Is that a dead rat on your upper lip, or are you just happy to see me?

When I saw the following covers while browsing the 35-cent rack at Cameron’s Books in downtown Portland, I knew I had to buy them, scan them in and share them with the Bitchery. Oh yeah. That’s how dedicated I am to this blog: I plonked down $1.05 just so your retinas can be as thoroughly seared as mine were. That’s true love, baby. The kind of love that gives you a black eye, then tells you that it’s for your own good, darlin’.

Not unlike the kind of love I imagine the heroes on these covers giving to the heroines. I mean, really. Just look at them.


Sarah: I have fantasies of a hairbrush and a more supportive bra.

Candy: The fantasy here is, she’s the bored, lonely housewife, and he’s the cable guy come over to check the state of her *wocka-chika-wocka-chika* reception and connection.


Sarah: Yeah, you know what that bittersweet sacrifice is? Marrying him knowing that he’s GAY.

Or, now that I take a closer look, it could be that the one on the left has to sacrifice her schmeckie because she’s a MAN, baby, YEAH.

Candy: Once again: Willem Dafoe in drag is NOT an acceptable substitute for a female model. Christ. And accordingly, cover artists should never use Uncle Herbert—you know, the uncle who always hugged you just that little bit too long and made the awkward, discomfiting jokes about your development when your breasts started growing—as a model for the hero. Common sense, people! 


Sarah: “Thank you, darling.”

“You’re welcome. For what?”

“For allowing me to cut off a giant swath of your hair to paste to my upper lips. The Mounties will never suspect it’s me, even if my moustache doesn’t match my hair in the slightest.”

Candy: Look, what did I say about the use of creepy uncles on covers? I mean, this one has even clearly kidnapped his 16-year-old niece and spirited her away so’s he can add her to his creepy Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints

harem sex slave ring

collection of wives.

Comments are Closed

  1. Jennie says:

    Consider it money well spent—you added a bright spot to my otherwise overly oppressively hot day.  🙂

    The 1st cover had me humming “Lola” again.

    The 2nd cover looks like “Greg Brady does the houseboy from the Birdcage” (remember the scene where s/he said she was a combination of Lucy & Ricky with the red wig??)

    The 3rd cover looks like a Red Cross first aid poster for the Heimlich maneuver.

  2. Cynthia says:

    On the first cover, I’m not sure if that’s even a mustache on that guy. I mean, look at his face. He looks like the operation for his cleft palate was severely botched. And what’s with the indented nipple on her right boob? Did she take off her shirt so she could get more comfortable? And why is she dressed like that when the rest of those women are all dressed in 1880’s country ball dresses? Is she trying to show us how much she loves her Hane’s?

    On that second cover, that’s John Stossel, 10 years in the past gathering the truth about men attracted to transvestites for an undercover 20/20 segment. Hmm…those legs look a little too smooth, don’t they? Bet he shaved ‘em so he could feel pretty like his “girlfriend.”

    On the third cover, the guy looks like one of those serial killers that fool a woman into believing he’s madly in love with her, only what he’s really doing is slowwwwly walking backwards towards the edge of a cliff, in shuffling little back steps where he’ll suddenly spin around, let the poor woman go, and watch her tumble to oblivion onto the mist covered rocks below. “Bwuuuhahaha!” he’ll shout and then rip off his fake mustache. Unknown to him, she miraculously survives and goes on to write a snarky blog in the far future about to-stupid-to-live heroines.

  3. hornblower says:

    On the 3rd one, which is the title & which is the author’s name? Is it Myrna Temte by Wendy Wyoming or Wendy Wyoming by Myrna Tempte? And isn’t it weird either way?

  4. June says:

    I’d have to say that Myrna Tempte would be a weirder title than Wendy Wyoming.

    Kind of.

    Who came up with that??  I think I need a synopsis of that plot.  Does the heroine go around promoting Wyoming tourism??

  5. Miri says:

    Dude!My grandmother totaly has that EXACT sweatshirt! And that haircut too!
    huh? hold on! Grammie?!?

