Thursday, October 31, 2013

Freda Michel: Quest for Lord Quayle

Quest for Lord Quayle by Freda Michel was published by Fawcett in October 1979. Marianne Holroyd's fiance was murdered as they approached the church door to be wed and she swore vengeance on the man who committed the deed.

Allan Kass depicts the actual moment of the murder and it's interesting to see his view of the masked man approaching the groom and the heroine's look of fear. There is nothing prettier than a bride and ours is elegant in her full gown of white satin and lace. The groom is suitably bridal and the masked stranger menacing. I like that we can see inside the church to its stained glass windows. Note the gargoyle above the doorway!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Freda Michel: The Price of Vengeance

The Price of Vengeance was published by Fawcett in 1976 and is the story of Rosalind, who dressed as a highwayman holds up the duke's carriage. He sees a resemblance to his former mistress and decides to use Rosalind as a means of vengeance.

This cover by Allan Kass is interesting because it shows a heroine in slacks, which was a definite no-no back in Georgian days. Kass gives us the scene of the holdup and we see the hero taking the pistol away from the heroine. It's interesting that Fawcett posts another photo of this cover on the back of the book with a blurb and the name of the artist, spelled wrongly (Alan Kass). In a time where the cover illustrators got little to no acknowledgment, it's great for those of us hunting book covers to find.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freda Michel: A Curious Proposal

Next in our list of Allan Kass illustrations are 3 books by Freda Michel. A Curious Proposal was published in July 1980 and is the story of Francesca Northwood who is trapped into a dangerous marriage after being jilted by her fiance. This story has a gothic feel to it which is not too surprising since they were very popular books in the 1970's.

Allan Kass's cover also has a gothic feel with a dark castle lurking menacingly in the background. Our couple seem to be fleeing and our hero has a sword at the ready. Both wear Georgian dress and while the hero's coat is ornate, we see little of the heroine's plain dress, excepting the lacy sleeve.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jean Merrill: The Girl from the Diadem

The Girl from the Diadem by Jean Merrill is an Edwardian Romance that was published by Fawcett in 1978. Belle Barclay's career in the theater was tanking and a job offered by the Earl of Orsett to pose as his girlfriend in order to win the wife of his choosing by making his uncle relent. Belle accepts but finds out that her real opponent is Orsett's handsome uncle!

Allan Kass did a few Edwardian covers, so each is a treat. This one shows our couple outside in a purple sunset standing near a pagoda.  Our heroine is playing coy while the hero is handsome in his silver dinner jacket. Also, note her topknot hairdo.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Joan Mellows: Harriet

Harriet by Joan Mellows was published in 1977. Harriet was intrigued with the handsome Hugh De Brandon even though everyone warned her of this mysterious man who may have killed his first wife!

Allan Kass gives us a picture of our couple as the heroine descends the steps to greet the hero and continue on to a ball or party. Her amber dress is almost the same color as her hair and her shawl is a good match to the hero's waistcoat. He is handsome in black tie.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Joan Mellows: A Different Face

A Different Face by Joan Mellows was published by Fawcett in 1979. Thea is a spinster more interested in books when a young girl asks for help, it spins Thea into an adventure worthy of her stories!

Allan Kass shows our couple out riding and we see a fortified castle in the background. I like the heroine's dark green riding habit, which set off both her hair and horse to admiration! Allan is an artist when it comes to animals, too, and here we have a good example with the horses. Click to enlarge the photo.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Joan Mellows: A Family Affair

A Family Affair was published in 1976 by Fawcett and is the story of Helene who was being pressed into a marriage with the Duke of Coniston while her heart called out for James Fraser, penniless but handsome.

Allan Kass shows our couple about to enter a carriage for a ride around town. Our heroine wears a plain pink gown under an ornate purple fur trimmed coat. The hero looks eager to accompany her and we imagine a delightful outing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Alix Melbourne: Regency Miss

Alix Melbourne's Regency Miss was published by Fawcett in 1978 and is another prelude to their Coventry series. Alicia Tierney stole a moment of love as a young girl. Years later and now an heiress, she travels to London to experience the season and during a masquerade, a man reveals himself as that mysterious lover of long ago....but who is he and will he tell the world? Alix Melbourne wrote one other regency published by Fawcett.

