Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Book Covers of December 2015


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Book Covers of December


Something Like A Love Song


So many books so many great covers.  From photographs to line drawings and paintings, we’ve seen them all.  Naked torsos to  the simplicity of a riding crop against a red background.  A great cover can make all the difference to a book, it can catch the eye of a reader, make them want to pick that book up and look some more.  It should tell us something about the story or characters. It should intrique us, and reach out to something inside of us, connecting us to whatever may lie within.  What a very large role we put upon the covers.  Here is a list of those we think did their job and then some.  Do you agree?  Who would you recommend?


Best Covers of December 2015

Blueberry Boys coverTheSubsClub_600x900Winter Oranges coverFish Stick Fridays

Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North, artist LC Chase
The Sub Club by J.A. Rock, artist L.C. Chase
Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton, artist  LC Chase
Fish Stick Fridays (Half Moon Bay#1) by Rhys Ford, artist Rhys Notley

DomofAgesFSLoving and Loathing VegasThe Hot FloorSPECTR the complete series books

SPECTR: The Complete First Series (#1-6) by Jordan L. Hawk, artist Jordan L. Hawk
Loving and Loathing Vegas by Lex Valentine, artist LC Chase
Dom of the Ages (Collars and Cuffs #7) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams, artist Paul Richmond
The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles, artist Lou Harper

CinderFirst Comes Marriage

Cinder: A CinderFella Story by Marie Sexton. artist unknown

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony, artist Paul Richmond

Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton, artist unknown

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Books of December 2015


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Books of December



Its has been a stellar month.  From the great advent stories to our regular reviews that have run the gamut from science fiction to contemporary romance with a kink to the supernatural and shifters in love, we have read and reviewed the lot and its been wonderful.  And so hard to pick the best of the month.  I had to narrow it down to the 5 star ratings with a  sprinkling of 4.75 stars which were rounded up.  I also divided them out as well into Advent Short Stories and Audio books.  Still there were many.  Take a look back, see what stories you may have missed and enjoy!

The titles are linked to our reviews.  As always happy reading!

Best Books of December 2015

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryAdvent Short Stories:

It Was Close…

Best Audiobooks of December 2015audiobook clipart bw


A MelanieM Review: First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony

Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

First Comes MarriageTheir marriage was supposed to be all business….

When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch: to keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal. In exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

A Dreamspun Desires title*

While I was gobbling up every book I could read growing up, among those countless paperbacks included untold numbers of romance novels, from the gothic to the regency to the contemporary.  My parents upper garage has shelves still lined with hundreds of yellowed paperbacks whose covers mirrored that of the one Paul Richmond designed for Shira Anthony’s First Come Marriage.  This is the first novel from Dreamspinner’s new Dreamspun Desires Romance line, with tales and covers guaranteed to bring back memories of those stories you may have read and loved so well.  I was so eager to dive into the story and find out what Shira Anthony and Dreamspinner had in store for us all.  Happily, I discovered a familiar and wonderfully romantic story certain to warm your heart and make the time fly joyfully by!

Shira Anthony picks that age old theme of a marriage of convenience (yes, a favorite of mine) and transforms it within the M/M genre.  I especially liked that she kept many of the old romance novel features…like a will clause, a specific time frame…moving within that prescribed romance novel format. It might seem similar to Harlequin and other romance publishers yet the author makes it her own with her characterizations, locations and dialog.

Taken outside of the prescribed romance novel format some of the character choices might have one snorting…a tad.  But remember the trope this story is mirroring with affection and those small irritations fly away as they did back when I was reading the original stories.  It was a conscious decision to take these romance novels as what they were…an adult wish for the best happily ever after, a contemporary Cinderella Story and if you have to take quite a few leaps of faith?  Well, so be it.

Chris Valentine is a struggling writer.  He’s sweet, adorable and clearly in need of someone to love him.  Along comes wealthy Jesse Donovan, in need of a spouse in order to maintain control of his company.  The men and their romance unfolds sweetly, gently and with the misunderstandings popping up as they should.  I liked both Jesse’s stepmother and Chris’ mom.  From the moment I picked it up, the story just flew by, bringing up all those happy memories of the romance stories of the past and intermingling them with this sexy, cheerful new M/M HEA from Shira Anthony and Dreamspinner Press.

I can’t wait to see what the next story in this series brings.  This is just so much fun!  Romance, sexy men, and a HEA!  You just can’t go wrong.  Pick up First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony, the first in the new Dreamspun Desires series from Dreamspinner Press.  I think you’ll be as delighted and entertained as I was.

Cover artist: Paul Richmond does justice with total affection to those wonderful romantic covers of the past right down to the design.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Link to come

Book Details:

ebook, 262 pages
Expected publication: January 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleFirst Comes Marriage
Edition LanguageEnglish

*Dreamspun Desires is a series from Dreamspinner Press: “Dreamspun Desires are contemporary category romance novels, complete with your favorite heartwarming heroes, captivating plots, and exotic settings. These titles are all about happily ever afters that leave you with a satisfied smile for days.”

A Stella Advent Story Review: Blame It on the Fruitcake by Pat Henshaw

RATING 4 out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryFruitcake is the laughingstock of the holiday season. But can it be an aphrodisiac instead? Motorcycle mechanic Sam McGuire is surprised to find a gaily wrapped box on his doorstep with a piece of fruitcake accompanying an invitation to a holiday party.

Wondering if he’ll fit in, Sam attends the party—mostly to get more of the fruitcake he falls in love with—and meets Jay Merriweather, his new neighbor. The lure of Jay’s big family and its holiday tradition of enjoying Grandma’s fruitcake hook Sam, as does the sexy man himself.

But Sam can’t imagine why handsome, college-educated Jay would want someone like him, who was raised in a children’s home and barely graduated high school. Maybe the magic of the holiday season can help two men who seem so different come together like the ingredients in a well-made fruitcake.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

Blame it on the Fruitcake by Pat Henshaw was my first story by this author and I was pleasurably surprised by it. Although it’s a short, the author did really great, especially with the character of Sam. I could feel his past, his hurts and his feelings. I cheered him on to find some family and forget about the one who abandoned him in a basket. I was so happy he met the sunny Jay and his delicious fruitcake, not a sweets but a truly drug (LOL).  I felt the loneliness in Sam, scared to be part of something because he had none in his life and someone like Jay, so different from his nature, doesn’t seem the right person.

I liked the writing, the reading flew easily and I liked the plot and the development of the story. Sweet but not too much, most of all, a real story, believable. There were some funny moments too, when Sam stole the fruitcake.

Another great addition to the DSP Advent Calendar.

The cover art by Paul Richmond is so cute and his style is unique and lovely. He’s one of my favorite artist so of course this one is a winner to me.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 36 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar