Friday, November 18, 2011

Cover Critique: An Underarm Seduction

This week I had trouble choosing just one cover to highlight because there were too many great ones waiting in the wings, calling to me with their siren's song of utter ridiculousness. My indecisiveness didn't last long though when I stumbled upon this masterpiece of WTF-ery, and so I share it with you in the hope you feel as much horrified love for it as I do.

Well, I'd like to start by extending a most sincere and heartfelt thank you to Rio here for so sweetly sharing his hairy armpit with us today, it's what I most love to see on my Friday mornings. This is usually how my plan for a Friday goes:

Wake up.

Brush teeth.

Change from nighttime sweatpants to daytime sweatpants like the super attractive and fashionable work-from-home professional that I am.

Head downstairs.

Find necessary stash of monstrous hairy armpit pictures and stare longingly at them. I find I often have to limit myself to only a minute or two of ogling time, it's best to really pace myself so that all the glorious armpit-ness lasts that much longer and I don't have go without. Male armpit deprivation would be tragic and possibly fatal.

Alas, luckily for all of us, Rio seems to have enough pit action to last us all for a long, long time. Set. For. Life. I guess I just don't quite understand the cropping on this picture. Why have they hacked his face in half, cut him off at his hairless groin, and chopped his chest in two to leave us with only his prominently displayed underarm and his enormous right pectoral (complete with nipple this time, so that's at least a bonus)? Are oversized pecs and hairy underarms aphrodisiacs I'm completely unaware of? Clearly, knowledgeable sexual vixen I am not.

I have a short anecdote to share with all of you while I let the general strangeness of this cover wash over you. When I first met my husband's brother, he thought the best way for me to really get to know him was to take my head, shove it in his (fortunately clothed) armpit, and rub it around a bit, calling the whole disgusting situation a "pit stop". Ungh. My brother-in-law was very, very wrong about this being an adequate way of introducing himself even though he and my husband thought it was hilarious. I was traumatized. TRAUMATIZED! So now, when looking at this cover, I can't help but wonder if his method of seduction somehow involves a pit stop. If so, I'm guessing the "Tales of the Shareem" are extraordinarily short stories because Rio is just setting himself up for epic failure with this tactic.

Do special pheromones waft from his pit? Is that why he's sharing it with us so proudly? Do we catch a whiff and then find ourselves suddenly nose to massive underarm, high on Rio hair stench? I may have just thrown up in my mouth a little bit. This is the story of he of the venus-fly-trap-underarm, luring women in with his special pit-tastic scent before pouncing on them and then distracting them further with his colossal moob so they are at his complete romantic mercy. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at the publisher when that pitch is made.

Just because I know you are all dying to know what synopsis could possibly accompany such a piece of artwork, I'll leave you in suspense no longer:

Rio. A Level Three Shareem complete with black leather, handcuffs and a whip.

Genetically programmed to provide every woman's wildest fantasy, Rio is the ultimate Dom. His bad-boy smile and Shareem-blue eyes can make the most frigid woman fall to her knees and beg him to be gentle.

But not too gentle.

Nella, Princess of Ariel, has never heard of Shareem. She sees Rio only as the man who rescues her from assassination and who hides her until she can get back to her family. A friend.

But Rio can't fight his programming, and before long he's taking the sexy princess aside to give her some very interesting lessons in trust . . . never dreaming she's giving him lessons in love.

I see no leather on that cover. No handcuffs. No whip. All I see is an armpit. Perhaps a "genetically programmed" armpit, but an armpit nonetheless. Oh Nella, you are in for the surprise of a lifetime my dear, prepare to get a lesson in the art of the pit-stop.

Happy Friday Everyone!


  1. Excellent Post! I'm also not sure how that cover is supposed to draw readers in. It's really creepy. Who goes to a book store sees this book and thinks yes finally a cover I have never seen before I have to have it? Certainly not me this cover has me running in the opposite direction hoping I don't get caught up in all that armpit action.

  2. For a while the cover trend was to chop off girls' heads. I guess it's nice to see that some cover designer felt the need to even the score and ... uh... draw and quarter a guy for the cover.
    Okay, well, maybe not.

