Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Cover rant: Nora Roberts

My love affair with Nora Roberts is well-known amongst regular readers and well-documented on this blog. The recent covers for her US contemporaries have been great (Bride Quartet and Inn Boonsboro) – very dreamy and romantic – and I’ve loved them. There’s been some slight changes for a few titles for the UK versions, but they’re ones that I can live with.

NR’s books are constantly being reissued and none so more than ever for Kindle with brand new spanking covers to match. I’ve generally approved (MacKades, Dream trilogy, Stars of Mithra) because they’ve been great choices. NR has been writing since 1981, so her ‘contemporaries’ thirty years ago can’t really be called as such today, but she writes with such a timelessness that it doesn’t matter; her books could be set in the seventeenth century and you might not notice. While you can probably tell with the older books that it is slightly out-of-date, there is never enough to properly pinpoint the book to a set timeframe, and so I find myself not really caring that it is twenty years old and some practices just aren’t done anymore. This is Nora Roberts for Chrissakes: she’s The Master.

NR’s original US covers for the Bride Quartet are my favourite of all her books. While the books are nowhere near my favourite content-wise, they're fabulous wedding-porn and the covers are the best. It’s the perfect blend of contemporary and romanticism, reflecting the class and elegance of Vows whilst giving a not-so-subtle hint about what the books are about. While the UK covers for Bed of Roses and Happy Ever After are more subtle than their UK counterparts, they manage to retain that touch of elegance and elusiveness.

I came across this new set of covers a little while ago. ‘Incensed’ is the best way to describe my feelings. Why on earth would the publishers go and change a perfectly stunning set of covers for these tacky monstrosities? There just aren’t words. Publishers regularly reissue books to attract new readers and boost sales, but I just don’t see why NR’s publisher would do so with such a horrible looking set. I’m alright with the cover for Bed of Roses, but the others offend me. The dresses are horrible, the fonts don’t suit the books, the pastels are wishy-washy, the bride in Savour the Moment blends into the background, and there's nothing on Vision in White to reflect Mac's role in Vows. I can’t look at them without wanting to cry.

Anyway, I was just so angry about it that I had to share. What are your thoughts on the new covers? Are there any covers that make you want to scream/cry/slam your head into the wall?

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