Top 10 Week – Favorite Covers of 2011



I read a lot of paranormal, urban fantasy, and sci-fi, but when it comes to cover art, I tend to like historicals and certain contemporary covers.

My favorite color is pink and that’s something that will catch my eye first. I usually like the pretty gowns worn by the cover models, even if they aren’t pink. I could easily buy, every month, all of the books in the Harlequin Historical category line based on the cover art alone.

After my list is the list “Lulu” came up with, including “her” reasoning. Don’t forget to vote in “her” poll. 😉

Buffalo West Wing10. Buffalo West Wing (The White House Chef #4) (Julie Hyzy) – I’ve liked every cover in this mystery series, but this one is my favorite of the bunch (so far). The title banner looks pink, but it’s actually a red foil — very nice. I like the color contrast between the sky surrounding the White House and the red title banner. I also the love the little details — the food, the note on the fridge door, and the box of chicken wings (so pivotal to the story) can be seen on the bottom shelf.

The Dragon and the Pearl9. The Dragon and the Pearl (Jeannie Lin) – This is a Harlequin Historical, a category line that tends to be dominated by Regencies and Westerns. This is neither.  This book is set in 8th Century China and I love it for its uniqueness. I think it is very elegant and I love her robe.

Body Thief8. Body Thief (The Body #2) (C. J. Barry) – When I featured it in a Waiting on Wednesday in October, I mentioned that I thought it was sort of sweet and romantic, and that it reminded me of “Sleeping Beauty”. I like the fact that neither the tile or the author’s name is obscuring the couple.

Winging It7. Winging It (The Dragon Diaries #2) (Deborah Cooke) – The cover art for the third book in this trilogy has been revealed and I have to say this one is my favorite. The cover is a darker coral than the picture depicts. I like the swirls of pink (naturally) and the dragon on her shirt.

Nearly a Lady6. Nearly a Lady (Alissa Johnson) – Like Body Thief, I thought this was a very sweet, romantic cover. The couple is absolutely adorable together and I love the color of her dress.

The Girl in the Steel Corset5. The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1) (Kady Cross) – The book cover reminded me of the Luxe series covers: young women in gorgeous, flowing gowns. Then you notice her right hand and “steel corset”. Very pretty.

No Proper Lady4. No Proper Lady (Isabel Cooper) – Like The Girl in the Steel Corset, at first glance this looks like a typical historical romance cover. Until you see the markings on her back. I do like the shades of blue and how the pink lettering contrasts with the blue dress.

Dangerous in Diamonds3. Dangerous in Diamonds (Rarest Blooms #4) (Madeline Hunter) – I really love this dress, though it is not my favorite of the Rarest Blooms — that would be Sinful in Satin (it’s pink!). I just wish the author’s name didn’t overwhelm the cover. Nevertheless, I think it’s beautiful.

Heiress in Love2. Heiress in Love (Ministry of Marriage #1) (Christina Brooke) – Pink. Very, very pink. I also liked the fact that the title and author’s name doesn’t overpower the dress.

Lord and Lady Spy1. Lord and Lady Spy (Shana Galen) – Another pink cover. I liked this one better than Heiress in Love. I liked the dress more and I also like the hero — handsome and oh so serious looking.  Plus, neither of them is headless.  And did you notice her foot is lightly resting on a box labeled “explosives”?

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Picking ten covers was a much easier process than picking yesterdays list — or would have, had I not used for my favorite reads.   Even so, I did have a few moments of indecision on ranking, and I even made changes as I was explaining why I liked each piece.  This concludes my list.  Below you will find “Lulu’s”. 😉

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Lulu: Pink? Formal wear? She’s nuts! Who want to see that?! Here are my picks for Favorite covers.  What’s my theme?  Bare-chested men, of course.

Storm's Heart10. Storm’s Heart (Elder Races #2) (Thea Harrison) – Great shot of his chest. Too bad it looks like the photographer didn’t center correctly and chopped off his head. I think it’s unfair that Tiago is headless. Dragos and Rune got heads. The djinn from the fourth book and the guy from the short story both got half a head — still better off than Tiago. Anyway. I also like his stance.

Kiss of Snow9. Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) (Nalini Singh) – The long-awaited, highly anticipated book featuring Hawke and Sienna.  Impressive.  Pity it’s too close-in and the author’s name overwhelms the picture.  Actually, if her name was smaller, this would have ranked higher on the list, despite him being headless.  It is a very nice chest after all.

Dark Awakening8. Dark Awakening (Dark Dynasties #1) (Kendra Leigh Castle) – Not a bad shot, even though he’s wearing a coat. The title and author’s name are out of the way, and even the tagline isn’t too distracting. However, the foggy, misty look makes things look fuzzy. The second book, Midnight Reckoning (due 1 January), has a better cover.

Dragon Warrior7. Dragon Warrior (Midnight Bay #2) (Janet Chapman) – Nice chest shot. However, the author’s name overwhelms the picture. I like that it also a “clear” shot — no fog, rain, snow, or misty-looking effect like the others.

Darkfire Kiss6. Darkfire Kiss (Dragonfire #6) (Deborah Cooke) – Looking pretty good there, Rafferty. Title and author’s name are out of the way. Nice stance. However, Delaney (my fav!), Niall, and the new guy Lorenzo all have better covers. Still, your’s is way better than Erik’s.

