Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mary Jo Putney: Carousel of Hearts

Carousel of Hearts by Mary Jo Putney was published by Signet in November 1989. This story sounds like a couples mixup with two couples who almost end up with the wrong partners! Mary Jo Putney began her career writing Signet regencies but now is well known for her historical romances.

Allan Kass's cover is elegant. We see a handsome gentleman escorting two beautiful ladies on a walk. Our ladies wear summery day dresses and seem to be enjoying his company. We wonder which of the ladies is his favorite!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Eileen Putman: The Dastardly Duke

January 1998 is the publication date of Eileen Putman's The Dastardly Duke. She wrote a few other regencies for Signet. This story is a "My Fair Lady" story with our duke wagering that he could turn any female into a lady of the ton! When he is introduced to Hannah Gregory, he wonders if his heart will become forfeit!

Allan Kass illustrates one of his last covers here but a delightful one. I like the heroine's simple blue gown. Even at age 80, Kass gets the details correct as we see a country cottage set in a sylvan landscape. Note the thatched roof on the cottage and the grass growing between the slabs of cement.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Carol Proctor: An Unlikely Guardian

March 1990 is the publication date for Carol Proctor's An Unlikely Guardian. Rakish Evelyn Lovelace, Earl of Sinamor is the guardian of young Philipa Raithby. Society waited with bated breath to see what would happen to this innocent under this scandalous rake's care! Proctor wrote a few other books under this line.

This is a gorgeous cover by Allan Kass! The heroine is simply beautiful and our hero handsome and rakish! I love her sapphire and pearl jewelry that she wears as ornament to her evening dress. We catch them in the act of leaving for an evening's ball.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Carol Proctor: A Dashing Widow

A Dashing Widow is the first of two books by Carol Proctor. Published by Signet in September 1991, it's the story of Annis Burham, a young, rich widow who has many men dangling about her. But she has a secret that she didn't want society to know.

Allan Kass creates a cover set in a ballroom for this book. It's always interesting to me when he does a scene with other people besides the hero and heroine because it's fun to compare the dress and facial features of the others. In this cover, our couple are prominent, elegant, and handsome. What catches my eye is the heroine's intricate hairdo. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Margaret Evans Porter: Toast of the Town

Toast of the Town was published by Signet in April 1993 and is the last of our books by author Margaret Evans Porter. She wrote others for Signet.

Trevor Cotterell, the Earl of Leafield, has chosen Flora Campion to be his latest mistress. Soon, he learns that she plays her own game of love and that they both may lose!

Allan Kass shows our heroine behind the stage in her costume. The hero has just given her flowers and we get a glimpse of the audience behind. The hero seems captivated by this dark beauty!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Margaret Evans Porter: Sweet Lavender

Sweet Lavender was published in August 1993 by Signet. Margaret Evans Porter tells a story about Beryl Kinnard, the youngest of a large family who is tempted by the Marquis of Elston even though she has vowed to wed the absent Peter Yeates!

Allan Kass gives us a musical cover for this book. Our heroine is seated at a harpsichord and our hero holds a violin. We assume that they have just played a duet. Music would have been an important accomplishment and always performed live in those days before the record and phonograph. Note the detail on the instrument itself and the features of the room.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Margaret Evans Porter: Road to Ruin

Road to Ruin by Margaret Evans Porter was published by Signet in December 1992. Nerissa Newby is fleeing an engagement when she meets up with the shocking Baron Blythe and impulsively agrees to help him in a masquerade!

Allan Kass shows our couple in a bedchamber where we guess from the cover that they aren't married. I like that the heroine is closer and in more detail than the hero, who gazes at her as they discuss their situation. The loud design of the bedspread is a nice touch and give a glimpse of color to the illustration.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Darryl Ponicsan: The Last Detail

Darryl Ponicsan's The Last Detail was published by Signet in July 1971 and is the story of 3 sailors and their 2 guards who are escorting them to prison. They make every kind of detour that ends in disaster.

