I haven’t actually read any romance novels, so I’m basing my opinion of the genre based on a couple of really terrible movies about teenage vampires, and the blurbs from my shelving days at Borders. Mostly it seemed like they were about big-city ladies on the rebound from some prior relationship moving to the country and hooking up with the charming-but-bumpkinky sheriff and/or fire-fighter, or about a medieval maiden getting kidnapped by some vaguely historical marauder, and subsequently becoming infatuated with him. These barbarian dudes were usually either Scottish or Viking back in 2005, but with the current popularity of Game of Thrones, one can only wonder how Hyperborean things are these days. In whatever form, Insensitive Sweaty Men With Big Arms seemed to be the prevailing model, if the covers were any indication.

And about those covers: let’s jazz ’em up a little! It’s all just headless dudes with open shirts these days, with some horrific background stock image to provide some clue about the sub-genre (i.e., full moon means he’s a werewolf, a horse means he’s a cowboy, etc.). We’re in a golden age of total sci-fi fantasy romance mystery genre convergence, and if the book is about a half-vampire cyberpunk detective who needs to team up with a dragon rancher with a mysterious past to stop the werewolf yakuza from disrupting the timeline, it should have a cover with more than a half-clad torso and a nighttime cityscape on it. If you got it, flaunt it!