The Good, the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me?

Filed in Book Covers , The Geeky Lover , The Good the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me? , The HEA Lover Posted on February 4, 2013 @ 3:00 pm 29 comments

Welcome to our bi-weekly rendez-vous of The Good, the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me?, where it’s safe to talk about the covers you love, hate or just don’t care one way or the other about. Just remember, we’re only talking about the covers and not judging the content of the books! Since I’m always pestering Susi about my Historical Romances, I thought we could take a look at what 2013 has in store for us in this genre. Historical Romance is not an easy genre for originality. Most of the time you get the same elements on these covers, same decor, same dresses (or same open shirt flowing in the wind *wink*). But even within these strict codes, a few covers are succeeding in catching my eyes. So let the judging begin! As you will see, Susi and I mostly disagree on these covers 😉

Caro: I think the first thing I need to say is Squeeeeeeee! I’ve been waiting forever for the new Judith James book. It was first set to be released last August. I really love this cover. I love the pretty font for the Author’s name, I love how sensual it is. I even love the huge green dress. It’s lush and gorgeous, and definitely work with the time period. (Not a Victorian setting! THAT’s refreshing!).
Nicola Cornick’s cover really grabbed my attention. It’s not the usual scottish cliché cover, where the guy is wearing only plaid (or lying on a tartan/plaid) and is ravaging the heroine. On this cover it’s more ‘subtle’, if I can say so. Yes she’s wearing plaid but it’s not the main focus. The gorgeous scenery, the pretty colors a bit washed out, the characters pose, it all leads to a great cover. I love how he’s just touching her chin but his whole posture screams control. Yeah 2 thumbs up for me.
I don’t dislike the new Julia Quinn cover. The previous cover was disappointing, at least this time it’s not fugly. But it’s not original either. Yes it’s a pretty cover, but not sure I’ll remember it in a few years.

Susi: The dude on the Judith James cover looks slimy. He reminds me a bit of Adam Sandler in that Zohan movie. LOL The dress is pretty.I like her tan. Well the cover doesn’t scream “Buy Me!!” to me but historicals nearly never do. I don’t like the guy on the Nicola Cornick cover either. And the girl looks so chaste and well a bit like tiny birds help her get dressed in the morning. The landscape is pretty though. And I do agree yay for no plaid and moobs cover. is the Julia Quinn a winter/Christmas story? Actually another reason for me to not like it. Cover is okay. It looks shiny and pretty.The dress is nice.

Caro: Bwahahah Indeed I can imagine the birds dressing her too now lol

Caro: I’m currently reading a Spindle Cove book and I’m in love with Tessa Dare’s writing. BUT this cover is just too bland. I like the dress but the guy looks weird. And note the usual open shirt attack 😉 This is too bland to stick in my brain.

Eloisa Jame’s cover might not be highly original but from first glance you can tell which fairy tale this story will be about. I love the Rapunzel in her tower reference. It could be better but I think it does its job at portraying the story.
Ahem, well it wouldn’t be a cover post without Paul Marron, wouldn’t it? lol Honestly I didn’t see him at first, he’s not really essential to the cover. I think that redhead is stealing the show. I really like the color of the dress with her fiery hair, and how she stares at us. I always laugh at how they always do impossible things with the dresses on overs. She’s definitely wearing a close-fitting dress AND her legs are angled to the right, but yep her dress magically end up on the whole bottom of the cover. I wish they didn’t do that. ⇐ yes I’m picky

Susi: OMG that dude tops it all- seriously an open white dress shirt. How inventive. And the color of the dress makes me wanna puke or at least get my old barbies out and hit there heads against something spiky. The Once Upon A Tower cover must be a joke? Is this seriously a new book? it looks like it time travelled here from 1985 or something. This one really makes me wanna gag and I might rethink my friendship with you Caro for making me look at these. I do like the chick on the It Happened One Midnight cover- as you said she looks fierce and strong. I approve. The dress thing is really weird though. And again white opened dress shirt. Aren’t these poor guys allowed to wear anything else?

Caro: You are killing me! Don’t make your poor Barbies suffer! Ohh Suuuuusi this is called ‘vintage’ covers! LOL not MY fault this is a new trend! *gives Susi a cookie* Am I forgiven? Lol you just need to remember not to let me choose the theme of the next cover post 😉

Caro: Winterblaze is possibly the most interesting cover of the lot. First time I saw it, I had to check out what the book was about. Yeah it has Paul Marron on the cover (I swear this guy is the most unfaithful hero ever, he’s probably seduced half the heroines out there by now lol). I love how her dress seems to be engulfed by waves. How she’s the only ‘colorful’ element on the cover, and how it all gives a feeling of cold and yes, Winter. I’m dying to read this.
Hello open shirt on the Zoe Archer cover! Ah well I forgive him. This is my favorite cover in the series. I like that we get to see the hero in the London setting. It’s not highly original but I don’t dislike it at all. A nice cover.
Sweet Madness is a good example of doing something good with the usual HR elements. Nothing flashy,no half naked man. It’s simple but pretty. I love her dress and the look on her face. The really nice touch is the storm raging outside that seems to please her. I like it. Mischievous look and all.

