Cover Snark: What Is He Hunting?

Because I'm unkind and I have email, I revealed a cover in pieces to RedHeadedGirl, Elyse, Carrie and Amanda, because if I dropped the whole glorious image… it’s just too much.

I mean it – the foundation of the universe might crack if I revealed this thing all at once. It's that powerful.

So, to start! Ready?

According to the back cover copy (which is incredible), the hero is hunting something. Here's a hint - it is not this:

A close up of one section of the cover: deer. Baby deer. But that's not what he's hunting.


Sarah: What is the hero hunting?

Amanda: I hope he’s not hunting the heroine. Does this book entail some kind of blood sport?

Carrie: If he's not hunting Cthulhu, I for one will be gravely disappointed.  Realisitically, I'm gonna guess…unicorn (that bastard!).


Carrie: Maybe she's a were-deer!

Elyse: The severed heads of were-deer apparently


Sarah:  We will return to question 1 in a moment. Mwahaha. 

Question 2: What part of the hero’s body is this?

Close up of the hero's back musculature



Question 3: What is the heroine wearing on the cover?

Close up of the heroine, who is wearing a white diaphanous shift of something over her breasts and hip



Sarah: My guesses:

a. Chiffon clouds
b. Dryer sheets, extra long
c. Water
d. Intestines

Amanda: Is it a body part? I feel like this is a trick question. I’m going to say back because that has the largest surface area and therefore, ups my chances of being right. Hopefully.

As for the heroine, f I had to choose, I’d go with B. Or maybe some smoke. Is something on fire nearby?

Elyse: That's either an extreme close up of labia (minora or majora?…not sure which) or a pilonidal cyst. Or a potato. Could be potato. If it's a sack, then he shaves IMHO

As for her dress…I got nothing. But I can see nipple, Amazon! Nipple!


I think that's a butt-crack. 

Carrie: Him – ribs

Her – a diaphanous shawl woven of silk as fine and translucent as moonlight.  Woven by faeries.  Or nuns.  Or faeire nuns!


Sarah: Wow. The fact that you’ve come SO CLOSE is amazing. Here is the answer to the first question: What is he hunting?


He's hunting unicorn. And there's a unicorn and a rainbow on the cover.


Sarah: He's hunting unicorns. Seriously, unicorns. Mother truckin’ unicorns.

From the back cover copy:

Frayne's quest left him with little time for anything other than his search for the unicorn, yet he could not believe his good fortune when he first set eyes on the ravishingly beautiful Aurora.

Carrie: Holy rainbows and glitter, Batman, I was right!  Called it!  Yeah!


Sarah: Here is the full cover. Are you ready? 

Enchanted Paradise - he's mouthing her neck, she's wearing a fluffy dryer sheet, and there are UNICORNS AND RAINBOWS



Sarah: The back cover copy completely amazing:

Aurora knew that she didn't belong with the elves who raised her, but was happy to live among the gentle creatures of the glade. It was not until she met Frayne that she understood her destiny was in his embrace. Frayne – magnificent warrior, reckless lover – the only man Aurora ever needed. The sight of his strong, muscular chest made her weak with longing, for once he awakened her to the joys of passion, she wanted to spend the rest of her nights with him alone!

Frayne's quest left him with little time for anything other than his search for the unicorn, yet he could not believe his good fortune when he first set eyes on the ravishingly beautiful Aurora. She was an innocent child on the brink of womanhood, and his desire for her pulsed through his body with burning fury. Her long raven hair was like silk to his touch; her ruby lips beckoned for his kiss. He knew he must possess her totally and have her by his side, so together they could share love's Enchanted Paradise


Amanda: I’m not going to lie. This is, by far, the greatest cover I have ever seen. I would pay to have this blown up and framed. I’m serious.

And Aurora and Frayne…ick. Frayne is not something I want to exclaim in the throes of passion. I also hope he learns to work on his posture.


Carrie:  Can I point out that I totally also called that she is wearing a shawl?  One presumably woven by the very elves who raised her?  Yes I know, elves are not faeries – but I feel quite confident that the author does NOT know and has sort of lopped all fey together into one gamboling, frolicing, diaphanous-scarf-weaving category.  Also I correctly identified the body part.  Should I be elated at my cover ID prowess or appalled?

Where does she find all the 1980’s make-up in the forest?  The elves, again?  Is her make up made from berries and herbs, or distilled directly from multi-colored unicorn farts?

The description of her as a child is both disturbing and inaccurate, if the cover model is any indicator.


Sarah: GET THIS. It gets EVEN MORE GOODER. It’s a TRILOGY. There are TWO MORE. Enchanted Paradise ends with them apart, not together. YOU HAVE TO KEEP READING.

Because Frayne has to go find some goddam crystal rose. And while he’s gone he thinks she’s dead and her spirit is following him.

Which is so not working for him because he wants to “wrap his legs around hers and be driven to the heights of rapture only his true love could provide.

How does that work?

