Worst romance novel cover contest

So we went to the library book sale today. It was a little disappointing. Miss G whispers, "Mama-- they're all pornos." I whisper back, "The official term is 'romance novels, kid." There were three times as many of them as any other kind of book. We dug around anyway, hoping for buried treasure.

The girls' disappointment turned to giggles less than 5 minutes later. I look over and see them pulling out various trashy paperbacks and rolling eyes at the covers. Then they start reading the titles to each other and giggling. Pretty soon they're laughing too hard to even try to use low voices anymore.

"I want to find one for Chelsea!" says Miss G. My friend Chelsea & I have an ongoing battle to see who can find the cheesiest romance novel. Then we wrap them up fancy and give them to each other at inappropriate times-- like, just after surgery, or a devastating breakup. The winning book has to have just the right combination of tawdry cover art plus absurd title. Then, whoever receives the most groan-worthy book has to read the thing.

I didn't realize Miss G knew about this, but I know Chelsea would approve. Plus, I still owe her bigtime for The Marine and the Debutante. I tell Miss G to knock herself out. She starts off tentative, with the mild-mannered A Wife of Convenience.

"That's pretty good," I said. "But no one's ripping anyone's dress off on the cover. Think bigger."

Miss L decides to play, countering with His Trophy Mistress and Private Places.

"Better!" I say. "Look for the really funny ones."

"Mama! The Disobedient Virgin!"

Other mamas may be embarrassed by their child delightedly yelling this out in the middle of the library, but 12 years of Miss G's public enthusiasm has rendered me immune to such things.

"Perfect," I say. "Definitely one for Chelsea. But I think I won the day." And I flaunt my copy of Cowboy Commando, featuring a shirtless cowboy lunging out of the cover.

The girls both breathe a reverent "AWEsome."

Chelsea's toast.


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