Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Widowed Bride

The Widowed Bride was published in December 1996 by Signet for author April Kihlstrom. It is also in the Miss Tibbles governess series. Annabelle Winsborough is a widow almost as soon as she becomes a wife. She is leery of David Carlton, the heir who appears soon after her husband's death. Is he an imposter? Is he her future?

I think this is such a pretty cover by Allan Kass. I love the heroine's mourning dress of black with the sheer net bodice. It's so elegant! She and the hero sit near a rose covered vine and are about to share a kiss. Such a beautiful and tender moment.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Wicked Groom

The Wicked Groom by April Kihlstrom was published in April 1996 and is the story of Diana Westcott who is betrothed unknowingly to the Duke of Berenford. She is agreeable until she meets the new groom and he steals a kiss! Little does she know that the lowly groom is her high ranking suitor! This is the first book in the Miss Tibbles series.

Allan Kass shows us the scene where the groom kisses Lady Diana. Our hero is dressed very casually while our heroine is ready for riding. I like the two horses standing in the background.

Friday, April 26, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Wary Spinster

The Wary Spinster, published in August 1983 by Signet, is the story of Anthea Marwood who is a spinster by choice after being raised by a brutal father. She invites her niece to stay with her in Bath when she realizes that she's being pushed into marriage with a reprobate. Lord Giles Rathbone, a friend, is convinced to change Anthea's marital state!

This is another great cover by Allan Kass! I love the heroine's periwinkle blue gown under her heavy darker blue cape and trimmed bonnet. She wears a lace cap that shows her status as spinster. Our hero is handsome in his caped greatcoat and looks like a trustworthy suitor for our heroine!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Kihlstrom: Twice Betrothed

Twice Betrothed is the next in this series of novels by April Kihlstrom. Published in November 1984 by Signet, it is the story of American Judith Bosworth who is in London for the season and deciding whether is it wise to make a marriage of convenience.

Allan Kass shows our couple clinging to each other while standing in an elegant room. Our heroine is pretty in a powder blue gown with a matching hair ribbon while the hero looks dressed for dinner in black formal wear of the day. This is a classic Kass illustration; some of his best were done in the early 1980's of regency ladies. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Scholar's Daughter

The Scholar's Daughter was published in February 1989 and is the story of Calista Standish who is debating the problem of Mr. John Witton! She couldn't resist him even though he had a fiancee and her intellect was telling her to flee. Could he love someone like her?

I love this cover by Allan Kass. Set in Bath, UK, we see the beautiful architecture with the creamy stone walls and narrow streets. Our couple are dressed exquisitely for a walk in the city and everything from the heroine's shawl to the matching ribbons on her bonnet enhance her pink walking dress. The hero is very much a la mode with his dark jacket, hat, and cane.

If you ever have a chance to visit Bath, do it. It's a beautiful city that still looks like it did back in the days of the regency. It's easy to imagine that you're back in time when walking the streets!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Kihlstrom: A Scandalous Bequest

A Scandalous Bequest was published by Signet for author April Kihlstrom in September 1982. Felicity Lyford is being courted by both Lord Harry Eastcott and Sir Anthony Woodhall for her fortune. These two rivals make it hard for Felicity to decide which is really in love with her and not just her money.

Allan Kass shows our couple near a splendid mansion with Georgian style arch windows. I love our heroine's hairdo, all bouffant and curly. Her full blue dress is definitely slipping off of her shoulders!! We get a glimpse of the hero's face, but he looks kind and loving.

April Kihlstrom is one of Signet's most prolific authors. She wrote many other regencies not illustrated by Allan Kass. Some were written as sequels and in series.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Reckless Wager

The Reckless Wager was published by Signet in November 1991 and is the story of the Earl of Basingstoke and the wager he accepts that he'll pretend to be a poor younger son and propose to an unknown gentlewoman. When he meets Elizabeth Mayfield, he thinks his wager is won until she rejects his proposal and the game begins!

