In older romance novels, I have noticed, the hero tends to be old(er), in his late 30s/40s and so (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not my thing), and the heroine is usually 15 or so, which, (again, in my opinion) is a no-no. That kind of thing didn't bother me when I was younger (go figure), when I read anyhting I could get my hands on, but now that I'm older and more book-snobbish (XD), I prefer modern titles. They suit me just fine, even if they're not as "realistic" as the older ones. I like my heroines strong and my heroes not so rape-ish/caveman-ish, as most of them were. Sure, even now some of them still are like that, but there's something for everyone.
But I'm getting WAY off track here. I was going to talk about covers, and how they were much lovelier back then. Well, most of them. (Don't even get me started on Rejar). What I did notice is that my friends tend to make MORE fun of the covers of the books I read when they're more recent, featuring people.
These, and they agreed with me, look "alright". They're all medieval romances, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
When I read this one, though... well, let's just say they still tell jokes about it, and it's been four years or so:
I mean... where to even start? I can't even... yeah. And if you look at Dara Joy's other covers, things don't improve much. (It's not her fault, though, it's a 90's thing, I think... even if this one is from 1999). :P
I'm glad most writers are starting to not use cover models as much (especially in YA. For some reason, it really bothers me to see close-ups in covers. But I'm weird like that).
Just look at Julia Quinn's books. All pleasantly model-less (is that a word?).
Yes, I KNOW they still have the old-fashioned couples inside the cover, but at least they're not up front.
Weirdly, though, I don't care much when the cover models don't appear facing forward. I prefer it when they're in profile, or just parts of their muscled bodies show... *-*
These also look fine to me, but the ones with the couples would still make me feel a tad embarrassed to read in public. Which is really stupid, but something I can't help:
In conclusion (even if I didn't really reach one), I guess it all depends on your taste and the quality of the photoshopped covers. And the models expressions and body language. Yeah... >.>
Let's just stick with: Don't judge a book's cover until you've read it. Yes, that sounds about right. AND, if it's published with a new and improved cover, go for it.