Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ladies in Costume

One of my favorite trends among book covers lately is one in the historical romance market: having a single woman in period costume on the cover. However she appears, whether only a partial view, from the back or the front, displaying only a portion of the face, I like the fact that these covers seem to say one thing:

This is a story about a woman.

She may go on an adventure. She may solve a crime. She may go dancing at a ball. She might be a governess or she might be a lady. She could live in Regency London or the American West. And though we the reader know that she will fall in love (because this is a romance) and there will be a hero to die for (we hope), ultimately it is she who is the focus of the story.

Romance frequently deals with women's friendships, women's hardships, women's opportunities, and women's adventures, which I very much enjoy. And I enjoy reading about a hero, a man to fall in love with, a man to imagine and to enjoy a story about, but when I read, I am not picturing myself with the man in question (I know there are readers who do, and I have no problem with that, but the fact that I don't definitely influences my reading choices and favorites). The hero should be her hero, not my hero or anyone else's hero. For me to enjoy a romance, the heroine must be unique, the hero must be unique, and they must be meant for each other. I like it when the man and the woman aren't perfect, because if he's a man any woman can fall in love with, what's so special about that?

A major part of the reason I read romance is because it is about women. When I read, I am enjoying the heroine's journey to falling in love with the hero and finding or discovering what she wants in life. And that is a big part of the reason I like these book covers. They remind me that this book is about a woman falling in love.

(That, and I always enjoyed playing dress-up as a kid.)

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Kerry said...

I'm so glad you're posting again. I just love pretty covers and you always seem to find some of the best.

CW said...

*wild clapping* Well said! :)

sybil said...

OMG you are back!

I about to break down and call your ass. Do. Not. Worry. Sybil.

She doesn't need the added stress. See! I am referring to myself in the third person, never a good thing for someone named sybil ;).

Glad to see you again and hope everything is going well.

Beverly said...

Hi, Sybil, yes I'm back, and thanks so much for caring. I'm sorry about worrying you. :)

Crescendo said...

Very nice covers !