Susi: Oh Paul, I like you in that one. This is a cover I approve. It looks pretty and not as boring as the rest. Their pose makes me think of an action filled adventure. A job well done.
Sweet Revenge is kinda blah. Naked dude in white dress shirt- I’m so surprised. The background is nice. Sweet Madness is okay for an historical- totally bland and it prolly bland with the other books on that shelf. *snores*

Caro: OMG did you just say something nice about an historical cover????????? *looks around* Did I cross into a different dimension? Mister Data what’s our coordinates? lol

Caro: I LOVE the new Kate Noble cover. It looks like a painting. The colors aren’t too flashy and her dress is gorgeous, so is her umbrella. I love the dreamy look on the face and most of all… I LOVE that it’s set in Venice! That looks refreshing! One of my favorite 2013 covers.
Alright so there’s something wrong with the Teresa Medeiro cover. I think the problem is the woman’s face. It’s a bit weird. Also the title and Author’s name is too big and the color doesn’t pop out. It looks messy. The fact that she looks like she’s moving toward the edge of the cliff plus the look on her face, it looks like she’s going to commit suicide. Someone stop her please.
I’m torn when it comes to Sabrina Jeffries’ cover. I love love love her dress. it’s gorgeous. Her necklace too. I like that we don’t see her face, she’s a mystery, it’s as if she was wearing that mask. BUT her face looks like a doll face. It looks all plastic. I really don’t like that. I also think the author’s name could be a little smaller 😉

Susi: The Kate Noble cover isn’t that bad. I do like the umbrella BUT she looks so “ohh I hope prince charming will save me and give my life a meaning. I can not live without him”. Grow some self-esteem young lady. So do I get this right: is The Temptation of Your Touch the female equivalent of the open white dress shirt thing? Is she sleepwalking? Why is she pouting in her nightdress on a cliff? Will she jump? And the font is blue. Gah! The Jeffries cover is weird. It makes me think of bdsm books but well I might be a perv. She is blond and has pouty lips too. This is like looking at profile pics on facebook. LOL

Caro: I thought it was more of a ‘I wonder if my vibrator as 2 speeds’-look. lol
I think that woman is about to jump from that cliff indeed!

Yay: The Kate Noble & the Nicola Cornick
Nay: Teresa Medeiro’s cover

Yay: Winterblaze
Nay: The Eloisa James one. *yuck*


What do you think of these covers? Which one do you like/hate/don’t-care-about?
Are you a Historical Romance reader?
What would you like on your HR covers? Something you’d like NOT to see on them?
Do you find all Historical romance covers boring and repetitive?

ps: This is pretty much my 2013 wish-list for Historical Romances 😉

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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  • blodeuedd February 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I never remember HR covers, in the end they all look the same

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Team Susi : 1 Team Caro: 0 😉
      I admit most look the same (same thing with PNR). But some really stick in my brain.

    • Susi February 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      I <3 you!

  • ki pha February 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I like all the covers. They have their own beauty that catches my eye. I do agree that Teresa Medeiro’s cover isn’t one that I like but….*shrugs* I love Historical romances but I too think some of them or most do look alike, and some do have the same cover, just different angles, colors, etc… I do like looking at them even though I won’t remember them afterwards.

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:49 am

      Yes exactly! They have a certain appeal and even if they won’t stuck in our memory for years it’s still appreciable to have something pretty to look at. *g*

  • Ren February 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Yay, this post is back, lol! I don’t remember last time you post this one? Last month, last 2 month?
    Laugh so hard when Caro said Paul Marron is unfaithful. Yes, he is already hug, nearly kiss or just standing beside the female model in his all naked chest glory 😛
    As for me, I don’t really like many historical romance cover. Especially if they show the model’s boobs. I’m woman, why I need to see it, huh?

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:50 am

      Yeah busy schedule make this posts a bit less regular but we’re working on it 😉 It’s so fun to talk about cover. I love when Susi disagrees with me:!
      Oh yes that Paul! Now it has become a game of finding his covers 😉

  • LSUReader February 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    You did a great job on your HR wish list…the only thing missing is Elizabeth Hoyt’s Lord of Darkness. Generally, I don’t find covers memorable or compelling and don’t particularly think they do a great job of depicting the author’s characters.That observation is not specific to HR books. The same is true of PNR covers Susi spotlights or covers for contemporary books. That said, these seem normal. Not bad, not special.

    I had to laugh that Susi thinks a Kate Noble heroine needs to grow a backbone–Obviously, Susi hasn’t read Kate’s books!

