Cover Snark: Red Hair + Teal Headband = Romance!

Sarah: Sometimes you find the most amazing old skool covers. And sometimes really awesome librarians and readers like Lady R. email you a heads up that, wow, yes, that is a teal headband. Did they have terry cloth back then? I had no idea! 

So let's take a trip back in time with all of us here at Bitchery HQ, where the women were really, really, no, REALLY WE MEAN IT redheads, and the men were made more men-ful with the addition of teal.

RedHeadedGirl: Holy GOD.  First off, I kinda want to read ALL of these.  

Amanda: Ah, I miss the days where just the title of a book would make me uncomfortable.


Captive Caress by Sonya Pelton - His burning touch fired her need is the tagline. He is wearing a teal headband and she has a giant cloud of blonde curls spread out on the ground for about two feet around her head.


Sarah: I can't take my eyes off that teal. It's the most magnetic thing on the cover, right after the tagline: His burning touch fired her need. Does she need a z-pack?

I think the teal is speaking to me. Shhhh. 


RedHeadedGirl:  I hope they manage to get off the ground before the random horse tramples them or whatever.  

Amanda: If you experience any “burning touches,” please consult a physician.

Elyse: His burning touch, her fiery need… That sounds like vaginitis. Also those are some red trees. 

Carrie: His Burning Touch Fired Her Need…. It's time to test for STD's!

Also known as:  Death By Goldfish Swarm

Colorado Jewel- she's embracing him with her head thrown back and he looks asleep


Sarah: Isn't there a whole subset of historicals where her neck looks broken and he looks asleep? I think this cover is their leader. When they join together to form a cover rebellion, this cover will lead them into battle. After he wakes up and someone duct tapes her head on straight. 

RedHeadedGirl:  Is he trying to see if she has a pulse?

Amanda: I feel like we're about an inch of fabric away from a wardrobe malfunction. 

Elyse: The cover from Colorado Jewel resembles a set piece from The Book of Mormon… “Hello my name is Elder Butt Fucking Naked. Did you know the clitoris is a holy sacred thing?”

Carrie: Nope, that's not where it is.  No, really – it's not in her neck.  Think lower.

Also, Sweetie, if you make a face like that, it will freeze that way




Silken chains features a redheaded woman in a hot pink gown yikes with her head back like her neck is broken and a dude half asleep on her bosom.


Sarah: If Colorado Jewel is the leader in the broken neck cover rebellion, this one is probably second in command, resentful of Colorado Jewel's leadership because, for God's sake, Silken Chains has broken necks and sleeping dudes PLUS floating horse heads AND fuchsia. Clearly it should be the leader, but alas, no, it's not. 

RedHeadedGirl: There is something severely wrong with that horse headdress thing.  Also I just bought this based on the cover alone.  

Amanda: Wait…are they in the ocean? Where is his hand going?! Is he about to motorboat her?!! I am very uncomfortable.

Elyse: Why does the hero from Silken Chains have a flower arrangement blooming from his rectum? Are they taint lilies?

Unable to find a vase, Hans stuffed the bouquet he'd bought Beatrice in his favorite orifice.

Carrie: No, sorry, I've got nothing.  I have to go lie down now.  The shock, you know.  The trauma.


Elusive swan by Sylvie Sommerfield - there is so much pink and purple clothing going on in this cover I don't know what to tell you.


Sarah: This cover needs more teal.

RedHeadedGirl:  I don't know if I'm happy they didn't go with an obvious swan, or disappointed.  That said, his ruffled PURPLE shirt totally makes the cover.  

Amanda:  If I didn't notice the ship in the background, I would have thought this was some new Cirque du Soleil high wire act. Also, I wonder what material her dress is made out of. My money's on lycra.

Elyse: I am fairly certain that the hero from the Elusive Swan is Prince Adam from HeMan

Prince Adam from HeMan, in pink vest and purple furry mankini and leggings

Carrie: OMG.  I just can't.  I can't even.  

OK, here's the best my stunned mind can come up with:

Yup – that swan's elusive, alright.  


Elyse: Wait… I can't stop looking at the Elusive Swan. It's like it has power over me. Is the ocean pink? Are they sailing on a fucking sea of Crystal Light?


Sonya Pelton - Secret Jewel - a woman with bright red curly huge clouds of hair that go all the way down her back past the bench she's sitting on to the floor


Sarah: First, I presume this is a stepback because the title isn't on the cover. Or this book is so famous it doesn't need a name.

