Different Books, Same Cover #1

Double Vision: Cover Recycling

Have you ever noticed you own two different books with the same cover? Recycling cover art is quite common in the book industry. Publishers often re-use artwork to save money or time.

There’s even a hashtag for it on Bookstagram: #covertwinning. Imagine double the clinches!

We found lots of instances where the same artwork is used for various romance novels. Here are a few examples of duplicates:

Swan Road & Joining by Elaine Duillo

The interior stepback of Rebecca Brandewyne‘s Swan Road features a blond, mustachioed Fabio and his raven-haired companion. Years later Elaine Duillo’s acrylic painting was repurposed to create a stepback for Johanna Lindsey‘s Joining.

A castle rests in the background with a winter scene replacing the seascape and Viking ship. The scenery isn’t as detailed as the previous version. A poorly painted cape drapes over Fab’s shoulders. His face looks altered as if digitally reimaged, and he appears more aged.

Joining was Fabio’s final cover for Johanna Lindsey. In fact, as far as I can tell, this was his last romance cover appearance overall. If anyone has any information contradicting this, please let us know!

swan road duillo
Swan Road, Rebecca Brandewyne, Warner Books, 1991, Elaine Duillo cover art
joining duillo
Joining, Johanna Lindsey, Avon, 2000 (1999 orig. pub.), Elaine Duillo cover art

The Hawk and the Dove & Gentle Rogue by Sharon Spiak

Here’s another Johanna Lindsey cover with art that was previously published for another book. This time, it’s the 2007 reissue of Gentle Rogue using Sharon Spiak‘s illustration for Virginia Henley’s The Hawk and the Dove.

It’s the same cover; notice the dress and the ship. In the revamped version, the protagonists’ hair colors are altered accordingly and there’s no castle in the back. Nor are birds and flowers in the foreground. The new cover is pretty enough. But the clothing and sword are about 150 years too early for the Regency-age Gentle Rogue.

the hawk and the dove
The Hawk and the Dove, Virginia Henley, Dell, 1988, Sharon Spiak cover art
Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey,
Avon, 2021 re-issue (1990 orig. pub.), Sharon Spiak cover art

The Trophy Husband and Rendezvous With Revenge

Ron Lesser was a productive artist for Harlequin, with his pieces appearing on the Super Romance, Temptation, and Presents series. He created dazzling photorealistic images by hand before digital art was commonplace. It’s not surprising that his paintings would be re-used by the publisher. But for the same line, just eighteen months apart, and unaltered? Someone on the staff really liked this cover.

It’s a shame that the hair colors don’t match up with the characters in either book. Little errors like that pester me. The hero from The Trophy Husband was neither dark-blond nor a light-brunet. His hair was black. The hues are flipped for Rendezvous With Revenge, as the heroine had the lighter color.

trophy husband lesser
The Trophy Husband, Lynne Graham Harlequin, 1996, Ron Lesser cover art
rendezvous with revenge lesser
Rendezvous With Revenge, Miranda Lee, Harlequin, 1998, Ron Lesser cover art

More Double Covers to Come

Cover twinning is a common occurrence in e-publishing with the availability of stock images. Still, we were surprised to find how much older cover art was re-used for books. Now we’ll be on the lookout for more duplicates to highlight.

What do you think of these copy-cat covers? Drop us a comment and let’s talk romance.

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