Cover Artists

Covers of the Week #12

I’ve been a bit behind things this past week so I haven’t been focusing on the site as I should have. So to make up for it, I’ve chosen a selection of covers by good artists gone bad. These covers have made me smile, laugh, or just raise my eyebrows and wonder what they were thinking. For the week of June 28 to July 4 2021, enjoy this small sample of silly or awful looking covers from romances from four different artists.

#1 They’re getting it on at the docks, her hair is in the water, but at least she knows to hold on to that parasol for sun protection. Priorities. (Wild Magnolia, Wanda Owen, Zebra, 1992, Pino cover art)

#2 – Is it just me or does that poor cat look like an experiment from “The Island of Dr. Moreau”? Is it supposed to be a Scottish wildcat or a Lynx? Either way, it looks so sad. Put the poor dear out of his misery! (Wildcat Tamed, Mary Wibberley, Harlequin, 1977, cover artist Don Berco)

#3 – This infamous cover is notable for the three-armed heroine, one hand on the ground, the other at her side, and the last holding the hero’s arm. It speaks highly of the hero that he loves her just the way she is. (Castles in the Air, Christina Dodd, Avon, 1993, Robert Maguire cover art)

#4 – The hero of this book was supposed to a most beautiful-looking male and a very buff Naval officer. Nothing wrong with being fluffy, but Lucky does not look fit for military service. (Get Lucky, Suzanne Brockmann, Silhouette, 2000, cover artist unknown)

7 replies »

  1. Hi, Jacqueline.

    My observations on the “Covers of the Week”, #12:

    1. Angelique, the heroine of the book, is clearly trying to keep Scott, the hero, from getting a nasty sunburn. She was so considerate.

    2. The cat does not look happy. They look like they’re going to jump somebody.

    3. At first, I didn’t see the three arms, but later I did. How this cover got through the editors at Avon is beyond me.

    4. Maybe this cover was the beginning of acknowledging that not every person in a romance novel was a perfect physical specimen.

    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face, as you always do. Hope you are well.

    • Hi Blue Falcon, Great observations on the covers. I thought we could use a smile. As for cover #4, I agree, I like “imperfect” or unique heroes, be they short, wear glasses, are dandies, or nerdy. Not every hero needs a six-pack and a full head of hair; it gets so repetitive when they’re perfect.

      However, in the case of this cover, the book was part of a series and the hero had been built up as this arrogant, vain player who thought he was the greatest thing in the world because of his looks. The author disliked the cover so much, she mailed out stickers to anyone who’d purchased the book so they could cover the hero’s face!

  2. Great covers this week; I love the odd and peculiar ones as much as the gloriously lovely ones. Wildcat Tamed artist is Don Besco. If it isn’t impertinent, I could drop HQN artist names I’ve figured out into the comments.

    • Hi Iris,

      Of course I would love any info on artists! You know so much about the Harley covers. I love the idea of pooling our knowledge together. It’s so hard to fins a dedicated record of all the artists.

      I had purchased the book “The Art of Romance” hoping it would be a helpful guide, but it only has pictures of covers, with little info on the artists. So yes, please keep me updated with any info on cover artists, it’s a great help to us!

  3. Thanks, Jacqueline. I too dig unintentionally funny covers! I can add several others.

    About the cover of the Mary Wibberley Harlequin: wow, talk about a grumpy cat! But there’s another peculiar element. That guy’s face. He’s so angry, upset. Why? Surely he’s not jealous of the kitty. Or is he?

    • And yes please, if you have silly or bad covers, send me some and I’ll post them in a another collection! 🙂

      There were so many “bad” covers to choose from, it was hard to decide which ones to pick. As you can tell, I love romance covers, but sometimes the artists had to churn them out quickly and didn’t always create perfect works.

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