We had a lot of fun a couple of months back doing Covers of the Week #12, where we posted images of when romance covers by talented artists go hilariously bad. So we’re doing it again!
As always, if you’d like to see more cover art, head over to our COVERS section, where you can view pages for individual COVER ARTISTS or take a gander at past Covers of the Week. If you want even more information about romance book covers, check out our COVER LINKS PAGE.
For the week of Monday, October 4 to Sunday, October 10, 2021 (which happens to be my birthday week), enjoy these silly or awful-looking covers that make us smile.
#1 – Pino Daeni was a master artist. He was also prolific, producing 3,000 romance covers in a span of 20 years. Sometimes he had to work quickly. So it’s understandable that some of his works might fall short of his best. Bandit’s Brazen Kiss is actually a pretty cover until you realize this isn’t a paranormal romance, and the hero isn’t a centaur. We know he has to have legs to ride a horse, but where are they? Is he just a torso with arms and a head? We want to know! (Bandit’s Brazen Kiss, Kay McMahon, Zebra, 1990, Pino cover art)
#2 – WARNING: Some things are just not funny and not cool to joke about. But comedians Anthony Jeselnik, the late, great Norm MacDonald, and I would disagree. When it’s make-believe, it’s ok to laugh. This cover has had me in stitches for years. First, the title, The Bedroom Incident. Then the “Do Not Disturb” placard under the image. And finally, the image itself. I know that’s an adult female model, but the way she’s positioned and drawn makes her appear younger. A lot younger. Combined with the issues mentioned earlier, we think someone’s going to jail! (The Bedroom Incident, Elizabeth Oldfield, Harlequin, 1998, cover artist unknown)
#3 – Some women love getting their hair stroked as foreplay. The hero takes hair play a bit too far on the cover of Dark of the Moon, as he’s yanking a clump of hair quite forcefully. The heroine’s wincing expression shows she’s not as into it as he is. (By the way, do any fans of the soap “Days of our Lives” think the hero looks exactly like a young Drake Hogestyn who played Roman/Jack Black? Or is it just me?) (Dark of the Moon, Karen Robards, Avon, 1988, cover artist TBD)
#4 – No, this isn’t a teen romance. The couple depicted on the cover is supposed to be composed of full-fledged adults. He’s a Duke, and she’s a governess. Those children on the cover look very out of place. The title Delicate Dilemma combined with the horse’s anxious expression doesn’t bode well, either. Lastly, just what is an “American Regency Romance”? As the book is set in the post-colonial USA, when James Madison was President, the Prince Regent of England never ruled the States. It would be akin to referring to some Egyptian Pyramids dating back to the Babylonian Empire. Technically accurate, but wrong, nevertheless. (Delicate Dilemma, Luanne Walden, Warner Books, 1987, cover artist unknown)
First, Happy Happy. I’ll DM you later.
On to the covers: I’m wondering if Pino was making a statement about Ms. McMahon’s heroes with “Bandit’s Brazen Kiss”, as Ms. McMahon’s heroes were frequently horses’ behinds. (I’ve read seven of her books and you’ve seen my reviews, so you know what I mean).
The female model in “The Bedroom Incident” does look awfully young.
The male model on the cover of Karen Robards’ “Dark of the Moon” does strongly resemble Drake Hogestyn, who played Roman Brady/John Black on “Days of Our Lives”. I used to be a major soap fan back in the day, but haven’t watched them in over 20 years.
This is purely speculation, but I would imagine the term “American Regency” might have to do with the idea of British Peers of the Realm coming to America, settling and marrying American-born women. I looked up the series and it is actually both highborn Englishmen AND women who fell in love with Americans.