More Cover Questions: Boys on The Right, no Left, no Right

Hi Harlequin!

You tired of me yet? I’m sure you are. But that’s ok, I still think you’re spiffy. Today’s column is all thanks to Sally, who sent this set of images in (Like how I threw you under the Harlequin bus there, Sally? Yeah, you’re welcome!).

First we have Wedding at King’s Convenience by Maureen Child

Book Cover

Is it me, or does “King’s Convenience” sound like a great name for a corner convenience store, and now I’m wondering if they got married while standing next to those rolling hot dog conveyors and the slushy CafPow machine?

But then, there’s this cover for Apuesta Segura by Maureen Child – the same book, only translated into Spanish:

Book Cover

Dios Mio!  I’ve got one question: WHICH is his original HEAD?! Is this guy possessing of two faces? Does he have TWO COMPLETE HEADS?! Is that the barrier to their happy ending, that he is his own secret twin and she can’t figure out who is who?

WOW. That could make for some serious conflict.

What do you think happened in this story that this guy ended up with two entirely different craniums? And which do you think is better? Are either his original head – or does he have a third MYSTERY head that’s never to be revealed?

Oh, Harlequin, you guys are full of mystery and pizazz. And heads.


Comments are Closed

  1. cories5 says:

    Keep the first head!  That’s Paul Marron, my current obsession!

  2. So Harlequin has done lots of focus groups and learned that those who read the Spanish version love long flowing locks and the rest of us don’t?

  3. redcrow says:

    I prefer the relatively longhaired version.

  4. Tina C. says:

    So Harlequin has done lots of focus groups and learned that those who read the Spanish version love long flowing locks and the rest of us don’t?

    I wonder if the same focus groups indicated that those who read the English version prefer sunsets and bright green fields, while those who read the Spanish version like bright sunny days in flower-filled fields and mountains.  I also love how the Spanish version has more wind—note the couple’s hair blowing in the opposite direction!

  5. I’m with Tina—points for the opposite-direction hair waftage. Clearly their passion generates its own wind power! Quick, harness that sh*t!

  6. Danielle says:

    Maybe her sigh is so lusty it’s creating enough wind to set his hair a-fluttering?

  7. Suzannah says:

    I scrolled up and down so much, I made myself dizzy.  I wonder why he also has an expensive gold watch on the Spanish cover, but no-one cares about the time on the US cover.  Love the hair blowing in opposite directions!

  8. He’s a two-face.

    (That’s my Seinfeld reference quota for the day.)

  9. Quite clearly, cover modelling is what Zaphod Beeblebrox has been up to since the days of Hitchiker.  Nice to see you back, Big Z!  How’s that third arm been working out for you?

  10. Jeannie says:

    Maybe it’s just me but the second cover squicked me out a little. He looks too young, like 21, and the watch doesn’t work for me either. Why are they set against the “Sunny Meadow” background? (Remember those Sears potrait sittings younguns? HA!)  It instantly makes me think of grass stains on those light colored shirts.

    And Sarah, I agree. The title reminds me of a convenience store name. Where’s Keith Stone, ‘cause he’s so smooth? Now he would make an interesting cover model!

  11. Jazzlet says:

    And whats going on with her jeans -> jeans skirt in the first photo?

  12. AndreaZ says:

    This talk of interchangeable heads puts me in mind of Ozma of Oz, in which Dorothy encounters a nasty princess (speaking of royals!) in the Land of Ev who switches hers out.

  13. Rima says:

    It’s like a Where’s Waldo for romance buffs! FUN! Check it out, Spanish-speakers like watches on their men. Us English speakers? Not so much.

  14. JamiSings says:

    The watch is to show he’s super rich. I’m sure it’s a Rolex or some other fancy-schmancy, costs about as much as a down payment on a house type watch.

    Longish hair on a guy – I can do the 70s hair like The Bee Gees, Barry Manilow, and Neil Diamond had back then. It was full and lush and always looked clean. This guy’s long hair, much like Fabio’s, looks stringy and greasy. More like he’s growing it out to compensate for going bald then anything else. (Think Darma’s dad on Darma & Greg.) I can’t understand why anyone would think that was attractive, no matter what their nationality.

  15. Kristina says:

    The second pic with the opposit flowing hair reminds me of the current Trojan Condom ads on TV.  Where the couple go into the pharmacy gushing about how great they’re last “session” was cuz of Trojan.  The pharmacist says something like “yeah it’ll blow your hair back”  and the couple looks at each other and sighs “yeah” with their hair moussed to hell as if the wind blew it backa nd Aqua Netted it.

    :0)  Maybe the book couple used Trojans and are just reminiscing on their post-coital bliss.

    Spam word:  Why89.  WHY do publishers use the same pics on 89 different books!!

  16. Scraps says:

    Dude?!  What is up with those man hands?  When I was able to tear my eyes away from the abtasktic abs I noticed that on both covers all of his fingers (except the thumb) are the same size.  That icks me out.  I don’t want anyone with fingers like that to be probing my whoo hooo.  The digit with the extra length is the ecstasy digit.  This photo is sadly lacking in the ecstasy digit department.

    Just saying….

    Spam phrase: hard33.  Hahahahha.  *snort*  This made soda go up into my nose.  Owwwww…I can think of 33 ways to get my man hard.

  17. Laurie says:

    Is it just me or does the hand he has wrapped around her look like it’s too low?  Like it can’t possibly be attached to the rest of him.

  18. Karen H says:

    MY first thought after seeing the title and the first cover was that you were going to complain about the dancers being in the wrong position!  That’s practically my current pet peeve, especially with historicals.  But the Spanish cover is okay in that regard.

