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Flying False Colours

Dear Author:

Gentle RogueYou know who you are. What do you think you are doing with this cover? Does your story feature a swashbuckling, manly tale ala Ahab and his whale or the Master and Commander? Set the t’gallants, run out the guns and fire on the uproll! This looks more like “Rum, sodomy and the lash” as Churchill described the British Navy, rather than the long tresses, passionate kisses and hawt sex of a romance novel.

We realize that romance authors are trying to increase their readership but isn’t this taking it a bit too far? It almost makes us long for the bare chested Fabio days. How many poor men looking for Patrick O’Brien, Alexander Kent or Dudley Pope did you snooker into buying this? And at hardcover prices too? And how many people who might be looking for a romance story passed this up?

Ms. Author, run up your true colours and sail proudly under them. And readers, can you guess who this is?

The Ja(y)nes

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

16 Comments

  1. Cece
    May 03, 2006 @ 10:40:44

    I hate cryptic blog posts *sob*

  2. Jayne
    May 03, 2006 @ 11:09:25

    Never fear Cece, we will eventually, when we’re feeling like it, reveal who this author is and what reprinted book now has this cover.

    But a hint, you beg? OK, She Who is Unnamed as Yet is a best selling romance author who has a long and well known career.

  3. Cece
    May 03, 2006 @ 11:39:55

    The sleight of hands is bad enough but that cover reaks!

  4. Jayne
    May 03, 2006 @ 12:16:16

    Well, it’s a good cover if you’re looking for an action, adventure novel. It sucks if it’s on a romance novel. I mean, who would pick this off the shelf in the romance section? I’d head to the cash register and tell the bookstore employee that they had a bunch of books misshelved.

  5. raine
    May 03, 2006 @ 13:45:21

    This is interesting…
    I love a mystery! *gg*

  6. Jayne
    May 03, 2006 @ 15:08:40

    Second hint, the characters in the book spend a lot of time at sea and it starts in England and ends in England.

  7. Maili
    May 03, 2006 @ 20:45:50

    Hm. A romance author with long career? Hardback? That cover actually reminds me of one British publisher that publishes that kind of covers for their historical romance authors, plus almost all their books are in hardback. Robert Hale it’s called, I think. Hm. I think the best known of all RH rom authors is Joan Smith.

  8. Jayne
    May 03, 2006 @ 20:55:54

    Third hint: Hero is English, heroine is American. Both have large families. Heroine is an only daughter among lots of sons.

  9. Maili
    May 03, 2006 @ 21:00:45

    Oh, no! Not Johanna Lindsey?!

  10. Maili
    May 03, 2006 @ 21:02:25

    Or Jude Deveraux?

  11. Cece
    May 03, 2006 @ 21:05:18

    Even dear old Jude wouldn’t stoop this low!

  12. raine
    May 04, 2006 @ 01:10:23

    Yikes…

  13. Jayne
    May 04, 2006 @ 04:12:20

    Maili, you are correct! Now, can you name which book is masquerading under this cover?

  14. Maili
    May 04, 2006 @ 04:31:17

    OK, let’s see:

    Second hint, the characters in the book spend a lot of time at sea and it starts in England and ends in England.

    Third hint: Hero is English, heroine is American. Both have large families. Heroine is an only daughter among lots of sons.

    Since it’s Johanna Lindsey, I’m betting it’s that popular one – GENTLE ROGUE, James Mallory’s story. I’ll die gag if this is indeed the one.

  15. Maili
    May 04, 2006 @ 04:32:56

    Ooh, my god. It IS Gentle Rogue. At Severn House. Ah, come on. It – along with Thorndike – always gives their books crappy covers.

  16. Jayne
    May 04, 2006 @ 04:38:44

    LOL. Now, does this look like a “Gentle Rogue” type cover?

    Does Severn House give crappy covers or just covers which don’t match the correct type of book?

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