Monday, August 31, 2009

Gayle Buck: Lord Rathbone's Flirt

Lord Rathbone's Flirt was published in December 1994 and written by Gayle Buck. It is the story of Verity Worth, who is forced to take a position as a paid companion due to the financial problems of her family and meets Lord Henry Rathbone, who comes courting her charge. Is he merely flirting or does he have a different motive?

Allan Kass paints a winter scene with our couple in a cozy room. Our heroine is wearing a long sleeved coral gown and a cameo necklace. Our heroine is well dressed in a red coat trimmed in black. Our eyes are drawn to the outdoors and the pristine snow on the ground. It is a handsome cover and makes me want a cup of hot chocolate!

Becoming a paid companion to another lady was a permissible way to earn a living for a gently born lady in dire financial circumstances. Many times, poor relations would help out their richer sisters, aunts, and cousins by living with them for free and becoming unpaid help.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gayle Buck: Lady Cecily's Scheme

Lady Cecily's Scheme was published in April 1997 and is the story of Cecily whose daughter, Vanessa, is of marriageable age and refusing a London season. Lady Cecily plots to bring society to her at her country home by filling the place with suitors but Vanessa has a mind and plans of her own!

This is one of Allan's later works and is interesting because of the detail on this cover. I'm particularly intrigued by the gentleman on the right: is he another suitor of our heroine? He doesn't look pleased at her dancing with the hero, who is dashing in black evening wear with the red sash across his chest. Our heroine is pretty in purple and gold and her pensive expression makes the reader wonder if she is really enjoying the dance. All in all, an interesting cover. Please click on the picture to enlarge it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gayle Buck: Lady Althea's Bargain

Lady Althea's Bargain was published by Signet in September 1995. It is the story of Althea, who makes a marriage of convenience with Lord Gareth Lynley after seeing all the marriages around her fail. Afterwards, she wonders if her marriage of convenience could be a love match after all!

Allan Kass paints our couple at a party. He is handsome in regimentals while she is exquisite in an aqua evening gown with matching aquamarine jewels! Note the jewels on her headband. Kass paints some intricate pieces in the shawl that she holds along with the pattern on the floor! It is a beautiful cover!

England was at war with France during this time of the regency, which was 1811-1820. The last battle, waterloo, was in 1816. Many aristocrats sent their second or third sons into the military; for some it was tradition. Others felt this was their way to serve their country.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gayle Buck: Honor Besieged

Honor Besieged was written by Gayle Buck and published by Signet in February 1990. Theresa visits London and quickly realizes that it will not be easy to attract the Duke of Ashford's attention. She begins to realize that in society, love is a game and is wondering if she can win the prize?

Allan Kass paints a pretty picture of our couple in riding clothes with their horses grazing in a forest. Our heroine is stark in black and white while our hero is dashing in a red coat. She holds some bright daffodils that have been growing in the grasses. I love all of the colors around our couple that her dark dress seem to illuminate.

It's hard to realize that most people married for social elevation or financial peace during this time in England. Family and bloodlines were very important to marriages and many women had little choice in their marriage partner.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gayle Buck: The Demon Rake

The Demon Rake is the first of nine books written by Gayle Buck that are illustrated by Allan Kass. This book was published in December 1986 and is the story of Lady Victoria March, who is desired by Lord Damion St. Claire. His uncle arranges a marriage for them that is not what Damion desired.

Allan Kass paints our couple in an elegant room. For some reason, I'm not taken with the expression on the heroine. The hero, though, is gorgeous! She is lovely in a yellow gown trimmed with green. Note the Christmas decorations on the fireplace mantel.

Even though Christmas was celebrated in regency England, Christmas trees were German and not widely used until Victorian times. Usual decorations included holly, mistletoe, and a yule log.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Diana Brown: St. Martin's Summer

St. Martin's Summer is the last Diana Brown book that I have that's illustrated by Allan Kass. It was published in July 1982. It is the story of Josephina who lives outside of London and is concerned with saving her family estate and finding spouses for her two sisters. She meets Lord Conniston Venables and realizes that her heart is in danger.

Allan Kass paints a picture of our couple in a rural setting surrounded by flowers and sheep. It's a classic Kass illustration with our couple dressed in riding attire and sharing an intimate moment together. This is a very beautiful cover of the English countryside.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Diana Brown: The Sandalwood Fan

The Sandalwood Fan was published in July 1984 by Signet. Diana Brown writes a tale about Penelope, who decided never to wed again after a brief, but disastrous, marriage. She meets Lord Charles Mortimer and begins to wonder if she's made a hasty decision!

Allan Kass paints a beautiful scene of our couple outdoors. I love how she is leaning up against him and dominant in the picture. Note her jewelry! I like her simple day dress and ballet slippers. Our hero is an artist and dressed very informally. The setting is gorgeous and cool with the water and trees nearby.

I'm glad to be back after a break. Hopefully I will get many more covers up in the next few months.