    Thanks for the thorough analysis of this disaster. :)

  3. All I see now is armpit. That cover stands out but not in a good way.

  4. Lol, I love these posts! And I have to wonder with you. The cropping definitely is odd! Because armpit in the center makes sense. And is it just me or is it an odd coloring? Like it's dyed or something. ._. Haha... Definitely not a cover I'd want to feature on my shelf!

  5. LOL....oh my gosh his armpit looks kinda like a shag rug shaved down to trimness. Armpit hair is gross, blach... its almost as bad as hairy butt-cracks. I have not seen a cover with an ode to butt crack but Im sure there is one out Im gonna find it so I can send it to you!!!

  6. LOOOOOOL! The first time I glanced at that cover, I was so confused! I thought his back was missing! Now I understand, but I feel a little silly! x)

    Jenny, your critiques are so hilarious!! "Do special pheromones waft from his pit?" <-- made my day!! I know we're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I think my mom would ban me from buying books if she saw me with this one on my shelf. I have to be really careful to only buy books with fully clothed and shaved models on the cover!! :P

  7. is that pit special or trying to get me to buy the book. I think not ? lovely critique as always

  8. Nicole - I don't know either, but this cover did completely make my day:) Maybe armpits are huge draws and we just haven't heard of it yet because it's the beginning of a trend?

    Lisa - Yes, I do appreciate the variation:) Poor guys is having all sorts of parts cut off on this cover:)

    Stephanie - Me too. It's one big pit:)

    Rebecca - I'm glad! I'm thinking he's a digital rendering, there's just too much strange stuff going on with him to be real:)

    Tina - Start looking Tina! Find me that crack!

    Mimi - Well honestly, if there are no pheromones, why are we supposed to be attracted to his armpit? I don't understand:)

    Julie - I don't think this one is available in stores, but I wish it was just so I could walk up to the counter and take a picture of the clerk's face when I slide it across:)

  9. Could be title "Moobs and Pits"

    Excellent post! Loved it. It made my morning


  10. Now all I can think of is pit-stops. LMAO
    Great one to put on MY daytime sweats.

  11. Oh ICK!!!!! NOOOOOO! No thank you! Ewwww! I'm seriously *cringing* hardcore over here dude!!!

  12. Before reading what you have to say...

    EWWWWW -- I mean I know under arm hair is rampant on guys but don't want to see it on my covers

    After reading what you have to say.....

    He is a bit girly looking in the nip area. I am glad they didn't take it off (which is the overwhelming norm these days) but ummmmm kind of large. Plus, he has the LONGEST TORSO EVER---seriously!

  13. Oh, holy cow. I'm laughing so hard right now. Your whole post...and the pit stop (*shudder*)...the overly-cut abs...don't you just love Ellora's Cave? Those are some awesome covers! I do have a question: what's with the ring of chain mail on his bicep? He couldn't summon the energy to pull his outfit off the way? Sheesh.

  14. Oh my ew. I'm SO with you. This is a not a hot cover. Too much hair, too thin of a waist, and what is going on with that peck. LOL You always find the best covers :)

  15. Ok, now I have the Police song "Don't stand so close to me" running through my head when I saw that cover. See, it would work well if it was made for deodorant but as a book cover? *Shakes head* Also, I can't tell if he has purple hair or is that the aforementioned whip?

  16. Erika - I like it! Moobs and Pits, I would so buy that book:)

    AmyJ - Right? Welcome to my world:)

    Ashley - Are you traumatized like me? Mission accomplished then:)

    Felicia - I don't want to see pit hair on my romance covers either. Especially when the character is supposed to be such a stud in bed. Mood. Killer. And his nip is definitely a touch feminine:)

    Mary - Seriously. My own pit stop experience haunts me still, even 9 years later. And I don't know what's going on with the chain mail, I couldn't even address that because I couldn't get away from his pit.

    Juju - Nope. Not even a little hot. Blech.

    Rummanah - I think I'm going to dream of this guy tonight and he's going to be chasing me trying to rub my face in his pit and I'm going to wake up screaming I know it! And I do believe that is in fact his hair, there's some up behind Allyson's name too.

  17. I am very familiar with the nighttime/daytime sweats thing.

    This cover is disturbing. And the pits don't quite seem right (not that I'm a man pit expert or anything) though perhaps that's part of the genetically programmed part?

