The Oaken Bookcase, I jumped at the opportunity to adopt it as well. The "meme" was originally created by another friend of mine, Jaedia, on her book blog Once Upon A Time, so be sure to check out both their sites and take a look at some of the covers they have featured.
Opinions of Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife series has always been a bit mixed. "Hey, what's this romance doing in my fantasy?" is a comment I see a lot when I read reviews of Beguilement and Legacy, and I suppose that's fair enough (though in my opinion, the books are still much more romance-fantasy than fantasy-romance -- there's a difference!)
What I mean is, the romance factor is definitely strong with these novels but at the same time, they don't read like typical Romances. Like in all fantasy books by Bujold, she really makes the world and its magic come to life, but what I loved most about this series are the characters. Bujold made the hero Dag Redwing a sweet, caring and protective male lead without
turning him into an overbearing and possessive asshole. Fawn Bluefield is much younger
than he is, but she holds her own and takes care of him in turn. They
treat each other with respect, and their love is straightforward and
honest -- no games, no manipulation, no silly misunderstandings a lot of romance plots throw in for the sake of stirring up relationship drama.
The first two books are really meant to be read together; they are two parts of one whole, just like the lovers Fawn and Dag. They're two people from two very different worlds, and yet they fit perfectly together. And that's why I love these original book cover images, because I think they reflect this so well.