Friday, June 24, 2011

Cover Critique: Fun with Poses

Let me preface this post by saying that my 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.

This week I've pulled together some covers where the models' poses give me pause and maybe, just a little, make me want attempt to re-enact them myself just to see if I can divine the reasoning behind them by getting into position. I think we should all give these poses a whirl so we can attempt to understand just what taking place in the images below. Enjoy!


Believe my friends, believe. Believe that when your butt is thrust out at just the right angle and encircled by monstrous, overgrown sprigs of holly, that you will be worthy of gracing the cover of a romance novel. Believe that when you find yourself somehow stuck in a bush around the holidays in the freezing cold with naught but your flimsy ivory gown to clothe you, that true love is on its way. Trust in true love dear readers. Trust it to warm your half naked form and protect your skin from the scratches and scrapes from the holly you inexplicably find yourself trapped amongst.

Okay, seriously, what is going on here? I have no explanation for this pose whatsoever. Was she running away and got snagged by the biggest holly bush ever grown? And why is her backside being so oddly framed by the leaves? Is there something special about her rear end that we should know about? Should we believe in it? Does she have a pair of magical cheeks? She does appear to be craning her neck around to check on that posterior, so it must be important if she's making sure it's okay instead of trying to work her way out of this absurd situation she's found herself in.

Tell me something friends - if you were driving down the road and found a woman wearing I'm-not-sure-what with her hair dramatically blowing in the ice cold breeze and her butt protruding from a holly bush she can't seem to find her way out of, what would you do? I, for one, have no clue. I feel like maybe this situation should get added to one of those survival manuals though, people should know how to escape from foliage with their butts intact. It could save lives.

And lastly, I just want to talk about type placement for a moment. Why, oh why, when they've made her arse such a focal point, would they line it up with a tall, pointy letter like the "l" in believe? Now it just looks like she's trying to impale herself on it and that takes my mind straight into the gutter and creates a whole new set of issues I'm positive I want to know nothing more about. Plus, she seems absolutely blissful over it. Whuh.


At first glance this pose looks okay. A tad dramatic maybe, but we're all kind of used to that when it comes to romance covers. Upon closer inspection however, I find myself with a few questions. First, what is he standing on? Apparently part of what makes whichever one of them is the twin daring is that they have the ability to fly. How wonderful! This gift has obviously come in handy on this cover as they appear to be suspended in mid-air with the mountains far below them and the sunset-tinged clouds all around them. Ah, romance.

It looks like maybe the cover designer thought of this little problem after everything was photographed, designed, and ready to go and sought to remedy it by tossing in the world's tiniest plant way down there in the bottom left corner. You've not fooled us my clever friend! Your attempt to ground him has failed epically. "A" for effort though, right? Right.

I'm assuming this is supposed to be a passionate embrace - that she's run and flung herself into his waiting arms and he's hoisted her up over his knee like the sexy semi-naked embodiment of magnificence he so clearly is. However, her facial expression is completely vacant. She's just hanging out, twirling her hair and wondering what's going on with life. She might even have a mild curiosity as to where her right leg has gone, but that's not really a source of worry when her kilt-wearing, long-haired flying Scotsman is taking her for a ride. She could also be trying to figure out how to breathe through her nose as opposed to through her wide-open mouth, but we'll have to cut her a little slack what with the high altitude and all. Either way, she seems somewhat less than enthused at this man's so-called "daring". Better luck next time you shirtless superhero you.

Have a good weekend all!


  1. LMAO! Each week I keep thinking they can't get much worse or funnier and they do.

  2. hahahahahahahahahaha, hilarious.

    Believe girl really is captain awkward. It looks to me like she needs to take care of a not-so-delicate-body-noise and figured the superhuman plants would mask the scent.

    As for The Daring Twin...that really is one of the worst poses ever. Even Superman thrusts an arm up when he flies off into the skies.

  3. Both the title and the cover for "The Daring Twin" are hilarious!
    That poor lady on the first cover seems to be stuck (or at least her butt is).
    Love love this feature! Thanks Jenny! :)

  4. Nic - Thank you, I try to keep one-upping the previous covers. There are so many good ones out there, it just makes me happy:)

    Allison - This is a good point you make. She clearly could be farting into the bushes and hoping the fresh holly scent will cover it up. Brilliant.

    Misha - Don't you love that pose? She looks like she couldn't care less what is going on and is just wondering when she can get down:)

  5. Magical cheeks? You are hysterical. Is she finding true love with the holly...or the letter L? If I'd been drinking it would have snorted out my nose as I read your post! Thanks!

