I always consult the author before I start any book cover, and this was particularly important for The Sweetest Ruin since it would be my first “modern” cover in seven years. Most of the book takes place in Las Vegas, so I wasn’t surprised that her suggestion was to use the iconic Las Vegas sign. I quickly realized that more would be needed to keep the book from looking like a travelogue!
The story actually takes place in two interesting places—Las Vegas and London—so I decided to include images from both. I happily found this gorgeous photo of Westminster with the Big Ben tower and lights reflected in the Thames. It seemed to accentuate the contrast between the two cities. (I also had a photo of the Vegas sign lit up at night, but I saved that one for the back cover!)
Next came the real challenge—especially for someone with zero talent in graphic art!—the famous lovers of this Pride and Prejudice variation. My solution: when you can’t draw, use silhouettes! In at least two occasions in the story, our hero lifts Elizabeth in his arms, and that image seemed to stick with me. It also evokes the idea of “carrying the bride over the threshold,” another iconic image for Las Vegas and its quickie-wedding chapels!
The last piece was really an afterthought since I had a mass of empty sky above the London scene, so I emphasized the two-city romance with flags of both countries. This tale of two cities was also incorporated in the typefaces: one neon-like, and the other a more classical script. And it’s a wrap! Unbelievably, the author accepted my montage with zero changes; I nearly fainted.
When William Darcy suffers a sudden health crisis, he immediately realizes two things: his sister will continue to nag him about his nonexistent social life, and he won’t stand for it. How can he possibly escape Georgiana’s good intentions or the watchful gaze of Aunt Catherine, his assigned babysitter? Cue a midnight getaway to the tackiest place he can think of. Lounge singers, booze, and women of loose moral fiber—Las Vegas, here he comes!
Elizabeth Bennet lives a quiet life as a UNLV student and a popular cocktail waitress in one of the nicer casinos in town. Though content to see her best friend, Thad, in a blissfully happy relationship, she has no desire to complicate her own life with what will undoubtedly result in a broken heart. Then she serves a drink to a devastatingly handsome Englishman, and all bets, as they say, are off.
This is a modern what-if of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It is intended for an adult audience.