We had a great variety of covers to choose from, each with their own special something. Every cover was a winner in its own right. Surviving several run-offs to be a finalist is a great accomplishment in itself.
This is a category filled with some wonderful covers. Franco's Once a Wolf was as popular as his last year's nomination, Touch of the Wolf, which was also a winner. Franco has done several of these, four of which were finalists in the Cover Contest. There's a lot to be said about this type of cover; it gives the reader a pretty good idea of what the book's going to be about, plus it's very eye catching.
Lori agrees, saying, "I just love this cover! It tells a story in itself and that's not easy to do. Kudos to the artist."
It also got LLB's vote; she noticed it from the moment she saw the ARC.
AAR's Teresa Galloway also made it her choice, mostly because it was the only cover that looked like it was both paranormal and a romance.
And Tanya adds, "Absolutely ravishing. Must be a Franco!"
Jaycee had this to say: "Prince of Time has all the essence of romance about it with the fog surrounding the couple, which adds the odd sensation of 'other worldliness' to it."
Many other voters liked the soft, misty look of this cover.
Jennifer called it "absolutely enchanting," and Lisbeth-Ann thought it had a "dreamlike quality captured in the art work."
Another voter extolled the "loving embrace and passionate feelings shown without fake seduction and anatomically impossible position."
Andrea said, "I guess I'm fan of castles. This is a lovely landscape which invites a day dream or two."
Jaycee saw this as a beautiful cover, but perhaps lacking in alternate reality elements: "The cover of Merely Magic is another wonderfully done picture, but it lacked the AR elements I always look for in an AR cover. The deep purples and castle sitting in the background did make it a beautiful scene."
Others, like Lise, saw things differently; she thought the castle had a fairy tale quality that made it the perfect choice for this category.
Coming in fourth was The Star King.
This book was also voted the favorite "Other" book of the year in the AAR's Annual Reader's Poll; many readers mentioned that they were influenced by their enjoyment of the story itself.
Lodeen thought it was a great cover, even though the artist didn't quite duplicate the hero as she imagined him.
And Judy said, "The Star King almost made me forget my objection to bare chests."
Others apparently were very interested in those abs; their comments ran the gamut from "Yummy!" to "Yowza!"
In fifth place was the very unusual Midnight Gamble, which depicts a full moon, a roller coaster, and the face of a somewhat sinister man.
Those who chose it really liked the man's face. Brenda thought the artwork was excellent, and she expecially loved the "scary eyes." Genia said, "That man has the devil in his eye for sure, and I wanted to know the rest of the story."
Coming in sixth was Project Resurrection - a pastel-laden, dreamlike cover, created by the author herself.
Dana found it "beautiful and mystical." Jaycee had this to add: "I also thought Project Resurrection would finish higher than 6th because of the wonderful watercolor effect and the soft overall impression of it. There is something about the cover that really draws my eye. I'm not sure if it's the way the colors were blended or what, but it was in my personal top 5."
Raelene said, "The words were as important as the picture on this cover. I liked the red color, wonderful dragon drawing. Great short descriptive and enticing phrase on the cover. So nice that the cover was clearly labeled "romantic fantasy."
Denise chose Murcheston: The Wolf's Tale because she thought it was "cool and evocative... sort of a cross between gothic and high Victorian - Sherlock Holmes meets Edgar Allen Poe."
Former AAR cover maven Carol Irvin made The Spirit Fox her choice, commenting, "I like everything about Spirit Fox and bought it based on the cover. The girl is lovely. It ties in the animal theme with the fox right beneath her. The color combination is very attractive especially if you are going to pose someone in a forest."
Rounding out the ballot was Three's a Charm, which features a cat with a charm bracelet floating above.