Hqn Vintage: Virgin with Butterflies

As a general rule, I tend to enjoy Harlequin’s vintage cover art.  Bought some old Harlequin romances from the local UBS earlier this year:  they were a hoot, really, and the cover art was beautiful and different.  No swooning embraces, but heroines engaged in their daily, professional activities.  Haven’t read any of the newly republished vintage Harlequin books — NOT romances, but mysteries or hardboiled adventures.  At B&N, this one caught my attention, not only because of the title — virgins in titles back in the 50s! — but because of the cover art.  The colors in the background caught my eye, but then I realized that those butterflies were a little…strange.  Disembodied heads with butterfly wings sprouting out of their ears!  Who in the art department thought that was a good idea?

She’s a smooth blonde with enough real glamour not to need makeup—especially when she’s in tight white satin. She’s honest and sort of naïve, but she knows how to get a man or get rid of a wolf.

She’s a cigarette girl in a spot just off Chicago’s loop, but she’s about to start really going places. As she goes, she collects an Indian raja, an amorous sheikh and a mysterious gentleman reputed to be the Rockefeller of Burma. These gents are after something, chasing the gal around the world to get it, and it ain’t hay. That’s where her butterflies come in—they flutter hard, warning her when she’s scared or propositioned, and they’re working overtime. Effectively?—read the book and find out.

I might’ve bought a copy of the book (proving that I cannot go a month without buying books) for the WTF-factor of the cover alone if the first few pages hadn’t been so painful to read. 
Of course, I’m not a particular fan of hardboiled type mysteries, and I hate reading about "gals" and "gents", so I’m probably not the prime audience for this book.  But you might be.  An excerpt is available here if you’re interested.

ETA: when I Googled the title of the book to get the link and art, the predictive/popular searches beginning with "virgin with" came up with "virgin with HIV", "virgin with HPV", "virgin with STDs", etc.  Oh, the power of the Google.



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4 responses to “Hqn Vintage: Virgin with Butterflies

  1. Anonymous

    Love that book cover!
    I write a blog on virginity and your post came up on my radar. The cover is fantastic as is the crazy prose. Nice find! Any larger images of the book available? I’d like to link to it from my blog.
    The American Virgin

    • Re: Love that book cover!
      The only image I could find was at Harlequin’s website. I took a picture of the book/cover in the store, but the quality isn’t that good. You’re welcome to it if you’d like, though.

  2. Anonymous

    Read one that I didn’t like either
    I read a HQN Vintage title too and don’t care to repeat the experience (I’ll Bury My Dead by James Hadley Chase).

    • Re: Read one that I didn’t like either
      I read that review. It made me leery of the reissued books to begin with, and the cover text and first few pages of this one have put me well off.

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