Monday, January 31, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Wayward Governess

The Wayward Governess by Vanessa Gray was published by Signet in June 1979. Narcissa Bentham is a match for all the men in her life: grandfather, suitor, cad, until she meets the Marquis of Carraford, who is different from any other.

Allan Kass paints a great cover for this book! Burnt orange isn't my favorite color, but the hue illuminates the room where our couple stands and is echoed with the light and the fireplace. Our heroine is tall and willowy in her yellow day dress and I love her gold jewelry along with her upswept hairdo. The hero is dashing and I like the globe with the pile of books next to it, showing that this is a comfortable and much occupied room.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Reckless Orphan

The Reckless Orphan by Vanessa Gray was published by Signet in December 1981. Julia Edgeworth, our orphan, is impoverished after the death of her father, but is desired in marriage by Lord Charles Langley, a rich and powerful aristocrat.

Allan Kass shows our couple standing near a staircase in a richly decorated area. Our hero wears a green coat, which is rare in Kass illustrations, while our heroine is pretty in lilac and green. What's outstanding about this illustration is the ornate wood carving of the staircase. Allan outdoes himself with the details on this cover.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Reckless Gambler

The Reckless Gambler was published by Signet in August 1985. Caroline Finlay is furious when her grandfather betroths her to Lord Julian Carteret, without her permission. She's also angry because Julian ignores the formalities of their engagement and leaves her alone in London. So she decides to do something about the men in her life!

Allan Kass creates a cover worthy of a Joshua Reynolds painting here. We see our couple, their dress almost late Georgian, standing on a balcony. Our heroine wears a rose dress trimmed with lace and pearls while our hero has a loose brown jacket and his hair in a queue, as was customary. I think the heroine has one of the prettiest faces Allan has painted!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Orphan's Disguise

Vanessa Gray's, The Orphan's Disguise, was published by Signet in November 1986. Corliss Hewett was a runaway who sought refuge with a lady who now was pressuring her into tricking Colonel Douglas Renfrew into falling in love with her. Trouble was following her and might keep her from falling in love!

Allan Kass illustrates a great cover for this book! We see our couple in an elegant room decorated with a striped sofa and other object of art. Our heroine wears a simple day dress that is accented with some gorgeous jewelry and a beautiful blue shawl. Our hero seems to be reassuring her about something. He is another handsome Kass hero! There is a nice balance of color on this cover.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Masked Heiress

March 1977 was Signet's publication date for Vanessa Gray's The Masked Heiress. Gina Buxton, a prisoner in Newgate, trades her release to become an imposter: the long lost heiress to an elderly Lord!

Allan Kass creates an interesting cover of our couple as they stand at the bottom of a staircase. Our heroine is richly dressed with frills and an expensive gold shawl and our hero handsome in black and gold. We see an ornate fireplace and exquisite painting on the wall behind. The red walls tend to create a shadow of dark and doubt on the picture. Note the letter that the hero holds loosely! Could it contain some information about the heroine?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Lonely Earl

The Lonely Earl, by Vanessa Gray, was published by Signet in February 1978. Faustina Kennett had known Hugh Crale for ever since they lived on adjoining estates. After his disastrous marriage and her first season, they discover that what they both want might be right next door!

Allan Kass creates a great cover for this early regency book. We see our hero and heroine outside a wisteria covered doorway with the purple gown of our heroine's echoing the flowers. We see a tender moment shared. I like the heroine's day dress with a rose accent and her gold jewelry. Kass has done other variations of this dress! We don't get a good look at the hero, but he seems to have long sideburns! Note the details like the bench and the rectangular windows. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vanessa Gray: A Lady of Property

A Lady of Property was published in April 1988 by Signet for it's Regency Romance series and is written by Vanessa Gray. Charlotte Forester is an heiress who is determined to be loved for herself, instead of her wealth. She ends up with many adventures, as a governess and runaway, before finding true love.

