That Cover!

by Anna Bradley | August 8, 2019

4 Replies

Have you all seen the cover of the books in Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series? THE ART OF THEFT, the next book in that series releases on Oct. 15, 2019. I just saw a post on Instagram with her new cover, and it is gorgeous!

Sherry’s books have always been ahead of the curve, and this cover convinced me we have a revolution happening in romance novel covers. We’ve all seen the colorful covers on the latest contemporary women’s fiction/ romances. Helen Hoang’s latest release, THE BRIDE TEST, is a great example of one of these sleek, modern covers.

But one thing we haven’t seen much of is these illustrated covers on historical romance novels. I’ve been wondering if the historical was going to go the way of the contemporary romance and experiment with a new look, and I have to say, I wasn’t convinced it was going to happen.

Then I saw Sherry’s new cover. It’s not an illustration, and the Lady Sherlock books also aren’t strictly romance novels. Amazon categorizes THE ART OF THEFT as a “Historical Mystery” first, with a secondary ranking as a “Victorian Historical Romance.”

Still, that cover…

Do you all think historical romance is moving away from the “hero or heroine, hero + heroine, or gorgeous gown” covers and in a more creative direction? Do you think we should be going there? Have you seen any really great historical romance covers you think are challenging the historical romance status quo?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

4 thoughts on “That Cover!”

  1. Regina M says:

    I have long believed that the historical romance genre has needed to update their covers. I’m so tired of (and even cringe sometimes) over the passionate embraces, gorgeous (but boring) gowns, suggestive poses, and half-naked couples. Sheesh. I’m all for the SUGGESTION of what’s behind the cover. A partial body shot (A Song For the Stars, Ilma Todd); a scene (Daughters of Northern Shores, Joanne Bischof); a fully-clothed hero doing everyday stuff (Bound For Temptation, Tess Lesue); something more abstract (The Matrimonial Advertisement, Mimi Matthews or Kiss of the Spindle, Nancy Campbell Allen); or colorfully illustrated (Dear Mrs. Bird, AJ Pearce or The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang) just to name a few. Work the titles harder. Yes, we’ve come a long way from the Fabio model standing over a heroine kneeling at his feet (yuk), but we’re due again for something a bit more tasteful, less overt. I love sex in my romance novels, but I sure don’t want it plastered all over the cover!

  2. Jean says:

    I do like the Historical Romance bookcovers that’s how the Hero and the Heroine the best and do not want this trend to go away. I tend to not look at a book that has an uninteresting cover unless it is written by an author I like to read their books.

  3. Anna Bradley says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Regina. I’ve been looking at some of the titles you mentioned in your post, and can see where you’re coming from with the idea of a new historical romance cover aesthetic. I started noticing the cover revolution with the illustrated contemporary romance covers, but despite some really creative ones, like the covers of the books in Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series, I have to agree with you that historical has some catching up to do!

  4. Anna Bradley says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Jean! I think there are a lot of readers out there who feel the same way you do – they love the classic historical romance covers. It is tough to argue with the handsome heroes gracing the covers of our historical favorites, isn’t it?

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