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The Deep Dive

The Issue With Romance Covers

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

For the longest time, I’ve gotten most of my bookish romance needs from all the fantasy and mystery I read. I prefer characters who ultimately end up together to start out as rival witches, or amateur sleuths trying to track down a serial killer together or something. You know, fun things.

I should say that this was never because I looked down on contemporary romance or anything, I have just gravitated towards those two genres. But since I started at Book Riot, my romance tastes have changed. I find myself enjoying a good contemporary romance sans dragons or gumshoeing more and more these days.

But y’all, I’ve noticed something: Too many of the romance books being published these days have illustrated covers.

That may seem like a dramatic response, but hear me out. I do like the art style of many of the illustrated covers I’m referring to, and I think they’re well done, it’s just that there are way too many of them. And, I feel that they give false advertising that doesn’t serve the romance genre, nor the book community at large.

Before I get into why I think this, let’s get into the emergence of this trend.

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