Crystal Paradise - She's still wearing a sheet, this time blue


Sarah: And the cover copy for Crystal Paradise is equally incredible.

Aurora thought she had finally found contentment when she was held in her lover’s arms. But that happiness was short-lived when Frayne had to leave her to continue on his quest for adventure, this time to find a perfect crystal rose. Once separated from him, Aurora knew that she would never again be whole until their lips met in a searing kiss; their flesh touched in a raging embrace … and they joined together as one in passion’s burning fury…

Frayne was sure his life was over when he saw a false vision of Aurora’s death. With little reason left for caution, he plunged into great danger in his search for the crystal rose. Yet, like an angel, the spirit of Aurora hovered over him, always guarding him, reminding him of their shared ecstasy. More than ever, Frayne longed to crush her to his chest, wrap his legs around hers and be driven to the heights of rapture only his true love could provide. Until he could prove that his vision was true, he would seek out his destiny … to once again share with Aurora love’s sparkling CRYSTAL PARADISE


Wait… RedHeadedGirl, are you still breathing? Brace yourself.

Beloved Paradise - same two people, this time in a waterfall with heroine in a one shouldered dress


Sarah: I think the whole story starts over, because the summary of this book is so similar to book one. I think amnesia may be involved, too:

Lost and lonely in an enchanted land, beautiful Aurora search for the secret of her true identity. And just as she thought all hope was gone she saw the handsome warrior appear out of the rainbow mist. His passion-filled kiss aroused her desire, his heated touch against her ivory flesh caused her blood to stir. He promised to help her in her desperate quest – but only if she'd pledge her love in return…

Hypnotized by her beauty, addicted to her sweet embrace, Frayne was determined to win Aurora's heart. She was fresh and young, vibrant and alluring, and he wanted her more than any woman he had ever known. He was used to fighting for what he wanted – the sensuous maiden would be a glorious prize. He would uncover her secret, reveal the truth – and then claim her as his own in their … Beloved Paradise.

I’m so confused. But wait, I have one more gift for y’all.

The Map. Of their land. 



Map of the world including The Black Lava Plain, Fertile Plains, and a tree called TrueWood.



Aw yeah.

RedHeadedGirl, do I need to send resuscitation equipment?


Carrie:  This combination of innocence (rainbows, unicorns, crystal roses), sexual longing (need I say) and torrid yet utterly confusing sex (I’m guessing) is like every seventh grade girls’ psyche completely contained within three books.  Or at least mine.  If you were one of those girls who looked for torrid novels while babysitting (I AM NOT SAYING I EVER DID, NOPE, NOT SAYING) these would have been the Holy Grail, the One Ring, and the briefcase in Pulp Fiction rolled into one.

Maybe her clothes get more opaque as she gets more sexually experienced as a metaphor for lost innocence.  

I love how the map has something marked “Active Volcano”.  First of all, of course it's active.  No author of this caliber would throw in a volcano and not make it active. 

Plus it's literally named “Active Volcano”, like she just threw up her hands in exhaustion and said, “You know what?  Fuck it.  I am so sick of naming stuff.  I can't even”.


RHG: Aurora?  Elves? 


I see as we go she gets more opaque drapery.

Unicorn, crystal rose and then book three seems to be like, starting over agian?  WHAT THE HELL IS THIS

(No I am not breathing)

(I'm headtilting like a confused puppy)

Headtilting puppy - left then right


Sarah: RHG, do you want me to send you this one, along with Fires of Surrender?

RHG: yes please

Carrie: RHG’s humble yes please cracks me up.  RedHeadedGirl, NEVER THROW IT AWAY.  We all have to read it.  I have to read the unicorn one, anyway.  We must mail it to each other like a diabolical chain letter!

Amanda: Like those pants in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but this is way better.

Elyse: Wait, is the butterfly wing growing out of his foot?

It's like Lisa Frank illustrated a romance novel…

Lisa Frank technicolor rainbow unicorns on a field of clouds

RHG: That's the perfect description of it.

Sarah: Is this the only example of a hero hunting unicorns in fantasy romance? Have we stumbled upon something truly unique? There can't be others. (I hope there are not others.)

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Brynhild says:

    HOLY CRAP YOU’RE IN MY BRAIN because my brain immediately went to Lisa Frank.

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    OMG – did I laugh!

  3. 3
    pet says:

    The cutiest pup ever!
    And the covers are in their own special category

  4. 4
    Bea says:

    I’m laughing so hard my sides hurt! The Tolkien-ish map is priceless! Truewood with the arrow pointing downward? Would that be the place where Aurora regains her memory in book 3 after Frayne’s earthshattering Truewood’s lovemaking?

  5. 5
    TheoLibrarian says:

    If I said I didn’t dash off to Amazon first thing and purchase my own copy, I would be lying.  This is going to be so good!

  6. 6
    Jenn says:

    Ok. The guys body part picture… Am I the only one seeing a hand? I see 3 fingers and a thumb? It’s a giant left hand inside that guys side!!!!!

