Monday, November 30, 2009

Norma Lee Clark: Mallory

Mallory is a regency written by Norma Lee Clark and published by Fawcett in 1978. It is the story of a girl named Mallory who is a governess and takes a position with Charles Portman's twin sisters, Sophia and Augusta, who have a book by this name written later by Clark! She enters a household with two mischievous twins and a handsome brother who is on the verge of engagement to another!

Allan Kass creates a delightful cover with our couple standing on a porch talking while the young girls play on a swing. It's an elegant and inviting cover which makes you want to join the scene. I like the expanse of green lawn which looks like fun to run around. The large vase statue is a nice touch and gives the cover a clue that we're on the estate of a rich man.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Norma Lee Clark: The Infamous Rake

The Infamous Rake was published in February 1990 by Signet and is written by Norma Lee Clark. It is a story about a young girl named Dilys, who fell in love a long time ago with Lord Travis. Now that she's in London, can she get London's most notorious rake to fall in love with her?

Allan Kass creates a delightful picture for this book. Our heroine is has beautiful brown hair, which seems unique for Kass. She wears a pretty blue day dress that is decorated with pink bows. Our hero embraces her from behind. Note the regency desk and other room decorations. Allan Kass agains shows his excellence in illustration with this beautiful regency romance scene!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Norma Lee Clark: The Impulsive Miss Pymbroke

The Impulsive Miss Pymbroke was published by Signet in December 1984 for Norma Lee Clark. It is a story about the shocking young Miss Vanessa Pymbroke, who shocked society with her unrestrained manners. She falls in love with Peter, Viscount Chance, but he could only marry a proper woman. Can he be interested in her?

I like this cover by Allan Kass. It's different in that he shows our couple in an embrace while on a doorstep of a house. I like the potted trees and gate, which would look current at any house! I like the emphasis on his holding his hat and her hair loose and flowy. It's a very pretty cover.

Most young ladies were brought up to be prim and proper. It was only the older ladies who could be scandalous, within reason! Only a very rich lady could be thus and considered "eccentric"!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Norma Lee Clark: The Daring Duchess

The Daring Duchess was published in August 1988 by Signet for author Norma Lee Clark. It is the story of Mary, a duchess who disguises herself as a governess to keep herself away from fortune hunters and see if the proud, but poor Earl of Leighford could come to love her and see past her title.

Allan Kass illustrates a simple picture of our couple. The heroine wears a black and green gown and wears modest jewelry. She is pretty with a heart shaped face and upswept red hair. Our hero shares a tender moment with her and is handsome in gray. Unlike other illustrations, Allan keeps the background simple, as if they are in a favorite, comfortable room.

It was unusual for a woman to inherit a title, but not impossible. Most titles went to the next eldest born male to keep the estate and inheritance intact.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Norma Lee Clark: Cupid's Calendar

Cupid's Calendar is the first book I have by Norma Lee Clark. She wrote quite a number of regencies under the Signet and Fawcett Coventry lines. This copy was published in July 1992.

This story is about Lady Ursula, who is positive that she'll remain single after nursing her mother through an illness and attaining the age of 25 without an offer. However, cupid has his moments and she finds herself courted by two eligible gentlemen!

Allan Kass illustrates our couple on a balcony. I like the roses creeping up the wall and the window behind, giving the illusion of a closed space. Our heroine is pretty in apple green. I like her bracelet and ring, which are typical Kass accessories! Our hero is dashing in a burgandy coat. I wonder if he is proposing? Another great Allan Kass cover!

Most women married in their early 20's, so those older were considered spinsters. Since having an heir was important, most men married a younger woman who could give them children.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marion Chesney: The Viscount's Revenge

The Viscount's Revenge was published by Signet in November 1983 for author Marion Chesney. Chesney went on to publish many more regency romances under publishers such as Signet, Fawcett, and St. Martin's Press. This story is about Lord Charles, who is fighting his attraction to Miss Amanda Colby when he is already engaged to another.

Allan Kass shows our couple in an elegant room dressed for dinner. She wears a pretty green gown that is trimmed with a ruffle around the neck. I like her bracelet! Our hero is dashing in black and white. Note his watch chain on his waistcoat. It's a typical Kass illustration with much detail in the background of the room.

Regency people always dressed for dinner and sometimes dinner took place later in the evening. Food was considered an art and many employed French chefs during this time of war with France! The Prince Regent was an epicurean and was emulated by others.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Marion Chesney: Regency Gold

Fawcett published Regency Gold by Marion Chesney in January 1980. This copy is a reprint from October 1988. They had the same cover art. I believe that this is her first novel.

This story is about orphan Jean who lives a dismal life with her drunken uncle. She dreams of the Marquis of Fleetwater with little hope until she becomes an heiress and realizes that someone is out to kill her! The Marquis jumps in as the hero, but is he the love of her life?

