Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, RedHeadedGirl and I are here to help you learn about muscles. Specifically male muscles. The degree to which low body fat ratio and muscular definition have become omnipresent on romance covers means that we can all learn together about the intricacies of the human muscular system. It's getting to the point where I think I could pass an advanced anatomy exam about upper body male muscular structure just from all the flexing cover models.
RedHeadedGirl says, “I think we found all the waxed man titty. And man backy.”
Yes. Yes, we did.
And I wouldn't have found some of these without Jennifer Porter from RNN, so we had to ask her to join us to discuss all the muscular wtfery.
Sarah: What's going on with his left shoulder? Is there some sort of subliminal message going on in the muscle pattern? Is that an accidental peen and balls in there?
Amanda: If hockey were played shirtless and in a pair of snug-fitting jeans, I'd probably be more apt to watch it.
Elyse: I don't know what weirds me out more about Blue Lines, his muscles or the fact that he's wearing Mom Jeans.
Redheadedgirl: Those jeans look a little mommish to me. And we're assassinating people on the hockey ice now? I mean, that does kind of explain the glorious choke of the US men's Olympic hockey team, but….
Carrie: Brains of granite, muscles of silly putty.
Jennifer: This guy's back is captivating. I couldn't look away while I traced his muscles seeing different shapes. Can you find the penis embedded his lower back?
Sarah: Jennifer Porter tweeted about this cover, specifically about the dude's back, which, yeah. Whoa. What is that in the middle? Trapezius gone swinging?
Jennifer: I can't decide if this dude has baseballs busting out of his back or if he deliberately groomed his muscles in order to make them into a heart shape for his lady love. Because nothing says “I love you” like overly-developed trapezius muscles when a man bows down to you.
Amanda: Is this a scifi novel? Because I'm just waiting for a creature to pop out of his back, a la Aliens style.
Elyse: Freedom from Scoliosis? Seriously, WTF. Has the artist never seen an actual human being before? Was his spine removed?
Sarah: Nope, that's a photograph and those muscles are all real. I had to go ask a physical therapist which muscles they are. Answer: trapizius and rhomboid. Or, in scientific language, trapizius and rhomboid LIKE DAMN.
RedHeadedGirl: I don't even know what's going on there. Is he gonna sprout wings?
Sarah: The same night I was looking at the Aleo cover, Jennifer Porter was tweeting about these covers – and she's absolutely right: this guy would TOTALLY dance with his own abs. If his abs were a landscape you'd need all wheel drive to get across. It's like the Grand Canyon of abs in there, to say nothing of the obliques. How low is that dude's body fat?
Jennifer: Stare as this warlock's muscled abs dance in delight. You will be mesmerized. But watch out. His pebbled nipples might poke your eyes out.
Amanda: Well, we're off to a great start because I totally misread “A Cursed Princes Novella” as “A Cursed Princes Nipple” and now I can't focus on anything but his nipples.
Sarah: One looks a little…sad.
Elyse: The Warlocks Dance apparently requires an additional set of hip bones. Maybe warlocks have extra hip bones for her to hold onto during…you know…dancing.
RedHeadedGirl: Look, I'm just concerned about his shitty posture. I can't focus on the muscles. STAND UP STRAIGHT MY GOD.
Sarah: Taking shots? Why, because this is the easiest quiz ever? This dude is 100% anatomy chart. Biceps brachii, tricep, deltoid, rectus abdominus, and HELLO pectoralis major. Actually, I think he has a pectoralis brigadier general.
Amanda: Are we talking body shots? Because I could probably get on board with that one.
Elyse: Taking Shots…of human growth hormone.
RedHeadedGirl: I'll take one to go.
Jennifer: This dude stops all shots with amazing pecs and six pack abs. His moobs even catch his sensitive man tears. He might play hockey too.
But before we go - @kpdacey1 found some accidental dong when Harlequin was having a spot-the-difference game… and the accidental peen was not the difference:
Your pop quiz on muscle anatomy will be tomorrow. Make sure you study! (Kidding!)