When I first heard that the Bound in Darkness series was being translated and released by foreign publishers, I just assumed they would use the same covers as the original American version from Pocket. Boy howdy, was I wrong.
Here’s what the first book, My Demon’s Kiss, looked like at your local American Barnes & Noble store (or similar outlet in the U.K. or Australia or wherever English-language paperbacks were sold):
The story takes place in medieval England, but this is very much an American romance cover - it’s all about the torso, baby, all about that chest. (A straight male friend, who is understandably immune to the charms of such an image, dubbed this gorgeous hunk of man flesh a member of the Medieval Village People.) Subsequent installments featured the same model with even more flesh showing – not a bad thing at all.
The Germans went for a much more understated look, I think – much more like what we Americans would think of as women’s fiction. It’s beautiful; I love it; but I’d never peg this as a romance. (And yes, it’s exactly the same book.)
I love the castle, and the model is gorgeous, but would you think this was a medieval romance? To me, it looks more like a ‘woman’s thriller’ – she looks like a beautiful American tourist whose just been swept up in an international intrigue by a dashing Eurotrash dude who may or may not be a spy.
But far and away the most striking for me is the Italian version. Remember those dudes on the covers of Johanna Lindsey and Bertrice Small books in the 1970s? Amateurs – understated banker types by comparison to this guy.
It’s the Pagani Zonda F super car of romance novel covers – the chest hair! The lace! I just adore it -and I just know he can’t believe it’s not butter. (Stupid in joke – sorry, Fabio.)
There’s also a Japanese version from a publisher best known for anime – I can’t find it, but if anybody else can, pleeeease send me the link.
So tell me this, kittens – if all three of these books were in a language you were comfortable reading, sitting side by side on a shelf, and you had to buy one, which one would you pick?