Lauren Dane’s Whiskey Sharp series, which follows the employees of a vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar in Seattle, made it on my 17 Books I Want To Read in 2017 list and this week I noticed this book never actually came out.
A quick check of Lauren Dane’s blog revealed that the release date had been pushed back because US bookstores found the cover to be too edgy and Harlequin re-shot it. This was the result of the reshoot:
I don’t hate the new cover, but I don’t love it either. I found the original cover to be more interesting to look at, the barber shop chair and perfectly manicured beard tell me something about the story. Aside from the tattoo on the heroine’s arm the new one looks like an image you would find on any Harlequin series romance.
Like Lauren Dane, I am puzzled as to how a fully clothed man staring off center could be seen as edgy. I’m really stumped because Lori Foster and Diana Palmer have similar covers. Honestly, the only thing I can think of is that the booksellers had issue with the idea that the cover could be perceived as male / male because the model is well manicured and not in a traditionally masculine setting….which, if true is really unfortunate.