Retro Party with Bonus Murder

Ah, our wonderful Bitchery readers. The best covers ever come from our intrepid readers, who risk breaking their scanners to provide us with romance cover horrors from the way back machine, and the not so far back machine.

First, two covers from Josefina, who says she is house sitting in a home filled with romance novels from long long ago, some of which are scary, scary things.


Sarah: If you’re in a boat that appears to be on fire, I’d say prenatal status and the absence footwear are the least of your problems.

Candy: They see me rowin’, they hatin’,
I know they’re all thinkin’ I’m so white and yuppie
Think I’m just so white and yuppie
Think I’m just so white and yuppie
Can’t you see I’m white and yuppie
Wearing SPF 50


Sarah: Is the spectre named “Poncy?” Or just “Ugly Shorts?”

Candy: I don’t know about “blithe,” but I think at least one of those spirits was gay.


Sarah: And can we talk about the demon pug? That’s seriously the creepiest dog I’ve seen, and usually pugs are just adorable.

Candy: Dude! That’s no pug! That’s Kuato! Give ‘im a break; he is a partially resorpted twin, after all.

Finally, this cover comes from an anonymous reader who asks us not to share her name. Thanks, anonymous!


Sarah: Dear Diary. Today I killed a man with my shoe. Fortunately the shoe was red. Equally fortunate, there was a cover artist from Harlequin there to record the whole thing. The End.

Candy: Gawd. I can just see this as the premise of some awful, awful chick-lit romantic suspense. She’s a ditzy personal-assistant-turned-assassin with a shoe fetish, and when her boss tells her to use stilettos, she uses stilletos. :weeps:

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Kalen Hughes says:

    I think I damaged an internal organ laughing at those striped pants, and then I saw the pug. Oh, gawd, the pug. *wipes tears from eyes*

  2. 2
    Teddy Pig says:

    pug and a poofta… two bits!

  3. 3
    dizmo says:

    In what universe is that *Regency*?

  4. 4
    Charlene says:

    In the “everything before 1980 is sort of muddled” universe.

    His outfit comes from a 1610 stage production; hers was most recently worn by Jane Wyatt when she played Spock’s mother in Star Trek.

  5. 5
    Sallyacious says:

    I don’t think there’s enough red on the third cover. You can still read the words.

  6. 6
    kpsr. says:

    that second cover is fabulous. i’m pretty sure the art department took a hardy boys cover and changed the background. and put the boys in costume.

  7. 7
    Najida says:

    Damn that’s an ugly dawg!
    Granted, if the pants were longer, they’d be cute….otherwise, they look like oversized rompers for a 2 year old.

  8. 8
    Rachel says:

    Wasn’t that whole “kill the sleeping hot guy” thing in the Bible? Judith nails Sisera with a tent spike, right after he nails her with, um, his man-titty, I guess.

    And y’all are SO right—those old romances are super scary. I hadda get rid of all my old Diana Palmers for fear my daughter might read’em and get the idea that bitter, abusive rich guys are a good bet. . . ugh!

  9. 9
    Yvonne says:

    Oh, Teddy Pig! You are the best, EVAH!

  10. 10

    I’m confuzzled by the question mark on the first cover.

    Which of the qualifiers was confusing—the barefoot, or the pregnant? For one, there exists a test (or just wait 9 months). For the other, step on a nail and see what happens.

    Although it all seems irrelevant, sitting in a canoe.

  11. 11

    It’s covers like *these* that give romance a bad rap…

  12. 12
    OpenChannel says:

    Ohmygod… I just cruised onto your site from Kristin Nelson’s and I’m so glad I did. These are hysterical. Katie, I was thinking the same thing!

    I’m really bummed that I threw out my box of old romances I picked up at a rummage fair. Durn. I should have kept the covers. I used the books to make some great cut-up poems, though.

    Pugs are usually adorable? Are you serious? They can’t even breathe properly.

    Thanks for inspiring my inner bitch.

  13. 13

    I think the guy on the third cover died from shoe-odor inhalation.

  14. 14
    Nifty says:



    Amen!  And I’m always waiting for their marble-like, bugged-out eyes to pop out of their heads and roll onto the floor.

    I loved the fact that the poncy’s book was authored by “Winnifred Witton”.  I’m assuming it’s a pen name, but regardless…it just sounds so perfect for an old-school romance.

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    I can’t help it. The snorting and the bug eyes and the curly little wiggle tail – just adorably ugly. But then, all of the pugs I’ve known have been patient, friendly, happy dogs. That’s probably a factor as well.

  16. 16
    Jaynie R says:

    Oh yeah.  That dog is going to give me nightmares.

  17. 17
    Anadaslu says:

    That remix of Ridin’ Dirrty was too precious. God my tummy hurts.

    verification: mans17

  18. 18
    Kerry Allen says:

    I’m concerned about the guy with the oar and wondering if there’s a trash bag and some cinderblocks in the bottom of that canoe.

    That’s not a pug. It’s midget Buddha, and he is pissed.

    The red shoes are his. What you can’t see is the red lace thong he’s wearing.

  19. 19
    Bella says:

    what about that dude’s neck in the canoe? he looks like Stretch Armstrong. i wonder if the rest of him can…. :ahem: never mind.

  20. 20
    DS says:

    Well, unless the woman in the first cover is sitting on a 40 lb. weight, my guess is that she is going to fly over his head and into the water if he doesn’t stay still.  Also, the size of that float is amazing.  At least I think it is a float.  Maybe they are in a really garbage polluted river and that is a rotten navel orange floating by on the current.

    The Spectre cover looks like Katherine Hepburn costumed as Elinor of Aquitaine sneaking around on Henry II with a second rate Elizabethan actor. I shall say nothing about the pug because I suspect that it is a minion of Satan.

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