A major trend I am noticing in romance novel covers is the naked torso or back. You used to see naked or half-naked people a lot in the bodice ripper covers (and you still see a lot...think I will have to blog about this as well). But lately, the covers aren't usually of couples. Or if they are, they aren't in the stylized bodice ripper poses we are used to. They are pictures of couples actually having sex! Right on the cover. They are usually tasteful though.
But the major trend I see is pictures or photos of a single man's torso. They frequently cut them off at the neck (the better to fantasize? or so the art department doesn't have to read the book to match the hair color properly? I wonder). I guess naked men with visible abs sell books pretty well.
I don't dislike theses covers but I don't really like them either. Women complain all the time about men objectifying women, but here we are doing it right back. Beefcake (a word I happen to hate) on the cover and women rave about it. That's why I didn't watch the show Mr. Romance. I've heard too much about women at RT and RWA mauling the cover models. I certainly didn't want to watch it on TV.
Here's a bunch of recent and upcoming books with beefcake covers. What do you guys think? Do you pick up a book because of this type of cover? Does it turn you off? On?