  6. Cynthia says:

    Yes, Miri, it was your grammie, Wendy Wyoming, that miraculously survived the encounter with the evil seducer of young country girls. She had to change her name and move several times to make sure she escaped.

    How do you feel knowing that everything your grammie told you about her past is a lie?

  7. KariBelle says:

    The scariest part of this for me is that I can remember when I was a little girl in the 70’s and my Dad had a moustache just like those.  In fact, if Fantasy Man had darker hair he would look a lot like my Dad.  Holy Crap!  Maybe that is how they paid for my private school tuition!!!

  8. Sallyacious says:

    Now I know why I prefer historicals to contemporary romances. Because I would prefer to fantasize about a time when the clothing was not as shudder-inducing as the shorts on the guy in Bittersweet Sacrifice.

    Even without any other clues (plots, etc.), I can still tell you that these covers are all from the 80’s. Look at the earrings. I swear, the fashion in that decade (and I was deeply into the fashion of the 80’s) has a look that is unlike any other. No wonder I embraced grunge with such a passion when Nirvana brought it to the fore.

  9. harmony says:

    I have actually read Wendy Wyoming… back in the 80s sometime when the mustache wasn’t so terrifying.  She is a sultry DJ with a sexy voice that woos him over the airwaves, and she is just a bitty thing, so he has to make her a step to kiss him.  He stalks her all around town and then they have some (as my 14 year old brain remembers it) really hot sex.  She does a lot of purring and murmuring and rasping huskily.  And he is sort of sensitive in an 80s way, but not enough that he isn’t determined to possess her, with a twitching jaw and a constant boner.

  10. Carrie Lofty says:

    Yeah, but go into any teen clothing store in the mall (where the X-LARGE is a regular size 8), and the denim skirts with frilly lace and the stretch leggings – they’re back!

    My dad STILL has that moustache, so fancying those men is doubly impossible for men.  He and Tom Selleck were the only two Americans left with such a thing – but then Tom got wise and shaved.

    Oh, and Wendy Montana Utah Colorado is SOOO Delta Burke!!  Back when she was skinny for a minute in Designing Women.

  11. Carrie Lofty says:

    I meant: doubly impossible for me.

  12. KariBelle says:

    “…she is just a bitty thing, so he has to make her a step to kiss him.”

    WHAAA?  He makes her a STEP.  Can’t he bend his lazy ass over for a kiss?  My Dad was 14 inches taller than my Mom and there were no special kissing steps in my house when I was a kid, and Dad was a carpenter.  If they needed a step he would have made it.

    Candy, has your Very Tall Husband made a step for you?

  13. Miri says:

    Yes, Miri, it was your grammie, Wendy Wyoming, that miraculously survived the encounter with the evil seducer of young country girls. She had to change her name and move several times to make sure she escaped.

    How do you feel knowing that everything your grammie told you about her past is a lie?

    I knew something was fishy when Dear Grammie would stand on that old step stool and look longingly toward the dusky hills!

  14. Candy says:

    Candy, has your Very Tall Husband made a step for you?

    Ha, no! I mean, there have been occasions when I’ve clambered onto a chair just so I can look him in the eye, but otherwise, any time we want to smooch, I tippy-tippy-tippy toe way the hell up, and he bends way the fuck down. If we want to get serious about the kissin’, sitting down or lying down is the only way.

    Anyway, making a kissin’ step is sweet, but ultimately, retarded.

    DAMMIT, now I’m going to have to read Wendy Wyoming, because I’m too curious about it not to. You guys suck! *shakes fist at Bitchery*

  15. Wry Hag says:

    I believe the “Bittersweet Sacrifice” was made by the chicken whose legs that guy stole.

  16. bettie says:

    Her Fantasy Man is the old Brawny papertowel model?  I wonder if his name is Chad Sexington…

    Was his Bittersweet Sacrifice leg hair?  His limbs are suspiciously smooth for a guy with black hair and a ‘stache.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a romance cover on which the hero wears shorts.  Now I know why…

  17. Cindy says:

    Ick….and double Ick on these covers…

    Two of my fantasy guys had tashes back in the day (tom selleck and carl weathers) when did it become an automatic ick?