Allan Kass illustrates our couple outside on a portico. Our heroine is wearing a lilac empire day dress with pearl jewelry while our hero, who is embracing her, is handsome in a red coat. Her auburn hair blends into his coat! I like the details of the stairway in the background and the sunlight gleaming off the column.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Innocent Deceiver

October 1980 saw the publication of The Innocent Deceiver by Vanessa Gray. Fenella Morland is banished to her country estate because of scandal, but her family finds out that it follows her there in the form of two brothers!

Allan Kass illustrates this Signet Regency Romance by showing our couple in an opulent bedroom. Our heroine is enjoying the embrace of the hero and wearing a rose colored day dress with gold accents. The bedchamber is decorated with turquoise furnishings and we see an elegant statuette on the marble topped table. What's great about Allan's illustrations are all the little details that pop up as you observe. Click to enlarge the photo.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Errant Bridegroom

The Errant Bridegroom by Vanessa Gray was published by Signet in March 1986. By now you've caught onto the theme that her book titles are about people!

Corinna Darley has her hands full protecting her beautiful stepsister from others who would exploit the young beauty. However, while happy that Almira is now betrothed, she's not quite sure about her choice since she is drawn to him, herself!

Allan Kass shows our couple in a pretty outdoor setting near a fountain and fancy gazebo. Our heroine's dress echoes the color of the gazebo while our hero gazes passionately at her. Note the water flowing above the top of the fountain!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Dutiful Daughter

January 1980 saw the publication of Vanessa Gray's The Dutiful Daughter, an early Signet Regency. Chloe Rothwell is 24, but comes into an inheritance which lures many suitors to her door. She struggles with choices and duty.

Allan Kass shows our couple standing at a sundial on a pretty summer day. Our heroine is cheery in a bright yellow day dress, which is simple in its decoration. Her short hair and no jewelry is unusual for Kass. Our blond hero is handsome in his red jacket and the background vista of the park and bridge are lovely.

Vanessa Gray also wrote under the names Jacquelyn Aeby and Jocelyn Carew.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Duke's Messenger

The Duke's Messenger was written by Vanessa Gray and published by Signet in November 1982. Elinor is betrothed to Lord Foxhall, but he is on envoy to Austria. She knows her rival will try to break their engagement, so she jumps at the chance to visit Austria and claim her beloved. However, during the journey, she becomes attracted to Reeves, the messenger and escort on this trip.

Allan Kass creates an up close picture of our couple for this book. Both are dressed in traveling clothes and our heroine wears a picture hat and carries a fur muff. We see the carriage behind them and the inn from which they have exited. The hero looks capable and the heroine is pretty, but has an expression of perplexity on her face.

This book cost $2.50 back in the day! Hard to believe!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Accessible Aunt

The Accessible Aunt by Vanessa Gray is first in a bunch of Signet Regencies that she wrote and Allan Kass illustrated! She is one of Signet's earliest authors in this line and this book was published in January 1984.

Celina Forsyth was a spinster aunt running the household of her social climbing sister in law. She also had two nieces that were looking for husbands and everyone had their eyes on the Marquess of Wroxton--even Celina!

Allan Kass does something original with this cover by painting everything predominately red. We see our couple standing at the bottom of an immense staircase. Our heroine wears a pinkish day dress while our hero's red jacket is bright and vivid. Definitely a unique cover that I'm sure was an interesting project!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mary Ann Gibbs: A Young Lady of Fashion

A Young Lady of Fashion is the last of our illustrated Allan Kass books written by Mary Ann Gibbs. This book was published by Fawcett in 1978.

Lucinda is a young lady with her mind made up: she will marry the heir of the Chevening family or no one at all! Unfortunately, it is the younger son, Edward, who loves Lucinda.