  18. Eep! I'm not sure if I'm more disturbed by the "pit stop" or by the cover.... *ponders* :S lol

  19. Oh god its one of those what were they thinking covers. The pit is nasty enough but they also chopped off half his waist so I dont even want to imagine what he looks like whole.

  20. Ugh, gross. I literally got a little nauseous just looking at that cover! I'm not a fan of armpits.

  21. I'm distracted by the fact that his torso is way too short. His hips start almost directly beneath his pecs!

  22. Amanda - I live in sweatpants. I love it:) And I can't say as I know anyone who is a man pit expert, though now I kind of want to find one.

    Ashley - It's hard to choose really. Personally, I choose the pit stop, but that's mostly because I've experienced it and it will stay with me always.

    Jenny - Isn't it amazing? I love it:)

    Lauren - I'm definitely not a fan of armpits either. I feel there's most likely quite a few of us pit haters out there:)

    Jennifer - He's just generally inexplicable isn't he?

  23. HAHAHAHAHAHA! This is so freaking funny! This armpit if hairy and so not sexy! HAHAHAHAH!

  24. I am very much confused by this pic...mostly the confusion comes from looking at his groin, it is so wrong

  25. ROFL! I love the pit comments. You make such a great case for the anti-pit cover. Now, I can't see anything but the nip tho. It's STARING at me! *hides*

  26. Oh, Jenny, I love you! Your little anecdote just made this post even funnier. Poor you but if I was there I probably would have cracked up too.

  27. That moob is freaking HUGE! I checked this post on my phone and it like takes up the whole screen! o_o

    I have also been a victim of the pit-stop. Five brothers. End of explanation.

    I'm seriously laughing so hard right now, what is wrong with his body? It's weirdly....non human. I suppose that's the engineering at work. Plus, what is that silver thing on his bicep? At first I thought it was a watch, but now I think it's a chain mail sleeve, cut off. Like he's trying to make a medieval statement. LMAO! I may be in love. :)

  28. OMgosh, this post is the most hilarious thing I've read since last week's hairy chest post! I definitely don't want to take a pit stop in this guys hairy pit. Shooooo!

  29. LMAO! Love this post! You crack me up! I don't even know what to say about that cover...seriously. I can't believe they thought that was the way to go (armpit pose?)and it doesn't even fit what the book is about in any way. And "pit stop"? Ewww.

  30. I wasn't even looking at the pit hair, he's got the oddest shaped body I've ever seen on any book cover. Is that angel wings behind him? Is he like Barbie in that if he were real he couldn't really stand up?

    I feel more sorry for you Jenny! Even on a good day, freshly showered and deodorized, under a man's armpit is not the place to be!


  31. Haha! This just made my day. I can't stop laughing. Who seriously designs these covers? What could they possibly be thinking and arm pits are in now way sexy. at. all. Gross! haha. Pit stop. This is hilarious. Thanks for sharing this with us! Hope you have a good weekend.

  32. Blahahaha! A Pit Stop! That is soooo win. Great, now I'm all in love with your Brother-In-Law. Is he single?


    And seriously, is there anyone in your family that isn't 100% awesome?!

  33. Bwhahahhahahahh! Oh that is just amazing. Story for you: when I was first introduced to my cousin-in-law at a family dinner he thought it would be in my best interest, since I had never in my life eaten crawfish, to learn the art of sucking a crawdads head to get the "real good juice out". SUCKING A CRAWDADS HEAD! He then proceeded to RIP THE HEAD off of the crawdad I was going to eat for me and tried to get me to suck it's head. Fortunately my husband stopped him. In case your wondering: my husband's side of the family is cajun.

    ♥ Trish
    Just a YA Girl

  34. All I have to say about this is LOL. I am literally LOL-ing all over the place.

    But for real, what between the nasty armpit hair and the REALLY large nipple on the REALLY large moob, I'm definitely grossed out.

  35. Ah yes, there is no better way to get a pick me up than to be exposed to a man's hairy armpit. A "pit-stop" is a bit much though, definitely.

  36. Hehehe. I hope I never experience a "pit stop" I'm not sure if the arm pit focus is more of a turn off, or if the oddly inflated giant pec already accomplished that :P