Devil Without a Cause5. Devil Without a Cause (The Devil’s Bargin #1) (Terri Garey) – Similar to Dark Awakening, but a much better execution.  Nothing’s obstructing the view of his chest: names, titles, taglines — all out of the way.  Nice stance, too.

Darkness Dawns (Dianne Duvall)4. Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians #1) (Dianne Duvall) – Another decent shot, despite the fact he’s wearing a shirt and standing at an angle — or sideways, if you prefer. The swirl graphic doesn’t overwhelm the cover and the title and author’s name are out of the way.

Raziel3. Raziel (The Fallen #1) (Kristina Douglas) – I had a difficult time deciding on how to rank this one.  Great chest shot, but the title and series name are displayed across it.  Compared to Dragon Warrior and Kiss of Snow, the words aren’t as overwhelming, so I felt it deserved to be ranked higher.

2. On the Hunt (Anthology) – This one wasn’t on the original list. Once I started writing about the covers, I found myself re-evaluating each one. I ended up making one of the initial picks an Honorable Mention and swapping out another entirely. I had to pick something to fill the slot vacated by the Honorable Mention. I passed on this one initially, but once I compared it to the others (and based on what I’ve written), I realized it deserves to be on this list. First off, he’s got a head! Okay, he’s missing his forehead, but still! Good chest shot, but the shadowing makes him look a little bruised. And the best thing: the names. Considering this is an anthology, and therefore has more names, it’s amazing that something didn’t get obscured.  Okay, his arm did.  But who cares about his arm?!

And Lulu’s Favorite Cover of 2011 is. . .

Red Heat (Nina Bruhns)

Red Heat (Men in Uniform #1) (Nina Bruhns) – I don’t have to say a thing, really, but I will. Impressive chest. Not a fan of tattoos. A simple one, like the one on his arm, I like; but the one on his chest seems as if it was just added to say “yes, he’s a Russian sub commander” (Nikolai does have this tattoo on his chest, so it’s accurate).  I wish the writing was a smidgen lower (do we really need to see the hat??), but I feel it is low enough to say it’s not overwhelming the view.  And this, my friends, is the cover I wish Kiss of Snow had — this could have been Hawke. 😉

Honorable Mention
The BeholderThe Beholder (The Nightwalkers) (Connie Hall) – Pretty good chest shot, but his stance doesn’t help.  The title and name, though not as overwhelming as some, are a distraction because of it.  However, it is a full body shot that isn’t headless.  That, in itself, makes it worthy of mention.

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Lulu: So, what do you think?  Who’ s list is better mine or Christina’s?  I created a little poll, so you can cast your vote anonymously.

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Top 10 Week – Favorite Covers of 2011 — 26 Comments

  1. Haha, I won’t vote. Both lists look great, although a little confusing.. Wait, so the first one is Christina’s? No.. argh. I like both of them, period. :’D

    (And why didn’t I come up with some of the covers? :< I don't like today's topic. I really fail here..)

    • Awww. Lulu’s sad that you didn’t vote (just kidding, Lulu isn’t real) 😉

      Yes, everything above the knitting sheep is mine (Christina’s) and everything below is “Lulu’s”

      (I realize now that the placement of the sheep picture and my signature probably causes confusion. Oops)

    • Thanks! 😀 I wanted to have a little fun with this.

      Lulu is…an figment of my imagination. A “personal demon” disguised as a sheep — less threatening that way (actually, because I liked the clip art). She was suppose to “co-host” my lists. 🙂 It became too much work, but “her” part of the post was already set up so I kept it.

  2. Christina, I love your picks, so gorgeous 🙂 No Proper Lady’s cover is one of my favs also this year & I’ve wanted to put it on my list, too, but in the end I didn’t 🙂 I easily could’ve fill my list with historicals, too 😉 I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the covers “Lulu” likes 😉 although I do like the cover of Devil Without A Cause 😉

    • LOL! 😀 Poor Lulu. She’s been proven wrong…She was SO sure everyone would being drooling her covers. 😉

      There were many historical fiction covers I thought were beautiful, but I stuck with books that were in my database already — so I wouldn’t have to hunt down cover art.

  3. Holy hot pectorals!!!! Oh yeah I voted for “Lulu’s”!! I like me some eye candy (no, I don’t talk like this in real life, it’s just all that man-candy!). Raziel was a book that ended up on my TBR solely b/c of the cover.

    Both lists are great! c-ya tomorrow!

    • My imaginary co-host will be happy to know you approve. 😉

      FYI about Raziel — it’s written in first person. And the author switches POV between the H/h. From what I’ve seen (since I’ve only read a except to get a feel for it), there’s extra spacing between the paragraphs when she switches from one to the other in the middle of a chapter.

  4. The books with all the guys on it really tend to turn me off. I am one of those women who really don’t like to look at guys and their rippling muscles. I might be strange, I know.

    I love most of the first 10–even the books I would not necessarily read. I like pretty dresses, too, and I like covers that hint at the fact there might be a little bit of a surprise inside. I would agree with the top cover of those first 10–really nice.

    I had never considered how the author’s name or the title could obscure titles. Interesting. You gave me a lot to think about. Thanks!

    • I understand. 🙂 Not everyone likes that type of cover.

      It’s all about marketing. Just like movie posters: big name actors have their name above movie titles and/or in bigger font.

      Thanks for stopping by! 😀

    • Thanks! 😀

      The Girl in the Steel Corset seems to have made a good impression all around — I’ve see it on many lists. Harlequin’s art department is really good at their job.

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