Allan Kass illustrates a gorgeous cover for this book. Our couple attend a ball and are dressed formally. Our heroine is pretty in gold with jewels, as befits her wealth. She carries an ornate fan. Our hero is very handsome and carries a looking glass! I really like the emeralds that she is wearing. Allan is a master at creating elegant people and this is another great work of art!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marion Chesney: My Lords, Ladies, and Marjorie

Marion Chesney's My Lords, Ladies, and Marjorie was published in October 1981, part of Fawcett's Coventry Romance line #145. It is set in Edwardian England (1901-1910) and is the story of Marjorie, a middle class girl, who falls in love with Lord Philip's picture in the newspaper. The fun begins when she meets him during her London season!

Allan Kass illustrates our couple in typical Edwardian garb: a blouse and long skirt for our heroine and a jacket, shirt and trousers for our hero. Note that both wear a tie. That was common during that time. Our heroine has her lovely red hair in a Gibson girl hairdo and I love the purple colors of her outfit. Also note her button shoes! They sit outside on a low stone wall and seem to blend in with the colors of the trees and stream.

King Edward succeeded his mother, Queen Victoria, as king in 1901. He only reigned for a few years and the first decade of the 1900's in considered "Edwardian". Many consider it to be the last remaining years of true aristocracy before World War 1 began and England's middle class became a driving force in the country.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Marion Chesney: My Dear Duchess

My Dear Duchess is another Chesney novel that Allan Kass illustrated. This book was published in September 1987 and is the story of Frederica who married Henry, the Duke of Westerland after both realized that they had need to marry. After Frederica's sister turned down Henry before he became a duke, he decides to marry her sister instead!

Allan Kass illustrates a beautiful cover for this book. Our heroine is lovely in pink. Note her gold jewelry and the black trim on her dress. Our hero is dashing in evening dress. I like how Allan makes every couple look different and is creative in the details. Look at the sunlight coming into the window! Another great illustration by Allan Kass.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Marion Chesney: The Marquis Takes a Bride

The Marquis Takes a Bride was published by Signet in January 1987 and is the story of Jennie, a young girl who has been heavily influenced by her cousin, Guy, who she imagines herself in love. Her grandparents arrange her marriage to the Marquis and she agrees since she'll be able to help Guy, who is penniless. She realizes soon that both her husband and cousin aren't really the men she's imagined them to be!

Allan Kass illustrates a delightful cover for this book! Our heroine is a very pretty brunette and her gold dress is stunning and reflects our hero's blond hair. They look like a study in contrasts with her hair reflecting his coat! Again, Allan is a master in the details: notice the wall, mirror, and clock. After seeing some of Chesney's other book covers, she must have been pleased with this one!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marion Chesney: The Highland Countess

The Highland Countess was published by Signet in December 1987 and is the story of Morag, a young widow, who has an air of mystery about her. Sparks fly when she meets Lord Toby and she finds a man that she shouldn't love!

Allan Kass shows our couple standing in an elegant room with an ornate fireplace! She is a beautiful redhead and wears a pretty blue gown with gold decoration. Our hero is definitely interested in her and his red jacket almost melts into the background.

Marion Chesney wrote regency romances from the early 1980's until around 2000 when she began writing mysteries as M. C. Beaton. Her early books are hard to find, so enjoy hunting since they are all good reads!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marion Chesney: The Education of Miss Patterson

The Education of Miss Patterson was published by Signet in December 1985 for Marion Chesney. It is a story about Patricia, whose guardian sends her away to become educated when he realizes that she's been pampered all of her young life. The sparks fly once she returns with a mission: to make her guardian fall in love with her as revenge for sending her away!!

Allan Kass illustrates another great cover with our couple in evening dress standing in an elegant room. Our heroine is pretty in a blue gown embellished with pink roses which sets off her red hair while our hero is handsome in evening dress. I like how she is looking away from him. Notice the intricate wood carving above the door. I love that Allan always creates a perfect background for his couples! I hope that Marion Chesney was happy with this cover!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marion Chesney: The Constant Companion

Marion Chesney is a popular regency romance author who has also written popular mysteries under this name and also M. C. Beaton. She began her writing with regencies and this is one of a few that Allan Kass illustrated.

The Constant Companion was published by Fawcett in December 1980. I have a March 1987 reprint of this novel. This story is about Constance, who is companion to her beautiful cousin, Amelia. Amelia is determined to marry Lord Philip and is furious when he marries Constance instead.

Allan Kass shows our couple seated on a couch while the evil Amelia looks on. Our heroine is pretty in a pink gown. The couch and her accessories accentuate the pink! Our hero is dashing in formal wear. All three look dressed up to go out to a ball or party. What makes this cover interesting is the striped sofa, the background decorations, and the other lady in purple staring at the couple! I'm always amazed at Allan's detail since you could have eliminated the harp and standing female and it still would have been a great illustration! Soon I will have other Chesney books listed. Enjoy!