Monday, September 11, 2006

Cover Trend #1 -- Naked Male Chests

I know I've said this before, but one of the most noticable trends in romance covers that I've seen recently is that of the naked male chest. I think it is part of the trend toward more sensual, sexual romance, because they are especially common on the erotic and paranormal novels. I don't mind these covers, but I don't love them either. In some ways, from my view, it's no better than the women with their hair flying and their dresses falling off on the old clinch covers. What do you guys think -- do you hate them, love them, find them annoying?

Slave to Sensation
by Nalini Singh
Berkley, September 2006
I know everyone's already seen this book everywhere else, but I haven't shown the cover here yet, and I am looking forward to it. I didn't see it in the bookstore when I was there last week, but hopefully it will be there tomorrow. So far, the reviews I've read for it have been positive.

Parallel Heat
by Deidre Knight
Signet, 3 October 2006
I have the first book in this series, though I haven't read it yet. I have hopes that it will be good, or at least well edited, because I would really expect no less from such a high-profile agent.

Dark Defender
by Alexis Morgan
Pocket, 28 November 2006
I haven't read the first book in this series, nor have I really heard much about it. Have any of you read her other book?

Midnight Surrender
by Karen Harbaugh
Dell, 28 November 2006
I was wondering if Harbaugh would be an unfortunate loss from the publishers' tendencies to drop non-hot-selling midlist authors because we haven't seen a new book from her since 2003. I really enjoyed her other books, so I'm happy to see this one listed.

Harmony's Way
by Lora Leigh
Berkley, 5 December 2006
Here's another that I have the first book, Megan's Mark, but I haven't read yet.

The Nymph King
by Gena Showalter
HQN, 1 February 2007
Showalter is an interesting author to me because she doesn't rely on series and connected books to write her stories. Every new book is a new story, a new idea. She's not the most literary writer, but she tells a fun story and I don't feel like she's trying to hook me with a minor character all the time so I'll buy the next book.

Legacy of Stone
by Vickie Taylor
Berkley, 6 March 2007
Taylor really has had one of the more original ideas in the influx of paranormal/fantasy romance from the last few years, so I have to follow her for that reason alone.

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HelenKay said...

This is a GOOD trend in my view :)

Kristie (J) said...

I'm liking this trend. Much better than a certain publisher who I'm always ragging on who publishes nothing but English historicals with the occasional medieval thrown in.
I'm glad to see Karen Harbaugh back!! I read Parallel Heat and quite liked it. There were a few problems but I liked it enough to keep reading the series. I read the first Vickie Taylor and have the next on in my TBR pile. Ditto with Alexis Morgan. Gena Showalter - tried one of hers and hated it. Then I tried another one and liked it.

meljean brook said...

I actually like a clinch better than I do a naked male chest. I always feel like I'm being sold the hero--and just the hero--when it's a solo cover, and not necessarily the romance between the two characters.

(Strangely enough, I don't have the same problem with heroine-only covers. I feel like I'm being sold the heroine, yes...but usually in a kick-ass way, instead of an "OMG, look how hawt he is" way. Like, I'm being sold her personality, but for the male's, I'm being sold his chest.)

That said, I like the Vickie Taylor cover better than her first two, the Singh cover (except that tattoo on his shoulder looks to me like a Superman shield) -- the others are kind of meh, even though the stories are interesting, and I'll probably end up getting all of them. The only cover I actively dislike is the Nymph King, but it'll still be going on my TBR pile.

Jeri said...

First-time poster here. Hi, everyone!

I'm not a fan of the bare-chested-man-under-a-full-moon covers that are so popular among paranormals these days.

I do like the heroine-only covers, probably because they imply that it's about a strong woman. Why so many of them are depicted wearing tie-back corsets, I have no idea.

I know I'm in the minority, but I'd rather not see the hero on the cover at all. I'd rather create him in my mind, as my very own fantasy dude, and not have the artist come between me and my image of him.

That being said, if Johnny Depp or Eric Bana want to model for one of my covers someday, I won't beat them off with a billy club.

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Emily Veinglory said...

The only thing worse that the sudden prevalence of shaved man-titty is an attack of comment spammers!

LA Day said...

Oh Oh, I have the man-titty covers on my books but at least I'm not promoting a casino.