Cover Snark: Wayback Retro Edition

The ever-awesome LadyRhian did some scanning, and then Candy and I did some screaming and some rushing and some eyewashing, and now it’s your turn to feast your eyes on the retro majesty.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. As usual, these covers are NSFW in the fuchsia sense. I mean, there is NO way you can pass off that you’re doing work if you’re caught having a look-see at these.


Candy: Candy: I’ve encountered a lot of goofy names for schmeckies, but this is the first time I’ve heard it being called a Venus. Unless the title’s referring to the razor? I mean, this happy couple are kind of preternaturally shiny.

And speaking of preternatural: Holy Brylcreem bouffant, Batman! What did the stylist do, like, make the male model dive headfirst into a vat before posing for the shot?

Sarah: If the quality of a romance can be determined by the percentage of the cover that is turquoise and fuchsia, this book must be an absolute keeper of all keepers.

Also, why are there pink and purple bubbles emerging from her backside? She farts in colors, like the night?


Candy: Not only do they dare to kiss a cowboy, they dare to wear buckskin fringe. A LOT of buckskin fringe. The gayest (and I use that word with a lot of affection, because I loves me some gay) buckskin fringe that ever fringed. My only question is: where’s the cowboy? Is he hiding? Is he hiding (wait for it…) IN THE FRINGES?

Sarah: What do you think his tribal name is? “Rides with Jingle Knees?” “Armbands Do Not Make Him Gay?” “Stole the Vitalis?”

And more importantly, if this book was published in 1994, and that’s the “cowboy” there on the left, was Harlequin publishing M/M cross-dressing romance over 15 years ago and not telling anyone!?


Candy: Not so much vixen as corpse shot through a lens generously smeared with Vaseline to hide the fact that she’s, y’know, taxidermied. But “My Lady Rigor Mortis” just wouldn’t sell as many copies.

Sarah: On the turquoise-and-fuchsia scale, this book would give “Venus Rising” a run for its money, especially in the eyeshadow category. But what’s the quality indicated by a cover featuring Almost-Getting-to-Second-Base with a side order of Possible-Buttsecks?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Gwynnyd says:

    The swooney-babe from the first cover has had her nipple sanded off.  There is a large triangular pink patch were it should have been.  That must have hurt.  Maybe that’s why she’s unconscious and the guy is holding her up by clenching her upper arm in his armpit. 

    Thanks for the mid-morning giggles.

  2. 2
    Aly says:

    MY EYES!!!  *rushes to bathroom*

    In that last cover the woman looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones! XD am I the only thinking that?

  3. 3
    Betsy says:

    Just wanted to say: Flora Speer?  FLORA.  SPEER.  That’s gotta be the most romance-novely romance novel writer name I have ever heard.  Her dewy flora awaited the thrust of his ready speer…
    I really think that’s awesome.

  4. 4
    Toni says:

    I’m curious as to what happened to the bottom of guy #3’s legs? They seem to stop at the knee while hers dress goes all the way to the bottom edge of the cover.

  5. 5
    jen says:

    That Back to the Ranch dude looks like he’s related Rio, of tiny-head and big-upper-body fame. Who knew that was a type?

  6. 6
    Keri Stevens says:

    I, too, want to explore “new worlds of love.”

  7. 7
    Laura Harner says:

    Hmmm…where’d her nipple go? Is this a cannibal story?

  8. 8

    Yes yes she looks like Catherine Zeta Jones on eye shadow steroids.
    Picture number two am sure they were referring to the girl when they said Cowboy – has to be
    thanx 4 d laughs my toddler thought I had lost it

  9. 9
    Tamara Hogan says:

    Cover 1: Where are Venus’s nipples?

    Cover 2 is giving me Village People flashbacks. “Y-M-C-A!” (Sing it with me, now!)

    Cover 3: Could this book cover have been the inspiration for Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” music video?  The cover pose reminds me of the scene in the video where Tom is dancing with Kim Basinger. Who is dead.

  10. 10
    Lisa says:

    Not so much vixen as corpse shot through a lens generously smeared with Vaseline to hide the fact that she’s, y’know, taxidermied. But “My Lady Rigor Mortis” just wouldn’t sell as many copies.

    I can’t decide whether it’s Romance’s Weekend At Bernie’s or the first zombie love story.

  11. 11
    Madd says:

    In that last cover the woman looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones! XD am I the only thinking that?

    I was thinking Whats-her-name Fox in a few years. What is her name? The one who was in Jennifer’s Body. Megan! Megan Fox in a few years.

    The gal on the cowboy cover does have rather manly brows, but one could argue that Mariel Hemingway has the same eyebrows and is female. Men in drag seem to prefer a thinner brow, but she is wearing chaps … so … who knows …

  12. 12
    Arethusa says:

    I heart the second cover so much. It is definitely a closeted M/M romance. The Fringed Avenger looks very disappointed & resigned to the fact that he got a pony tail munchkin instead of be-ribbed Rio.

