That Bucket Gets BUSY

It’s time for yet another Adventure Of Bucket! Not Hyacinth Bucket, nor the Lolrus Bucket. This bucket.


This bucket has a lot of work to do. Here’s an example. Look! It’s a book cover, brought to my attention by sharp-eyed reader DL!

Book Cover

Quite a lovely photograph, really. It’s not bad. But NOT FOR BUCKET. Bucket Must Make Change!

So how’s about this hot pink UK one? Bucket had some help from his main man, Crop.

Book Cover

So, which do you like better? You wish Bucket had chosen a different color, one less of My Mother In Law’s Eyeshadow? Would Hyacinth Bucket approve?

Comments are Closed

  1. Bibliophile says:

    Well spotted!
    The Pink One definitely has more punch and stands out. The cover with the ivory version suffers because the red lettering draws attention away from the people, whereas in the Pink version, by changing the colour of the dress, the designer has been able to use white lettering and get a more balanced cover. That said, I think blue would probably have been a better choice.

  2. Virginia E says:

    Both of them look like a bad 20th Century version of Regency attire. The couple is too tan in the Ivory cover for period, but that lavender pink is too modern. Try again on both counts because neither one gets a digit up from me.

  3. ShellBell says:

    I do so hate covers of historical books where the heroine appears to have breast implants!

  4. Another Prom Dress book. This has about as much connection with a Regency dress as – well, the peach bridesmaid’s dress stuffed under my bed, hopefully never to be seen again.
    The second colour is so not period, it doesn’t help.
    And breast implants of the beach ball variety?
    Oh yes, and mens’ shirts didn’t unbutton all the way down until much later in the 19th century.
    Wonder how long they had to pose for this one, and did she get a neckache?
    The trouble with covers like this, is if you were looking for a historical, you might well jump past this, thinking it’s a contemporary.

  5. AgTigress says:

    ….if you were looking for a historical, you might well jump past this, thinking it’s a contemporary.

    Well, I would have done, for one.  I assumed it was contemporary, and was enlightened only by the comments above.  An additional fault, if the scene is supposed to be 19thC, is the woman’s long, loose hair, which looks as though she has merely run her fingers through it.

  6. Sarah W says:

    Would Hyacinth Bucket approve?

    That’s Boo-kay.  Maybe—she seems to like pastels.

  7. lavender pink is too modern

    Indeed it is. Mauve was not available widely until the aniline dye was discovered in 1856 and called by that name:

    Whereupon there was a marked craze for this hitherto rare and difficult colour.

    It’s still rather pretty and makes a nice, if very anachronistic cover.

    she seems to like pastels.

    But *not* the pert and heaving bosom, I suspect. That’s far too much like Rose for comfort 🙂 Onslow would be all over it…them though!

  8. I Like the Courtney Milan cover better, but I like the work that bucket does to a cover.

  9. Mama Nice says:

    I prefer the ivory to the ghastly “I bought this off the DEB clearance rack!” purply pink thing.

    But looking at it again, I also realize that the second image is zoomed in and cropped closer – so we getter a better look at the dude – and he looks rather scraggly…with major morning scruff and eyes that are all squinty, so I get this feeling that he just got out of bed and has nasty morning breath and there he is hovering with his mouth wide open above her nose. But then again, in romance land, no one ever seems to need to dash to the bathroom to brush their teeth before a morning quickie, so I suppose it’s not a problem for her.

  10. Jennifer Armintrout says:

    I’m sorry, I’m distracted by the fact that the guy is super hot and has GRAY hair.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen legit gray hair on a cover model.

  11. becca says:

    I also notice they punched up his 5:00 shadow in the Pink Version.

  12. TracyP says:

    The pink is definitely better than the white, but I think blue would have been less onoxious.  Or maybe an emerald green?  The cropping does look better also.

    Okay, maybe this is a stupid question: are these two different books that utilize the same cover art, or is it an author using a pen name and a rework of the title?  Just curious.

  13. Ell says:

    The pink makes me think of those graphics where everything’s in black and white except for one bright splash of color—does NOT belong. If they’d picked a stronger color in the same color palette I wouldn’t wince so much….

  14. SB Sarah says:

    @shellbell: Now I’m focused on that, too. Darn.

    @lynneconnelly: PICTURES of the peach dress, please. Preferably of you in it?! Please? Come on, we won’t tell.

    @jenniferarmintrout: OMG. You’re right. That’s awesome.

  15. Jayne says:

    I like the purple cover better, but I liked the book itself and I eat historical inaccuracies for breakfast.

    Still not sure why people think the Mama Bird/Baby Bird position is sexy – are neck cricks stimulating somehow?

  16. Jeannie says:

    My mouse roller is getting a workout this morning, reading the comments and scrolling back up to look at the pictures.
    You girls are just too good with your historical knowledge of dresses and buttons and hair and colors! Bravo. Since I don’t read them they just look like two pretty covers to me. I like both.
    Howevah….on the “white” cover I do have a problem with the guy’s nipple. It looks a little bit like an eye to me.

