romance book covers

Covers of the Week #62

This week from Monday, June 13, 2022, to Sunday, June 19, 2022, we’re celebrating weddings. Here are some Regency-era romance covers featuring brides and grooms.

lord carews bride

Two Gay Romance Firsts: The Happily Ever After Ending and Clinch Cover

Gordon Merrick created the legendary Peter & Charlie gay romance series. The trilogy portrayed the first mainstream love story between two men that concluded happily ever after. Another milestone in gay fiction occurred when they were reprinted in the 1980s. A young artist named Victor Gadino illustrated the iconic clinch covers. Never before had two men been pictured so intimately on romance novels.

gay romance

Different Books, Same Cover #2

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. Previously we mentioned the Instagram hashtag #covertwinning. This was the brainchild of biologistreadsromance, who also created the hashtag #stepbacktwinning.

Covers of the Week #56

Heidi Oberheide’s covers express a soft sensuality, often displaying a glorious abundance of bright flowers. From Monday, May 1, 2022, to Sunday, May 6, 2022, Covers of the Week spotlights the romantic illustrations of Heidi Oberheide.


Covers of the Week #54 – Renato Aime

Renato Aime was among the many talented artists of Italian heritage who entered the romance novel illustration field during the 1980s. For the week of Monday, April 18, 2022, to Sunday, April 24, 2022, our Covers of the Week focuses on the romance novel covers by Renato Aime.


Covers of the Week #52

For the week of Monday, April 4, 2022, to Sunday, April 10, 2022, we’ll be looking at the sweetly romantic stylings of the covers illustrated by Jean Monti.

secret jewel jean monti

Stepback Covers Part VII: Stepback & Modern Romance Novels

By the dawn of the 21st millennium, the stepback was the pinnacle of cover art in the romance genre. The combination of a best-selling author, a prominent artist, and fantastic design aesthetics meant quality all around. The stepback was an acceptable middle-ground and proved to be constant in an era of transformation.

modern stepback covers 7

Stepback Covers Part VI: Stepback Saturday

A fun way to show off old and new stepback cover art is to post them on “Stepback Saturdays” on bookish Instagram or Bookstagram. Using #stepbacksaturday bookish Instagrammers upload pictures of cover art.

stepback saturday vi

Stepback Covers Part V: 1990s Stepbacks

By 1990 every established publishing house was rethinking the way they did cover art. The stepback was starting to mean something special. Rising stars–both authors and artists–would combine for a winning combination, and no publisher could ignore that.

1990s stepbacks v

Stepback Covers Part IV: 1980s Romance Stepbacks

Throughout the 1980s, romance publishers would use various tricks to catch prospective buyers’ eyes: embossing, foil lettering, bright colors, explicit embraces, big-named artists, superstar cover models, and more. Nevertheless, the stepback was not commonly utilized until the mid-1980s.

1980s romance covers

Stepback Covers Part II: The History of the Stepback

The history of stepback covers goes back to the early-to-mid-20th century. Bantam, Warner, and Pocket Books would be among the first paperback publishers to use this innovative cover design in the 1970s.

stepback 2

Stepback Covers Are Back & Why We Love Them

Conversations about romance covers always draw strong opinions. Are they a source of cringe or are they a form of art? The stepback cover has been popular in the genre for over 35 years. One reason for that is due to discretion. With stepbacks, you can have your clinch and eat it, too.

stepback covers

Instagram and Vintage Romance Books

There’s never been a better time to be a collector of vintage or old-school romance novels if you want to show them off. The Instagram app is a great place to do this!


Covers of the Week #26

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! 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.

bandit's brazen kiss

Link: The History of the Clinch Covers

At Dr. Maria DeBlassie’s blog Enchantment Learning she hosted a presentation by our Twitter pal Daily Clinch @Artof the Clinch. We recommend watching this informative video on the history of romance novel clinch covers. They touch upon the genre’s past as well as discussing pivotal cover artists, models, authors, and more.

night song

Covers of the Week #18

One of my favorite romance cover artists from the 1980s, 1990s, and well into the 2000s is Gregg Gulbronson. For the week of Monday, August 9 to Sunday, August 15, 2021, we highlight his gorgeous covers.

blaze of passion gregg gulbronson

Covers of the Week #12

For the week of June 28 to July 4, 2021, enjoy this small sample of funny or awful-looking covers from romances from four different artists. Including Pino, DonBerco, & Robert Maguire.

wild magnolia

Covers of the Week #11

Morgan Kane is an artist whose book covers range from the pulpy paperback era of the early 1970s to the bodice ripper heyday to series and contemporary romances to Westerns to the big name romance authors of the 1980s and 1990s. A true Renaissance man, his artwork was as varied as his many talents, such as photography, illustrating, ice-skating, and hypnotism! For the week of June 21 to June 26, 2021, enjoy this small sample of Morgan Kane romance covers from multiple categories.

city girls need not apply

Covers of the Week #10

For the week of June 14, 2021, to June 20, we’re looking back over our favorite Harry Bennett covers for Tapestry, Gallen, and, Pocket Books.

whitney my love
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