Friday, April 30, 2010

Sweet Adventure

Sweet Adventure is set during the 1700's. Ventura is sent by her dying mother to Madrid and she disguises herself as a page and gets hired by Lord Lynke, who travels towards an arranged marriage with a rich Spanish lady! Ventura fools Lord Lynke until secrets are revealed and they fall in love. Cartland wrote a few Georgian set plots and they are great stories!

Francis Marshall illustrates two different covers for this book. The Pyramid (US) cover has our couple in regency dress and our heroine dressed as a girl. While it is very well done, it could have been used for any of Cartland's regency novels.

The Arrow (UK) cover is more accurate in description. Our heroine is dressed as a boy page and our hero and others in the fashion of the mid 1700's. They stand in a courtyard and the hero prepares to defend himself. Note the menacing figure on the left and the beautiful lady on the right. I like this cover better since it fits the plot of the story.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stolen Halo

Stolen Halo was published by Arrow in 1973 and is a story about Doreen, a young girl who has been living in Cairo after the death of her bigamist husband. At her lowest point, she comes up with a daring plan to exchange places with a dead English girl in order to start a new life!

Francis Marshall illustrates the cover of this book, which is set around 1940. To me, it's an indistinct cover. We see our hero and heroine, but it's like looking through a lens. They are dressed for dinner in a hot climate and we see the palm trees and native waiters in the background.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stars in My Heart

Stars in My Heart is the story of Gisela, who is asked by the Empress Elizabeth to impersonate her on a visit to Lord Quenby! However, it isn't the older Lord that she meets, but his handsome son who falls in love with a women he thinks is Empress Elizabeth!!

Francis Marshall illustrates two different covers for this story. The Pyramid (US) one shows our couple meeting for the first time. Our heroine wears an elegant blue carriage suit, trimmed in brown. We see his imposing mansion behind him. I like the bouquet of flowers that he holds, ready to give to the Empress!

The Arrow (UK) version illustrates our couple before an elegant dinner or ball. Our hero wears a long tailed jacket while our heroine is divine in white with diamond stars scattered in her hair. I think the red sofa is a bit clashing and the lights in the background draw our attention away from the heroine.

Empress Elizabeth of Austria was a real person. She was very beautiful but had an unhappy marriage, endured the death of a few children, and was assassinated in 1898.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Secret Fear

The Secret Fear by Barbara Cartland is the story of Arabella, who is sent to live in the house of the Marquis of Meridale and care for a child who lives there. The Marquis is off fighting the Napoleonic Wars and a local highwayman is using his house as a cover. When the marquis returns, he is intrigued with Arabella, but other issues interfere before they can fall in love!

Francis Marshall painted 2 very different covers for this story. The Jove (US) one shows our couple standing outside. Our heroine holds a rose and is wearing a white dress trimmed in blue. The hero is handsome in a typical Cartland way and holds her. Note the menacing highwayman in the background!

The Arrow (UK) cover is less menacing, but very pretty. Our heroine is lovely in a pink gown with a bonnet in her lap. Her hair is loose, which would be unusual. She sits in a phaeton with the hero and we see a groom standing on the back. The hero holds the reins loosely while he converses with the heroine. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Update: Reader Tracey J reminded me that there was an old hardcover of this title with a different cover which I believe is also another Francis Marshall and am adding it today! Thanks, Tracey!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Reluctant Bride

The Reluctant Bride by Barbara Cartland is the story of Camilla, who is on her way to marry the Prince of Meldenstein and thus save her family from financial disaster and her mother's life. While traveling, she meets Hugo Cheverly, who seems to hate her, but ends up saving her from a diabolical prince! I remember this being a great story!!

The Pyramid (US) copy is a loud yellow with Francis Marshall's illustration in a circle, which was a popular style in the 1970's. We see our very pretty heroine, the dashing hero on her left, the villainous prince and his oriental henchman! Our heroine wears a pretty ball gown of white and blue trimmings.

