Our 3 Favorite Vintage Romance Novel Covers Reviewed // Frolic Podcast of the Week: Bodice Tipplers


[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to bring you this new series: Frolic Podcast of the Week! Each week, we’ll ask one of our great podcasters to share a bit about themselves. Up next, we have Sara and Courtney from Bodice Tipplers. They’re sharing some of their favorite covers with us. Take it away!]

Welcome to Bodice Tipplers. We’re Courtney and we’re Sara and we’re Bodice Tipplers, the podcast where we read the romance novels we used to steal off our grandmothers’ nightstands (and then we drink about it.) Join us each episode as we examine the good, the bad, and the throbbing of vintage romances.

During our tenure of exploring the wild world of vintage romance novels we have seen a lot of covers. Many have been low key affairs with pretty florid fonts and flowers hiding the most insane storylines, but we prefer it when an author lets us know from the get go that we are in for one hell of a ride. Put that insanity out there for the world to see! Here are some of our favorite covers from books we have “covered,” see what I did there?

The Hood by Carin Rafferty:

Full disclosure, we picked this book out because of this bananas cover. These outfits? Those hairstyles? All in this book.  One listener said that, “that cover lets you know this was based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fanfic.” The accuracy! The best part is Matt from the streets is the world’s smexiest accountant. For real though, this book was pretty good. Our boy Matt is too good for this world. 

Courtney: Why are his jeans ripped so high on the thighs? Are his thighs so bulging that they cannot be contained?

Sara:  She is totally checking out his ass!  It’s amazing!  It’s 1992! 

Courtney: When wearing a chartreuse silk ensemble, make sure the pants are high waisted with a pleat for a more flattering look.

Note: there is a sex scene in this book where she takes off her side-button dress pants and her “nude” pantyhose.  You will absolutely have flashbacks to your first office job.

Captive Passions by Fern Michaels

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”  – H.L. Mencken

“Every normal woman must be tempted, all the dang time, to spit on her hands, hoist the black flag, and start cuttin’ they business off.” – Sara and Courtney

Sara: I guess Chrissy Teigen raided her grandma’s scarf drawer for this last minute Halloween costume? She already had the clothes from the Wet Seal at the mall.

Courtney: Booty shorts are 1000% historically accurate. I appreciate that the Quaker Oats guy gets to be a hero.

Note: this is not one of those books where the cover has nothing to do with the contents of the book.  This outfit is absolutely in the book – she makes it herself.  She is the author of her own Daisy Duke destiny.

Warrior’s Woman by Johanna Lindsey

You can’t have a podcast about vintage romance and not talk about Johanna Lindsey. We have done a couple of her books and each episode has almost broken Sara’s brain. Lindsey’s books are classic ravishment books so maybe skip that if it isn’t your jam, but they do make for a fun book cover history lesson. The art for many of Lindsey’s books (the painted clench covers like this that look like what people think of when they think “bodice ripper”) was done by Elaine Duillo. Her career began in the late 1950s with cover art for pulp novels and she had to pretend she was a man to get these commissions. She helped redefine romance novel cover art through her work, practically inventing the “Fabio with his shirt off and a lady in his arms” iconic style. That being said, this cover is amazing and we need to talk about it. 

Courtney: I have those same Spanx leather leggings our dude is wearing and I can tell you they are worth every penny. 

Sara: This is pretty much exactly what you’re going to get if you read the book.  This is the best kind of cover – it’s informative about the tone and contents, and it has a dude on it who smells so bad the woman is pretending she’s turning her head away in ecstasy and has to breathe through her mouth.

Courtney: Respect for that high ponytail, just looking at it gives me a headache. 

Sara: The scrunchie is in the book!  Weird nose they put on Fabio there though.

Note: I lied.  We’re not here to make fun of this cover.  This cover is perfect.

Don’t forget to check out Bodice Tipplers wherever you get your podcasts!

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