Friday, June 10, 2011

Cover Critique: Title vs. Imagery

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.

Hey everyone! It's been a few weeks since I've done a cover critique, I apologize. I should be back to a normal schedule with this segment with the exception of next Friday, so be prepared to giggle (hopefully) with more regularity in the coming weeks!

I find I'm often amused when I read a title for a romance novel and then look at the cover of the book to see an image that doesn't quite match what the title seems to be suggesting. When this happens, I just sort of stand there in the aisle trying to figure out how the discrepancy could be remedied but often come up with absolutely nothing. This failure on my part usually only makes me love the covers even more as I continue to smile stupidly amidst the bare chested men and crazy flexible women in various embraces on the shelves. With that in mind, I found a couple covers this week to illustrate my point. Hope you all enjoy!


An accidental seduction, huh? I'm not entirely sure how I would visually represent this title with a single image, but I'm pretty sure the above is not it. She seems to be pretty purposefully groping him doesn't she? I guess she could have stumbled on something we can't see and suddenly found herself plastered up against the back of a conveniently placed shirtless gentleman. Lucky he was there right? All half-naked and tan and ripped and just patiently waiting for a clumsy seductress to smack into his back and stick like sexy, sexy glue. Look at his expression–it's one that clearly says "Yep, this happens all the time when you're me. What of it?"

Now, based on the look on her face, it's entirely possible she's asleep. Is this why it's accidental? In her sleep she randomly wanders about, finds the first topless man available, suctions herself to him like a horny spider monkey and just lets those hands wander? Hm. This book is getting more interesting by the second isn't it? So many options!

I would also just like to point out that he seems to be awfully prepared for the seduction. Where did his shirt go? Did she rip it off while in her sexual dream state? Or does he go through each day secretly hoping a sleepwalking woman will see him and turn into a spontaneous nymphomaniac, so he therefore opts to never wear a top in preparation for such an occurrence? That takes some serous forethought on his part I think, thereby completely negating the possibility of it being accidental. What are the odds of that happening really? Slim my friends, slim.


Let's just start with the definition of elusive shall we? Here we go:

1. Eluding clear perception or complete mental grasp; hard to express or define: an elusive concept.

2. Cleverly or skillfully evasive: a fish too elusive to catch.

I would like to focus on the second part of that definition. *stares at cover* I interpret the title to mean the couple has trouble finding their moments of passion, whether they continually get interrupted or there are other factors that contribute to the sexy time remaining just out of their grasp. *stares at cover harder and longer* This couple does not seem to have any trouble in the passion-locating department do they? I mean look at her! She's gone positively limp with the strength of her desire hasn't she? Her hair is blowing backward with the force of her lust and she can't keep her feet because the romance is just too overwhelming! It's all very dramatic.

There just doesn't seem to be anything elusive about the passion visually represented here. We have a field full of blooming roses (um, I didn't realize roses just sporadically popped up mid-field), we have our hero primed and ready with no shirt and snug pants, and we have our heroine who has gone completely boneless at the mere promise of a kiss. Passion has been found people, fear not!

I think her pose is perhaps my favorite part of this cover. She's just leaning her entire body weight up against him. Awesome. And super, super sexy. I think we should all try this with our respective significant others as part of a "passion finding experiment". Walk up to them (please make sure you have roses covering the floor wherever you are, it's a necessary element), look at them longingly, and then throw yourself against them while adamantly refusing to take back control of your appendages like a child once they grab hold of you. If you could also position yourself in front of a fan or open window with a breeze, I think it would only be to your benefit. The sexy time is sure to ensue don't you think? Oh yes. It's fail proof.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. I just wanted to stop by and say that I love your cover critiques. I always look forward to them. :)

  2. Look at his expression–it's one that clearly says "Yep, this happens all the time when you're me. What of it?" >> this totally made me laugh out loud! Yeah, it's pretty tough to see how they could "accidentally" end up in that position... :D

  3. I keep a room with roses for just such an occasion. I find that it makes everything so much more....elusive...don't you think so?

    Also, favorite line of this weeks cover critique, "...suctions herself to him like a horny spider monkey and just lets those hands wander?" Horny spider monkey, hahahaha! You are a genius! You made my night. I'm going to go to bed giggling.

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  4. Amanda - Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy them:)

    Belle - Thanks so much:)

    Danya - Well, it's what his face is saying isn't it? He just looks bored, like women assault him on a daily basis:)

    Jen - Brilliant. I'm going to make up a guest room the same way, just line the floor with roses in case my passion no longer remains elusive;) Glad my spider monkey reference made you giggle!

