Random (but not really)

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Books of 2020: Great Romance Covers

I read a lot of romance this year. As the dumpster fire that is 2020 continued, I simply couldn’t stand to read anything that wasn’t going to end well. Really, I picked mostly happy, fluffy books, with little to no angst.

Because 2020.

Something to Talk About

Something to Talk About (2020) Meryl Wilsner – Berkley
Contemporary, LGBT

Cover design and illustration by Vi-An Nguyen

Cover the first that promoted me to read a book that I might not otherwise have been interested in.

The story was fine, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the cover.

There’s something her that makes me keep looking at all the different bits, as my eye rovers around. In some ways it’s very simple–almost a line drawing–but you also see immediately what is happening–one woman is whispering into the ear of the other. It’s also a scene from early in the book, which is lovely.


Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material (2020) Alexis Hall – Sourcebooks Casablanca
Contemporary, LGBT

Cover design and illustration by Elizabeth Turner Stokes

I love absolutely everything about this book.

I love the bold colors and the boxes and subtle drawings of things and how Luc (it’s obviously Luc) is leaning casually while Oliver is upright and in a suit.

All I can think of is Luc saying “In the end I went with my skinniest jeans, my pointiest shoes, the only shirt I could find that didn’t need ironing.” Even if he’s not wearing a jacket here.

UGH. This story. Even looking at the cover makes me want to read it all over again.


Blank Spaces

Blank Spaces (2016) Cass Lennox (Toronto Connections) – Riptide
Contemporary, LGBT, Mystery

Cover art: L.C. Chase

This is another perfect cover. I love all the things about it–the colors, the space between the two, the pinkie join–everything.


Real Men Knit

Real Men Knit (2020) Kwana Jackson – Berkley
Contemporary

Cover art and design by Farjana Yasmin

This is another book where I was drawn to read book because of the cover, and ended up disappointed, because the story didn’t live up to the cover. Which makes me sad because I love almost everything about this cover, from the colors to the guy knitting to the yarn loops around the title.


Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient (2018) Helen Hoang – Berkley
Contemporary

Cover design and illustration by Colleen Reinhart

I think these drawn / comic style covers just really work for me. But the fact they’re standing on the long division symbol makes the entire cover for me.


Get a Life Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (2019) Talia Hibbert – Avon
Contemporary

Cover design and illustration by Ashley Caswell

Chloe looks precisely as described in the book.

Precisely.

I love all the rep this cover gives. It’s lovely.


Meet Cute Club

Meet Cute Club (2020) Jack Harbon (Sweet Rose)
Contemporary, LGBT

Cover by Jack Harbon

He designed his own cover.

Let that sink in for a minute.

This cover that initially drew my attention to the book, was made by the author.

This shames every single terrible cover we’re still getting from major publishers.


Upside Down

Upside Down (2019) N.R. Walker – BlueHeart Press
Contemporary, LGBT

N.R. Walker & SJ York

This is a non-comic/drawn cover (thus breaking the trend) but I really adore it because everything about it matches the story. It’s simple and eye catching and cute.


Glass Tidings

Glass Tidings (2016) Amy Jo Cousins
Contemporary, LGBT

Cover art: L.C. Chase

This cover is gorgeous. No, it doesn’t tell you it’s a romance, although it does give you a hint of the story, with Eddie walking away.

But mostly it’s just so very pretty and evocative and I really want that as a Christmas ornament for my tree.


The Remaking of Corbin Wale

The Remaking of Corbin Wale (2017) Roan Parrish – Monster Press
Contemporary, LGBT

Cover design by Natasha Snow

Again, this book doesn’t tell you it’s a romance, but it also isn’t something you’d likely be seeing on the shelves of stores, and chances are someone looking at this story already knows about Roan Parrish, so if that is the case it does hint that this is going to be a somewhat less angsty story than is normal for her.

It also gives hints to the fact that you’re never quite sure if this is actually a fantasy or not. (I lean towards not.)

All the blues blues and the sky and the snow–it’s just another flat-out gorgeous cover.


The Books of 2020

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