Excuse me, cover designers…

Is it a ball in 1876 – or a wedding in 2017??

This trend for the enormous prom dress cover was widely mocked when it was all the rage in Young Adult fiction. However, I could (sort of) understand why it was being done for that subgenre.

Now, though, it is plaguing historical romance, and I’m not happy! Considering Regency (nor Georgian, nor Victorian) gowns looked nothing like these, not only is the trend irritating me, but it is presenting the books as another genre.

Writers as good as Lisa Kleypas, Shana Galen, etc. deserve better!

Hopefully it’s a trend that will soon pass, but I doubt it.


 Devil in Spring (2017) (The third book in the Ravenels series) A novel by Lisa Kleypas

4 thoughts on “Excuse me, cover designers…

  1. :climbs on chair:


    :applauds loudly, with vigor:

    This bothers the stuffing out of me, for exactly that reason – modern dresses on historical covers tells the casual observer that the history doesn’t matter, and it oh so freaking does. Otherwise, the books would be contemporaries, where the modern dresses would be perfectly at home (if said book included a formal affair, to which heroine would be wearing such.) I know of at least one reader who looks at the covers to see what is a historical and what is not. Historicals and paranormals are a yes for her, contemporaries a hard no in most cases, but when the gown on the cover is a modern creation one might see on this week’s Say Yes To The Dress, that book is going back on the shelf, no other information needed. Even if it really was a historical.

    When I first started reading historical romance, the clothing of the character(s) on the cover could tell me, at a glance, A) that this was a historical, and B) what era in history the story took place. Covers have a job to do, and, for my money, it’s not “look like everything else and say nothing about the subgenre.”

    :tosses glitter:

    :climbs down from chair:

    Now get off my lawn, modern cover designers.

    1. I think I become irrationally angry about these awful covers, and have to remind myself that a year from now there’ll be a totally different trend to get worked up about!

      However, I’ve seen some articles praising the Kleypas cover and stepback (the first and third images), because apparently the prom dress is “perfect” for the unconventional heroine! Too bad it’s meant to be 1876, and that looks like a wedding from last week!

      If Lisa Kleypas’ name hadn’t been there, and I hadn’t known I loved both her books and the Victorian era they are supposed to be set in, I would never have even given that book a second glance. It’s awful – and it’s not a YA fantasy!

      That actually isn’t the cover we got in Britain/Australia; whomever intervened and gave us a more historically accurate cover deserves a round of applause.

      Everyone I know shops for books based on first impressions of the cover, and I can’t see many people over sixteen picking up any of these prom-themed books.

      1. I am right there with you on the covers, and you’re right, next year, there will be a whole different trend. Fingers crossed that ‘historical accuracy’ will be in there somewhere.

        Is the Kleypas cover pretty? Sure. Does it even remotely suggest the Victorian era? Nope. A Victorian woman, in that dress, would not even be considered dressed. Why on earth would she be outside in her underwear/half a dress? Points to the gentleman for doing what he could to preserve her modesty, but if he were a real gentleman, he’d have given her his coat.

        For a contemporary romance, or a YA fantasy, the cover is fine. As a historical romance, it misses the mark by a wide margin.

  2. Pingback: The Week: 6th – 12th March – Sonya's Stuff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.