Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorite Covers of 2009

I'm starting out my 2009 Favorites lists with covers, but honestly, my shortlist of covers that I loved from books I actually read this year was ridiculously short. I was far more entranced with covers of books I didn't purchase more often than not, but I'm not a reader who buys books based on pretty packaging (well, 99% of the time I'm not). That's not to say I didn't love these 5 covers, because I did. I think they're gorgeous. I did find it curious that there's not a single m/m cover in the bunch, even though 1/3 of the books I read are gay or menage. Three were in my shortlist, but in the end, these were still my favorite of the year...

4th Runner Up
Face of the Maiden by Emma Wildes, Cover Art by Anne Cain

There's a delicate elegance to this cover that perfectly fits the genre, if not necessarily the mood of the story. The wistfulness of her expression, however, is a wonderful match, and I find the sheer level of its prettiness too much to resist.

3rd Runner Up
Lost Gods by Kim Knox, Cover Art by Anne Cain

The appeal of this cover rests in its rich coloring and texture. I love the gorgeous reds in contrast to the blonde, who also fits the image of Katya from the story. It works, very well.

2nd Runner Up
Selkie Island by Jorrie Spencer, Cover Art by Kanaxa

Samhain has recently acquired a new artist, one whose bold, vivid style is already standing out in the crowd. This cover hit me the second I saw it, and falls into that 1% where I go against my own usual rules and take a chance on something I wouldn't normally. I love the moody coloring, the texture, the absolutely gorgeous model who epitomizes Clay to a T. It takes my breath away.

1st Runner Up
Strands of Sunlight by Anya Bast, Cover Art by Syneca

This cover always makes me look twice. It plays with the concept of chiaroscuro with an elegance you don't usually find in EC covers, with the woman and scarf silhouette framing the almost kissing couple perfectly. My one quibble is with the title's placement, but it doesn't disrupt the flow of the rest of it, so I can understand why it's tucked away at the top.

And my pick for the favorite cover I reviewed this year is…
A Leap of Knowing by Dani Harper, Cover Art by Sable Grey

Last year, I went for dramatic simplicity. This year, it's about soft, muted layering. I'm not usually a fan of Cobblestone covers, but this one stands out from the crowd. The combination of the Celtic scrollwork with the near-kiss (a romance staple, yes, but it often works), makes it seem simple until you look at it closely. Nothing overwhelms anything else, keeping it balanced and almost gentle.


Joely Skye said...

I love seeing Selkie Island's cover up there. I agree that Kanaxa did a fantastic job, and I'm glad to see her get recognition for it.

Jorrie Spencer/Joely Skye

Book Utopia Mom said...

I don't know how you don't stop and stare at it all the time, lol. I just love that cover to death. I think Samhain did a great job in bringing Kanaxa on board. :)