  17. Heather says:

    Wow. Rough crowd.

    I like the ivory one.
    I could tell it was historical and not contemporary.
    I like the way the guy looks.
    I don’t think she has implants.
    The purple dress up close looks nice because you can see the detail better.
    I don’t pick a book for just the cover.

  18. StarOpal says:

    Both covers have problems to me, but, on purely visual appeal, I prefer the ivory one because of the color scheme. Her skirt is really bugging the crap out of me though, so the pink/purple/uck colored has the whole cropping out the skirt thing going for it.


  19. KatherineB says:

    I’m reminded of nothing so much as when I browse Victoria’s Secret, and you can change the clothing color to something not entirely unlike that found in nature with a swift click of the mouse.
    Click! Ah, the base white….
    Click! Oh, cerulean blue, with shadows of navy that don’t seem QUITE right…the shirt that flew in from Outer Space!
    Click! Ah, pink. Pepto Bismal shadows, Strawberry smoothie jelly bean highlights. Let me get a spoon…

    Yes, the white is better.

  20. LG says:

    ::reading the comments:: Wait, these are Regencies? The cover didn’t even say “historical” to me. So, on both counts, this cover fails.

    As far as aesthetics go, the first cover is prettier, in my opinion, but the second cover pops more. The first cover said to me “the romance in this book begins with a wedding of some kind.” The second color would have appealed to me more if the color hadn’t been pink. Blue, green, or even yellow would be have been better. That said, the color is so flat (not sure if this is the right word) that it just looks fake and…bucket-y. Maybe it would work better if the decorations on the dress were a different color than the rest of the dress, even if they were only a different shade?

  21. Kristin says:

    @ Jeannie – OMG, you are right. The nipple totally looks like an eye on the ivory cover.

  22. Keri Ford says:

    and here I was thinking that was lilac. …kept wondering what yall were calling pink! Pink to me is “baby pink”.

    My vote goes for the lilac (*g*). It stands out more. both are clear historical to me with her dress, the furniture and wallpaper (I read both authors, so that could be swaying me?)

  23. Daisy says:

    I wouldn’t have thought contemporary, not with the puffy, lacy shirt!  But on the second, the puffiness is cropped off.

    I agree with StarOpal: in the second cover her left thumb makes it look as if she’s gripping her skirt for dear life.  In the first, it just looks lost in the folds of her skirt.

    Now I feel like I’m playing “Seven Differences.”

  24. Carin says:

    I like the 2nd cover (pink) better, but it’s all about the guy for me.  Also, I like the cropping better on the 2nd.

    I don’t know or care that much about historical accuracy, so the dress didn’t bother me at all.

  25. Criticizing romance covers for historical inaccuracy is like shooting fish in a barrel. However, if it’s the sport of the day I’d like to point out that neither book is set in the Regency, also known as Ye Olde Era of High-Waisted Gowns.

    I think both covers are very pretty.

  26. Lindsay says:

    I swear my grandmother has a jogging suit in that exact shade O.O So, uh, yeah. Definitely can’t look at that one without giggling and plus, objectively, to me, the color is all wrong. I agree, a blue would have been much better.

    I didn’t see contemporary with either of them, but they do both have that modern-folks-dressed-up-for-mardi-gras feel that bugs me. Although the ivory one less so, for some reason.

  27. Rachel says:

    Bah! Bucket is evil. Much better to use multiple overlay and lighting adjust layers. That takes longer though … and what was the question again? (too early, haven’t finished giant cup-o-caffiny goodness yet)

    I like the closer in crop job, but what an icky blech inducing color. Why is there this assumption that females and pink are the only combination available? Or that we all like icky pinks just beause we’ve got boobs?

    The only time pink is acceptable is when it involves some super hero logo (dark pink + Batman = awsomesauce), or Strawberry Shortcake, and I’m in the mood to relive my childhood through crazy clothing.

    Other than that, my neck is starting to hurt just looking at that poor girl.

    Score—blue26 – there were 26 shades of blue that would have looked better than blechy pink!

  28. Barb in Maryland says:

    @TraciP—two different books, by different authors.  Publishers used the same stock photo as the basis for the cover.
    I’m with Keri Ford—sure looks like lilac to me-not pink.

    Here’s another vote for the cropped, lilac dress cover, as the snappier cover.  The white dress cover, however, gets the ‘historical’ aspect across.

    And StarOpal has good eyes!!—I will be charitable and think that her left thumb is merely folded in and hidden by the fabric.  Otherwise, this poor lady has a deformed hand.  You don’t notice it as much in the white cover, because the author’s name goes across her left hand.

  29. Kerry Allen says:

    @Daisy ” in the second cover her left thumb makes it look as if she’s gripping her skirt for dear life”

    Actually, she tried to ward off Bucket, so Bucket amputated her thumb to teach her a lesson. No one says no to Bucket!

