Romance Book Covers and Talli Roland's Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts

Don't forget to take a look at my challenge entry below, if you're part of Rach's campaign!

Abebooks did a round up of romance book covers over the years, featuring recurring motifs of nurses, uncomfortable embraces, floating heads, another tropes. While the article generally deplores the kind of 'art' that's graced the covers of this genre over the years, it also seems to reinforce the point that these novels are mostly about fantasizing and escapism - as is science fiction and fantasy.

Er, no. There are worlds in those stories, and there can be just as much character development and interaction as in any other genre of story. They're not all fluff.

Unfortunately, they're right about the old covers: "Just like your favorite sci-fi novel will often be adorned with outdated fonts, blinding color schemes, multi-headed monsters and embarrassingly scantily-clad space-vixens, you’ll similarly rarely find a subtle romance cover. No tasteful muted tones, no small, understated title, not even a plain cover, here. Instead, the covers are generally dripping with flowery, serif-heavy lettering [and the] illustrations (or even photographs, sometimes), leap off the cover with their swarthy, smoldering men, swooning, passion-addled heroines and the like, in any one of a seemingly limitless number of interchangeable scenarios."

It's time to take back our covers! I think we're on the right track with Kristen Callihan's Firelight, and Talli Roland's latest, the novella Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts.

"When chief romantic Rose Delaney scores her dream job at London's quirkiest new attraction, The Museum of Broken Hearts, she thinks she's got it made. Sure, it's a little depressing dealing with relics of failed relationships each day, but Rose is determined not to let it break her 'love conquers all' spirit. After discovering the museum's handsome curator is nursing a broken heart of his own, Rose steps in to fix it. Can Rose heal the rift, or will this happy ending go awry?"
Talli had me hooked from the first paragraph - what a brilliant way to set up an intriguing tale! - and I empathised with Rose as soon as I started reading, and couldn't wait to see what happened. And the cover's not schmaltzy at all.

As for my story: Still editing. But my query letter for Rosa's story, Out of the Water, is up for critique again. I won an auction during the Write Dreams auctions for Donna's Dream House, and Matthew will be looking at my query any day now...


Talli Roland said…
Oh, thank you, Deniz! :) I'm so pleased you enjoyed it; it was really fun writing a shorter piece. Thanks for the shout-out.
Cherie Reich said…
I love Talli's covers. Plus, her books are awesome.

I agree with you about the cover cliches out there. It can be hard to come up with something different that represents the book and its genre and still appeal to readers without becoming a cliche. There's probably a very fine line to it, but it's good to see some people succeeding. :)
Misha Gericke said…
Talli's covers are always so gorgeous. And this story sounds great. :-)
Zan Marie said…
I think Talli's cover fits the Museum quite well. ; )
S.P. Bowers said…
You're right that covers need an update. Probably in every genre.
Lynda R Young said…
yes, Talli's cover is really classy. It has a slight 1960s feel without feeling dated.
Talli is freaking me out. How can she blog, Facebook, guest post, and write this often and this well? I can only imagine how often and well she tweets too!

Another Talli Roland book to add to the list!
Anonymous said…
Romance books definitely are not all fluff.

I'd love to read Talli's novella. I enjoy her stuff.
Matthew MacNish said…
Today is the day! Well, that is, the first day of two. I'll be sharing my feedback with you tomorrow. Thanks, Deniz!
Melissa Bradley said…
That is a great cover. I can certainly see how those old romance covers are just well, hysterical. I have a few that I posted up my blog when I found them going through old books at my mom's. Talk about floating body parts and drugged looks. LOL
Ishta Mercurio said…
That cover is fabulous.

I'm here from Matt's blog - thought I'd say hello!
I like this cover. Found you from the qqqe - new follower :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Loved it, Talli. Now I'm inspired to visit Dennis Severs' house.
I agree Cherie, Misha and Lynda - Talli's covers are lovely.
Zan Marie, Sara - Talli's are the sort of covers I like. But they seem to go by genre; I don't think that style would work for historical romance, sadly.
Me too, Theresa! I wish I could write short stories that quickly!
I recommend it, Medeia, it's a sweet story!
I'll look out for those old posts, Melissa. Don't forget the Pop Sensation blog, which makes fun of 50s paperback covers.

Thanks so much, Matthew - and thanks for coming by Ishta and Tasha!

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