  5. Wait a minute, Jenny! You make it sound like men don't constantly go around without their shirts on, when clearly they do. Just look at every romance novel from here to Fabio. I'm actually surprised when I encounter a man wearing a shirt. You just don't see that very often. And even when the man is wearing one, it's usually skintight or wet, so its presence is negligible anyway.

  6. Had to say I seriously cracked up at the Spider Monkey comment. Fabulous!

  7. Being the fangirl I am, I've missed this segment so much!

    It is rather perplexing when the covers and titles don't match, but also so much fun.

    I've got to admit, I'm kind of jealous of these gals, Jenny. I'd love a hard body to take a nap on or to be so blow away with elusive passion that my knees give out but strong arms are there to catch me. Some girls just have all the luck.

    Thanks for the giggles.

  8. Lol, I love your comments :D
    And the first one is really sleeping, like she ripped open his shirt and then just feel asleep. And do not get me started on the 2nd one

  9. I love the pose on Elusive Passion too. Maybe she's fainting and that's why the passion is becoming elusive. Poor guy all ready to go.

  10. OMG! An accidental seduction? ha! The first thing that pops my mind is the song 'Macho, Macho man!' ;)

  11. This was a fun post. It made me think about when my husband and I were first married and he would see me reading books with covers like those above. To tease me he pull his t-shirt down over one shoulder and keep walking by until I paid him some attention :) Thank you for sharing today - you made me smile.

  12. LOL, I love these posts. There rarely seems to be anything elusive or accidental about romance covers, but so often true with titles. I am always amazed when I actually see a romance cover that matches the title, and not the other way around.

  13. Love it, I always enjoy these posts and they bring a smile to my face. Have a great week :)

  14. What a great way to start a stormy, rainy day than with this critique. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine. You make me laugh.

  15. The girl on cover number one does look like she's asleep :-)

    The characters are cover #2 are ugly. They both look old.

  16. Haha! Regarding the first book, the title is hilarious. Not sure how that happens, since you are right...she's asleep. Love it! And the Elusive Passion is equally hilarious. I love her 1800s garb and you are right...she's gone completely limp. I prefer to think she's extremely intoxicated/has serious beer goggles in order to make out with Fabio's doppelganger. ha. Happy Friday--I love these posts, btw!

  17. Once again, comedic gold. Off to go fling myself limply at my loverist...

  18. Elusive Passion would make a great paranormal ... the hero and his ghostly heroine can't have any sexy time because she loses control and sinks into the floor ... which totally sounds like the kinda problem the BDB's Vishous and Jane would have, LOL!! :P

  19. It so looks like she snoring! LOL! And the second one doesn't even look like she falling! Hilarious!! He looks all stiff as she is holding on to his neck. He look like he is ducking!

  20. Ruby - You make a good point. The shirtlessness is not really a surprise is it?

    Ayanami - Thank you!

    Brandy - Well, she's very clingy isn't she? Like a monkey:)

    Missie - I'm a little jealous as well, I have to admit. I think if I tried the pose in Elusive Passion with the husband, he's let me drop:) Not so sexy.

    Blodeuedd - She's sound asleep! You can practically see the drool:)

    Zahida - Right? Maybe she suffers from narcolepsy?

    Nic - Thanks:):)

    Nina - That song definitely applies to this guy!

    Denise - HA! My husband has just stopped noticing. He's accepted some of the ridiculous titles and covers:)

    Sarah - I had fun finding these covers, there are so many that just make me go "huh" when I try to make sense of them. I love it:)

    Kristina - Glad you enjoyed!

    Cathy - So glad it made you laugh:)

    Alison - They do seem a bit older than the average romance cover models. Adds to the overall affect I think:)

    Christina - Beer goggles are a strong possibility in the second one, good call:)

    Mummazappa - Haha yes! Fling away!

    Bella - Oooo I like the way you think:) I should write JR Ward and tell her to rename V's book Lover Elusive:)

    Savy - It does, it makes me so happy:)

  21. LMBO- Oh my gosh hot cocky men...gotta love em'

    And if I was to strike that pose on my hubs with the whole going limp and flinging my back out, yeah he would probably drop me...:P

  22. These covers are so cheesy, especially book 2. She's not supporting her own weight but she can hold her dress?
    Truly Bookish

  23. WOW. That is hilarious!! The covers are so far off from the titles! =P Also, I love how cheesy and fake the couples look on the covers. That seems to be common in historical romances. ;)

  24. Ohhh how I have missed this feature. :) Hilarious as always! (I especially loved your commentary on the expression of the guy on the first cover. LOL!)

  25. Tina - I sure do love them:) And my hubs would most definitely drop me too. A girl can dream though...

    NC - She's clearly multi-talented. She can make certain appendages go limp while utilizing others. Gifted I tell you!