    1) I prefer Paul Marron’s head because I prefer Paul.
    2) I TOTALLY disagree about the Spanish cover’s long haired model!!  It looks fine and I do prefer long hair to short hair, in general.  I only prefer cover 1 because of Paul, who reminds me so much of Gale Harrold in Queer as Folk.
    3) I am so TOTALLY tired of people saying nasty things about Fabio!  He’s a nice guy and he stil looks great and I don’t think his hair ever looked greasy.
    4) BIG shoutout to Jane for the ZB reference!  I miss Douglas Adams!  “42” is my answer for everything.

    Anyway, guess the publishers are trying to save some money by getting only one cover shot and then redoing it.  That and reusing the exact same cover seems to be happening more and more.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    How come the Spanish-language readers get an unobstructed view of his lower abs? Are the English-language readers too modest? (I’m not)

  20. Scraps says:

    How come the Spanish-language readers get an unobstructed view of his lower abs? Are the English-language readers too modest? (I’m not)

    Very good point.  I’m not modest either.  We should get full abs.

    And I forgot to say in my previous post.  I *heart* the first cover man’s face.  Not generally into long hair.  I get jealous when a man’s hair is better and longer than mine.

  21. Alpha Lyra says:

    Funny. I guess they’ve decided that those of us who read the English version like a different “type” than those of us who read the Spanish version. And they’re right as far as I’m concerned. I prefer head #1. Head #2 strikes me as too feminine. I had no idea they photoshopped different heads onto different bodies. That’s kind of creepy. No wonder so many romance covers feature heroes and heroines that don’t quite look human.

  22. Carrie says:

    I don’t think spanish guy’s hair makes him look like a girl – but hi delicate little features do.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I always think y’all are too nitpicky about the hands – but then I looked, and you are SO RIGHT!  His hands are creepy! and one arm is apparently not properly attached!

  23. jayhjay says:

    Ok ladies, pardon me while I fan myself, but I couldn’t resist looking up Paul Marron after all the comments that he is the one in the first cover.  Boy, let’s just say that picture does not do him justice.  You want hot, check out his web site photos.  You’ll forget about long haired guy pretty darn quick.  Yipes!

    spamword: led25 – as in, I have been led astray and now am ogling strangers on the internet!

  24. Lynn S. says:

    My theory was that he had a split face.  One side vaguely Hispanic and the other vaguely vague.  But now that I’ve been informed the first cover features the model du jour, probably not.  Has anybody seen this Marron fellow from the left side? 

    Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

  25. JoanneF says:

    Is it just me, or is his right hand way bigger than his left hand in the Spanish pic?  I prefer the English language cover and yes – Paul Marron is HOT!

  26. piki says:

    I think both covers are fine, though it is certainly interesting that the heads were changed for the different language versions!! I’d be a little weirded out if I was a model and found my body attached to someone else’s head.

    However if I had to decide, the first one looks kind of photoshopped: the skin of the hero’s face looks darker than the rest of the body in an odd way (in my unprofessional opinion). Also, the angle of his neck looks a little strained and unnatural compared to the Spanish version. So maybe the Spanish cover was the original? I guess we’ll never know!

  27. CrookedGoose says:

    I have to say I don’t read Harlequins because the covers are that bad.  They give me the creeps.

  28. brooksse says:

    Hmmm… I got this one from Mills & Boon, part of their everyone’s reading giveaway.  M&B must have been confused by the two-headed mystery, because they went with a totally different cover:

    I was wondering what the “2-in-1” stood for on the M&B cover.  A reference to the 2 heads/1 body mystery, perhaps?

  29. cories5 says:

    More Paul Marron fans!  My work here is done.  Bwahahaha…

  30. Susan says:

    There’s just no end to bad cover art, is there?

  31. Gary says:

    Neither guy does a thing for me.

    Do Romance authors have any more say than most science fiction/fantasy authors (virtually none, that is)? What I really want to know from someone who has read the book, is “Does either cover picture match the descriptions of the character?”

    SF author Eric Flint tries to get a look at the cover art before he finalizes the text. Then he incorporates a scene in the book to match/explain the cover.


  32. SB Sarah says:

    @Gary: I know that happens every now and again with some romances. Julie James edited a scene in her latest book “Something About You” so that the heroine’s dress in the book would match the dress worn by the model on the cover. Otherwise, it’s a long-standing ARRRRGH that the models on the cover of a romance look nothing like the characters inside.

  33. DianeN says:

    The more I look at that second cover, the more it creeps me out. All the proportions are wrong! They both have no hips or butt to speak of, and his huge hands and even huger shoulders just make his tiny body look even tinier. (And that’s also why we see more of his lower abs—his pants are falling down due to lack of hippage.) All I can figure is that the people who make these cover design decisions honestly believe no one looks closely at them. Either that or whoever altered cover #1 has no hips or butt, huge hands and shoulders and an otherwise tiny body!

  34. Hi I am Gregory traveling around the world and have been for a couple of years.  I just wanted to get it out of the way before I settled down in life.  I have had some great experiences in my time and in the future would love to share with you some of my experiences on my own profile.  Make sure you check back from time to time to have a look at my updates or better still PM if you have anything to say.  Thanks for reading.

    My Page : Six Sigma Certification.

  35. @SB Sarah:
    Why is that?  I know this thread is on its last leg, but I just have to know.  Why is it so hard to have the model on the cover look like the heroine in the book?  With all the technology, they can change hair color, eye color, clothes color, etc.  I’d rather see a flower, or a dagger on the cover than a model who looks nothing like the character.  Has anyone ever said why this is so difficult?

  36. Emily says:

    Okay, that’s just creepy.

  37. GoShawdy says:

    I cannot look at the Spanish cover without wanting to shout “DESU DESU!” Maybe every cover should feature that Rozen Maiden character with the eyes.

Comments are closed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.

↑ Back to Top