
    The man on the cover for Caging the Beast scares me a little... I think it's because of those man boobs.

  43. Lol, there are so many things wrong with that last one. I see it and I wanna run away ;)

  44. Hehe I have Destiny's Captive and the Highlander book on my shelves... :)

    That last one is, wow. There are no words!

  45. OMG, that last one just totally creeped me out. What a horrible cover!

  46. I happened upon this post -- and must now send it to my sister. I know that she will laugh just as long and loudly as me. Thank you for putting a smile on my face at the end of a trying day.

  47. I love these critiques. You absolutely made my day - again. I hope you keep doing them in the future (:

  48. oh so good .... I like your blogger post because you talking about STD Symptoms and i like any thing or any post talking about it as STD symptoms in men ,STD symptoms in women ,STD symptoms chart ,Crabs STD symptoms ,STD symptoms pictures ,List of STD symptoms ,STD symptoms checker ,STD Treatment ,STD diseases list Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection so i will be happy if your visit my site STD Symptoms.Us