The Arrow (UK) cover shows our couple on ship. Our heroine wears a green cloak over a simple white gown and looks very young with her hair down. Our hero is dashing in a regency great coat! We see other ships nearby, which suggest that they are near shore. The wind blows her cloak and gown and she clasps the cloak at the neck. Which cover is your favorite?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Rainbow to Heaven

A Rainbow to Heaven is an Arrow (UK) printing from 1976. Diana Headley finds herself penniless after the suicide of her father and flees to friends in the country where she meets and falls in love with Barry Dunbar. How can they marry when she's poor and disgraced? This book is set in 1930 after the stock market crash that ruined many wealthy people.

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in a garden outside a castle! We see a rainbow behind them as the hero holds a rose to give to our heroine. She is pretty with a 1970's hairdo and trademark FM features! It's a simple, colorful cover.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Pretty Horse-Breakers

The Pretty Horse-Breakers by Barbara Cartland is the story of Candida Walcott, who needs to sell her most cherished possession: her horse. The man she tries to sell him to offers her a job as a horse-breaker in his riding school. She accepts, not realizing that it's really a world of high-paid mistresses and that causes a problem when she meets and falls in love with Lord Manville!

Francis Marshall illustrated two different covers for this story and the Pyramid (US) one from 1977 shows our couple out riding in the park during the horse-breaker's event. Our heroine is very pretty in a white riding habit which sets off her black horse! We see our hero looking on behind her and others in the park.

The Arrow (UK) cover from 1973 emphasizes the park and the event. We see our heroine in the same outfit, but the hero is more defined and also are the other horse-breakers and men watching them. The statue in the park is also clear as well as Candida's horse!

Horse-breakers were real and described just as Cartland stated during the 1800's in London.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Passionate Pilgrim

The Passionate Pilgrim was published in 1976 (US) and 1977 (UK). Both were later printing editions.

Randal Gray, the passionate pilgrim, is a successful London playwright who is being pursued by two very different women. While vacationing in France, he meets Sorella, the daughter of an aging actor and realizes that she may be what he has been seeking all along!

The Pyramid (US) cover shows our couple sitting in an auditorium that is very ornate. Our heroine is very pretty with her blue eyes and long black hair. The hero looks over her shoulder and contemplates a rehearsal. We see some of the crew in the background.

The UK (Arrow) cover is similar, except that our couple is standing in the same auditorium with ladies in the background. Our hero holds the same script while our heroine has a different hairdo and looks more 1960's. Which is your favorite cover?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Out of Reach

Out of Reach is an Arrow (UK) publication written by Barbara Cartland in 1970. Lydia Stanfield has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 6 years and sees her marriage crumble as her handsome husband, Ivan, a musician, has been having affairs. Since she can't change him, she tries to notice the problems and concerns of others and hopes, someday, to regain her mobility.

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple and shows the differences in their health with our hero, strong and healthy, while his wife is confined to the wheelchair. We see a visitor in a bikini and the couple's grown children in the water behind. It's an interesting cover because we can't tell if the visitor is a threat to the marriage or just another friend of the children! I like the touches of the lemonade and glasses on the table and the yellow and green combined make it seem like a warm summer day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Open Wings

Open Wings is another great Barbara Cartland romance about Lorna, who lives in the country and cares for her motherless siblings when she meets Jimmy Braith, a wounded airman, who she quickly falls in love with and marries. Once married, though, problems set in until love makes all things right again!

The Pyramid edition dates from 1976 and Francis Marshall shows our couple up close. Our heroine carries a basket of fruit that the hero tries to take from her! She wears a typical 1970's hairdo, even though the story is set during WW2! It's a pretty cover.

The Arrow (UK) version also dates from 1976, but the cover has an earlier printing of 1971, which is evident in the cover. Our heroine here wears a pink dress and her hairdo is closer to the styles of the 1940's. Our hero wears a similar blue jacket and is opening the gate for our heroine. In the background, we see the outline of a house. It's interesting to see the similarities and differences in these covers and I feel that the US version was updated for marketing purposes!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Odious Duke

The Odious Duke is the story of the Duke of Selchester, who decides to marry in order to keep his cousin and heir away from his title. He wants a submissive blonde, blue-eyed lady, but meets Venetia, a brown haired beauty with problems that only he can solve!

The Pyramid (US) version was published in 1977 and shows our couple outside and in some danger, as shown by the revolver held by the hero. They wear outside Regency garb and the hero is elegant in his top hat and caped coat while our heroine is adorable in pink!

