All Tied Up

It’s Day 2 of my “I have nothing to read” week and I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs and thinking mean-spirited thoughts. This usually means it’s time to start picking on books with cheesy cover art.

So I was browsing Amazon today when I happened upon this little gem:

Something struck me as alarmingly familiar about this cover and I was brought back to all those grocery store trips of my childhood. As I waited for my mom to get her shopping done (which took 2 freaking hours! How firm did those apples have to be?), I’d wander around the magazine/trade paperback aisle, flip through Seventeen, and study the rows of smutty romance novel cover art.

I noticed there was a distinct ‘bondage’ trend among the more risque historical romances. The man or woman is either chained to a tree, a sign post, a mast-head, or any object that allows the female captive to thrust her big bosom in front of the man’s face so he could motorboat away and the male captive to flex his cleanly shaven man boobies.

Um. Yeah. What’s up with that?

I’ve always wondered to myself: couldn’t the captive’s lovers free him/her and then make sweet sweet love to him/her afterward?

But I was young and couldn’t comprehend that bondage was part of the appeal. I think it still makes me want to projectile vomit, but that’s just me.

On to the cover of My Fair Viking. I kid you not, I took a Viking class at university (don’t ask, I like to waste money), but I might have fell asleep during the lecture on the manscaping habits of Odin and Thor. Where in this Viking’s busy raiding schedule did he have time to shave off all of his chest hairs? And why does he have the coloring of an Oompa Loompa?

Fair Viking Lady is tanned enough to model for PacSun, but she’s busy loving her peck-a-licious man.

I must be playing 20 Questions because this cover puzzles me. Here’s another one: what’s up with the weak rope binding He-man to the ship? He’s liable to snap the bondage like the Incredible Hulk and yet, he’s still tied down, trying to downplay his strengths.  Wouldn’t it be more prudent if she released him first then rub his smooth, shiny man boobies later? Her priorities are soooo not in order…

You might have noticed that I’ve been picking on Sandra Hill, which is completely coincidental. I have nothing against Sandra Hill and have not been consciously signaling out her book covers to laugh at. I can’t help it if every time I search Amazon, I come across yet another cheesy Viking cover with her name on it. So before Sandra Hill fans flood my inbox with hate mail, I would just like to say: “Sandra Hill….I’m not worthy.” In all honesty, I’m not fit to polish her boots and I would polish them if she asked me to because she could probably afford to tip big. Yes, her cheesy Viking empire is flooding her bank account with Benjamins and what do I have? I have The Lit Connection. Oh God why!

Don’t believe me about the bondage trend in romance? Take a look at this:

And I know this has nothing to do with the ‘tied-up’ theme in today’s title, but I’ve got to throw this cover in here. Ever wonder what happens when romance novels adopt an ethnic spin? Hmm, I wonder if any of these covers are in bad taste….

I think I speak for everyone when I say: WTF?
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5 thoughts on “All Tied Up”

  1. Laura:
    No, I haven’t come across that blog, but since you mentioned it, I’ll check it out! I’m always up for making fun of romance novel covers.

  2. Oh my. Looks like someone needs a serious visit to the library. Hope your “itching-for-a-book” syndrome doesn’t last long.

  3. mems:
    Tell me about it. Thankfully, I know for a fact that I have at least one book coming in… that should at least keep me away from blogging about man boobies for a while.

  4. For my thoughts on cover art, you might check out the March 11 blog on freshfiction.com. We authors don’t like cheesy cover art any more
    than readers do, but in the end, the vote tallies come up in favor of hunk covers. And by votes, I mean dollars spent on new books. Sorry, folks, but this is the only way publishers have of knowing what fans want. And, btw, you may be surprised to know that MY FAIR VIKING is by far my best selling book, mostly because of that cover. (There is one thing you didn’t notice about that cover; the tenth century Viking woman is wearing red nail varnish. ) And the infamous finger cover (whether beckoning or giving) was
    hugely popular with my fan base. My point: it’s all subjective. Here’s hoping I get an Adirondack chair on the beach for my next cover, but, no, guess what it’s going to be? A guy in chains. I kid you not. Wishing you smiles in your reading,
    Sandra Hill

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