Allan Kass creates a pretty cover which could grace any regency story. We have our couple strolling down a busy street near a park. Allan is able to get a lot of detail into this small picture with the elegance of the heroine's dress, the couple strolling behind them and the carriage on the left. Allan would send a small 5" by 7" sketch for approval to the publisher and then paint the canvas, which for these small covers were 15" square.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Melinda McRae: Lady Leprechaun

Lady Leprechaun was published by Signet in May 1993 and is the story of Emily, Viscountess Darrow. She reluctantly joins forces with the Duke of Hartford after their respective sons decide to run away from school and a cross country search not only finds the miscreants but also love! Melinda McRae now published regencies under Harlequin Historical.

This is a colorful cover by Allan Kass. I like the flowers growing near the cottage and it's a homey, inviting scene. The heroine's hair is especially pretty with its smoothness and long curl. Our hero is determined to embrace the heroine and maybe steal a kiss.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Melinda McRae: A Highly Respectable Widow

A Highly Respectable Widow by prolific author Melinda McRae was published in January 1992 by Signet. Katherine Mayfield was a content widow until she met the rakish Earl of Knowlton. He was looking for sport. She was looking for peace. Neither were looking for love.

This is a nice cover by Allan Kass. We see our couple standing together before dinner and both are dressed for a ball or other evening event. I like the heroine's use of silver that sets off the purple of her gown, which may be a widow's mourning color. The hero holds her hand as they spend a calm moment talking. I'm stumped to describe the black and gold object on the table next to the plate. If anyone knows, leave a message!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Adeline McElfresh: Wings for Nurse Bennett

Wings for Nurse Bennett by Adeline McElfresh, was published by Dell for its Candlelight Romance series in December 1970 (this edition). McElfresh wrote many other nurse romances. Sarah Bennett became a temporary stewardess for Alaska airlines but a hijacking stranded her with a handsome pilot. Now she has a dilemma, pilot or doctor?!!

This is one of Allan Kass's earliest works as a book cover illustrator and a definite find. I have 4 other books that he illustrated for Dell, so let me know if you find others. His signature or "AK" is proof. This specific cover is very 1960's/70's in feel with our heroine in uniform and heavy turtleneck gazing while the hero puts a log on the fire. We see Allan's touch in the detail of her pins and his wings.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sara McCulloch: Not Quite a Lady

Not Quite a Lady by Sara McCulloch was published by Fawcett in February 1981. It's the only title I can find for this author and it's the story of Angel, who is the ward of Matthew Vail. He had rescued her and now isn't sure what to do but introduce her to society!

I wish this cover was larger because Allan Kass gives us a pretty picture of our couple at a London evening party. We see them standing by the stairway with its carved detail and guests milling in the background. Our hero looks the hero with his military award and sword. He has a Christopher Plummer look to him as he gazes on the heroine, who is pretty in pink with roses in her hair and an elegant emerald necklace. I hope the author was pleased with her only book's cover illustration!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Laura Matthews: A Very Proper Widow

A Very Proper Widow was published by Signet in December 1982 for Laura Matthews. Vanessa Damery is a widow raising her two small children and determined never to marry again until she meets the Earl of Alvescot who is a relative of her late husband and has come to help her with the estate.

We have a picture of a young couple outside of a pretty cottage. Allan Kass creates a scene where they share a comforting moment with each other. Note the gold jewelry on the heroine because this is a Kass touch and seen a lot on some of his earlier covers. It's also interesting that we see a heroine with her hair down since during the regency time, it was proper for grown women to wear their hair up off their neck.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Laura Matthews: In My Lady's Chamber

In My Lady's Chamber was published by Signet in July 1993. It had an earlier publication from 1981. Theodosia is a governess now but was once engaged to Lord Marcus until a lie sent them their separate ways. Now meeting again, she wonders if he plans to marry a lady of the house and is desperate not to lose her heart again!

Allan Kass illustrates our couple in a bedroom where the heroine is sitting on a couch whose upholstery matches the bed hangings and curtains. They are dressed for dinner and it looks like the hero is asking a favor or pleading his cause. My only criticism is that I don't care for the pose where the hero is bending over because we miss some of his face and expression. Otherwise, the detail here is amazing and I'd love a room like this!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Laura Matthews: Lord Greywell's Dilemma

Lord Greywell's Dilemma was published by Signet in January 1983. It's the story of Elspeth Parkstone who at the advanced age of 25 marries Lord Greywell to help care for his infant son but decide to keep it a marriage of convenience.

