Do you judge a book by it’s cover?

I saw the new cover for the upcoming book by RJ Scott and Jaime Reese … and then picked myself up off the floor! It is just too beautiful. I am not usually a big fan of manchests on covers; but gee whizz when it works…. damn, but it works! So it got me thinking about some of the best covers I have seen over the last few months – some are sexy, some are striking for different reasons – and some are lemons! But I am all about the positives so I won’t be doing the book cover version of “worst dressed”.

I have read some of the books whose covers I have featured – and they all stand up to the credence that you can in fact judge the book by its cover. Others are yet to come out, so hopefully these too will have the innards to match the gorgeous artwork on the front.

Blurb from “A Better Man” by RJ Scott, release date 21st July 2012 …. “Matthew Doner has been given a second chance. Fresh from a five year prison term he is given a bequest from an aunt on the condition that he uses the money to make things right. His challenge—create a safe place for people like him to find purpose and start a new life.
Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, and just what Matthew needs. Working as the contractor to renovate the crumbling house is the right job at the absolutely perfect time.
What neither man realizes is just how dangerous it is to keep secrets, and how hard it can be to open your heart. Is one year enough time to renovate the house and build better men in the process?

Next comes an absolutely amazing book, “Junction X” by Erastes which I read a few weeks ago. It was beautiful and heart breaking. The fact that it was based on a true story made it even more powerful …. but worth every single tear I shed. And there were quite a few!  …. “Set in the very English suburbia of the 1960′s where everyone has tidy front gardens and lace curtains, Junction X is the story of Edward Johnson, who ostensibly has the perfect life. A beautiful house, a great job and a wonderful wife. The trouble is he’s been lying to himself all of his life.  And first love, when it does come, hits him and hits him hard. The object of his passion? The teenaged son of the new neighbours.

Edward’s world is about to go to hell”

“Come Unto These Yellow Sands” by Josh Lanyon is one of my favourite Josh books… heck it’s one of my favourite books ever! There aren’t many books I buy in paperback, and fewer books that I actually reread – this ticks both of those boxes! …Sometimes the adventure chooses you.
Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.
When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin—only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.
Max enjoys splitting an infinitive or two with his favorite nutty professor, but he’s not much for sonnets or Shakespeare. He likes being lied to even less. Yet his instincts—and his heart—tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Dani Alexander has quickly become one of my favourite authors – his book “Shattered Glass” was an amazing read, and dammit but he himself seems just as awesome! A truly adorable inspiration! When I read his book I pimped it to the max, to everyone I knew …. BUT, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I saw his cover for “Shatterproof” I may never have discovered the awesomeness that is Dani. (Well, I would have – but it seems more dramatic the way I tell the story :)) … ps Dani – I know you say you are changing the cover, so I am keeping it here for posterity (*snort* .. now I’m thinking of Tinkerbell in pink chaps and his delectable posterior!) … A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and a maniacal mix-up that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.
Austin — seems to have it all. At least on the surface. A loving fiancée. A future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to everyone hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember. And his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled. Until he meets someone who immediately sees him better than he sees himself.
As events unfold and Austin’s world unravels, he finds himself pushed into making quick life-changing decisions. But can he trust Peter or what’s happening between them when each meeting seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?” Shattered Glass blurb, Shatterproof will be Darryl’s story .

This next book, “Resistance” by LM Turner,  is one of the most fun and smexy reads I have ever read! I bought it on the recommendation of a friend and could not put it down! (thanks Whit!) I am sure that if I had seen the cover I would have picked it up to read. Immediately! This is one of the books I list in my list of favourites …  “Ryan’s relationship-phobic, preferring to live his life from one anonymous hook-up to the next. He never remembers a name, and he never goes back for more. But then he meets Jayden, the one-off who won’t get out of his head, his life — or, indeed, his bed. Ryan remains in a denial, however; he has no place in his life for emotion or feelings, despite how much difficulty he finds in keeping away from the gorgeous, confident Jayden.
It’s not until Jayden gets a boyfriend, bringing their non-relationship to a sudden end, that Ryan thinks he might have been feeling something all along. Feeling a lot, actually, but it’s too late. Jayden’s happy with his new man, and Ryan shouldn’t want to get in the way of that — but he’s selfish, and he’s had an epiphany, and maybe the only way to get Jayden back is to reveal more of himself than he knows how to handle. But is it enough for Jayden to take a risk on a man who, by his own admission, has no idea how to love?”