  18. kate r says:

    so you’re taking that last step and actually reading them for us? Oh Candy, I’m so. . .touched.

    You DO love us. you DO.

  19. Jade James says:

    The last two covers are awesome! I’m actually laughing with tears in my eyes.

    William Dafoe in drag-that’s so a man in the cover. They just gave him a red wig.

  20. Cynthia says:

    “I knew something was fishy when Dear Grammie would stand on that old step stool and look longingly toward the dusky hills!”

    Miri, ROTFLMAO!!!

  21. Sweet, Sweet Lauri Doublevie says:

    The “woman” with the red hair (wig) in the third one looks more like RuPaul if he/she lost weight or a tanorexic Terry Sweeney.

    For those who aren’t familiar with him, Terry Sweeney is a comedy writer and former castmember of the long-running sketch comedy show, “Saturday Night Live”. He’s known for two things:

    1) Being the only male homosexual to be hired as a castmember (and a writer).

    2) Impersonating Nancy Reagan (Ron Reagan, Jr., who hosted the season that Terry Sweeney was on even said that Sweeney’s impersonation was accurate).

    Here’s a picture of him and some of the celebrities he impersonated:

  22. Cynthia says:

    Sweeney or…

    “she” could possibly be this character:

    Come to think of it, Terry Sweeny and Carrot Top do look an awful lot alike. Maybe a bit too much. Could they have been twins separated at birth?

  23. Felice says:

    Wendy is totally Delta Burke. The guy with bleached blond hair (or dyed mustache, take your pick) looks like Cary Elwes, much as it pains me to say it.

  24. MelissaP says:

    Is that Harry Reems on the first cover?

  25. --E says:

    Holy crap, he does look like Cary Elwes! Cary Elwes with a big furry caterpillar crawling across his face.

    And Delta is thinking, “Okay, I’ll stroke his face, a little closer, a little closer…” and in about five seconds she’s gonna rip that thing off his face.

  26. Lisa #2 says:

    Okay, the guy with the shorts and sneakers.  I notice he’s not wearing socks.  I can imagine the love scene now as he toes off his shoes and the green, wavy stench slowly rises as they kiss.  Socks with sneakers people…please!

  27. Wry Hag says:

    Y’know, “Fantasy Man” is quite a looker.  (Yeah, okay, so it’s been a while….)

  28. Tara Marie says:

    You know what frightens me?  I read all of these when they were new.

  29. DebH says:

    These guys all look like poster boys for a date-rape drug.  Especially Bachelor-Stache #2.  Although Cookie the Crossdressing Clown doesn’t look like s/he needs too much encouragement.

  30. Danielle says:

    Ah, back in time to the 80s: the days of Tom Selleck in teeny-tiny shorts and the porn ‘stache.

    I’ve noticed that the only male demographic in which the ‘stache alone (without the camouflaging goatee) still reigns is law enforcement officers. Take that for what you will.

    Also, the drag queen on the cover of Bittersweet Sacrifice is wearing lip gloss that clashes HORRIBLY with his bronzer and dyed hair.

  31. Sallyacious says:

    In looking at Fantasy Man again, I don’t think he’s her fantasy. The story on the cover seems to be him saying, “Hey, there baby. I’m the man of your dreams.” But if you’ll note the look on her face and the way she’s holding his arm, she seems to be responding with, “Who the fuck are you?”

  32. Estelle Chauvelin says:

    I was watching Boondock Saints last week, and that is a frightening resemblance to Willem DeFoe in drag.

  33. Madd says:

    Mr. Shorts in Bitersweet Sacrifice keeps making me think of Joel Siegel. Kind of creepy …

  34. Anonymous says:

    And accordingly, cover artists should never use Uncle Herbert—

    …I will NOT sleep tonight, ladies. Jesus. He wasn’t my uncle but my mother’s ex boyfriend – and named Herbert. And damn awkward it was. Eek.

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