  7. 7
    Lostshadows says:

    Looking at her expression on all three covers, are you sure this shouldn’t be titled “Frayne and the Real Girl(tm)”?

  8. 8
    Todd says:

    hmmm … you know, after a night of passion, Aurora won’t be any good for attracting unicorns anymore ….

  9. 9
    laj says:

    Coffee spew…..

    Great way to start the week! Thanks.

  10. 10
    Qualisign says:

    “Frayne’s quest left him with little time for anything other than his search for the unicorn, yet he could not believe his good fortune when he first set eyes on the ravishingly beautiful Aurora. ***She was an innocent child on the brink of womanhood,*** and his desire for her pulsed through his body with burning fury.”

    Sorry, but, ick.

  11. 11
    Francesca says:

    I remember those covers! I tried to read Enchanted Paradise when it came out in 1985, but couldn’t make it past the first few pages. Those 1980’s Zebra Historicals all had the same Pino cover, which I absolutely adored; I guess they appealed to my inner Disney Princess. The actual books, however, tended to be pretty awful; I learned that the hard way. After two or three of these, I automatically by-passed the Zebra line, but my love for those covers endures to this day.

  12. 12

    OMG! It does remind me of Lisa Frank. That is too funny.

  13. 13
    Dr.Zoidberg says:

    That’s a terrible unicorn. The horn is right between its eyes – what the hell, man?!

  14. 14
    Heather S says:

    Those covers are amazing (but the first one is REALLY something special). PLEASE, RHG, do a review of the first one after you read it. I need to live vicariously through your reading experience, and something tells me this book is gonna be awful and liberally doused in crazysauce.

  15. 15
    LauraL says:

    Oh, I remember these books! And cover art that made you search out those calico book covers so you could read about Paradise in the lunchroom at work ….

    LMAO at “It’s like Lisa Frank illustrated a romance novel…”

    Thank you for the Monday morning laugh!

  16. 16
    P. J. Dean says:

    Geez! What’s the temp in that elf-filled glade? Chick is always dressed in my grandma’s old sheer curtains. At least by book three the hero’s hand has moved to her waist and he seems to have pants on. Plus I think they are traumatizing the unicorns.

  17. 17
    astrakhan says:

    If Frayne isn’t a floating head delivering five minutes of ultimately pointless exposition, I’ll be very disappointed.

  18. 18
    Carolyn says:

    That unicorn’s horn is set too low. And … it curves!

    Could it be a metaphor??

  19. 19
    SB Sarah says:

    Chick is always dressed in my grandma’s old sheer curtains.

    That made me cry-laugh. I’m scaring the dogs with the noises I’m making at the comments.

  20. 20

    Holy mythical creature shit. Bless you for showing us this majesty.

    Now I want to write a romance wherein the hero goes unicorn hunting, and the unicorns are all LOL nope and gore him. They agree to take in the heroine because they need opposable thumbs to open jars of Nutella. The unicorn matriarchy prospers forevermore! With rainbows, duh.

  21. 21
    Michelle in Texas says:

    OH! OH! I’m am reading this in the office. My DH is visiting with a software guy, and I am about to hurt myself trying to be quiet!

    Yes, please, RHG, review! Please, please please!!

  22. 22
    LaineyT says:

    re: Book 2 Crystal Paradise
    Is Frayne being guarded by the spirit of Aurora or by giant, mutant butterflies?!?

    Thanks for provided some Monday giggles.

  23. 23
    LaineyT says:

    Also, that is a freakishly veiny hand that our hero has on the first cover.  Yikes!

  24. 24
    Cate says:

    I stand in total awe of you…. Where else on the web can you find a site that features some bint in a pashmina, a bloke in a loin cloth & a commentary to die for ?
    Having wiped the tea off my tablet screen, I must now formally thank-you for taking one for the Bitchery & actually reading these epics ( & I’ll now confess that I just shot off to Amazon to price them !)

  25. 25
    Cate M. says:

    PLEASE tell me y’all are going to review these. Because I need to know more, here.

  26. 26
    Dibs says:

    Frayne is so frail and vain sounding.

    I move we change Frayne’s name to Truewood.

    All in favor, raise a Pino-covered book in your left hand and do the hokey-pokey.

  27. 27
    Rebecca says:

    @Todd – that was my thought too.  Have you ever read The Unicorn Creed?  It’s basically a romance where one of the main problems is that the heroine has a unicorn.  Said unicorn gets the all time great line at the end (SPOILER) “Master Colin [hero’s name], I TRUSTED you!”

  28. 28

    So here I am on Vicodin recovering from dental surgery, the exact appropriate state to try to read this kind of thing in, and THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN EBOOK.

    Internets, I AM DISAPPOINT.

  29. 29
    Christine says:

    So many LOLs! Plus, I cracked myself up by misreading the title as “Enchanted Panties.”

  30. 30
    Crystal says:

    Review this, oh so much please now.  I am so eager to see a review of this that I am unable to grammar.

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