Recovery! Book Cover Double Takes

Look what I found while book browsing! Same models, different background, different story. It’s interesting to see how cover artists can change the tone of a story by changing the background.

I’ve seen this happen twice before with other books. I’m also seeing an erotic line of books being released with one standard cover, with each book being a stand-alone read, written by different authors.

Big thanks to Thadd Evans for letting me promo our double-take book covers. If you enjoy science-fiction, please take a look at Thadd’s current release, Portal 2212!

One of the most exciting treats for me as a writer is seeing the hero or heroine in my stories come to life in a book cover. In earlier days of illustrated covers (Harlequins to historical romance clinch covers) two books would have had zero chances of carrying the same cover.

But the digital age ushers in stores and gallerias of stock book cover images available for purchase. Or plain simple drooling—I mean, viewing. Add some enterprising models that have carved out niches as romance novel cover models, and what do you have? Cover art candy stores!

While this is great news for publishers, authors, cover artists and readers, cover artist Angela Anderson shares this interesting thought, “Unfortunately, in this digital age, cover images are used and reused often. Sometimes within the same publishing house. We do our best to avoid it, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.”

Cover art has come a long way from the historical romances of the 70’s to 90’s with their bodice-ripping, couple-clinching, hide-if-you-take-on-bus with you covers that sported the hero’s long tresses curled around the heroine’s creamy, naked thighs. Wait. Was it the heroine’s long tresses curling around the hero’s sculpted, naked thighs? Feast your eyes on this beauty. There are tresses a-curling everywhere, and plush breastusses on the verge of spillage. What’s wrong with this picture? I actually like clinch covers! Anyway, this was a “then” cover.

Cover featuring model/actor Fabio

This is a “now” cover. Modern, hot–wait. How come they’re still so damnn sexyyyy? This is the gorgeous cover of author Rachel Leigh’s newest release, Coming Back. Welcome home, I say 🙂 Congratulations, Rachel.

As a reader, I’ve seen the most dramatic changes in historical romance book covers. Then again, historical romances led the charge in clinch cover coupling.

With my debut book, I think I actually requested a hot clinch cover. My friends might have groaned when I told them of my wishes. I wanted sexy. I wanted erotic in the Hawaiian tropics. I wanted faces when it was probably more desirable to NOT show features. But the heroine is an island girl, so it was important for me to see a mainstream model with slightly exotic features representin’!  I even requested the hero not be bulked-up to kingdom come, but that he look fit to indicate an active lifestyle. I love this cover!! These two have been a good luck charm.

And here they are again! They’re temporarily gracing the cover of Rachel Leigh’s current work in progress, Greek Gratification.

So here you have my cover story, and I’m sticking to it. Before I go, may I leave you with this image of author Christina Dodd’s famous cover featuring a three-handed heroine?

This entry was posted in Erotica, Fiction, New Books, Promoting, Romance, Romance Writers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Recovery! Book Cover Double Takes

  1. KevaD says:

    Interesting post. It is surprising how with all of the thousands of pictures available, a few seem to grab cover artists’ attention. And I agree, artists have a true eye and ability to add mood to a cover with just a couple of subtle alterations such as color tone and softness.


    • Lelani Black says:

      KevaD isn’t that so true, to be able to change lighting, background, even skin tone to evoke a certain feel. I never thought about the use and commerce of book covers until I saw the models for Thadd Evans’ book cover. As always thank you for stopping by, KevaD!


  2. Well guess what – that guy on your cover, Lelani, rings a bell. He looks just like the guy on the cover of my book Strangers!! As does the girl! Different pose but same models. I suppose there are only a limited number of gorgeous people to go round!


    • Lelani Black says:

      LOL, Barbara, I just whipped out my Kindle and bought Strangers. See, proof that a hot cover sells books!! Truly he is hot, and she’s gorgeous. People kept telling me they’ve seen these models in a diet commercial. I didn’t think these models were even real until I saw Rachel Leigh’s blog and cha-chaa. There they were in all their hotness. Well, we all must do our duty to keep these models in business. My husband volunteered himself for one of my book covers. Um…no. Thanks, but no. I might be besotted with his miniature 4 pack abs, but apparently the standard is a 6 pack, even an 8 pack. Thanks for stopping in, Barbara. Can’t wait to dig in to Strangers 🙂


  3. ~Jane~ says:

    Hi Lelani~

    I’ve seen one of my fave book covers on three different books, from three different authors and publishers. I was surprised when I saw the third one, but it fit the theme of all three books nicely, and it is great to look at! 😉

    The three handed heroine is great–I hadn’t seen that one before!

    Great post! 🙂



    • Lelani Black says:

      Oh yes, thanks to clever cover artists some covers are just enduring and appealing! The three-handed heroine is a famous cover, I’d never say it was a disaster because I think it created a perfect storm for the author, and…I think it’s a beautiful cover. Always good to see you, Miss Jane! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


    • Debra says:

      Slam dukinn like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote informative articles.


  4. Thanks, Lelani and LOL on husband volunteering. Mine has offered too. How to let the guy down gently….. Those models are just fantastic. I’ve had some shockers on my books – obviously not going to say which – and I know an author’s vision of our hero and heroine can never be the same as that of the cover artist but but but –
    But for Strangers – it’s spot on. Hope you like it!


    • Lelani Black says:

      Barbara you’re so welcome. I know I will enjoy Strangers. And yes, gotta love these helpful husbands, LOL. As for shocker covers, readers can look beyond that, although I do flinch when I hear criticisms about hair or eyes not matching on cover art. I wish more people knew that some publishers do not even give their authors any say on the outcome or vision of their book covers.


  5. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!


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