Monday, February 28, 2011

Judith Harkness: The Montague Scandal

The Montague Scandal, published by Signet in November 1979 for author Judith Harkness, is the last of her books illustrated by Allan Kass. Roselind Arden needed to marry for wealth and her best prospect on the marriage mart was Reginald Darnley, even though others, like Peter Grey, told her it would be a disaster to marry him.

Allan Kass creates a great cover for this book. It is dark in tone because of the red curtains and wood paneling. Our heroine's dress echoes the colors in the room while the hero's red coat is the one bright spot in it! I like Allan's use of jewelry on the heroine and her long green scarf is elegant. Allan's commitment to detail shows with the ornate desk in the background.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Judith Harkness: Lady Charlotte's Ruse

Lady Charlotte's Ruse was published by Signet in August 1982 for Judith Harkness. Charlotte is ready to wed Gerald Kirkland until he flees and finds another. After finding herself engaged to the Marquis of Beresford, Charlotte realizes that her chance for happiness is slim to none unless she does something about it!

Allan Kass illustrated this cover and I like the distinctions of it with our couple standing in the china cabinet display room. Our heroine has a high color to her cheeks, but is a typical Kass heroine with her bangle bracelets and elegant dress. Our hero is handsome in a black dinner jacket. I wonder if they are preparing to go to dinner? His hair is a bit longer than most, which looks as if he needs a trim! The blue/purple tones on the wall give a soft light to the room and pick up the color in her gown.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Judith Harkness: The Determined Bachelor

The Determined Bachelor was published by Signet in February 1981 and was written by Judith Harkness. Anne Calder was a published author who was interested in writing about London society rather than marrying a local squire. However she needed an entree into society and decided the best avenue was to become governess in the house of Sir Basil Ives.

Allan Kass shows our couple either embracing or the heroine fainting. She is in riding dress and we see her hat and crop on the desk behind her. The hero also wears a red riding jacket, so maybe they were out together. I like the window and brick building in the background. The desk is also very unique though I am not sure at the little figurine which looks like it's standing on top of the candlestick!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Judith Harkness: Contrary Cousins

Contrary Cousins by Judith Harkness was published by Signet in September 1981 for their Regency Romance line. Lady Pendleton invites her two American nieces to London for the season in order to cause a sensation. Antonia and Serena, though, have their own ideas about a perfect match!

I like this cover by Allan Kass because it shows both of our couples in a ballroom setting. Our figures are dressed formally and it's interesting to see the different colors and styles that Allan uses to make this scene look realistic. I'm sure everyone will choose their favorite person in this busy, but elegant scene!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Judith Harkness: The Admiral's Daughter

Next we turn to author Judith Harkness, who wrote 5 Signet Regencies which Allan Kass illustrated. The Admiral's Daughter was published in April 1980. All Maggie had ever heard was hatred towards the Ramblay clan, so she is astounded when her father consigned her to their care and is unsettled by the Lord of the house!

I like this cover by Allan Kass. It's typical of his earlier work with our finely featured heroine with her gold bangle bracelets and a richly detailed surrounding. She is holding a rose from the bowl on the table that the hero may have given to her and seems a bit unsure about his embrace. I also like the simplicity of her gown against the hero's black coat. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Karen Harbaugh: The Devil's Bargain

May 1995 is the publication date of The Devil's Bargain by Karen Harbaugh. Signet published other books by her, but Allan Kass only illustrated this one.

Eveline Seton is intrigued with Lord Richard Clairmond but he wants her not as a wife, but as a way to be relieved of his debts and poverty. This book has a supernatural twist since the hero has made a bargain with the devil, hence the title.

