A close friend of mine recently asked me to read a book and let her know if I thought it was appropriate to add to her stable of books. I do this sort of thing for her on occasion because our tastes invariably run along the same styles. She sent me the book to check out through my Kindle app. I’m not going to lie…I LOVE books. I get excited over books. I enjoy discovering new authors. Libraries and bookstores are my third home! (What can I say…Coffee shops trump bookstores for me…which is why I absolutely ADORE Barnes & Noble for combining the best of both worlds.)
This time was different…and prompted this post. Many of you already know how I feel about 50 Shades Of Grey. It’s simply not my cup of tea (yes, pun intended). I’m not going to rehash that…because the reality is that it’s different strokes for different folks. The part that made this new book so different with my excitement level was simple. It had one of those trendy “50 Shades” style covers. Blah. Ho hum. Boring! (I know, ask me what I really think, right?)
If nothing else, 50 Shades will have a legacy of 2 things:
- Gaining exposure for awesome writers in the BDSM realm of erotic romance (And I’m THRILLED about that! There are some amazing writers out there with great work who are finally getting the recognition they deserve.)
- Those danged boring covers are everywhere these days. (Though this is all the rage that the NY Publishing houses kicked off, I no likey!)
Honestly, I get why the publishing houses are going this way. The younger set aren’t bothered by the lusty covers. The senior set don’t particularly care what people think of them anymore, love them or leave them (LOVE that attitude!) and they realize that no one can really see the covers of what they’re reading if they’re reading from an ebook anyway. It’s the women in my age bracket (and no, I’m not going to get into that…and it’s rude to ask) that remember when there was a nasty stigma attached to those lusty romances with the half naked men and the heaving bosomed women. Personally, I enjoyed them. There were certain authors I might never have read if it hadn’t been for their racy covers.
And I know I’m not the only one. Like my friend Emma who wrote an entire post about it, I, too, judge a book by it’s cover. When all you see are grey tones and inanimate objects (ties, flowers, masks, handcuffs) how can you really gauge heat levels? How do you even know if it’s a romance? Heck, handcuffs could signify bondage or they could be a police/mystery novel! And THEY’RE BORING!!! I want my fun. I miss my spice!
Here’s a Lynsay Sands cover from her Argeneau series! It’s a bit sexy, but quite a bit more classy than the old historicals. There’s no question it’s a romance. The man and the tattoo give us something to fantasize about. And we know it’s going to be in the paranormal romance realm. Love the cover, love the author, love the book…!
Or here’s a cover from Keri Arthur. This is from her Riley Jensen series. She’s also a paranormal romance writer. Hers is a bit more subtle, but you still know you’re getting a sexy romance. She, too, has fun, excitement and suspense rolled into her books.
Of course if you don’t want to do couples but still want to let a woman’s imagination run wild and sell books, Gena Showalter does an awesome job. No heaving bosoms…just man. And yes, I’m a HUGE fan of her Lords Of The Underworld series. She, too, in case anyone was wondering writes paranormal romance.
Of course one of my most favorite mainstream authors is Lori Foster. Obviously this is designed with women in mind. Definitely a romance…and in the ever growing popular realm of Sports related romance. This is from her MMA series…. If you’ve read the books, I’ll tell you Simon from Simon Says is my favorite…both character and book.
Here’s another one, also tastefully done, but still completely droolworthy! Yes, Carly Phillips also does the whole Sports Romance (though both from player and agent perspectives) quite successfully. Love her characters, but probably never would’ve picked up her books had it not been for the fun covers.
Rachel Gibson proves that fun covers and books don’t always need men on the cover. With this whimsically fun cover, combined with the awesome title-was there any doubt that this is a romance or fun? And it isn’t overly risqué, either, is it?
If you need something even more subtle, but still sexily appealing, how about this cover by Susan Andersen? I loved the strong hand around the waist, the hint of romance and seduction with just a simple pose.
Even this one, by one of my all time favorites…Julie Garwood. Simple, but still lovely, and nothing overtly racy about it. A cover like this would have you expecting a romance, maybe with a bit of mystery.
And if you needed something even more tame? How about going the route of the wonderful Susan Elizabeth Phillips? Her cover shows nothing but foot and ankle and still gives off the fun, playful vibe.
But if you absolutely HAVE to go grey? Do it right, people! Do it like one of my all time favorites, Kresley Cole! I’ll buy her kind of grey any day. And the truth is, her writing is amazing!
I can’t be the only one irritated by this cover trend, can I? How do you feel about it? What things are driving you nuts about the “popular” books of today? (BTW, though I LOVE romance books, they aren’t all I read…it just seems that their covers are the most impacted by this new “trend”.)
Since I started off knocking on those shades…let me leave you with a black and white video…and one of my favorite songs as I continue my Valentine’s Day music countdown to love…Shania Twain is absolutely beautiful, and so is this song.