When Covers Go Bad

So, I got the cover for my April ’08 book, A Sinful Alliance, a couple of weeks ago. I cried for two hours, and then I couldn’t get the strains of Dancing Queen out of my head for another two…

Okay, granted this a bad scan done on the sly at work, since my printer is having a cranky week. But trust me, if there was a Razzie for romance novel covers I think this would be a contender!

For a bit of context, here is the back cover copy (if you read A Notorious Woman, you may remember Nicolai as Marc’s friend, the actor/spy):

She was exceptionally beautiful, and entirely deadly!
The baseborn daughter of a courtesan and a lord, Marguerite was forced to fend for herself in the dangerous world of the French nobility–as the king’s most feared spy.

Sent to the court of King Henry in England, Marguerite found polite words and flattery concealed dark passions. Her only friend was her old enemy, the sensually tempting Nicolai Ostrovsky. And their sinful alliance seemed set to turn her from old loyalties to new desires!

Exceptionally beautiful? Sensually tempting? Ha!!!

I did finally realize what the cover reminds me of, though!

Or maybe this:
Crossed with this:

When I was hoping for something sorta in the style of this:
Not that Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes look like these particular characters. I just like the romantic, Renaissance-y feel of it.

Or this, if we cut out Scarlett Johansen, would work (the clothes are right, anyway):

This would work, too, if they wanted to sex things up a bit:

In my mind, Nicolai looks something like Heath Ledger (RIP) in Casanova:

And Marguerite looks like Abbie Cornish in Elizabeth: The Golden Age:
No matter what, they don’t look at all like an anatomically incorrect Fabio wannabe in large boots and his Jazzercise instructor girlfriend! I’m not at all sure they would float down the Thames on a bed, either. And they definitely would not open a roller disco with the help of the Muses!

So, tell me the truth now. I can take it. I’m among friends here. What do you think of my cover? And what are some Bad Covers of the Past you remember (Suzanne Brockmann’s infamous Get Lucky maybe? Or our own Janet’s Forbidden Shores?)

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About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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