I think the title of this entry might be misleading. I don't actually know why dudes are weird. And I certainly don't have an explanation for the dude behavior on these covers, except to possibly suggest that Photoshop and poor image layer integration might possibly be involved. Or, it could be because dudes on romance covers are just weird. You decide.
Look, bathtubs on the hillside only mean ONE THING.
Look. If that cowboy is trying to get into the tub and possibly push her out, then we know what that means. Not that there's anything wrong with pharmaceutical assistance – but she's hogging his pharma-bathtub, and that won't end well for either of them.
I think the bathtub on the hillside motif is probably not what romance heroes want to hang around with. I mean, they're the ones who are ready to go again two minutes after they shatter/explode/fall/devolve/disintigrate/swim upstream with the heroine.
The bathtub of love is better than what this hero is up to:
I grew up in a medium sized city, and know very little about ranch and farm life. But even I know that you do NOT lean up against barbed wire, with or without your shirt open.
OUCH. Jeez, dude.
Also: there is an outstanding accidental dong in that photograph:
No? Here's a larger closeup:
It's extremely large and incredibly close, that dong. Why that guy would want to mistreat his back by leaning up against barbed wire is beyond me – unless he's trying to make it go down by inflicting pain upon himself. A cold bathtub on a hillside would probably be a less bloody alternative treatment for that condition.
And then there's this guy, who isn't himself all that weird, except for his magical sunbeam dog:
Is he being hunted by Sunbeam Dog? Wait, is Sunbeam Dog a GHOST DOG? Maybe he's a CLOCKWORK SUNBEAM GHOST DOG! I'll have to ask Carrie S to read it and find out because CLOCKWORK DOG.
Either way, hunted or not, how can a rancher just ignore his dog like that? I mean, really. That dog is working so hard to avoid all the shadows cast by an alternate sun in that universe. Dude who looks a little like Woody Harrelson has all kinds of fence shadow action,but the CLOCKWORK SUNBEAM GHOST DOG is without shadow – and looking so hopefully at the oblivous rancher. Really, what is up with that guy? (We won't begin to discuss the creases on his jeans in the zipper-area. Too much, too much).
Got any additional examples of heroes being weird on book covers? I know you do – feel free to share! Just don't ignore your sunbeam ghost dog. He needs a drink!