Yes, sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar. And sometimes a bare-chested man is really just a bare-chested man. When I came across this book in the library, I was, of course, entranced by the profile with cigar as well as the romance novel elements inherent in this cover (the tryst, the bare-chested guy--what a package!, the bad guy dressed in civil war regalia--you can tell he's a bad guy 'cause he has facial hair). I thought, here's a western that has it all. And then I came across another:
Longarm's guarding some heavenly bodies...
Yes, people, it turns out that there are over 300 Longarm books out there. And Tabor Evans (or a host of people writing under that name) churn out one every month. Every cover has the cigar-clenching profile (Longarm himself?) and includes various elements more commonly found on romance covers. Sometimes the same picture appears in different places and proportions on other covers. I think that I, too, would recycle images after 300! I never, in a million years, imagined I would come across this many covers that are this bad. Bless you, Longarm, and the hacks who churn you out.
UPDATE!!! There's a whole other series! With over 300 books! And a silhouette of a guy (alas, no cigar, but he does have a nifty scar)! And it's called Gunsmith! And written by a guy named J. R.! Okay, getting a little excited here with the exclamation points. But see for yourself (notice in the earlier book, #4, it's "an ADULT western series"...Oooooh la la):