  30. Rachel says:

    Wel then, it’s a very much on the pink end of the color pallate lilac—cause it looks more pink on my screen. =P

    And I think I know what’s wrong with her hand – the skirt looks to have been digitally enhanced/painted over but not matching whatever was going on in the original shoot and her hand was forgotten about. Easier to see in the pinky-lilacy version with how much they went after things with the blur tool.

    Now, if they’d just brought a fold of fabric over her hand, it would have worked just fine.

  31. TracyP says:

    @TraciP—two different books, by different authors.  Publishers used the same stock photo as the basis for the cover.

    Thank you for clearing that up.  Seems kind of like cheating to me.

  32. jayhjay says:

    LOL, are there so few pictures in the world that they have keep reusing! I always am amazed at this.

    Anyway, I like the top one much better.  The red and cream are so much nice than the cream with that awful pepto pink. It is like a bad bridesmaids dress!

  33. jayhjay says:

    I swear my grandmother has a jogging suit in that exact shade O.O So, uh, yeah.


  34. I love that color purpinkgenta—brings out my eyes. I mean in a good way.

    Got to admit I find the guy very sexy, and I usually think romance covers look like gay porn. I just don’t find hairless action figures very appealing. The 5am shadow this guy’‘s got going on gets it going for me. I’m afraid I still have a thing for David Duchovny (yeah, I know) and he kind of looks like him.

    Baby bird feeding pose does freak me out, but I’ve got a bad neck, so I’m kind of sensitive.

  35. AgTigress says:

    However, if it’s the sport of the day I’d like to point out that neither book is set in the Regency,

    Miranda, just for interest, what periods are the two books set in?  A quick look for one of them on Amazon and elsewhere didn’t enlighten me.  I find it really strange that publishers’ blurbs and readers’ reviews often don’t even mention the era in which the story takes place!

    For years, American editions of Regency-period historicals tended to have cover images featuring women wearing roughly 1860s costume;  now it seems that even in the UK, we just put them in modern dress.

    The wallpaper is completely modern, and furniture lasts generations, so although it can’t be later than the period indicated, it can be a whole lot earlier.  That chaise longue, or whatever it is, may be Regency-influenced, but no more.  Plenty of modern reproductions are made in that style.

    I took the bloke’s ‘shirt’ to be a dressing-gown.  🙂  Since the woman’s hair is not ‘done’, but just hanging loose, maybe her garment is actually a rather fancy nightgown… 

    I would describe the woman’s (modern) dress as pink, rather than lilac, lavender or mauve, though it is certainly a cool,  bluish shade of pink rather than a yellowish one.  But people see colours differently (and computer screens reproduce them differently), and furthermore, the terminology is very imprecise, so one can’t expect agreement.

  36. PICTURES of the peach dress, please. Preferably of you in it?!

    Oh wow. I think there might be one, but it’s a picture, not a scan. I was maid of honor, and as such, I had a hoop. Gets worse. A bridesmaid’s dress in vivid orangey-peach with a hoop underneath and puffy sleeves. Made of that nylon that sticks to your skin. It cost the poor bride a fortune, too from Pronuptia. I could have done better with 20 quid and a vintage fashion shop.
    I should hire it out to cover designers.

    I do know it’s really difficult to get accurately dressed cover art for at least Georgians. We had a lot of difficulty getting one for the upcoming Richard and Rose, and in the end we went with closeups. No clothes involved.

  37. redcrow says:

    Got to admit I find the guy very sexy, and I usually think romance covers look like gay porn.

    Wait, gay porn isn’t supposed to be sexy?

    The colour seems more pink than purple to me.

  38. Kristi says:

    What is he KNEELING on in the first one? It looks like the wall?

    Bucket is busy!

  39. Donna says:

    Um WOW! What Heather said.
    And her thumb is curved over the edge of the chair, there’s no nipple, it’s a shadow & he’s not kneeling, he’s propped one knee against the chair back for support as he leans over. Geesh!
    And he just came in late from doing guy stuff like riding & fencing & gettin’ a little sugar from the lady he’s kept waiting before heading for a bath. All in all a nice little moment.
    And the ivory cover please.

    HA! spamword moment78 – and I wasn’t even trying!

  40. Lynn S. says:

    I’m to the point where I love what they do with the covers.  Nothing more pleasing to my eye than a well designed cover, but nothing better for the funny bone than something like this.  You could write a new book in some series based on the weirdness of the cover continuity or the lack thereof.  My current pet theory revolves around a couple of doppelgangers sneaking about in Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series.  The covers of The Perils of Pleasure and Since the Surrender look to feature the same woman, you might have to squint to see it, but looks like the same woman to me.  The covers of Since the Surrender (again) and What I Did for a Duke seem to feature the same man; if not the same man, then the same hair, squint again if it is required (you know you want the wrinkles).  Crazy stuff going on over at Pennyroyal Green.

    The Marvelle cover wins this contest; but, for me, a Milan book wins on content every time.  The Bucket and the Crop are naughty tools in the wrong hands.  And that redbud pink dress—do we really think Jenny Keeble would be caught dead in that, even if she had dyed her hair blond first?

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