Unfortunately, I was less observant then, and didn't catch the title of this feat of book coverness. But then, by a simple twist of fate, this book crossed my path again, unbidden, tonight.
And now I know its name: MICAH.
You're speechless, right? I don't know if I should even break it down - clearly I'll be awarding it the coveted Golden Fabio. I'll go through the motions anyway . . .
First Glance: There are hardly words. It's beyond perfect. The ponytail, the shirtlessness, the ridiculous muscular display, the desperate need to reach his beloved. It's everything a romance novel cover should aspire to become. Score: 5 out of 5
Title: I don't even care that it's a boring title. The picture earns the right to a boring title. Score: 5 out of 5
Tag Line: "Raising the dead was easy. Love was hard . . . "
[record-needle scratch] Whaaaaaaat? You're telling me that supernatural forces are involved? And that conquering said forces is far less complicated than love? Full credit, friends. Score: 5 out of 5
Back-of-the-Book: Evidently, this book is part of an 18-book (and more coming) series about intrepid vampire hunter Anita Blake. Could the titular Micah be part of a forbidden vampire/hunter love? No. It's even better:
"But I’m not alone. Micah is with me. Micah, head of the St. Louis wereleopard pard. King to my Queen. The only one of my lovers who can stir my blood with just a glance from his chartreuse cat’s eyes. I was happy to have him at my side."This book is like the proverbial many-layered onion - you keep peeling back a layer, only to find a new, possibly better layer.
At first glance, it's just a cheesy cover featuring a shirtless man named Micah scaling a wall to reach his beloved. Then it turns out to be a supernatural romance, wherein the supernatural forces are much less complicated than love. And then you learn that it's not just any supernatural romance: it's a vampire hunter/wereleopard romance. And the wereleopard has "chartreuse cat's eyes." It's a process of discovery that's so rewarding, I feel as though I can't do anything but take you along for the ride. Score: 5 out of 5
Final Score: 20/20 GOLDEN FABIO. Are you kidding? I might even have to change the name of the award to the Golden Micah.
Note: So, is wereleopard a thing now? It would make some sense if the leopard-man from Burning Wild belongs to this species. What instigates the wereleopard's transformation? Do they get along with their canine brethren or is there some kind of feline superiority complex happening? There are so many questions.