Friday, January 27, 2012

Cover Critique: Cloth-Covered Goods

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.

I've started noticing a trend lately as I've searched for covers for these critiques. Would you like to know what this trend is? Based on some of the covers I've posted in the past, this question probably has some of you grimacing and others of you checking over your shoulders at work to make sure no one can see your screen, and I have to tell you friends that reaction just makes me happy. I feel like I've done my job well and have scarred many of you for life. No need to thank me. When I see something that makes me want to tear the eyeballs from my head and wash them vigorously in an effort to scrub the image off, I can't help but say to myself "Self, you should share this experience with others". Kind of like when something smells terrible and the first thing you want to do after smelling it is hand it to someone else and make them smell it too so you can suffer together. And so here we are. Today, I bring you the gloriousness of cloth-covered goods.


Um. Well, he's very naked isn't he? Yes, yes he is. And also very hairless. I have just a couple things I want to discuss about what we're seeing here. First, the title is The Cowboy Next Door, yet I see no evidence of this headless nude fellow being a cowboy at all. Shouldn't he be wearing boots? Or nothing but a belt with an enormous buckle? Is the cowboy next door a nudist? I have to say I think it would be rather uncomfortable to be a nudist cowboy. Having ridden many a horse, I can say with some certainty that being naked while doing so would be unbelievably painful. Especially for a man. Not only would there be epic chafing, but I imagine there would be some rather intense pinching and squishing of delicate parts that then would most likely not be up for the sexy time after a day of bouncing around on the back of a horse. Probably wouldn't make for a very interesting romance novel then would it?

Chapter 1 - Rides horse naked.
Chapter 2 - Comes home in pain.
Chapter 3 - Parts don't want to work right.

Disappointing all the way around really. And I would like everyone to notice how I avoided the obvious "ridden hard, put away wet" commentary. It's because I'm classy. And mature. And clean-minded. (Is that laughing I hear from some of you? I think maybe it is...)

Second, is it me, or is he clutching that white towel just a little too strongly? Most covers with cloth-covered goods have the offending fabric wrapped rather precariously around the model's middle, teasing us with the promise of a peep show given how loosely the cloth hangs, as though the slightest breeze will cause it to drop those last vital inches. Such is not the case with our cowboy. Oh no. He seems to have a death grip on that towel which makes me wonder what he's hiding. Is it embarrassingly tiny? Will his hands look large in comparison? Is it oddly shaped? Kinked? Curved? Are there two heads? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR JUNK NAKED COWBOY!!!!

You're all staring at his crotch trying to make out the shape of his dangly bits to see if there's something off about them now aren't you? It can't be helped, his white-knuckle grip on that towel just raises too many questions.

Moving on.


Anyone else just do a double take on this cover? I know I did. At first glance I thought he was holding some sort of green squash, which of course led my mind down an uncomfortable path lined with questions about what a naked man would be doing with a green groin squash, but then I leaned closer to my computer screen and realized my error. Penis squash crisis averted. *wipes sweat off brow*

After the squash debacle, I next thought maybe his junk was tattooed. Like a sleeve. Only on his goods. Yikes. I just want to quickly say however that even though I have absolutely no training in the art of tattooing, I would be more than willing to offer up my services in this one unique case should this naked man of woven dreams actually want his nether regions inked. It would be a strictly professional situation. Obviously.

Eventually, my mind clawed it's way out of a squash and tattoo-laced gutter and I finally realized that we are simply dealing with some phallic shaped patterned fabric, though I'm not entirely convinced this realization improves the cover situation. It's clear a great deal of trouble went into this model's pose to ensure no woman could mistake what he's holding in his hands to be anything other than what the good Lord blessed him with at birth, and that just makes me giggle. Can you imagine being on this photo shoot? I'm sure it was someone's job to help shape that fabric and make sure the light hit it just right to create the illusion of perhaps the largest phallus ever. Here's how I imagine a conversation between the stylist for this shoot and a friend might go:

Friend: How was your day today?

Stylist: Oh, you know. Went to the shoot. Stood in front of a naked male model for hours molding a giant penis out of patterned fabric, all the while making sure his hands cupped the base and the head just so to make it look extra authentic and sexy.

Friend: The usual then.

Stylist: Yep. Same thing tomorrow, only this fabric is flesh colored instead of green. (see below image on far left)

Good times. Just in case these two aren't enough to satisfy your need to see more cloth-covered goods, I present to you the below for your viewing enjoyment. You're welcome. Happy Friday!

Click to enlarge
(there's a joke in there somewhere, but since I ooze class and maturity today, I shall refrain from making it)

* A special thank you to Jen from In The Closet with a Bibliophile and Amanda from On a Book Bender for bringing some of these covers to my attention.


  1. Funniest post!!!

    What is it with all this hairless manliness? I mean, I have seen a few guys with enough chest hair to weave a rug, but a little bit just kinda makes a man more... male.
    Suspicious shadow above green tapestry made me do a double take!!!