    Why *is* he in fringe, though? Seriously.

  13. 13
    Alison Tyler says:

    Arethusa said what I wanted to say. Right down to the fringe. I would paper my office with this cover!


  14. 14
    Sewicked says:

    #1 from her facial expression, his hand was just somewhere else; or she’s really easy to please

    #2 he’s not wearing enough to be a fancy dancer (he’d need more feathers, and some kind of headdress, and more sparkly bits) but he’s wearing too much for almost any other type of dancer (says the almost powwow illiterate woman)

    #3 ahh! they wrote a historical version of the Mannequin movies!

  15. 15
    Wendy says:

    I REMEMBER that Vixen!  Back in the day, my mother owned a craft store.  She employed lots of ladies.  Said ladies often brought in their finished books and left them in a box in the back room for the others to read. 
    The My Lady Vixen was absolutely one of the box books.  Alas, I did not read it, but there are some covers you don’t forget.

  16. 16
    LEW says:

    I sure hope those are ass-less chaps.

    spam word:  service28.  The Venuses, Cowboys, and Vixens are about to be serviced 28 times.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    lizw65 says:

    Holy Narcoleptic Heroines, Batman!
    #3 in particular, just looks pissed off at having her nap interrupted by Mr. Shirtless Mullet Guy.  And is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong with that cowgirl’s neck?!

  19. 19
    Sarah W says:

    The Vixen has obviously had a little too much rohypnol at the marina costume party and that nice Mr. Mullet from the houseboat next door is trying to get her home, except her anachronistic Jimmy Choos got caught in her hem and she’s walking her dress off instead . . . It’s all perfectly innocent, officer, I swear!

    I have to say that the cowboy looks pretty embarrassed to be wearing that getup, too . . .

  20. 20
    Vixenbib says:

    I’m curious as to what happened to the bottom of guy #3’s legs? They seem to stop at the knee while hers dress goes all the way to the bottom edge of the cover.

    Hhmm… I think this is an optical illusion.  MyLordVixen is knee-deep in the sea (the clue is there for all to see in the shape of the ship, stage right), whilst MyLadyVixen is still on the beach.  The Artist seems to have been undecided – whether to portray a paddling MyLordVixen OR to portray him groping and disrobing a swooning MyLadyVixen?  Obviously it would have been more politically correct to have had him paddling – unless My Lady Vixen had given written consent for the other, prior to the act.

    from72 – well, that explains it

  21. 21
    SonomaLass says:

    Love me some cover snark! Thanks ladies for the bright spot in my morning. (And no, that’s nothing like the wet spot in the bed.)

  22. 22
    Elyse Mady says:

    It’s so pink and so ruffly and so anatomically improbable.
    It’s like I’m in my grandma’s reading room again and I’m 13.


  23. 23
    JamiSings says:

    Cover #2 guy looks like some unholy cross between Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, and a professional body builder about to pick up some tomboyish jailbait.

  24. 24
    Elysabeth says:

    Yeah.. I saw PENIS Rising, not VENUS.

    Same diff, right?

  25. 25
    Betty Fokker says:

    The cover of book one was simply indicating that her Glittery Hooha was so magical that it started to emit fairy-bubbles with a good fairy in each one. Considering the hero seems to be sporting a mullet, she’ll need every fairy she’s got.

    I think that book 2 was actually part of the elusive “to be a hag” series. That is clearly a gay man advising his hag on how she can also find, entice & kiss a cowboy, just like he did at the Wild West themed gay bar the night before.

    The hero has blush on his manly cheekbones … considering the makeup they must be pirates aboard the good ship Mary Kay, and they pillage exclusively along the Avon River, in England.

  26. 26
    Jackie H says:

    Venus Rising… Are they talking about her clit? Is it mutant-sized and mullet dude doesn’t know it? O_O

  27. 27
    laurad says:

    #2 man looks like Jack Lord…….but oh, am I dating myself by saying that.

  28. 28
    Jes1 says:

    Hero #3 looks like he could be Patrick Swayze’s brother.  And yes, the heroine looks like Catherine Zeta Jones playing the corpse.  I guess I missed the necrophilia romance sub-genre of romance novels.  It must have been the predecessor to the zombie romances we are getting now.
    Spamword reading75, and yes I will be reading when I am 75 (and hopefully beyond).

  29. 29
    Anne M Stewart says:

    Bwa~ Oh hurrah, vintage cover-snark on my birthday! ?

    It looks like that building in the first can’t quite decide what era it wants to be in, other than Ridiculous. Kind of like her “dress”.

  30. 30
    Daisy Harris says:

    I am wiping tears off my face due to laughing so hard. Every time I try to stop, and start cracking up again.  People are staring to point and stare.

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