I received complimentary copies of some of these books for honest reviews of their content, which is separate from my personal assessment of their covers here.
I’m not strictly a “judge a book by its cover” kind of reader. Still, I have an appreciation for cover art as a part of the overall reading experience. Here are covers that particularly stood out to me from books I read this calendar year. The books are listed in the order I read them, except for some series books that I grouped together. 🙂
To the authors of these books, if you’d like a medal (one for you and/or for your cover artist) for being on this list, see the bottom of this post.
Rose of the Night: A Beauty and the Beast Prequel
Even in the midst of a curse, he has the hope of a promise…
I actually read this book years ago, but I just had to feature its latest cover. The white rose petals are a great contrast to the depths of dark blue, and the style of the gilded title (including the extra glint of light flashing from “Rose”) adds a mix of elegance and fantasy with a hint of intrigue. Just seeing this updated book cover renewed my interest in the Legends of Light series.
Night at the Opera
Christian Historical Romance
An American heiress. A Secret Service spy. And a kiss in an opera box.
I love the atmosphere of understated drama set by the haze and minimal, muted tones on this gorgeous book cover. The woman’s hairstyle, earring, and collar set the historical scene, while the clouds behind the iconic clock tower that houses Big Ben adds to the suspense of it all.
The Swag Is in the Socks
Kelly J. Baptist
Middle Grade Fiction
Maybe upping his “sock game” can help Xavier Moon get into an elite club!
I so appreciate how on point this illustrated cover is, with the novel’s young, tin-grinned hero leaning on the novel’s title and showcasing his lightning-bolted sock game. Swagged out, Mr. Moon.
The Seattle Series
Colleen L. Reece
Bodies are mended and hearts healed at the Shepherd of Love Hospital in the Emerald City.
Okay, so I actually first read this series twenty years ago. When I revisited the series this year, I was captured by the cityscape on the large print editions of the covers. Sometimes changing the color scheme on otherwise identical cover images works great for a series. I still have a copy of the series omnibus from 2002, and I love the soft blue, hazy evening atmosphere and prominence of the Space Needle on the cover. I feel so nostalgic every time I see it.
Daughters of Fortune Series
Susan May Warren
Christian Historical Fiction
Two generations of women strive to find their way to destiny, from the Gilded Age to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Years ago, I’d heard something about this series a time or two, but my attention was officially hooked once I saw these latest editions of the covers. When I dove into this series, I was in the mood for lush historical entertainment dripping with diamonds, and the out-and-out (but not gaudy) glam of these covers set my expectations perfectly. Plus, I’ll never not be a believer in the classic power of the vividly RED LIP in the world of cosmetics.
The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth
Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (editors)
Young Adult/Middle Grade Nonfiction
Young people. Racism. Identity. And self-esteem.
Words. The artwork of words. With bold shades of color set against a black background, and brushes of texture adding further character to the title. Sometimes well-done words, just words, get the job done with no need for additional images.
In Search of a Prince
Christian Contemporary Romance
If she’s to be crowned as queen in Ọlọrọ Ilé, she’ll have to marry.
I’ll gladly excuse the sound of your jaw dropping straight onto the floor as you take all of this in. The light blue of the sky, the fresh green of the trees, the creamy yet stately sight of the palace and the stairway leading up to it, the embellishments framing the central feature of the regal heroine in her long and lavish gown adorned with iridescent embroidery… There isn’t anything about this book cover that isn’t positively exquisite.
A Second Chance
Time Slip Fantasy Fiction
A career-driven woman wakes up in 16th-century Japan—as mother to the young son of a samurai.
What a controlled splash of a book cover this is: moving as liquid and sharp and clear as glass. The glimpse of clouds in the dark sky above adds depth, and the small bubbles dotting most of the image add to the sense of motion. But it’s the direct, dark-eyed stare of the heroine right above the water’s wavy surface that most gives this cover its excellent haunting quality.
Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shape Us
Jasmine L. Holmes
Their names are often left out of American and church history.
This cover does just enough, bringing a blend of loveliness and dignity as it combines the past and present through illustrations of two Black women who may be praying, may be dreaming, or both. The artwork is a wonderful match for what this book represents: the realization of legacy. The cover of the children’s edition of the book does the same, depicting a woman of yesterday and a girl of today.
They Can’t Take Your Name
She’s determined to get her innocent father off death row.
This cover sets the tone for the novel’s haunting rhythm and imagery, with its red and teal tones and half a serious woman’s face on one side paired with the bold title running down the other side, cutting through a gritty cityscape. It puts my psyche somewhat off-kilter while making it stand at attention at the same time.
Take My Hand
Historical Literary Fiction
1973 Alabama. A new nurse. And poor Black girls put on birth control.
If you know the song the bold title represents, you know. And even if you don’t, you can feel its essence through the profile of the heroine with her closed eyes in the foreground, and the two girls holding hands in the background facing a sunset, all surrounded by those warm and golden leaves on branches. Seeing this cover stirred an aching kind of hope in me.
Entries for 2022’s Favorite Covers giveaway are now closed, but comments on the post are remaining open.
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents and mailing addresses only in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. One randomly determined winner will be notified by email on Saturday, December 10, 2022. If the winner does not respond by Sunday, December 11, 2022, a different entrant will be selected. Add p[dot]prospects[at]live[dot]com to your address book to ensure that a giveaway notification isn’t sent to your junk mail/spam box. For additional giveaway terms, see the Blog Giveaways and Giveaway Privacy information on my Policies page. Entering the giveaway indicates your agreement to the terms.
Given that Christmas is, hands down, my favorite holiday, I’m delighted that the cover of my new release gets to represent the holiday! Take a look at this sweet Christmas romance,
World of Joy.
’Tis her season to reclaim her name.
Congratulations, authors, and thank you for writing your books! If yours has one of my favorite covers this year, you’re welcome to a complimentary medal to display on your website, blog, social media—wherever you wish. If you know the artist who designed your cover, feel free to pass on the word about the award. The artists are welcome to display the medal as well. Click the image below and contact me to receive a full size PNG medal. Thanks again!