Allan Kass shows our couple outside in an elegant garden with our heroine picking flowers. She looks as if she's been interrupted by our hero, who, with book in hand, keeps his distance as he rests upon the brick wall. It's an interesting cover since the hero is quite removed from the heroine and we assume that he has also been outside enjoying the day with his book.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mary Ann Gibbs: The Tulip Tree

The Tulip Tree by Mary Ann Gibbs was published in November 1979 for Fawcett's Coventry Romance line. This line carried mainly regencies, but also featured stories set in Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian times.

Allegra Lakesby has become a governess after her father loses their home at the home of Lord Fetherstone. He proposes, but she can't forget the handsome railway engineer she met on her way to Fetherstone.

Allan Kass shows our couple sitting on a bench in a park or garden of an estate. Our heroine is pretty in a pink Victorian gown with full sleeves and a big collar. She also carries a picture hat and wears fingerless gloves. She looks at our hero with a face full of love. He is handsome and well dressed. I like the statues in the background and believe that this cover would again have benefit from being larger. You can click to enlarge the photo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mary Ann Gibbs: The Romantic Frenchman

The Romantic Frenchman was published by Fawcett in June 1976. Lady Tamporley, a young mother with 5 children, is intrigued when the romantic Philippe Cabot moves nearby and wonders if she's missed out on romance!

This is a simple outdoor cover by Allan Kass of our hero and heroine leaning on a fallen log. Our heroine is pretty in turquoise and has a basket of wildflowers sitting nearby. Our hero is relaxed and contemplative. The small picture make the cover harder to see and is the only fault with the Fawcett line.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mary Ann Gibbs: The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace by Mary Ann Gibbs is the first of 4 books that Allan Kass illustrated for her. This is a Fawcett publication and was published in 1973 (though I think this is closer to 1976/7).

Tabitha Sackroyd, an adopted daughter, agrees to marry one man but falls in love with the village physician. However, the secret of her past will come to shadow her love.

Allan Kass illustrates our couple sitting in front of a mansion with a wrought iron fence. Our heroine wears a Victorian day dress, which is fuller and more covering than the Regency dresses of 30 years before. Our hero wears a green coat and has a cane resting against the bench. Note the detail on the iron fence!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Joan Garrison: The Castle on the Lake

The Castle on the Lake by Joan Garrison was published in September 1970 for Signet's Rainbow Romance line. This book is numbered #25. It is a condensed romance about Marcella Blaine, who, being promoted to account executive, now has others jealous at her success. Even though she has a career, she is interested in having a husband.

Allan Kass's cover is great. I love how he can dress the people in clothing that doesn't look outdated even nowadays! Our couple stand at a waterfront and the hero looks as if he's telling the heroine something important! I like the sunset illuminating the boats in the water.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jennie Gallant: Olivia

Olivia was published in January 1981 for Fawcett books and is #89 in their Coventry Regency series. Jennie Gallant (Joan Smith) writes about a rich girl named Olivia that decides to become a high priced governess. She is employed by Lady Synge, but her brother, Lord Philmot, takes exception to her studies and methods!

Allan Kass illustrates a cover taking place at a ball. Our heroine wearing an elegant dress of jade green, sits while our hero leans over her chair. His features are almost pinched, which I think is fault of the pose, but I like the details of the other couples dancing and the marble topped table. Sorry it's not a better image.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jennie Gallant: Minuet

September 1980 saw the publishing of Minuet, by Jennie Gallant, a pseudonym for Joan Smith! This is from Fawcett's Coventry Regency line and is #66.

Lady Celeste, known as Minou, has escaped France during the revolution to England to find her father. She meets Lord Degan and they plot to return and rescue her mother and brother!

This is a great Georgian cover by Allan Kass, but I wish it was larger. The detail is exquisite and we miss the trimming on her gown and in her hair and the details of the room unless you stop and look. I like the ornate candlestick and the green gauze apron on her gown.

Unfortunately, these books are becoming harder to find since regency romances are not being published with any regularity. Check your used book store and eBay for copies.