Allan Kass creates a unique and unusual (for him) cover of a sailor and two of his guards. It's shadowy and stark. I like that it feels like a moment someone might glimpse if they walked by them. Definitely a different feel for a Kass cover than what he usually produced.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jean Plaidy: The Spanish Bridegroom

Last in our Jean Plaidy historical series is The Spanish Bridegroom, published in August 1972. It is the story of Philip II of Spain and the loves of his life. Jean Plaidy went on to write many other historical books about the kings and queens of England, France, and Spain.

Allan Kass shows us a handsome man, dressed in armor, while the lady next to him is elegantly gowned and jeweled. We see a softer side of Philip while the fanatics behind him speak of a harsh and determined ruler.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jean Plaidy: Murder Most Royal

Murder Most Royal was published in May 1973 by Berkley for Jean Plaidy and is the story of Henry the Eighth and Anne Boleyn and her cousin Catherine Howard, both wives of this king.

Allan Kass gives us a accurate portrait of Henry and also illustrates both women this book is about. I like the detail that he puts into their garments and jewels. Note the King's castle in the background.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jean Plaidy: Gay Lord Robert

October 1972 is the publication date of Berkley's edition of Gay Lord Robert by famous historical author Jean Plaidy, whose real name was Eleanor Hibbert and who also wrote under the pen names Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr. This is the story of Robert Dudley and the Princess Elizabeth who were in love but her throne and his wife stood in their way.

Allan Kass gives us a glimpse of his ability in the next few books by showing us that he can illustrate a moment in history accurately. He gives us a scene with our hero and heroine but also shows a battle in the background. It's an intricately detailed cover.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Margaret Pemberton: Shadows over Silver Sands

Margaret Pemberton's Shadow over Silver Sands is a gothic romance published by Berkley in April 1976. Sally crosses the Atlantic after she hears about her friend's mysterious death. Who was responsible: handsome Pete Mackay or Jeff Roberts?

Allan Kass shows our couple near the ruins of an old church and cemetery. I like Allan's older contemporary covers because he creates clothing that would be worn nowadays. This couple could be on the cover of a book this year! While noting all of the gothic influences, I like that the hero is protecting the heroine and holding her in a close embrace!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rose Palmer: One Solitary Twilight

August 1971 is the publication date for Rose Palmer's One Solitary Twilight. This is a Signet contemporary mystery novel about a girl named Polly who use an astrologer to find the murderer of a tenant in Polly's building.

This is an unusual cover for Allan Kass but typical of mysteries and gothics of that date. He gives us a combined illustration of our heroine, the apartment building and the moon. A few other earlier works of his have this same design.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Patricia Oliver: Miss Drayton's Downfall

Last for Patricia Oliver is Miss Drayton's Downfall. She wrote other regencies for Signet, too. This novel was published in March 1994 and is the story of Cassandra Drayton, a vicar's daughter who received a proposal from the Earl of Mansfield. She weds him with an assumption that he could never love her but finds out that is incorrect!

This cover by Allan Kass shows our heroine receiving a gift from the hero. She holds the cape to her face while he looks on. It looks like a surprise gift and Allan captures her delight in the gift as she looks at her reflection.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Patricia Oliver: Lord Harry's Angel

Lord Harry's Angel was published by Signet in April 1993. Patricia Oliver writes a story about Angela Walter, who married Harry Davenport at the command of her wealthy father. What started out as a marriage of convenience turned into intrigues and jealousy.

Allan Kass illustrates this cover with an action picture of our couple riding on horseback. Our heroine is bright in a red habit which is stunning against her hair and black horse while the hero is greeting her. The pagoda in the background suggest that this is possibly a private estate park. Note the folds in the clothing: it's another example of Allan's talent.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Patricia Oliver: Lord Gresham's Lady

Lord Gresham's Lady was published by Signet in November 1994 and is Patricia Oliver's story about Sarah Stanton who is a young widow being pushed into a repulsive second marriage. Her only salvation lay in Lord Gresham, who wasn't interested in marriage. At all.

