Last night, Stephen Colbert did a rather major segment on The Colbert Report about Harlequin's search for new cover models. It was fun, and he posed for various covers (link below).
However, right at the top of the segment, three covers were shown beside him. I couldn't quite make out the ones on the left and the right, but I recognized the one in the middle. It wasn't a Harlequin book.
Maybe somebody just went to the store and grabbed any ol' romance without a single thought to the actual publisher, despite the impetus for the piece, but even so, I couldn't help wondering if they didn't grab any Harlequin books because their covers aren't nearly as "clinchy" and/or "old school" as some used by other publishers.
Take a look at the covers of the March Harlequin Historicals here. And the April books here. There's only one that I would consider remotely "old school" (THE ADVENTURER'S WIFE) and even then, it's not nearly as "old school" as other romances published recently.
The irony? I could actually see Stephen Colbert on one of my covers. He's got good bone structure and a great scowl. The artist would have to make him look a little more muscular, so readers would be able to believe he could wear forty pounds of chain mail all day and not collapse in a heap at the end, and the glasses would have to go, but otherwise? Go for it, Stephen! Go for it! It could be a whole new career!
Stephen Colbert's covers. (You'll have to scroll down a bit.)