  2. LOL this post is AMAZING.

    I keep cracking up at the obvious bow legs the guy on the cowboy cover has, too.

  3. Jenny!! My Friday morning laugh!!! This is an awesome edition!!! At least he should wear boots or a hat... something that labels him as a Cowboy... oh dear... seriously I have to say it again, ..they get money for this?!?!?!?!?!

    Oh and ... please tell me the joke.. the only thing that struck me was the title of book II.. Comes the Wolf .!?! uhm...

    Thanks Jenny for making my Friday! *hugs*

  4. Funny.
    Plus, the "cowboy's" legs are all wrong. No cowboy gets thighs like that. This is a "gymboy."

  5. Ha. I'm partial to this cover critique, because it obviously reminds me of all the Top Off Tuesdays I did. Good times.

    Honestly, I'm a little jealous I didn't find the Woven Dreams series ones. Those look AMAZING.

    PS. "green groin squash" made me die of laughter.

  6. Too Funny...that cowboy looks like he's doing the bathroom gotta go dance. Just what you need to get the romance flowing a naked dude off to take a *&%$!

    I love Fridays at Supernatural Snark:D

  7. I can clearly tell the first guy is a cowboy ---he is bow-legged as all get out! That being said---awkward towel holding---did someone just walk in on him doing the self service thing (and yes I went there)!

    2nd one: OH MY GOSH Jenny look at that cloth---seriously I did a double take to see if a) some woman should be very very afraid (aka was he holding his junk--that would be rather intimidating) and b)if he needed to hire a new decorator :)

    Oh I needed the laughs this morning :)

  8. Good thing I wasn't drinking tea or water just yet otherwise I would have choked on laughter. These picks are pricless and yes, I don't think you can just share this experience alone. *laughs hysterically*

  9. Derrolyn - Our cowboy is definitely manscaped. There's not a single hair on him that I can see! Strange.

    Chantaal - Thanks you! Glad you enjoyed it:)

    Danny - My dirty mind just started giggling at the "click to enlarge" in the context of this particular critique. Probably because it was late at night when I wrote this post. And I also I was traumatized at the implied size of green fabric's implied size. Whuh.

    Lisa - I have to say I agree. I've ridden horses almost all my life and never have my thighs gotten quite so bulbous:)

    Amanda - You should be jealous. They're amazing. Especially the flesh colored one:) *dies*

    Tina - He does! There's just something wrong with his pose in general:)

    Felicia - It's true, he is bow legged, but even with that, my first thought would not have been "oh look, a cowboy!". And don't even get me started on that cloth, my legs clenched together at the sight of it, denying it even imaginary entrance due to the pain. *shudders*

    Rummanah - Definitely can't view these covers alone. They were made to be shared:)

  10. The first guy is pooping and the 2nd is defiling that rug!

  11. I'm laughing so hard now that I can hardly breathe. I thought the first cover was bad but the second cover makes it look tame. Honestly the fact that you could find so many look alike covers is truly scary and disturbing. I would personally be ashamed for anyone to see those covers if I was reading either of them.

  12. Linda - He's definitely doing something with that rug. o_O

    Kris - Glad you found the covers as amusing as I did. I just stared at the Woven Dreams one. I couldn't believe what I was seeing was real. And then I did a happy dance:)

  13. Ahhh my eyes are burning! Those are hideous! The second one I thought it was a python between his legs! Yeah lets not go already raped my virgin eyes this morning and sent my mind to the sewer! Happy Friday!

  14. The Cowboy Next Door!! BHUAHUAHUAHAUHAUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHAUHAUHA!!! OMG DEAR! YOU MADE MY DAY!! HOAHAOHAHAO!! SOOOOOOO funny! LOL!! holy cow!! Im going to stick that pic on my fridge! LOL

    Dazzling Reads

  15. WTF. lmfaoooo. I CAN'T EVEN. hahaha. i love these posts. you are hilarious jenny. :D

  16. I'm leaking tears here, Jenny! Seriously.

    I'm very disappointed with Naked Cowboy, too. Like you said, you'd think he'd at least be wearing his boot, or at the very least place a cowboy hat instead of a towel over whatever it is he is hiding, then us ladies wouldn't have to wonder about Mr. Tiny.

    Even better would have been if the cowboy hat was just dangling on its own. Naked cowboy could have had his arms crossed over his chest, with cowboy hat magically suspended over the goods, then I would have had no problem running over to his house to ask for a cup of sugar. ;)

    And you better believe I clicked to enlarge!

  17. Dear Ms. Snark,

    As someone who takes a great deal of pride in her work, I have to tell you that a great deal of thought went into these book covers. Studies have shown that women are most attracted to men without body hair, and that their fantasies often involve blankets and other pieces of cloth gently (and not so gently) brushing against manparts. In the future, it would behoove you to be more tolerant of the personal preferences of those privileged enough to share your gender.

