Romance Covers

While I was working on the cover to my next book, The Flames of Prague, I looked at covers of other romance novels for design inspiration.

I have three things to tell you:

1. No one ever looks like this during foreplay, and especially not during sex. Sex-face looks more like this:

2. There were no rippling abs before Charles Atlas’s exercise regimen in the early 20th century. No 19th century, cattle-herding Scotsman ever looked like this. (He was too busy subsistence farming to spend an hour every day doing sit-ups.)

To the right, however, we see a real Scottish man. Doctor Gordon Smith performed amputations on an ironing board in a notorious Japanese POW camp in Burma, all while suffering from malaria, a gunshot wound in his arm, and starvation rations. After the War, he spent time in Germany dismantling bombs.

Leather shirts–not period.

3. Too many cover artists (and probably some writers) don’t know what medieval clothing looks like.

I think you can buy this costume on Amazon for $20.

This dress fits better, but doesn’t even come close to resembling a medieval dress. And medieval women didn’t wear makeup like that.


This woman gets around. Only now she has a badly-Photoshopped necklace and a badly-Photoshopped background–on top of the bad dress.



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