Allan Kass portrays our elegant couple in a box at the opera! I love her dark green gown and matching jewels, especially her tiara, which Kass doesn't usually give his heroines. Note her matching fur lined cape! The hero is dashing in his sedate black tie and definitely attentive towards our heroine. It looks like a night of magic!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Patricia Oliver: Double Deception

Double Deception by Patricia Oliver was published by Signet in August 1997. Athena Standish was a penniless widow with a daughter to raise and was about to accept rich Peregrine Steele's proposal until his father, the Earl of St Aubyn interfered, thinking her a fortune hunter. Patricia Oliver wrote other regency romances for Signet.

Allan Kass shows our couple in a bucolic setting with them boating on a small lake and enjoying the scenery. I like that both are casually dressed and wish we didn't have the big title banner so that we could see the rest of the cover.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Irene Northan: Phyllida

Back to Georgian England with Irene Northan's Phyllida, published by Fawcett in 1976. Phyllida is determined to marry her handsome lieutenant instead of the steady, reliable neighbor.

I like this cover by Allan Kass because the hero is more glorious than the heroine! He is resplendent in his uniform and Kass gets the details correct. Our heroine is almost plain in comparison with her low cut green gown with white underdress. It's interesting that her hair is left down, too. No jewelry or ornaments. The scene looks like a favorite of the heroine, too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Edwina Noone: Daughter of Darkness

Daughter of Darkness by Edwina Noone was published by Signet in October 1966 but this edition is from the early 1970's. Amanda is hired as companion to a young lady and falls in love with the brooding master of Welesly, Sir Percy Stafford, her charge's father!

Allan Kass's gothic romances are always a treat. In this cover, we see our heroine fleeing the haunted castle. I like Allan's touch of her jewelry and cloak, which are similar to his regency covers. Her laced nightdress is risque, though!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Erika Nau: Angel in the Rigging

Erika Nau's Angel in the Rigging was published by Berkley in February 1976. Lucy is second in command of a pirate ship during the turbulent years before and after the War of 1812. She meets and eventually marries David Armstrong, the love of her life!

Allan Kass gives us a very compelling illustration of our lovely heroine watching a battle while hanging on to the rigging of the title. Even though this takes place during Regency times, she is anti regency in her dress and existence. I love the sweep of her long hair as she gazes fearlessly on the other ships and her earrings which are her only feminine adornment. Enjoy this unusual cover by Kass.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Roseleen Milne: Borrowed Plumes

July 1978 is the publication date of Roseleen Milne's book, Borrowed Plumes. As far as I know, it's the only book she wrote. Constance Osbourne adored Noel Musgrave but hated the Earl of Chievely because he threatened to seize her beloved estate. She didn't suspect that they were one and the same!!

This cover is a favorite of mine by Allan Kass. In his typical style, he portrays our couple walking with a pretty fountain and beautiful tree showing its fall colors nearby. Our heroine wears a simple but elegant yellow gown while the hero is seasonal in hunter green. It looks like the last of the warm autumn days.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Anita Mills: Scandal Bound

Scandal Bound was published in June 1986 by Signet and is Anita Mills' first book. Ellen Marling escapes her wedding night by jumping into the arms of the Marquess of Trent and he helps her run away!

While this book feels like one long adventure, Allan Kass shows our couple in a quiet and contemplative pose. I like how we see their intimacy as the hero cuddles our heroine and reassures her. Take a moment and click to enlarge the photo to see all of the detail which Allan is famous in his illustrations.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Anita Mills: Newmarket Match

Newmarket Match is next in our Signet series. It was published in October 1989 and Anita Mills tells a story about Harriet Rowe, who becomes a partner with Lord Richard Stanton by jointly owning a racehorse.