  6. BWAHAHA! Looking at these kind of makes me want to attempt to re-enact these poses as well. I bet I could probably manage a look mildly more interested than the girl in The Daring Twin.

  7. *snorts brains out*

    I believe, Jenny! I believe!

    Did the whole Baby got Back thing change to Baby got Bowels... of Holly?

    *shudders* Impaling yourself on a letter is not my idea of a good time. LOL

    And WTF-ery? On that second cover I think she might be considering changing shirts with him. Maybe?

    Hilarious observations as usual, Jenny. I love CC Fridays!

  8. That last one, it's like she just happened the fly into his arms. So very very weird. And do not get me started on the first one

  9. OMG it looks like she needs to go to the toilet very bad. She reminds me a bit of Heidi of the Hills. OMG, did I just said that? Yes, I did! ;)

  10. oh my gosh

    i so needed this laugh

    you are TOO funny

    (and i love the title which seems ironic with the cover pose: the daring twin, haha)

  11. You're so funny. I'm still laughing at your believe and butt thrust.

  12. I so look forward to your Friday Cover Critiques! Romance novels (God love 'em) have the absolute best poses to lambast. I am very curious about the holly girl. Seems a bit cold to be frolicking among the pointy holly bushes. In the snow. In a see-through boudoir set. Hum...
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  13. Butt thrust...what a fantastic way to start off my Friday morning hahaha!

  14. Alyssa - I think clearly she's making the moves on the letter "l" since things are about to get...intimate:)

    Aylee - Right? I could at least feign passion with more enthusiasm. I can be dramatic dammit, hire me for this job!

    Missie - BELIEVE!!!! And seriously, bowels of holly? You so need to write taglines for romance novels. Hilarious.

    Blodeuedd - I can't even explain the second one. I tried and I still don't really understand:)

    Nina - It certainly does. Maybe that's why she's in the bushes? No available toilet?

    Nomes - So glad I could make you laugh!

    Juju - Well she is thrusting it out there for us to stare at isn't she? You can't not look:)

    Mary - I'm so glad! I know I personally would not be in the bushes in the cold in just half my nightgown, but that's just me. What do I know:)

    Tara - Gotta love Fridays:)

  15. I am a true believer now! I mean, at first I thought it was her belly sticking out! And on the second one is looks like he is missing his other boot! LOL!

  16. O my Goodness.
    Girl you are something else. Thanks for this post today. I was laughing out loud and had a bad week so i am grateful for the laughter.
    Im with you on both covers though esp the first one. Also how is there no rips in her clothing not that we want to see more of her but i don't think anyone in romance novel is goin to go running out in the cold like that. Maybe a Mystery or a thriller to get away from some crazy killer. But not likely here.

  17. Seriously these are ridiculously funny!! I want a shirtless flying Scotsman to come and whisk me away from life's hard days too...;P

  18. Savy - I'm glad I could get you to believe;)

    Laura - Thank you! Glad it could brighten your day a little bit. Nothing brings a smile to my face more than naked flying Scotsman and overgrown bushes with grown women stuck in them;)

    Tina - Me too. I wonder where we can get some...

  19. LOLing over the world's tiniest plant!
    Definitely loved reading this post. Your cover critiques always make my morning! *continues laughing*

  20. I love this feature. It give me so much happiness to read the wonderfully insightful and witty comments you make about these covers. *tries not to laugh... tries not to laugh... busts out laughing*

    Believe - I think Allison might be on to something with the "not-so-delicate-body-noise," though I think I'd have chosen to hide in some pine in the dead of winter than in holly... better scent coverage, you know. ;)

    The Daring Twin - What I find most daring is her top. It seems to be trying to defy gravity and failing miserably. It's bound to fall any moment now. Upside, they'll both be topless and in skirts / kilts! #Win

    Louise from Between the Covers blog

  21. The first cover my thoughts were I have one of those holly things in my front flower bed--they are prickly and I wouldn't be sticking my tush anywhere near them! I don't even like sticking my gloved hands near it but I do like to get at with the hedge whacker! It is an evil evil plant! I would wonder how one would a) get that close to said evil plant wearing that get up (were you dropped out of plane and landed there? but I didn't see a parachute) and b)(back to cover artist) what is up with the tush being the focal point. On a whole you are selling this book to women, I don't really look at other women's tushes and think oh I must buy this book.

