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Lisa Ruff

Fix it! (How to turn CoverFail into Cover Win)

Fix it! (How to turn CoverFail into Cover Win)

Covers fascinate me and a lot of blogs do the cover thing like the classic and can’t be duplicated cover snark by the Smart Bitches and so I’ve never posted about bad covers here at Dear Author. Nor about good covers. But I love to talk about them so I thought I’d institute a new feature for Thursdays called Fix It in which we take on bad covers and talk about what could fix them (and what is wrong with them in the first place). I’m not very good at snarking so I’ll just tell you straight off what didn’t work for me. First, covers are just as important on the internet as they are in person. Second, covers move me to buy and can deter me from buying. They are that important.

First up is Jeaniene Frost’s cover, Eternal Kiss of Darkness. Ironically, the internet image of this book cover actually looks good. It’s when you see the cover in person that the shocking badness of the cover jumps out and shoots you in the eye.

(click for a better image of the paper cover).

The second cover is Lisa Ruff’s book Man of the Year. Jayne has consistently given Ruff’s books good reviews. Ruff’s latest publication, Baby Bombshell, was an August recommended reads. Yet, Man of the Year has to fall under #coverfail because of the so many things. The smirk is one. The apparent youth of the cover model (he looks like he is playing in the College World Series, at best). The hat that appears to have never been worn before (is this his first time at the rodeo?).   His awkward stance (the mound must be really uneven).   This book would have been a pass for me.

Thoughts about these covers? For me, to improve the Eternal Kiss of Darkness cover, you would just need to remove the fake pink blood that was slapped on the top.   For the second book, I think you need a new cover model. Or at the very least, a better hat.

REVIEW: Baby Bombshell by Lisa Ruff

REVIEW: Baby Bombshell by Lisa Ruff

Anna Berzani moved halfway across the country to get away from her overprotective family. When old friend and notorious playboy Evan McKenzie shows up in San Francisco, Anna feels that same nothing-but-trouble attraction she’d felt at sixteen. A night on the town leads to a few kisses, which leads to…a nine-month countdown!

Practical Anna suggests marriage, but the gorgeous bachelor turns her down flat. He’s anything but good daddy material.

Evan always felt like an adopted member of the boisterous Berzani clan. Getting involved with Anna-’irresistible as she is-’won’t go over so well with his best friend, Anna’s brother. And when the rest of the family find out he refuses to marry her, he won’t just be disowned-’he’ll be dismembered!

How can he marry her, though…when he knows marriage is nothing but heartache?

Dear Ms. Ruff,

For a person who says she doesn’t like secret and or accidental baby books, here I’ve read two by you in the same series. Hmm, maybe I don’t dislike them as much as I thought I did or perhaps it’s just that I wanted to watch Evan McKenzie finally fall in love and stop teasing his best friends, Ian and Patrick, who’ve already fallen themselves.

Baby Bombshell by Lisa RuffIs there a way to write a pregnancy book without having the heroine come up with all sorts of excuses to account for morning sickness? Though I admit that flying and being in emotional knots about seeing Evan, who hasn’t called her in the 3 weeks after *the night*, are better than usual. At least Anna never has any intention of not telling Evan about his impending fatherhood nor was she going to make demands on him. But boy, he sure failed to step up to the plate and not just once but several times. I kept thinking “chickenshit…” However, when Anna let fly at him for being such a chickenshit, she didn’t pull any punches and I cheered her on. I also like that she stands up to family pressure to name the father of her baby and finally gets her family to see things from her point of view.

Strange as it may seem though, I did like Evan’s stand on not marrying someone as a duty or merely because it was expected. He and Anna and the baby could have ended up miserably had he caved in to pressure. I also approve of Anna’s initial decision to turn down the half-hearted proposal he does make her for the same reasons. Both had to truly want to be married and it’s good that they waited.

Again, I love the interactions between Ian, Patrick and Evan. The talk, the actions and Ian’s quiet way of slipping in his point right between the ribs. And I love his point that Evan’s been waiting for Anna, dating other women as place holders, until he could get her and that 12 years of desire ought to say something about his true feelings for her. Then there are the little things he does for her – buying drawersful of tea, fresh fruit, urging her to nap – all subtle ways he does care for her and take care of her even before he’d admit the truth.

You brought this one down to the wire before giving Evan and Anna their HEA. At first I was thrilled that Evan is appalled at what had happened and then sure he doesn’t want to get married. But then I began to wonder if his change of heart would be too sudden just because you were running out of page space.

But Evan finally realizes that lying to everyone and not manning up to what the two of them had done is worse than coming out and admitting they’d screwed up when they screwed around. The Berzanis are the closest thing to real family, the kind who discipline you when you need it, that he’s got. The forgiveness they give him at the end shows what kind of family they are – one that is there for each other for better or for worse and since they had taken Evan in as one of their own years ago, it finally shows up in him. Kind of like the Grinch’s heart growing 3 sizes. B


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