Monday, September 26, 2011

Worst Book Covers: These Guys Can't Afford Shirts, I Guess

You deserve an introduction here. Or a warning. Or something like that.

The book covers that you are about to see are items removed from our clearance section at work. Whenever books need to be clearanced, the older titles are pulled to make room. The spinny display is full of rejected romance and mystery titles; therefore, the ones I pull to make room are the uber-rejects.

And they're really, really horrible things. I now present to you the worst book covers I saw last week. I hope you can survive these. Good luck.

Lois Greiman's An Accidental Seduction is apparently a really bizarre book. Check out all the Amazon customer comments - apparently, her regular readers think she writes "historical" novels. This book is a Prince and the Pauper situation (you can read it here), with two women switching places and (surprise!) there's a handsome guy involved. And he apparently tends to not wear a shirt.

The book's tagline: "When she submits, heart and body, to the rogue's desires, it will be no accident..."

And we all know what "..." stands for on the cover of a romance novel. That's right: it means the book is way longer than it has a right to be.

You've got to hand it to someone who gets a tartan worked into a book cover without it being on a guy's kilt. To Tame a Highland Warrior is by Karen Marie Moning - which is a pen name if I ever saw one. See that guy on the cover? (As if you could miss him, with all those freakin' muscles.) His name is apparently Gavrael McIllioch, and he was born to a Highland clan with supernatural strength. That's right - a superpowered Scotsman is what we've got here. He, of course, abandoned his family castle, and "could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar."

Disappointingly, the more "modern" cover has no tartans or blondes, just a close-up of muscle-y chest, but the tagline is the same: "Only her love could gentle his savage soul..."

This one's totally my favorite. Note the subtle way in which it implies this overmuscled, wild-eyed Tarzan is the thing you've been wishing for your whole life. The careful inclusion of his armband and the jewel-studded title imply that despite his lack of clothing, he's got the income to provide for you. And last but not least, the flame in the corner suggests - I'm going out on a limb here - the burning passion which can never be extinguished. Until a richer guy with bigger muscles comes along on Kathleen Nance's next book cover.

And it turns out I wasn't far off the mark. That guy on the cover is apparently a djinni, and the woman who summons him is more into her business than in either her daughter or making wishes to get her anything she freakin' wants. Who doesn't want wishes? And why would someone write a book suggesting that all the main character needs is this guy and she'll finally be a "normal" woman without a career, a good mother? One customer review described her as an "irritatingly too-independent heroine." Run along and serve your man, honey. I'm heading out to win the bread now.

This book doesn't have a tagline, but the one I made up for it is: "He's everything you think you don't want..."


  1. I have a confession: I derive incredible amounts of pleasure from reading the summaries on the backs of really bad romance novels. You have to do it out loud though, in a husky voice. The book has to know that you're mocking it.

  2. I'm right with you on that! Happened earlier today, as a matter of fact. :)


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