Second, IT'S MERIDA. It's Merida from 1994 romance cover land, but still.

I wonder what Merida would say about this cover.

gif of merida putting her hands down her face in frustration


RedHeadedGirl: Is she inviting someone to come help her brush her hair?  

Amanda: Is it weird that I imagine this being The Childlike Empress all grown up? I sincerely hope she gives those locks a conditioning treatment every few months.


The childlike empress from The Neverending Story



Elyse: Can you imagine snaking her shower drain? No innuendo intended.

Carrie: Holding Out For a Hairdresser.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Heather S says:

    COVER SNARK! WOOT! I have to say that the “Elusive Swan” cover is my favorite, though I do dig the “grown-up Merida on a romance novel cover circa 1994” look, too. Maybe Merida ages in reverse? And a bit more slowly? Kind of like Athena – just appeared fully grown? IMHO, the best cover snark comes from the 80s and 90s. Those decades were the heyday of the fuchsia and crazysauce cover elements, man. I think the animal freaking the you-know-what out is my favorite of the Old Skool cover requirements, though. :P

  2. 2
    Heather S says:

    Also, the Merida book’s title is “Secret Jewel”. Whatever jewel is secret, it must be hidden in her hair.

  3. 3
    Heather S says:

    Sorry to spam, but after looking at Sonya Pelton’s book covers on GoodReads, I think she could provide ample cover snark fodder all by her lonesome.

  4. 4
    Lostshadows says:

    I can’t figure out if the guy on the cover Elusive Swan is wearing shorts or really tall boots. I think they also both fainted, while in the process of supporting the other person, who had just fainted.

  5. 5

    Elusive Swan just messed me up about 10 different ways.

    The least of which was me thinking that her elbow was a snazzy little pink handbag he had over his shoulder.

    I also thought it said Elusive Susan… that font is a nightmare. Notice the V that curls over the U for no apparent reason.

  6. 6
    M. Jean Gardiner says:

    I’d swear my mother had these exact books. I remember trying to peel off those corner hologram stickers. They don’t come off.

  7. 7

    Is it just me or should Colorado Jewel be subtitled ‘Caring For Corpses’. It looks like a how-to for necrophiliacs.

  8. 8
    Chris Alexander says:

    These are the covers you can look at and keep finding new things on them. A whole world of discovery. I secretly love them.

  9. 9
    Electric Landlady says:

    I just realized that if you look at it sideways, the V in Elusive Swan makes… a swan! Amalie, there IS a reason!

  10. 10
    redheadedgirl says:


    You have no idea what BS is hidden by that cover.  No.  Idea.

  11. 11
    ocylott says:

    Sorry, Elise, but the hero of Elusive Swan isn’t Prince Adam.  I’m at least 97% sure that cover depicts Magic Earring Ken and Barbie.

    Remember the “gay Ken doll” controversy of the early 90s?  Yeah.  Dead ringer.

  12. 12
    Nali says:

    “You have no idea what BS is hidden by that cover.  No.  Idea.”

    @redheadedgirl You ARE going to share with us, right? RIGHT?!?

    Because I am in the middle of a move and can’t afford the time (or money) to go chasing down the crazysauce myself. And I could *really* use some crazysauce right about now.

  13. 13
    E. Jamie says:

    Lol! These are awesome in their cray cray. Captive Caress: aka “The Bad Touch”
    So many of these are oooh look at ze boobies! Be mesmerized by the power of my boobies!

    Even the guy in Elusive Swan wanted to give it a go. “Look wench! Look at my boobies!”

    And that red head…oh my…Crystal Gale’s Scottish sister? (showing my age maybe?)Lol!

  14. 14
    LauraL says:

    Those were the days, when the horse running rampant represented their unbridled love.

    Of course there will be hoof prints all over their asses if they don’t stop making all those noises and scaring the horses.


  15. 15
    azteclady says:

    Can you imagine snaking her shower drain? No innuendo intended.

    Sorry, Elyse, innuendo taken nonetheless. *snicker*

  16. 16
    Shae Connor says:

    I am fairly certain that the hero on Elusive Swan is the impossibly illicit love child of Dread Pirate Roberts and Ren McCormack from Footloose.