    Bailey - Thanks! Historical romances have some of my favorite covers ever:)

    Lauren - He's all "are we done here? I've met my quota of girls throwing themselves at me for the day, I have places to be, shirts to not wear..."

  26. "All half-naked and tan and ripped and just patiently waiting for a clumsy seductress to smack into his back"

    I never seem to stumble upon someone like this, what is wrong with me?!

    Full of awesome, thanks Jenny!

  27. That first one definitely doesn't look accidental!

  28. Hahaha love it! "...and stick like sexy, sexy glue."

  29. OMG. I just (very attractively I might add) snorted when I read this: "Or does he go through each day secretly hoping a sleepwalking woman will see him and turn into a spontaneous nymphomaniac, so he therefore opts to never wear a top in preparation for such an occurrence?"...
    Thanks for your weekly comedic brilliance Jenny! Seriously, these always make my day! ;)

  30. YAY! These are back! <3 them!!!!

    LOL The title of that first one does not go with the cover. Love your possible tale. *snicker* That second one... Doesn't he have a stiff neck? Maybe he's pushing her away and that is why it is elusive. LOL I just love these!

  31. LMAO! AN ACCIDENTAL SEDUCTION! Yeah, she doesn't look like she's "accidentally" groping him. Of course, with a tasty piece of man candy like that standing next to me, I might find a way to "accidentally" seduce him. LOL.

    Check Out My Answers For This Week’s Hop!

  32. "Look at his expression–it's one that clearly says "Yep, this happens all the time when you're me. What of it?"---LOL, I was thinking, "Please save me."

    As for the second cover, I think it's elusive what she did up to that point. A bit tipsy to me. And what's with his body. He's head is smaller than the rest of him.

  33. *laughs furiously* Yes, I will take your advice and throw my self at hubs in exactly the same way... I will make sure there is a wind machine that blows my hair out of my face... But I'm sorry, but I won't take any pictures to prove I did that...

    But apart from her, he' standing reallllllyyyy awkward there.. Look at his neck and how he holds his head. It looks a tiny bit like her hand is trying to bring him closer, but ... he does not ...

    *giggles* your are simply made of awesome Jenny!

  34. Perhaps the elusive aspect of this couples passion is that they can only find moments to meet behind the brick wall in the rose garden because daddy or maybe her husband doesn't approve.

    And the only accident I see happening in cover one is the possibility that the hunks shirt got was torn off to staunch the bleeding of the woman's husband and she is just expressing her thanks, which will later lead to more accidental seduction filled gratitude.

    Great post as always!

  35. 'Horny spider monkey'... *snorts* I missed these posts-- thanks for the laughs, Jenny!

  36. YAY! They're back! Yes, she's definitely a sleep walking nympho and he's been hired by her father to break her of the habit. So he goes about without a shirt. He'd leave off the pants too, but, the maids you know, those wanton scullery maids.

    Now Elusive Passion- could we strew the floor with a flower that doesn't have thorns? Maybe she's fainted from blood loss from stepping on thorns? But back to us- I think I'd need the dress. And maybe a wig. We'll be married twenty years and things are a little boring. He'd probably just drop me and fall on me and not in a good way- more like a 6'4" 250lb man falling on a 5'2" considerably smaller woman. Now that's Elusive Passion I guarantee you, for many many weeks!

    Thanks for the laughs!
    Hope you liked Ruby Red!

  37. You know ALOT of historical covers don't fit the titles :)

    1) Yep unless she tripped, fell into his back, and then picture was snapped just as she grabbed on for dear life there is nothing accidental about that seduction LOL

    2) Well he could be playing with her: I'm going to kiss you, I'm not going to kiss you, I'm going to kiss you, nope not happening

  38. I always love this! :) The way the girl in the second cover is standing...just look at her! haha.

  39. Those people on the cover don't look human :D
    I think your cover critique is my favorite bookish feature.

  40. No, no, the elusive part is the guy. Don't you see, she's like the crazy cat lady and he's the cat. She's desperately throwing herself at him, and he's desperately trying to get away from her. It's like this:

    Crazy lady: "Take me! *lunge*"

    Roaming shirtless guy: "Uh, lady, why don't you just, um, heh, you kind of need to stand up please. Look, I don't want to drop you but, erm, can you let go of me please??"

    And then she's all, "Oh he loves me! He's just playing the elusive, hard to catch kitty!"

    That first one? My money's on sleep walking. He probably walks around shirtless, luring poor defenseless sleep walking maidens from their beds. The accident? Ha, that's the flimsy excuse he uses when they wake up.

  41. Hahahahaha

    The next I'm feeling down I should just head to the book store and try to find some of these covers :)

  42. LOL I love these posts of yours Jenny =P


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