I'm glad that Allan Kass didn't try for a paranormal look for this book but kept it looking like a traditional regency romance. Our couple attend a party and enjoy a moment alone outside in the darkness. I like the heroine's gold trimmed gown which is embellished with an ornately embroidered shawl. Note Allan's use of light and shadow on this picture.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Georgina Grey: Turn of the Cards

Turn of the Cards by Georgina Grey was published by Fawcett in 1979. Catherine Marlow went to live with her Aunt Harriet after her gambler father deserted her. However, Harriet has no plans to launch Catherine into society alongside her daughter and is thinking to marry her off to a dull widower. Catherine isn't planning on obeying her aunt!

Allan Kass illustrates a delightful cover for this story with our hero and heroine in a music room. I love the heroine's olive green gown, which is simply accented by a gold ribbon and shawl. Her expression is beautifully pensive as she leans against the hero. We get a feel of unrequited love with a mixture of hope.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Georgina Grey: The Reluctant Rivals

Next by Georgina Grey is The Reluctant Rivals. This book was published by Fawcett in March 1981 and is #103 in their Coventry Regency line.

Kate is upset when she discovers that Lord Gilcrest, her ideal beau, is being tricked into a betrothal with her cousin, Belinda. So she decides to do something about it!

Allan Kass creates a great pre-regency cover here with our characters dressed in Georgian fashion of brightly colored silks and satin fabric. Note the differences from the regency with the heavier fabrics, fuller cut clothing, and longer, fuller hairdos. The placing of the people is interesting and shows the love triangle of the storyline.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Georgina Grey: The Last Cotillion

The Last Cotillion is #57 in Fawcett's Coventry Regency series and was written by Georgina Grey. This book was published in August 1980. This is a pen name of Mary Linn Roby, who also wrote regencies and gothic romances.

Olivia Irving is playing a dangerous game with a dangerous man and in doing so is keeping the right suitor at arms length. Can she save her brother's honor along without losing the man she loves?

Allan Kass shows our coupled dancing a waltz, different than the cotillion of the title, but apt, as the end of the story suggests. He paints an unusually ornate gown for our heroine with the puffs and pearl trim of the hem. I also like her diamond tiara and jewels. Our hero is also glamorous in his black dress suit with a gold waistcoat and red fob. Where Allan goes all out is with the details of this room! From the walls to the mantel, everything is very ornate and golden.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Denice Greenlea: A Friend of the Family

Denice Greenlea's A Friend of the Family, was published by Fawcett in December 1981 for their Coventry Regency series. It is numbered #154. I am excited because I had a photo of this cover, but no author or title, so it's an exciting recent find!!

Anna Whitten is a young widow at 23. She begins to enjoy life again as she meets a kind man named Gerald Durant. However, her happiness turns to despair when she finds out he is married.

Allan Kass illustrates our couple riding in a sleigh over a beautiful snowy scene. Our heroine is well wrapped in her blue coat trimmed with fur while our hero looks approachable in his checked scarf. They look like they are enjoying their ride! If you look: this image was flipped since Allan's signature on the lower left corner is backwards!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Denice Greenlea: The Ardent Suitor

The Ardent Suitor by Denice Greenlea was published by Fawcett Crest in 1979.

Joanna had convinced herself that she was in love with another when he comes home from the wars with a fiancee. Can she see that the quiet gentleman who she thinks is dull may be the perfect husband?

Allan Kass shows our couple standing outside the front door in a garden area. We see some pretty plants and flowers framing our couple. Our heroine has the look of a typical Kass heroine in her sunshine yellow day dress while our hero is dashingly embracing her. I'm waiting for someone to come through the door!! Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vanessa Gray: The Wicked Guardian

The last book of Vanessa Gray's, The Wicked Guardian, was published by Signet in December 1978. Clare Penryck was not pleased to hear that Sir Benedict Choate was her guardian. She was not willing to sit in the country and wait for a suitor. Instead, she decided to rebel against the arrogant and odious guardian!

Allan Kass's illustration of our couple in a sitting room is wonderful. We see the hero trying to discuss something with the unwilling to listen heroine. I like that she looks young and trendy with her short hairdo and that she sits on an Egyptian inspired sofa. Both the ornate table with ceramic inlay and the green clock ornament are interesting details in this room.