Allan Kass shows our couple outside a country estate where two horses roam the land. While the hero wears hunting pink, the heroine is dressed in a pretty spring dress with matching straw bonnet. I like the combination of purple and green that Allan uses. Note the heavy gold necklace; Allan frequently adds gold jewelry to our heroines!
It's a pretty, eye catching picture!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Anita Mills: Miss Gordon's Mistake

Miss Gordon's Mistake was published by Signet in March 1991 for author Anita Mills. It is the story of Kitty Gordon who assumes the worse about Lord Haverhill so that he must needs live up to her expectations!

This is a rural cover by Allan Kass. He places our couple near a small stream with a slight waterfall. Our heroine has been picking flowers and we assume that the hero has joined her there. I like all of the colors and how they are both a bit more casual than a normal Kass cover!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Anita Mills: Duel of Hearts

Duel of Hearts was published by Signet in December 1988. Anita Mills writes a story about Leah Cole, whose wealthy but common father wants an aristocratic title for his daughter. Anthony Barsett, Viscount Lyndon proposes but Leah is loathe to marry without love.

This cover shows our couple standing outside the door of a fashionable house. I like that we get a lot of detail with our hero and heroine. She is elegant in light purple while our hero is dashing in maroon. They seem to be quietly in love. Too bad that the award circle is over her gown.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Anita Mills: Devil's Match

Devil's Match by Anita Mills is the first of five books that Allan Kass illustrated for her. She now writes historical fiction. Published in November 1987, it's the story of Caroline Ashley who accepted a bold proposal by Devil Danvers in order for him to win a wager!

I love these earlier covers by Allan Kass. He seats our couple on a settee and they share a quiet but intimate moment. I like her simple but elegant yellow gown while our hero is dressed for dinner. Our heroine has short curly hair, which was daring and unusual for the day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nadine Miller: The Misguided Matchmaker

The Misguided Matchmaker was published in May 1997 for Signet's Regency Romance line. Madelaine Harcourt's father chose her future husband and she was happy until she met his half brother, the handsome and dangerous Tristan Rand!

Allan Kass didn't illustrate too many seafaring covers, so each one is very interesting and different. Our heroine's bonnet is about to blow away and the hero is nearby to help her save it from the water! He is dressed like a sailor. Note the choppy waves and the detail in the lengths of rope.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nadine Miller: The Madcap Masquerade

The Madcap Masquerade is next in our Signet series from author Nadine Miller. This story, published in August 1998, makes it one of Allan Kass's last illustrations. It's the story of Maeve Barrington who takes the place of her twin at the estate of her betrothed, the Earl of Lynley, but his idea of making a marriage of convenience soon disappear with her arrival!

It's hard to believe that Allan Kass was 80 when he created this cover! We still see detail and precision that embodied his earlier covers. I like this scene where our heroine seems shy while the hero isn't afraid to show his affection in the ballroom! Her emerald green gown sets off her red hair to perfection!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nadine Miller: The Gypsy Duchess

The Gypsy Duchess was published in September 1996 by Signet for author Nadine Miller. She wrote other books for Signet but 4 were illustrated by Allan Kass.

Moira, the widowed Duchess of Sheffield, must work with the Earl of Langley since he is now guardian of her young son but the Earl hates her because his brother went off to war when she married another and was killed.

Allan Kass depicts our couple outside on a cold day. Both are dressed heavily but hatless. We wonder if they are traveling together or has the heroine arrived for a visit? I love her purple coat which we've seen in a few other Kass illustrations!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nadine Miller: The Duke's Dilemma

Nadine Miller's The Duke's Dilemma was published by Signet in February 1996. Emily Haliburton's cousin, the beautiful Lucinda, has caught the eye of the Duke of Montford as he is seeking a wife. When the two girls visit his estate, he notices Emily and a kiss begins a comedy of manners that will end up in marriage.

Allan Kass shows our couple kissing while outside in a storm. Our hero is casually dressed and may have run to get the heroine out of the approaching storm. I like her jaunty hat which compliments her gown of raspberry. I also wonder if the lightning is a subtle nod to their passion?