Allan Kass presents our couple in front of a modern 1800's mansion! The gardens looks pristine and delightful with flowers blooming on a warm spring day. It tempts our couple to take a stroll before the sun is too hot. The heroine's gown is pretty and I like the accent ribbons on the bodice. Our red headed hero is handsome and dashing. Elegant is the result!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April Kihlstrom: An Outrageous Proposal

This book by April Kihlstrom was published in July 1998 and is one of the last illustrated by Allan Kass.

Lady Penelope Westcott agrees to a scheme by Geoffrey Talbot in order to stay single and stop others from nagging her to wed. They set up a pretend betrothal that Geoffrey hopes one day to make real!!

Even though this is one of Allan's later works, it's a stunningly detailed cover for someone in their 80's! The hero is tall and straight while the heroine is elegant as she leaves the carriage. The horses are well drawn along with the landscape in the background. It was sad not to see any Kass covers after 1998.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Nabob's Widow

The Nabob's Widow by April Kihlstrom was published in July 1986 for Signet's Regency Romance line. Drusila Lawford is now a wealthy widow and society wants to believe the worse about this lady, including the handsome Lord Richard Pensley!

Allan Kass illustrates our couple in a small room that is decorated with a hunting theme. Our couple wear riding clothes, so it's appropriate that they are standing inside! While our couple is typical Kass in look and pose, I find the painting in the background--Stubbs?--and the crested stained glass intriguing.

I believe Signet also entitled another of their regencies "The Nabob's Widow". Usually they were careful about not reusing titles!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Kihlstrom: The Mysterious Governess

The Mysterious Governess was published by Signet in April 1984. April Kihlstrom tells the story of Mr. Darnell Somerton and his romance with Elizabeth, who looks a lot like a lady governess he once helped.

This cover is prettier in person than the photo! Allan Kass shows our couple standing on a balcony and it looks like they are sharing a quiet story. Our hero's jacket of purple compliments the heroine's yellow day dress. Note his large white cuffs! I like the touches of weathering on the stone railing and the tree growing up alongside the wall of the house.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Kihlstrom: Miss Redmond's Folly

June 1988 is the publication date for this Signet regency romance by April Kihlstrom. Miss Redmond's Folly is the story of Eleanor Redmond and her first London season where she falls for the impoverished French emigre against the advice of her friend, Frederick Leverton.

Allan Kass shows our couple in an outdoor scene on the grounds of a pretty estate. They stand near the edge of a stream or lake and definitely share a passionate moment. Note Allan's skill as the heroine tilts back her neck and we see the muscles. One of the things I've always liked about his artwork is that his people are drawn to scale and movement.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Kihlstrom: An Improper Companion

An Improper Companion was published by Signet in February 1983 and is the story of Heather Wade who is forced to leave school once she finds out that she has no family but her first job finds her quickly married to Sir Leslie Kinwell and then trying to find her way into society.

This cover is a typical early Allan Kass one: it's detailed, has a strong hero and beautiful heroine, and the colors are gorgeous. Our couple stand in a small parlor or office. I love the heroine's dress; even though it is for daytime and one color, it has some elegant embellishments and her brooch and hair ribbon are perfect accessories. We get the feeling that they care for each other, even if it's hard to say the actual words.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Kihlstrom: An Honorable Rogue

An Honorable Rogue was published by Signet in June 1997 for author April Kihlstrom. It is the story of Lady Barbara Westcott, an heiress who accepts a bet that she could be a barmaid for an evening! While working, she meets Lord Damian Farrington, a rogue who decides he wants Barbara and as the review states, "it was not her bet she has to worry about losing, but her virtue and her heart!"

Allan Kass gives us a scene from the pub with our heroine dressed as a barmaid and cuddling with the hero. We get the impression of a warm and cozy room with two people who definitely care for one another. I think it's interesting that the heroine is wearing a gold bracelet and earrings, which a barmaid wouldn't be able to afford!