    Also, I think Merida/Childlike Empress has more than a little Red Sonja in her blood (appropriate author name and all).

  17. 17
    kkw says:

    I totally though the pirate with the jaunty bandana was wearing cut off sweatpants, like he was all set to go jogging with teal headband dude as soon as their lady friends dozed off.

    But those are boots. And those dudes need a nap as badly as their lady friends. It’s been a long hard cover shoot.

    Or they find the bondage theme romance as tedious as I do.

  18. 18
    Todd says:

    I think the teal headband is actually Ultrasuede (remember that? or are you too young?)

  19. 19
    Kati says:

    The thing the heroine on the cover of Colorado Jewel is doing with her head? It’s what our black lab does if you scratch him under his collar. Sometimes he topples over in ecstasy. Which is clearly why the hero is bracing so hard. She’s toppling over with the ecstasy.

    You’re welcome.

  20. 20

    So Captive Caress is really a fanfic of Dr. Seuss’ Red Fish, Blue Fish? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this? ;)

  21. 21
    P. J. Dean says:

    In reference to the “Merida” like chick, how does she wipe, pray tell?

  22. 22
    denise says:

    y’all crack me up

  23. 23
    Ginger Rapport says:

    Is it okay if I bitch about a different set of covers?? I’m currently reading the Jackson series from Victoria Dahl.  I’ve really enjoyed the books but the covers suck! The first book in the series is about an angry young women with spiky brown, purple and black hair who wears clunky black boots and has a ginormous attitude problem. Yet the girl on the cover looks like the typical homecoming princess wearing a pink tank top. Really?!? It has bugged me the entire series. And where are those those hot, rugged cowboys that she has writes about? The men on the covers look like they are underwear models. Really again ?!? These covers do not do these books justice. They need to find a new designer.

  24. 24

    First, please, PLEASE do another post like this again. Not that I *need* more cover trauma nightmares, but I can’t resist. I CAN’T LOOK AWAY FROM THE CRAZY!

    Also, “Elyse: The cover from Colorado Jewel resembles a set piece from The Book of Mormon… “Hello my name is Elder Butt Fucking Naked. Did you know the clitoris is a holy sacred thing?”

    OH GOD. I can’t . . . LOL. I so love when others make fun of the LDS church and that was just AWESOME. Don’t judge why I love the jokes; it’s okay for me to laugh, I’m part of the church (technically; though I’m rarely there and . . . well, let’s not get into that. LOL)

    I like to hope we’ve came a loooooong way with romance covers since these, but then I stumble upon a few (mostly self-pub) that make me cringe . . .


  25. 25
    Charlotte Russell says:

    Was Richard Simmons the cover model for Captive Caress? If so, they did a fab job with photoshop.

    Tip of the day: Do not eat tortilla chips while reading Cover Snark. Danger of choking too high.

  26. 26
    Erin L says:

    I just stared at the W in swan for entirely too long trying to figure out if the font is made to look like swan heads. I want to say yes, but I’m not sure if my eyes are just suffering from some hopfully recoverable trauma from trying to take in all horrible.

  27. 27
    Luciana says:

    I probably shouldn’t have been eating an apple while reading this. I almost choked no less than five times. I love the cover snark!

  28. 28
    Melonie says:

    An SB Cover Snark post?!? Squee! This is how I fell in love with you in the first place :) It’s like we’re an old married couple and you put on that shirt that made me so hot for you when we were teenagers… ahem.
    Anyway – mad props to ocylott (comment 11) for that Ken & Barbie reference, double props if said commenter can find those dolls and re-create the cover (I sense a concept for a new tumblr page coming on)

    Comment that earned the biggest snort laugh from me was Amanda’s confusion followed by discomfort on Silken Chains.

    I’m glad to see the dead ringer for Richard Harris in his A Man Called Horse outfit has color coordinated his headband and his eyeshadow.

    And as someone who is often told she has Merida hair, I feel that girl’s pain. Sweetheart, we have a rule – if you can sit on it, it’s time for a trim.

  29. 29
    Mag says:

    Here’s the deal with Silken Chains. Look at her expression.  She is clearly trying to avoid his horrific dragon breath.  All the good smells are at his butt with the flowers.

  30. 30
    colorlessblue says:

    I think you’re all so overwhelmed by the teal headband that you didn’t even notice it’s feathered. We’re looking at a bloody blonde Native American man. *despairs*

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