Pretty much every cover that Jordan does is amazing.. she is one of those incredibly talented people who is able to do it all! Her writing and publishing is an incredible twofer that impresses me with every single project that she does. Her “Petit Morts” series is a standout, especially the latest batch; and this “PsyCop” one is just stunning – of course the opening chapter in “Among The Living” went a long way to hook me onto the series. The most impressive start to a book that I have ever read, it was also the first m/m book I ever read – are you happy Andy? look at the monster you created 🙂 …  Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves. He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or “Stiff”) from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer with a gruesome M.O. surfaces–and no one agrees what he looks like. Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer’s not leaving any spirits behind.” – excerpt from Among the Living.

This next cover, “Strong Hand” by Catt Ford, is simply beautiful. I confess I bought the book purely based on the cover and the story certainly didn’t disappoint me either. It was one of the first D/s books I read that I really gotNicholas Sayers, needing money for college, takes a job as assistant to infamous photographer Damian Wolfe. It’s just taking pictures, right? Wrong. While Nick has never questioned what kind of man he is or what he truly wants in life, working for Damian during a BDSM photo shoot opens his eyes to all sorts of sexual possibilities, and many of them include the handsome Mr. Wolfe.
Damian has serious doubts about getting involved with a younger man who knows nothing about the BDSM lifestyle, but Nick’s adventurous and humorous approach to new experiences is far too alluring to resist. Although he knows it might be a mistake, Damian takes Nick into his life.
Flirting on the edges of control, submission, and pain excites Nick more than he would have ever dreamed possible. With Damian, Nick learns about his own deeply hidden desires and finds out that relinquishing control doesn’t make him weak, having someone else in control of his sexual pleasure simply heightens it. And the reverse is true for Damian: Control turns him on. So they set out to explore these sensual boundaries together, neither expecting to find love along the way.”

This is another book that has me very excited to get my mitts on – “To Catch a Fox” by Ethan Day and Geoff Knight, due for release October 2012 … “hopefully the first in a new adventure/mystery series set in and around New Orleans. Lots of family drama, murder, possibly an explosion or two, some steamy sex, a heaping helping of bantery goodness and laughs all rolled up into one saucy book.”

Last and by no means least is “Dark Soul” by Aleksandr Voinov. This cover is incredible! And the story was brilliant too. Nobody takes me places like Voinov does. With hindsight this cover is even more stunning, knowing the scene in the book that inspired it … Love lights even the darkest soul.

A killer’s moral compass rarely points true, and among made men, being gay is a capital crime. But Silvio Spadaro, deadly prodigy and heir to a Family fortune, is determined to find his own way—at the feet of the man he loves or by the barrel of a gun—no matter the dangers or costs.

Stefano Marino lives a comfortable—some might even say enviable—life. As a mob boss at the top of the food chain, he has it all: money, respect, a beautiful wife he loves as much now as the day they wed. But he also has a turf war on his hands, and far too soft a heart for this dark business.

When Silvio is sent to help Stefano with his turf war, sparks fly. Stefano loves his wife, but he wants Silvio. It’s a desire he hardly knows how to process, but Silvio, ever the patient predator, maneuvers Stefano closer and closer to his bed each day. Stefano resists; giving in to these dark desires means giving up on his marriage, and exposure would surely mean death. Yet there’s no denying Silvio’s magnetic pull, or the long-repressed urges inside himself. Yielding is inevitable, but he may yet find a way to hold on to everything—and everyone—he loves.

So there you have it, a selection of covers that stay fresh in my mind as real eye catchers. Of course a lot of these authors are autobuys for me – so I would buy their books even if there were stick figure sketches as covers; but there is no getting away from the fact that a cover, when done right, grabs your attention and draws you in, it is what is inside that keeps you going back for more!