It's been a few months since my last lampooning of the all-too-easily-skewered Harlequin line. Tonight at our Local Grocery Chain Maughta and I came across a few books which once again exemplify Harlequin's penchant for expository titles and swarthy Mediterranean Mammons.
Let's take a look at the latest in a long line of barrel-bottom bodice-busting bookery, shall we?
All I have to say about this bit of schlock is that the title sounds like it was produced by a Romance Novel Random Title Generator™ that's fed words like "billionaire," "bachelor," "bride," and so forth. I also have to admit that at first I thought the giant gemstone at the cover's center was a glinting pair of stainless steel handcuffs.
Oh, and a NOTE to would-be-poets: "billionaire heir" doesn't "rhyme," it doesn't "scan," it doesn't witness any clever poetic device. It just sounds uninspired and stupid.
Wait, did I just say that last title sounded stupid? I spoke too soon. We're back at the corner of 1st and Main in Expository Title Town. Nice brocading on that fainting couch. She's going to have a helluva backache in the morning.
And here come the Greeks! The cover designers didn't want to leave anything to chance: "In the Greek tycoon's bed," "The Giannakis bride," "At the mercy of a ruthless Mediterranean billionaire..." He's Ukrainian, isn't he?
Exactly how many Greek billionaires are there? Of course, the Italians are not to be outdone:
For my money, this last one's the topper. The title defies every naming convention for throw-away fiction ever devised. It doesn't sing, it doesn't zing, there's not even the merest attempt at drama. It reads more like a newspaper headline ("Mayor: Town in Crisis") or the title of an academic text ("Nuts: a comprehensive history of almonds in the United Kingdom") than the title a romance novel. However, 3 of the title's 6 words ("virgin," "Italian," and "wedded") are stock fodder for the RNRTG™, so I guess I could cut it some slack.
Until next time, keep sending us your covers, and your favorite pulp titles!