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:52 am

      Lord of Darkness *headpalm* Indeed, it IS on my tbr-list for 2013!
      Lol It’s a fight of everyday to try and change Susi’s mind about Historical romances. I still can’t convince her that it’s awesome. =P

      • Sheree February 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        Ah, “Lord of Darkness”… it has Thierry Pepin and Laura Williams on the cover (secondary faves and Thierry always makes me smile).

        • Caro The HEA Lover February 6, 2013 at 6:26 am

          You’re scaring me! You always know who the models are!!! lol

  • Susan February 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I didn’t think most of these were that bad. (Well, except the Medeiros book. That one’s pretty sucktastic.) Then I read Susi’s comments and almost had an “accident.” Shame on you for making me laugh so hard, Susi.

    I buy mostly ebooks these days so I’m often sad that I miss out on the cover art. In the case of the James book, tho, I think it’s a blessing. I want to read it but don’t think I could ever look at the cover without thinking of Adam Sandler/Zohan and wanting to take a shower to wash the ugh off.

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

      LOL Susi has a talent to ruin a cover for you 😉 Funny thing is that I’m pretty sure you got the ‘tamed’ version of her commentary. lol

      • Susan February 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm

        You mean this was Susi holding back? Now I’m trying to imagine it. . .

        • Caro The HEA Lover February 6, 2013 at 6:26 am

          oh let me tell you, It’s always super fun to make these posts with her!

  • Sheree February 5, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Paul Marron….. Yeah, that’s ALL I require on a book cover, no matter the genre. Heck, if they slap him on FIFTY SHADESOF GRAY, I’d buy it, too.

    • Ren February 5, 2013 at 4:29 am

      No. You don’t 😛

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

      *Gasp* oh I’m glad they didn’t! gahhh could ruin Paul for me! lol

  • Izz February 5, 2013 at 4:10 am

    I love reading Historical Romance but I DON’T like their covers with the models, especially if they have “exaggerated” pose and inappropriate dress on it. Call me a prude, but I know what I like and I don’t like to see hanging boobs or overtly display women thigh or back, or muscled bare chest on romance novel, I read romance because the story not because the cover. 🙂

    • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 5:57 am

      I read them for the story too but if they have a great cover it’s even better! 😉
      I used to hate exaggerated cliché poses. But they grew on me. When i see a new cover playing with the basic clichés and making it original it’s a big WIN for me 😉

      • Izz February 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

        Could you tell me the example of the books with “a new cover playing with the basic clichés and making it original”, like you said? Maybe I will change my mind and come to like it ;), but what I have seen that all of them is pretty the same (maybe I have not seen much of them). But, I have seen some good Historical Romance covers, and maybe others will see it boring 😀

        • Caro The HEA Lover February 5, 2013 at 6:22 am

          Alright! Challenge Accepted! lol I just need to find them back but it shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll come back with links!

          • Izz February 5, 2013 at 6:26 am

            Great! sorry for double post, I have a problem with the net connection ^^”

  • Izz February 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Could you tell me the example of the books with “a new cover playing with the basic clichés and making it original”, like you said? Maybe I will change my mind and come to like it ;), but what I have seen that all of them is pretty the same (maybe I have not seen much of them). But, I have seen some good Historical Romance covers, and maybe others will see it boring 😀

  • Lily B February 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I actually think I like them all, they all have something appealing and eye catching to me. Beautiful covers

  • draconismoi February 6, 2013 at 3:07 am

    It’s truly amazing to me how many HR covers show heroines with dresses that just don’t fit right and are falling off. They are all in the tailor made dresses era! A properly sewn dress does not sag off your shoulders.

    As for fugly covers, why yes, I do see a couple. The Virgin Plaid Princess isn’t even well executed. Making it out of focus does not lessen from the ugly.

    I’m also not a fan of Man Boobs In London. I compare all Gratuitous Man Boob shots to that Old Spice Commercial from a couple years ago. If he doesn’t look this good, I can’t be bothered.

    Note: I didn’t mind The Contemplation of Suicide. She looks determined, and hey, sometimes jumping off a cliff in your period underwear is preferable to reading the rest of a truly horrific HR. I firmly believe that a woman’s body belongs to her! If she wants to jump in clothes she stole from a much larger person, that’s fine by me.

  • Caro The HEA Lover February 6, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Bwhahaahahahahahah omg you crack me up! I love this ad, I find it very funny. We don’t have these kind of ads here. But I see your point!

    Ahhh the loose dresses! They are about to be ravaged! the dresses are already halfway off! LMAO I kid but I do agree with you though It also bothers me because their dresses were suuuuuper tight. oh well it’s the joys of historical covers 😉

  • aurian February 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Lots of green dresses this time. I really don’t like the Theresa Medeiros cover at all. She is running to the cliff, and looking over her shoulder? Very stupid.

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