The Arrow (UK) version from 1973 shows our couple sitting inside. Our heroine wears a lovely yellow gown, which is less Regency and more victorian, since the book takes place in 1824. Note the puffed sleeves and high neckline. Her topknot hairdo was also Victorian. Our hero wears a teal jacket and white pantaloons. Both covers are interesting and great examples of Marshall's work!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Heart is Free

No Heart is Free was published by Arrow (UK) in 1973. Lord Brora is heartbroken after being jilted by a girl who hopes to marry the man in line to become the next prime minister. He turns to Jean for solace; she is in the same unhappy position. How they realize that they are perfect for one another is the plot of this romance from Barbara Cartland!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple on the ski slopes of Moritz! Our heroine sits in a horse drawn sleigh while our hero talks to her. They are dressed for skiing and our heroine wears an elegant hat and matching scarf. The colors are very typical for the 1970's. It's a departure from Marshall's elegant, dressy covers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Messenger of Love

Messenger of Love is an Elizabethan romance about a girl named Andora, who is Queen Elizabeth's newest Maid of Honor. Sir Hengist is attracted to the new Maid, but she is wondering if he could be a traitor!

Francis Marshall creates two different covers for this story, but the similarities and differences are fascinating!

The Pyramid (US) book was published in 1978 and is a great cover showing our couple up close. Our heroine wears a pretty white gown with a ruff and pearl drop headpiece while our hero is handsome in black and gold.

The Arrow (UK) version from 1970 shows our heroine in the same gown, with the hero behind the queen and also another courtier and guard. This cover emphasizes the queen and her wealth and is more formal than the other. Which cover do you like best?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Love Under Fire

Love Under Fire is an Arrow (UK) book from 1977. Elvina, in order to escape from her Portuguese stepmother, stows away on a ship bound for England and her grandparents. Lord Wye, who owns the ship, thinks she is 13 and takes her under his wing as they travel and adventure through war torn Europe. Elvina, who is really 17, falls in love with Lord Wye, but he is set to marry once he arrives in England. Can she convince him of her real age and her love?

Francis Marshall shows our couple on board ship and it looks like a scene where he's just discovered that she is a stowaway! To me, she looks older than 13, but our hero is handsome in his uniform and definitely of age! I like her billowing scarf, which adds a bit of color to this cover.

I remember this being a great read and recommend this story!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Love to the Rescue

Love to the Rescue is an Arrow (UK) publication from 1972. Cleona is persuaded by her friend, Leonie, to impersonate her in London. She stays with Leonie's grandmother, the Duchess of Lynke and meets the present Duke, who may not be all he seems as he works secretly against Napoleon!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple at the docks from where they are to travel to France. Our heroine wears a regency round traveling gown while our hero is a typical dandy! This is another of Marshall's "painted" covers where it looks like the faces were painted in at the last minute. This one is too fussy with the coach, ships and rigging all distracting from the couple. What do you think?

The second and third covers are from hardcover versions of this book and also illustrated by Francis Marshall! I am increasingly impressed at the amount of his work for Cartland's books!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Love on the Run

Love on the Run was published by Arrow (UK) in 1969. Marina Martyn is engaged to a handsome and wealthy man that she doesn't love, so she breaks her engagement and travels to Portugal and meets the mysterious Carlos, who she can love, but may be a criminal!

Francis Marshall shows our couple leaving a circus. Our heroine carries a coat while the hero carries her handbag and suitcase. Note the late '60's styles and short skirt! Our heroine is a very pretty girl and we get the impression that the hero is older. He doesn't seem like the typical Cartland hero on this cover! Click to enlarge!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Love Me For Ever

Love Me Forever is an Arrow (UK) publication from 1975. In the 1780's, the Duke of Melyncourt in in France to carry out a dangerous mission for the prime minister. Ame is a young girl who escaped from a convent into the duke's carriage. Many exciting adventures occur before he realizes that she is the duchess for him!

Francis Marshall illustrates our couple in a pleasure garden. Note the exquisite clothing and wigs they are wearing! I like the details of their clothes and the gazebo in the background. Marshall does a great job conveying the party atmosphere of this scene. Too bad we don't dress like this; at least for masquerades!!