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COVERFAIL: The “Come Hither”

I thought the title of this book perfectly matched the cover but probably not for the reasons that the publisher intended. Does this not look like the Regency version of a man in a car asking a little girl if she wants a piece of candy?

Never Trust a Rogue

In working on the new releases catalog, I found the old cover for a backlist title to be released by Avon in 2011 and it was the perfect match for the Olivia Drake cover.
The Bewitched Viking

I think these covers serve as a cautionary tale for using the come hither gesture, particularly from the man.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Zoe Archer
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:03:39

    The Sandra Hill cover looks as though he’s asking us to smell his finger.

  2. Babs
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:03:40

    That first one makes me think of “Shrek 2” for some reason…the scene where the Fairy Godmother whisks the king away and they go through the drive through in the carriage…what can I say, my kid has been home sick and burning through DVDs this week.

    And the hair on the second cover…positively majestic. Not in a good way.

  3. Christine Rimmer
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:06:30

    @Zoe Archer: Or maybe pull his finger…

  4. Mireya
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:24:10

    Yeah, neither one is particularly appealing. I hated the cover for the Sandra Hill title, though I had a great time reading the book. I remember that I used a big bookmark while reading it, to try and cover it as I read it during my commute to/from work and I truly found it yechy.

  5. Mireya
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:25:15

    P.S. And the word of the day is “it” … I wish we could edit after posting. I should be more careful *sigh*

  6. Lorelie Brown
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:29:13

    @Zoe Archer: Dammit. @Christine Rimmer beat me to it. ;)

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  8. Sarah Frantz
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:34:52

    Am I the only one who thinks that he wouldn’t/shouldn’t be wearing boots with that outfit? Or do I have my clothes history wrong?

  9. may
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:39:52

    oh my. Thanks for the laugh this morning. Total fail. Come hither doesn’t work in a still shot…

  10. jen
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 10:48:31

    That Viking looks like he’s trying to get me to come over to his mall kiosk to buy a cell phone.

  11. Lori
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 11:00:57

    Dare I say the top one looks a little lacking masculinity?

  12. Christine M.
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 11:25:36

    OMG! Austin Powers’ in the carriage! *flails*

  13. Christine Rimmer
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 11:30:40

    Every time I come back for another look, I start laughing again. @Lorelai Brown, Mwahaha. (How do you make the @ link to the original commenter, anyway?)

  14. SB Sarah
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:21:09

    OMG the Pull My Finger Viking! I love him. I love how his other hand is all, “I got yer candy RIGHT HERE.”

    *le graceful swoon*

  15. Billie
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:27:13

    The 1st one looks like he’s had his fingers
    someplace they shouldn’t be and now
    is wondering what to do with the evidence.

  16. Lizzy
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:32:16

    Bewitched into joining a Poison tribute band, maybe. But a viking, no.

  17. Jane
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 14:15:14

    @SB Sarah I thought he must have made an appearance on cover snark. Where’s the link?

  18. Jane
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 14:15:42

    @Christine Rimmer There should be a small gray arrow at the bottom of the commenter’s box. Click on that and it will enter the link in the comment box.

  19. Sandy James
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 16:36:06

    The Drake cover isn’t nearly as bad as the Hill cover. I just can’t get past the mullet on a Viking, and having his finger extended that way?? I seriously thought he was flipping us all off at first!

  20. willaful
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 17:37:33

    Okay, I finally grasped that the white thing is a cravat. I seriously saw it as a skull. Terry Pratchett’s Death deserves a good love story, I suppose…

  21. Tae
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 18:16:12

    OMG I’d never be caught reading the second book if it had that cover, even other romance readers would ridicule me

  22. Isobel Carr
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 19:59:33

    @Sarah Frantz:

    Am I the only one who thinks that he wouldn't/shouldn't be wearing boots with that outfit? Or do I have my clothes history wrong?

    No, you’re spot on. At this point, I’m just happy when the clothing is from the right era, give or take a decade (or two), and when it's clearly from a specific era (rather than the old-timey, vaguely historical, look, it's a girl in a dress/nightgown school of covers).

  23. cate
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 05:22:36

    “I ABSOLUTELY AGREE”….. My fantasy Death & Granny Weatherwax – an unbeatable
    combination !
    As to the SH cover, is that the one that she refers to as her “Infamous finger cover” ?

  24. Maddie
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 09:32:15

    Not one of you mention the MULLET he’s sporting on the cover.

  25. Christine Rimmer
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 09:38:51

    @Jane: Thanks!

  26. Sandy James
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 09:41:30

    @Maddie: Back up a few comments. I mentioned the mullet. Not a typical “Viking” look. ;)

  27. Maddie
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 09:55:18

    @Sandy James:


    How did I miss that? LOL to funny. And To true, I think I do have that book.

  28. Estara
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 12:22:12

    Chr@Christine Rimmer: You need to mouse-over the lower right of the comment of the person you want to respond to, then you get a sign saying “reply” – when you click that the @commenter bit shows up in the reply comment box at the bottom of the entry.
    If you don’t mouse-over the lower right, it will not show up.

  29. Estara
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 12:24:22

    @Sarah Frantz: I agree with you, he should be wearing high heels. This is a Georgian blue velvet outfit, not something to wear boots with.

    And if it is a uniform he ought to wear Hessian boots with tassles and deco, etc.

  30. Chicklet
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 12:40:42

    Yyyyyeah, the “come here” finger is not conducive to romance. They would have been better off if the model had extended his hand, palm-up, like he was offering the viewer a dance. (Perhaps a scandalous waltz in front of the ton?)

  31. Christine Rimmer
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 12:57:55

    @Estara: Got it! Thanks. :) I actually think I knew this at one time. :-/

  32. gous
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 03:47:24

    Our Viking makes a guest appearance as a readers submission at Longmire – see

  33. morgan karpiel
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 09:31:07

    Bewitched Viking only models for romance books during the day. At night, he plays drummer in the eighties metal band, Your Mother. He has a girlfriend named Tina, who is secretly dating both the lead singer of Your Mother, and Viking’s brother Dave, who is going to night school to learn the ins and outs of the paralegal business, which is as close to dating a lawyer as Tina knows she’s ever going to get. Viking takes workouts seriously, because God knows, the chicks love the muscles and, while chicks may not buy many metal albums, the ones who do are hot.

  34. Author On Vacation
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 15:37:42

    What a great example!

    LOL, I’m quite the fan of Hill’s Viking historicals and time-travel romances. I remember “The Bewitched Viking” because it was one of the LAST books in the series I purchased. Why? The cover put me off. Seriously. The blurb looked great and it was classed as a comedy, but the cover just looked awful and I didn’t want to read it in public.

    It’s such a funny book, though. Laugh aloud funny, I’d read parts of it to my husband and we’d both laugh.

    But yeah, that cover was gross.

  35. Tracey
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 11:19:02

    @Christine M. Oh Behave! :P I thought the same thing! As soon as I saw the cover I thought it Austin Powers.

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