    The 2nd book just makes me giggle because I figure there are a LOT of 80's/90's bodice rippers with the same grounding problem. She does look bored and little like she thought about slapping him but decided it wasn't worth the effort LOL

  22. Lauren - Honestly! Could they not have made the plant larger so we could almost believe he's touching the ground?

    Lousie - Thank you so much! I like your thoughts on the pine, I would have gone that direction as well, plus I wouldn't have had to risk being assaulted by the pointy leaves:) And both of them being topless and in skirts in the second cover is most definitely a WIN:)

    Felicia - I agree, I'm not a fan of holly, it's dangerous. Maybe it's symbolic on this cover? Her butt is dangerous? It's a weapon of evil?

  23. The first cove is not so bad, I think she's just trying to show off her back to us.

  24. First one looks like she's having the BIG 'O' behind a Christmas Tree or something dude!!!

  25. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Oh I'm not even going to comment on the first one. You did it justice and my mind would not. Loved your description of the second one as well. When I first saw it I was thinking "Dancing with the Highlander"? Must be the entertainment of that time!

  26. Jenny - I don't understand why she's in a bush. With her butt framed by foliage. *is confused* :)

    Ashley - It really does. Whatever works right? ;)

    Melissa - It really defies any further explanation. We can hypothesize all we want but I don't think we'll ever truly get it:)

  27. Maybe Santa Claus is a sexy, single man who she must believe in so he will come rescue her from the dangerous woe she now finds herself curiously caught in. I wonder if she realizes that holly is poisonous? Someone should tell her...especially before she loses the rest of her dress to the fierce winds. *epiphany* Maybe Santa Claus is her true love!!! OMG, that sounds kind of kinky. Maybe that's why her butt is stuck in the holly, it turns on Santa Claus!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  28. How you could spot that tiny plant I'll never know! Good eye and funny as ever!

    Thanks for these! They make my Fridays!


  29. Magical cheeks... *snorts* My sister just asked me why I was smiling so big. Awesome, hilarious post as always, Jenny!

  30. This made me laugh. Once again. I think that daring twin looks bored.

  31. I can't think of a single funny thing to say because I'm laughing too hard. I love: "She's just hanging out, twirling her hair and wondering what's going on with life. She might even have a mild curiosity as to where her right leg has gone, but that's not really a source of worry when her kilt-wearing, long-haired flying Scotsman is taking her for a ride."

    In summary: HA!

  32. Next time I find a big holly bush, I'm gonna stick my bum in it and wait for snow clouds to unfurl around me and for someone to take my picture.


    Fabulous as always, Jenny. I'm officially dead from laughing (and coughing). Thank you ;)

  33. Have you every been near a holly bush - oh my! would not want to bend over by one - no matter how pretty the back view is it wont be for long :)
    Thanks for sharing today.

  34. Another hilarious adventure with romance covers to boggle the mind. Butt seriously, if my butt was caught in a holly bush I would not have an expression of ecstasy this lovely young lady has, but one of pain. Perhaps she is a masochist or is taking holiday decorating to a whole new level.

  35. Ooh, laughing out loud is not helping my headache :)

  36. I just laughed my not-so-sacred butt off. Now everyone's staring like I'm insane... Ah well. How do you find these?! They make me laugh every time. :D

    Ooh, could you message me back/email me about the Fortnight of Guests. I'd doing rounds. ;)

  37. This is another hilarious cover post.

    For the second pictures, all I could see were her "twins" about to make an entrance. And I second the question of how you saw the tree. Definitely the smallest one ever.

  38. I love this! You should start doing a title critique as well. I find someone of the funniest titles (sometimes covers) on First Reads (goodreads).

  39. I hope there were no thorns in that holly bush. And as for photo number two, the girl's hair reminds me of Helena Bonham Carter...although that's not really a nice comparison to Ms. Carter.

  40. And I just snorted tea everywhere (which is as gross as it sounds). I'm totally trying pose 1 on the hubs tonight :)

  41. "She could also be trying to figure out how to breathe through her nose as opposed to through her wide-open mouth, but we'll have to cut her a little slack what with the high altitude and all. Either way, she seems somewhat less than enthused at this man's so-called "daring". Better luck next time you shirtless superhero you."

    LMAO you make me laugh so hard with these!

    Great job!


  42. LMAO! Oh no, that first lady is passing wind into the bushes. She needs to "trust true love" because if it's real love then he'll stick with her despite her less than ladylike...expressions.

    I'm going with you on the second one. Flying Scottsmen. That's just awesome :P