Glasses and Book Covers

Many gazillions of people in this world do not have perfect eyesight, and many people wear glasses or contact lenses – or both at various times.

This includes romance heroes and heroines.

Now, I could get into the fact contact lenses in books are mentioned once and then totally ignored; like the characters never have to take them out or clean or deal with them, and that nobody ever gets something under the lenses and stands there with tears streaming down their face (me every day!), however it doesn’t make for much of a romance.

But what I’m angry about right now is the covers of these books.

In December I picked up two books in a row where a main character wore glasses full-time. In the first one it was the heroine. It was the hero in the second.

The covers are below.



Where are the bloody glasses?

These aren’t the only books. In fact, I cannot recall a SINGLE romance book cover where the character who is meant to be wearing them has them on.

Harlequin/Mills and Boon certainly has an aversion to them. Such as this Sarah Mayberry cover with a glasses-wearing heroine:

Suddenly You by Sarah Mayberry

Because when you have poor vision, the best place to wear your glasses is ON YOUR HAND.

Historical characters are given the same treatment:


I get that smaller publishers have a limited budget for their covers, which means they have to go for whatever stock photography they can get their hands on, but surely they could try harder (a side note: the guy on cover #2 isn’t supposed to have a beard, either!).

There is NO excuse for publishers like Harlequin, other than that they don’t think it’s sexy enough to have a character with an eyesight problem. After all, Harlequin gets their own models and costumes and sets and producers when they make their book covers. I’m sure they could add a couple of pairs of glasses to the wardrobe department.

It’s a small thing, but a significant one. Just as the women on covers are always Amazonian runway models, no matter how petite the author describes them as, or how a hero always has short, dark hair, no matter how long or fair it is supposed to be, I’m getting that people would be much happier if authors just kept the glasses for the sidekick characters.

So much for the diversity authors are trying to go for!

Surrender to the Marquess (Herriard #3) by Louise Allen


Please ignore the silly blurb; it’s a much better book that the publisher wants you to think!

When Lady Sara Herriard’s husband dies in a duel, she turns her back on the vagaries of the ton. From now on, she will live as she pleases. She won’t change for anyone certainly not for the infuriating Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock!

Lucian must help his sister recover from a disastrous elopement and reluctantly enlists Lady Sara’s help. She couldn’t be further from the conventional, obedient wife he’s expected to marry, but soon all he craves is for her to surrender and join him in his bed!

Surrender to the Marquess (Herriard #3) by Louise Allen

Gorgeous cover!

I will read anything Louise Allen writes. She is far and away one of my favourite historical romance writers, and she should not be overlooked because she writes for Mills and Boon/Harlequin instead of one of the other publishers.

This might be one of my favourite books by her, even though I’ve not yet read the others connected to it.

This story features the daughter of a marquess, who meets a marquess in disguise in a coastal town in Dorset. It’s not some silly, contrived disguise plot, but because he is trying to protect his younger sister’s reputation after he rescued her on the Continent, close to death.

I loved that he had to give up on the deception early, because a peer can spot a peer amongst the working and middle classes. I also liked how hero and heroine came to be together, from him thinking she was a widow he could have an affair with, to him needing her to help with his sister.

The heroine is twenty-four, but already widowed because she lost her husband in a duel. She has no interest in marrying back into her class, where the men have paternalistic ideas about honour and protecting women – and this is exactly how the hero is.

Things progress believably, and there is a lot for both characters to overcome.

There is also the mystery surrounding the hero’s sister, and a mystery surrounding another man in town.

Not all the book takes place in Dorset, and we do get our time with the aristocratic families – something most people seem to think is necessary for a Regency romance!

I can’t really explain why some authors are so much better than others (I was reading another Regency at the same time, and there was NO comparison). However, everything about this book works.

From the historical accuracy and total understanding of social rules – nobody is addressing someone out of turn or in the wrong way. To the true English feel to it (it helps the author lives in England) – no silly, inaccurate stereotypes you find in too many books like this. To the genuine ROMANCE that develops even though both characters only planned to be lovers at first (made believable by the fact the heroine has already been married once).

To the amount of PLOT from start to finish, which means my mind never drifted…

Every time I read one of Louise Allen’s books set on the English coast, I feel like planning another trip!

This was such a good read.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

What I am up to.

When I travel I always have the best intentions of maintaining my blogs, but of course that never happens!

I have begged off lunch in Venice today to catch up on some things in my work life, but when you are staying on the Grand Canal it is always easy to be distracted!

It didn’t help that when I ducked out to the supermarket I was discovered by friends and “forced” to stop for pre-lunch drinks!


I finished Mary Balogh’s latest the other day, and loved it to pieces (I honestly don’t ever cry, but this is one of four of thousands of books I’ve read that nearly made me). However, there won’t be a review until I return home in March.

I am now in the process of reading a bunch of Australian books by women writers, as I am to moderate at the Jugiong Writers’ Festival shortly after I return home:

I am also now reading a review copy of Eloisa James’ latest book – my first by this very famous author! It is great so far.


Breakfast view.

However, I am in Venice at Carnevale, the most important time of the year, there are people in spectacular costumes everywhere, and our long-term Italian friends (who we’ve known since living in India many years ago) have driven here from Asti to spend time with us. So I am falling behind.

My Italian-language skills are becoming terrible, because these days so many people speak English.

I am sorry for all the typos I am sure are in this post, but I have no proper computer at the moment!

I am also sorry for not responding to people. It is not on purpose!

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries


I have seen exactly ten minutes of one episode of the television adaptation of this series, but now find myself the unexpected owner of a bunch of Miss Fisher books.

Set in Melbourne, Australia in the 1920s, the show turned out to do fairly well overseas, which surprised me a bit (in the parts I’ve seen, there are some VERY heavy Australian accents in there!). However, the costumes look gorgeous:


Has anybody read these? I have no idea when I’ll find time to, but I figure I’d better at least try one!