I think that this is a pretty cover by Allan Kass with our couple strolling on a beautiful estate. I like the use of color here with the sky so blue, the grass so green, and the flowers so pink. Our couple seem to be sharing a quiet moment together and maybe falling into love.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Laura Matthews: The Ardent Lady Amelia

Laura Matthews is a pseudonym for Elizabeth Rotter, who also wrote a Signet Regency under yet another pseudonym of Elizabeth Walker.  She wrote 30 regencies but only 4 were illustrated by Allan Kass.

The Ardent Lady Amelia was published by Signet in February 1984 and is the story of Amelia Cameron who is convinced that Lord Verwood, a nobleman of mystery, is really a spy because he is too good to be true!

Allan creates a cover with our couple in a rich room that looks out onto a summery vista. Our hero is dark and handsome but what is intriguing to me is the heroine. She wears a burgandy gown that almost clashes with her hair. The blue background of the room save the color day! Note the detail in the silver bowl behind them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rebecca Marsh: Mystery in Nevada

Mystery in Nevada by Rebecca Marsh was published by Signet in September 1970 for its Rainbow Romance line. Katherine Smith is a detective who gets caught up with a visiting celebrity and finds herself suspect in his murder!

This is a very early cover by Allan Kass and it's interesting to see the difference with his regency covers just 10 years later. Our couple are outside and distinct while the background is indistinct and almost fuzzy. Our heroine wears a dress and scarf that look like 1970 while the hero's sweater and collared shirt could be from any date. Kass illustrated a few books for this series.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Anne MacNeill: A Mind of Her Own

Anne MacNeill is the pseudonym of Maura Seger, who wrote many contemporary and historical romances. This book was published by Signet in September 1983 and is the story of Courtney and her marriage to Lord Nigel Davies which doesn't run a smooth course until they learn to understand each other.

I think that this is a very pretty cover by Allan Kass. I like the setting of the archway and birdbaths and wonder if it's part of an elaborate garden? The heroine is pretty in her plain yellow gown and the hero obviously admiring. It looks like a moment when they realize that they truly love each other.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: A Notorious Lady

A Notorious Lady was published by Fawcett in 1978 and is the story of Lady Phillipa Harte, called Pippin, and her arrival in Scotland. Her presence intrigue Lord Afton and scandalize the local vicar!

This is a unique cover for a regency romance in that it shows no hero. Single person covers were very rare in the 1970's unless the book was a gothic romance which usually pictured the heroine fleeing a haunted house. I like the heroine's purple gown her silver bows and pearl jewels along with her direct gaze. She looks like a force to be reckoned with and again, Allan Kass does a brilliant job!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: The Misses Millikin

The Misses Millikin was published by Fawcett in July 1980 for their Coventry Regency line and authored by Maggie MacKeever. Angelica is the oldest and plainest in a large family where she's taking care of them and also making matches! When a handsome rogue looks her way, she realizes that maybe she doesn't need to stay the spinster sister!

Allan Kass illustrates this cover with a picture of our couple in costume at a masquerade. Both wear Georgian garb and look very dashing. We see others in the background from different historical settings. The heroine may be Queen Antoinette but the hero could be a dashing highwayman!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: Lord Fairchild's Daughter

Lord Fairchild's Daughter by Maggie MacKeever was published by Fawcett in January 1976, as a precursor of its Coventry Romance line.  This story has a gothic feel to it since Loveday, the heroine, runs away from her father's gambling only to stay with distant relatives who are convinced that she is the key to solving earlier murders.

Not quite a gothic cover by Allan Kass! Our couple are riding on a large estate and our heroine is prettily attired in riding dress. I like how her hair hangs down on the side and while the hero is smaller, we can still see Allan's skill by how he is drawn, along with the horses.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: Lady Sweetbriar

Lady Sweetbriar was published by Fawcett in February 1982 for their Coventry Romance series. Nikki, Lady Sweetbriar, is newly engaged to Sir Avery, but is determined to keep her jewels when she makes this new marriage and in doing so involves a multitude of misunderstandings!

This cover depicts our couple outside of an elegant house. The heroine is dressed for walking in a pretty purple gown with her hat, shawl, and parasol very elegant accessories. My only criticism with these Fawcett covers are that the pictures are so small and it's hard to see all of the detail that Allan Kass creates in his covers.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: Lady Bliss

Lady Bliss by Maggie MacKeever, was published by Fawcett in December 1979. This edition is from January 1987. Jessamyn Lennox, known as Jynx, gets mixed up with a crowd that her new fiance, Lord Roxbury, knows only too well!

