Romance and Me: The Curse or the Blessing of the Romance Covers

Filed in Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on July 27, 2011 @ 10:10 am 7 comments

Hey Everyone!

As BLI familiars you must know our own Susi and Caro’s feature: The Good, The Bad and The Are-You-Kidding-Me, where every second Monday they take a look at book covers and share their thoughts (*cough* rants and gushing rather *cough*) about the beautiful and the ugly, and mostly about the ridiculous.Today I would like to ask the age-old question regarding your thoughts on romance novel covers.

As a teenager I didn’t read romance novels partly because of my upbringing (I come from a bookishly snob family, we only read books which had “some literary value”, I know, I know *eyeroll*) but also because of the embarassing and ridiculous covers of these books, I never would have been caught dead reading these in public:

or even this:

(I can so picture the old ladies around 70-80 years old who upon sitting next to me/in front of me and seeing this cover would have the shock of their lives…)

Though there are many romance novels whose covers I admire and like to look at on the internet:

I am still one of those people who prefer to read their romance novels in book jackets. Ever since I acquired my ereader my reading of romance novels exploded! And I am conscient that it is due to the fact that I am not embarassed by anyone seeing on the bus or at home the cheesy cover of what I am reading. I like my reading privacy thank you very much.

So tell me, what do you think of romance covers? Are they a curse or a blessing to us readers? (and do you think it is mostly the historical romance covers which makes us wince?) Are you embarassed by some of the racier covers and wouldn’t be caught dead with a bodice ripper cover on the bus or to the contrary, you proudly display the books you are reading?

Did your opinion of romance covers change since you started to like and read this genre?

And do you think romance covers have gone through some changes through the decades?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! 😉

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

Share This Post

Subscribe and stay up-to-date

Via E-Mail:

Follow us via RSS, twitter and facebook:


Join the Discussion
  • Heather S July 27, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I started reading romance novels when I was in high school. I can still remember making sure the book cover was always pressed to my desk, the table or even my legs when reading because I didn't want people to stare. Then, one day, my band teacher asked what I was reading, and all I can remember is the book having a very steamy clinch cover. I was sooo embarrassed! I just mumbled and made an excuse to walk away.

    Now, I still get red checked at certain covers but I try to not let it bother me. I get more embarrassed when checking out at the bookstore and a guy is ringing me up. And it tends to be the more risque covers that get me blushing in public.

    I think in regard to the more erotic books, the covers have gotten alot more graphic. But I have to admit, they are some of the most beautiful covers out there. I love the various Maya Banks book covers.

  • pattepoilue July 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I'm still very much embarrassed by some covers of books I read.
    I was very prejudiced about these books. Now I'm addicted, but I still find most romance covers a bit too O_o for me to read in public. =P

    I even have my books organized on the shelves so that the 'raciest' covers don't show LOL The Lorraine Heath cover is a good example of O_O .
    It's just too hard to explain to family/co-workers/friends why you're reading 'trashy girl-porn' books. *sigh* My ereader is a blessing!

  • Sullivan McPig July 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Don't discount those old ladies! My grandmother got me started on reading historical romances and I'm sure she would have loved those covers you posted. She read some very steamy books and loved talking with me about what she read.

    As for reading books like that n public: I couldn't care less what people think about my book covers. Let them think whatever they want, as long as they let me read.

  • Sheree July 28, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I look at books covers as affordable pieces of art. Okay, I have to admit that initially, I was a bit sheepish about having a clinch-y cover, but once I figured out that my obsession wasn't just about books but the actual cover models, then it was okay (I give myself a lot of leeway in my obsessions).

    Once, at a bookstore, a guy asked me about the romance novel I had in my hand and I proceeded to show him cover after cover of Paul Marron, Nathan Kamp, John DeSalvo, Jed Hill, etc. until I'm sure he had enough. Yep, I can give lectures on my obsessions, what can I say? (at least we weren't in a lumber yard or I'd wax poetic over exotic woods like cocobolo, purpleheart, and bocote)

    Besides, I don't know what is more embarrassing to be found reading: a romance novel or a kids' book.

  • Stella (Ex Libris) July 28, 2011 at 3:52 am

    @Heather S: I know! As I'm always reading I get many "What are you reading?" questions, and I hate mumbling, so I usually just say "a novel in English" and thankfully that closes the comversation for most people. And yes, Maya Banks' covers are beautiful!

    @Caro: YES! "trashy girl porn"! 😀 LOL And historical romances are my favourite subgenre, and these kind of books tend to have the most steamy/O_O covers which I wouldn't like to read in public because people are stupid and judgemental: I bet they would think it is trashy based on the cover when it is usually a sweet romance story.

    @Sullivan McPig: Wow, you are lucky to have such a great and openminded grandma 🙂

    And congrats on your courage and attitude! :-))

    @Sheree: lol :-)) Err yes, I can just picture those weird looks an adult might get when they are reading YA books 🙂

  • Sheree July 29, 2011 at 2:37 am

    @Stella, not just YA but actual kids books like Artemis Fowl and the Penderwicks. Yes, I have the reading taste of a 10-year-old boy (aside from the romances and YA books, of course).

  • Tanya July 29, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I remember my first romance book, I read it in high school, 10th grade and it was a book I got from my mom. The cover had no people on it and when people asked what I was reading some would just snicker. I was always sure to buy my romance books that did not have people on the covers and if I had to have one that did indeed have a racy cover, people in torn bodices or men in just their underwear those books I read at home. I am currently addicted to YA novels and I feel that some people look at me in the same weird way as if I was reading the torn bodice covered books. All I can say is they don't know what they are missing. Oh and I used to think that the historical romances had some of the cheesiest racier covers but lately some of the contemporary covers with the 2 males and 1/2 naked female are quite racy. My husband refers to those books as my reading smut, because of course I read them too.

Previous Post
Next Post
Luvo designed by Internet Marketing In conjunction with Template Wordpress , R4 DS , Best SUV.