Poor, darling, fairy-killing BookThingo had a horrendous bad coffee experience (BCE) the other day. I was much aggrieved for her. In this day and age there is no reason for a BCE. There is no reason for poorly made coffee or instant coffee, which is a blot on humanity. Period.I feel much the same way about romance fiction. In this day and age, with all the talented romance writers in the world, there is no reason for a romance novel to have a shitty cover and a shitty title.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I bitch here now and again about the lack of originality in films and books. I moan about a sameness that has infiltrated Hollywood and the publishing industry, and yes, it could just be me. People like Swell and katydidinoz will tell you I’m a picky romance reader and, all right, I am. I am ridiculously choosy when it comes to the romance I read. I WILL judge a romance by it’s cover. To me, a clinch cover is a cliche and massive turn off. A pink cover is a turn off too. A cover with hearts on a pastel cover is a turn off and a insult. Anything that makes the cover shimmer is a turn off. Anything that has a hologram (big in the 90’s) is a turn off. I readily admit to having a few books guilty of these cover crimes on my shelf. Case in point is a Jo Goodman series I love. I mean I really, really LOVE the series, but I would never have read these books if not prodded and repeatedly poked in the eye with the shimmering turquoise hologram by Swell, who insisted I would love them.
My persnicketiness isn’t limited to shimmery aqua clinch covers. Previously on Oldbitey, I bitched about the current trend for the bare back and bare legs cover shots. This time my beef with unoriginality stems from cover art used over and over and over for different novels by different authors. I’m sorry. I see copycat covers and It’s sure-fire way to make me judge the book as a a copycat, and I will NOT buy the book.
In addition to my cover prejudice, I WILL judge a romance by its title as well. A title that contains any of the following words, Wicked, Sweet, Abandon, Forbidden, Passion, Wild, Sinful, Reckless, Seduction, Ecstasy, Duke, Mistress, Hot, and/or Rogue means an instant eye roll and muttered under my breath cuss word or three.
For some of you, my opinion on this constitutes fightin’ words, but to me the appearance of language like that perpetuates myths about romance fiction equaling purple-prosed non-literary cheese. It perpetuates the bodice ripper mentality and denigrates the genre. Meanwhile, the homogenization of and reuse of cover art says romance novels aren’t worthy of anything original because everyone knows romance stories aren’t original. I mean, come on, they all end the same way.