For a romance novel to be successful, it has to be steamy from the moment readers lay their eyes on it. The book covers that end up on these titillating texts, however, are often just as over-the-top as the stories they adorn, and usually, feature airbrushed models in dramatically sensual poses. When you put simple, everyday people in the same photoshoot ideas, it's even harder to take it all seriously.

According to writer Lorraine Heath, who was interviewed by Cosmopolitan back in February, romance novel covers are almost the lifeblood of the genre. "Romance readers do base a lot on the covers. That’s the first thing that they look for... I’ve seen readers post that they’ve picked up books simply because they wanted the cover that was on the book," she shared. "The photo ideas need to be a little provocative. It’s also helpful if it tries to capture the mood of the story."

Photographer and photo editor Kathleen Kamphausen decided to tone it down, though, and in the most entertaining way possible. She recreated some of the most passionate front covers of love stories using Average Joes instead of Fabios, and they pretty much look like most of us trying to be seductive on any given day. Have a scroll through the funny photos below, and vote the ones that you'd buy over the bestsellers in a heartbeat. Keep it simple, folks!

(h/t: Cosmopolitan)

#1

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

they turned a unicorn's head!

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#2

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Estifanos Shiferaw
Community Member
4 years ago

Even the name is replaced to average "DAN"

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#3

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Jhoa
Community Member
4 years ago

The tagline sounds awfully like rape.

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#4

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

.gas.
Community Member
4 years ago

Random nude guy in a cornfield? Sounds like the beginning of a horror film to me!

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#5

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

GlassOfWater
Community Member
4 years ago

omg her face XD

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#6

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Valentina
Community Member
4 years ago

a tale of passion and chyropractice...

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#7

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Kim Lawson
Community Member
4 years ago

Haha the uggs make it!

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#8

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Andrzej Raczynski
Community Member
4 years ago

"heehee you're tickling me"

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#9

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Jeremie Guerra
Community Member
4 years ago

That's a huge jump for the horse ^^

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#10

Romance Novel Covers

Cosmopolitan Report

Juana
Community Member
4 years ago

Nice scrunchy, and purple fabric pieces tied together.

Aunt Messy
Community Member
4 years ago

Fabio again. He made a REALLY good living doing this stuff.

As If
Community Member
4 years ago

I notice that in every one of these, it's the men that make it look ridiculous. The women actually did a pretty good job. There's a point in there somewhere.

Mel De Castro Pugh
Community Member
4 years ago

The men look pretty ridiculous in the original too 😂

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Francie Traschen
Community Member
4 years ago

he looks like he fell asleep! long day, buddy?

Hans
Community Member
4 years ago

He-Man is back!

Chris Ross
Community Member
2 years ago

I read that one.

Jimmy Leong
Community Member
2 years ago

:)

Barbara Pompei
Community Member
4 years ago

somehow content gets lost in translation.....

Maridel Anama
Community Member
4 years ago

pasty white, needs a tanning salon hahaha

get in
Community Member
4 years ago

OMG, these are so awful

Ana Amaro
Community Member
4 years ago

The ones on the left are almost doing sex, the ones on the right are sleeping dressed as a viking and his maiden. Ah and he's wearing his tight pants lent by the rogue guy, who sailed the caribeeans for many months without washing them. That's rough

Helen Stewart
Community Member
4 years ago

So wrong...'The Warrior's Woman' or 'Warriors' Women'. Sack that editor!

Rosalie Monarez
Community Member
4 years ago

what a chunk I mean hunk

Pablo Sheldon
Community Member
4 years ago

Te guy on the left looks like he is going to stab her. The one on the right looks like he is sleeping and about ready to drop the blade.

Terrie Balmer
Community Member
4 years ago

Good Lord, #3 on the left looks like Justin Trudeau!

zahra jamali
Community Member
4 years ago

this writer reaaaally love his man longed hair!!!!!

endelbendel
Community Member
4 years ago

if she is already pressed against his loins, why his hand on his phallus?

Peggy Bell
Community Member
4 years ago

The most off-putting is the lack of skin color.

Oskaparrot
Community Member
4 years ago

Well, if I ever read a romance book, I would be more prepared to buy the ones with the amateurs on the front cover. More realistic and you would just have to see how it all works out. The others are not in the least bit interesting. You know what is going to happen just by the cover. But the others, well, there are stories there that could go one way or the other.

Della VanNeste
Community Member
4 years ago

Her face makes it

Tracey Martens
Community Member
4 years ago

I'm guessing all these people are Brits.

Wendy Yim-Wong
Community Member
4 years ago

I can't even....

preben nielsen
Community Member
4 years ago

That was ... terrible.

Mindi Guy
Community Member
4 years ago

Dan's kinda hot!

Robin Ellison
Community Member
4 years ago

love that farmer tan line!

Margaret Bloebaum
Community Member
4 years ago

And her thong strap is showing.

Kirsten Preston
Community Member
4 years ago

Oh look, Conan the Barnarian has had a change of hair style

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