2013 In Review: Top Ten Cheesiest Romance Covers

Booktopia’s romance specialist Haylee Nash saunters through the visual menagerie that was this year’s romance novel covers, and chooses some of her favourite – worst – covers.

This gorgeous midnight blue silhouette reminds me of a Nineties ad for Impulse…or AntzPantz (sick ‘em, Rex!)

From the position this man is in, I can only assume his lover is on stilts and he has just jumped off a step ladder to straddle her. I call this move the ‘Koala Bear’.

“He must be mine – look at that glistening forelock!”
The only thing more upsetting than the hero’s early-nineties ‘The Young and the Restless’ floppy-fringed mullet is this baby’s ridiculous head of hair. 
Donald Trump eat your heart out!

AKA “How to scar your kids for life”. Despite what the Kmart catalogue may tell you, dressing the same as your kids is never cool.

“Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly/I gotta love one cat till I die/ Can’t help lovin’ dat cat of mine./
Tell me he’s lazy, tell me he’s slow/ Tell me he eats me out of house and home/ Tell me he sheds, or smells of god knows/
Can’t help lovin’ dat cat of mine.”

So many elements – where to start? Clearly this book has something for everyone – the Old West, a flying woman, a magical bracelet and – wait – a panther!

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“I’ve really gotta avoid dairy. Goddamn but that cheese pizza gave me gas.”

“Right before her solo dance at the ‘Velvet Undercarriage’, Satin’s menstrual cramps started to kick in. Looked like she’d be eating ramen noodles for dinner again this week.”

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This cover belongs on a self-help guide for beating premature ejaculation, or as a background for the ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem.

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Another work of art from Cecilia Gimenez, the woman who restored ‘Ecce Homo’, the water-damaged Jesus painting.
As you can no doubt tell from the cover, this is a romantic suspense title.

Is there a cheesy romance cover that you think belongs in the top 10? Leave me a comment below!


Haylee Nash would like to make it known that her commentary on romance covers comes from a place of love. Her time in the romance industry has brought her much joy, not only through reading, publishing, buying and selling the stories that she loves, but from the wonderfully tongue-in-cheek titles and occasionally truly horrific cover art. A note to outsiders: yes, romance readers know our covers can be ridiculous, but we just don’t care.

3 Responses

  1. Claiming his Own – A baby and man gazing at each other with the word ‘Desire’ at the top. Did nobody pick up the less than okay subtext here???
    Love love love these!

    Like this

  2. I agree with the Ants Pantz cover, glad I’m not the only one who rembers that ad. :-D

    Like this

  3. Love love love!!!!!!

    Like this

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