    Lyon, Satyr

  18. Obviously, I meant "someone who takes pride in his work.

  19. I really LOL'd at the first one! And you're right, where are the cowboys boot or SOMETHING that makes that dude a cowboy! I will say, that he looks like he's ready to dance a jig. He's in position for it at least...

  20. Heidi - My eyes were burning too. So I had to share:) And my mind is always in the sewer, it's good to have company down there!

    Natalia - You should. His nakedness would make your fridge look AWESOME. Win.

    Aly - Right? So much good stuff up there! These covers made me happy.

    Missie - I've done my job well then. When people are scarred and leaking, it means I'm a success ;-) I agree with you on the "suspended" hat, that would have worked much better than the towel. We should write in that suggestion for the next book.

    Ruby - I am properly chastised. So sorry for my crass comments ;-)

    Jacinda - He does look ready to dance. And that towel will most certainly not stay in place if he starts busting out a line dance or two:)

  21. I love these covers ...mind going in the gutter with the naked men and yes I was wondering about the cowboy too ??

  22. "click to enlarge" is that possible? The things computers can do nowadays. *mind walks through the gutter*

    Seriously, that cover never ceases to make me laugh hysterically. He is standing so WEIRD! I feel like he's trying to clean something off and that's why he is leaning back.

    And, I think we should start an ink parlor for such situations. My artistry is not so good, but I'm good with trees. Your graphic design skills are mad good. I'm sure together we could do something!

  23. And.....COMES THE WOLF? Really?? REALLY?? What were they possibly thinking?

  24. Seriously? Bow legs? Pfft. How could someone possibly take that cover seriously? :P I had no idea cloth-covered manparts were a thing! Thanks for keeping me updated on classy cover trends, Jenny. :P

  25. *wipes away tears* No. You. Didn't.


    I loved this Cover Critique. These men and their poses are just so unbelievable. And,


    I just can't get that out of me head. *laughs all over again*

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  26. o.o

    These covers are... stunning. Really, I have no words, except that you crack me up, every single time!

    I'd be embarrassed to be seen reading any of these!

  27. Once again you have me laughing out loud. As to the guys...EW! I don't like that overly muscly freaks me out. Mostly it's their legs...EWWW! Eeek! Just scares me.

  28. Okay Jenny... confess... how do you know what riding naked on a horse is like? You went into great detail. Are you trying to do the Lady Godiva thing again? XD

    Oh and that second one... ROFL! Talk about using an unusual weaving harness. Yes, I went there. :D

  29. Jenny-

    I got prepared for this one tonight. Put my pj's on, used the facilities and got my glasses cleaned so I could read. To no avail. The tears that come out of my eyes from reading makes me need my husband to read them to me while i guffaw (very lady like) and belly laugh! I'm so happy to see your cover critique!! I love them!
    And you didn't hear me laughing, you certainly ooze class and decorum.

    Thanks for the laughs!!!


  30. Why does the naked cowboy have a sock tan? Does he not fit in the tanning bed at the gym (because that is obviously where he spends his time).

    And why is the scary in the pants man fondeling the tapestries? Do tapestries turn him on? Cause if that's the case, I don't think his close-your-legs-and-hide size will be a problem for the ladies. haha.

  31. You're killing me here, Jenny! This post is just too funny!! :D A nice start to my morning, I think. ;)

  32. omg the sound I just made!!!

    I LOVE your cover snark! Keep on oozing class and maturity if this is the result!


  33. Ah ha ha! Those men have really waxed!

  34. The guy in The Cowboy Next Door doesn't look like he's standing very comfortably. And Oy!!! Woven Dreams cover...yikes! I definitely did a double and triple take. This definitely made my eyes pop out of my head. lmao.

  35. OMG. You just made me laugh so hard--and I really needed that! I love the covers you find (I mean, really. Naked cowboy guy? Yeah, buddy! And what the heck is up with the way he's standing? It's kind of a "I'd run but then I'd lose my towel" stance...). You rock.

  36. LOL!! Omg... I never got the idea why it'd be sexy to have a towel like that. I just find it so weird! It's not like any kind of... normal pose... And LOL the first one, the way he stands is just awkward! I love your comments as always. I'm glad I didn't bring my food to the computer or I would have choked, hahah.

  37. What is the point of even covering! The first guy looks like he got caught and is trying to cover himself. And I thought the second guy is holding a chicken! LOL!

  38. That supposed cowboy is sure holding himself weird. Maybe he's bowlegged from riding naked.

    And the second one, yes, my first thought was that he was stroking himself with some green cloth over it.

    Hilarious as always Jenny!

  39. Oh yes, I know I've been scarred by a few of these posts. It does not really surprise me that this has become a trend, haha!

  40. Omigod. I love these posts. I can't believe those tapestry-over-the-goods ones. Freaking awesome.

  41. Hah! I thought he was holding an alligator against his penis.