Allan Kass pictures our couple in front of a building while the heroine alights from a carriage. Our hero is typical Kass as he gazes on the heroine who is elegant in her blue gown and darker blue pelisse and hat. Her purse or reticule is an interesting shape and she looks ready to shop or make calls. Note the ribbon effect at the bottom of her gown.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Maggie MacKeever: A Banbury Tale

Next in our author lineup is Maggie MacKeever, who wrote regencies for Fawcett in the late 1970's. A Banbury Tale was published in 1977 and is the story of Mathilda who was a widow and definitely not planning on remarrying! However, she wasn't ready to give up her place as the reigning queen of society!

This cover by Allan Kass shows our couple on a balcony where in the room behind, a ball is taking place. Our couple share an embrace while the dancers in the background complete a measure. My eye is caught by the gentleman in the pink coat--he must be a dandy!

I wonder if the popularity of Barbara Cartland's books during this time helped this genre become popular? Other popular romances of the time were the gothic and these regency stories were definitely different in flavor. Also this was the beginning of the sexier historical romance with Kathleen Woodwiss's The Flame and the Flower being published around 1977, too.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dorothy Mack: The Unlikely Chaperone

Our last regency by Dorothy Mack is The Unlikely Chaperone. She wrote others not illustrated by Kass but published by Signet, so check out her other work. This book was published in February 1991.

Alexandra Farrish is leading her younger and beautiful sister through the season and Didi is captivating all of the men, especially the handsome Marquess of Malvern, the one man Alexandra begrudges her!!

This is an interesting cover by Allan Kass. Our couple are at a ball and it looks as if the hero is trying to get the heroine to dance with him. I like the use of the mirror that shows the others dancing. Note her long sleeves, which are probably removable. She also wears some unique jewelry and carries a pretty fan.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dorothy Mack: An Unconventional Courtship

An Unconventional Courtship by Dorothy Mack was published by Signet in August 1987. It's the story of Cleone Latham who was a poor relation in the home of her uncle and managed his affairs. However, this peaceful life was disturbed by the arrival of the Earl of Altern and his wooing of her shallow cousin. Could she find him a better wife?

I think this is an elegant cover by Allan Kass. Our heroine is simply attired in a golden gown and she shares an intimate moment with the hero. It possibly is a stolen moment, but we are intrigued with the scene.

Dorothy Mack: A Temporary Betrothal

May 1995 was the Signet publication date for A Temporary Betrothal by Dorothy Mack. Belinda Melville was in love with a man who was in love with her newly married cousin! Was she willing to take second place in his heart?

Allan Kass paints our couple near a garden door sharing an embrace. The heroine's pink gown is striking with her black hair and pale complexion. The hero's features are partially hidden but we get the sense that he is strong and solid. I like the climbing flowers behind him and we see that it's a sunny day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dorothy Mack: A Prior Attachment

A Prior Attachment was published in May 1989 by Signet and Dorothy Mack writes a tale of a girl named Gemma Monteith whose father chooses a husband for her. However, Gemma has been in love with another who is coming back from the war to claim her as his bride! Who will she marry?

Allan Kass creates a garden setting for this cover and we see our couple enjoying the sunshine and flowers. It's interesting that they are both redheads since it's rare for Allan's couples to have matching hair color. I also like his use of color with the hero's purple coat and gold waistcoat, which are complimentary colors.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dorothy Mack: The Mock Marriage

Dorothy Mack's The Mock Marriage was published by Signet in June 1991 as part of its Signet Regency Romance line. Claire Yelland was also an actress who was being paid by Sir Egon Hollister to act as his wife in order to fool his grandmother. Sir Egon has no notion that she is really a lady!

Allan Kass gives us an interesting cover with our couple standing in front of a building that has a Spanish feel. It looks as if it's a church because we see a couple in wedding attire standing in the doorway. I like our heroine's green coat and matching bonnet. The hero is dressed for a special occasion in dark blue and gold. I need to reread to find out where they are located!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dorothy Mack: The Lost Heir

The Lost Heir by Dorothy Mack was published by Signet in July 1993. Brianna Llewellyn has little reason to trust Christopher Cardorette after his brother's treatment of her sister and the fact that her nephew is the legitimate heir to the title! However, he meant to show her that he wasn't the ogre she thought he was!

One of the reasons I like this cover by Allan Kass is that the heroine looks like a young 21 year old as depicted in the story. I also love her red hair and the purple shawl over her neat gown. This is a calm cover and yet we can almost feel the sparks from the couple!