All right, I know that right up there with the argument about the titles of romance novels is the argument about romance novel covers. Specifically, the clinch cover.
The “Clinch” is the term for that moment-in-time cover where the hero and heroine are pressed together, sometimes in a state of undress, and wow, you can feel the heat. I know some folks object to the clinch cover, usually claiming the embarrassment that comes from being spotted in public with a cover like that, but I’m not one of them.
Personally, I’m shameless and therefore don’t care what other people think – especially about my choice of reading material – and I’d rather have a clinch cover over a generic, anemic flowery cover.
See, I’m not inspired or swept away by flowers. They’re pretty, yes, but they’re also rather run-of-the-mill. In a word, I’m “meh” on flower covers. A flower cover isn’t going to make me not buy the book, but it also won’t inspire me to pick it up, either. Flower covers don’t give me a sense of what the book will be like – unless, of course, the book is about flowers.
But romance novels are about people, so I want people on the cover. Romance novels are about the relationship between the hero and heroine, so I want to see that on the cover. I want to see the emotion, the passion, the excitement that I’m expecting to find in the pages on the cover. A little sizzle on the cover primes me for the sizzle to come.
Others disagree. I’ve participated in many a heated conversation about clinch covers, and if you hate them, well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. ::grin:: Again, it helps that I’m shameless and have no problem reading even my classic Fabio clinch covers from the 90s in the Parent Pit at the dance studio.
Needless to say, I’ve been very pleased with the covers the Cover Fairies at Harlequin have given me. My books are considered sexy, and the covers capture that attraction between the hero and the heroine. Check out the cover for THE MILLIONAIRE’S MISBEHAVING MISTRESS (October 09). Aside from that moment of passion, check out my hero’s arms! I’m a sucker for great arms and shoulders, and mercy, does he have them. Or the cover for my February book, MAGNATE’S MISTRESS…ACCIDENTALLY PREGNANT! That blond, lean-hipped hero on the cover is perfect. It’s easy for me to want to put myself in the heroine’s shoes when a man like that would be nuzzling my neck! Yowza!
A hot clinch cover will cause me to pick up a book – if for no other reason than to get a better look at the hottie on the cover. From there, it’s a short trip into my shopping cart.
So, the clinch cover works for me.
I won’t start the battle of the clinch cover in the comment thread here, but let’s talk about people on the covers of romance novels, in general. Do you like people on the covers or pictures of the setting or something from the book? Do you prefer flower covers? Do you like the covers with just a hunky hero on them?
Kimberly has been very lucky with all of her covers, and you can see them all at http://www.booksbykimberly.com/.