Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cover Cliché: White Repose

Sometimes, while browsing the virtual shelves on Amazon and Goodreads, I see an image that gives me an oddly disconcerting sense of deja vu. I could swear I've never read the book, but I know I've seen the jacket image somewhere before.

This phenomenon is what inspired Cover Clichés. Images are often recycled because cover artists are often forced to work from a limited pool of stock images and copyright free material. That said, I find comparing their finished designs quite interesting.  

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The more he tries to stay away from her, the more his obsession grows…

What if…
Elizabeth Bennet was more unsuitable for Mr. Darcy than ever…

Mr. Darcy is determined to find a more suitable bride. But then he learns that Elizabeth is living in London in reduced circumstances, after her father’s death robs her of her family home…

What if…
Mr. Darcy can’t help himself from seeking her out…

He just wants to make sure she’s alright. But once he’s seen her, he feels compelled to talk to her, and from there he’s unable to fight the overwhelming desire to be near her, or the ever-growing mutual attraction that is between them…

What if…
Mr. Darcy’s intentions were shockingly dishonorable…




A tale of time travel, true love, and Jane Austen

New York actress C.J. Welles, a die-hard Jane Austen fan, is on the verge of landing her dream role: portraying her idol in a Broadway play. But during her final audition, she is mysteriously transported to Bath, England, in the year 1801. And Georgian England, with its rigid and unforgiving social structure and limited hygienic facilities, is not quite the picturesque costume drama C.J. had always imagined.

Just as she wishes she could click her heels together and return to Manhattan, C.J. meets the delightfully eccentric Lady Dalrymple, a widowed countess who takes C.J. into her home, introducing her as a poor relation to Georgian society—including the dashing Earl of Darlington and his cousin, Jane Austen!

When a crisis develops, C.J.—in a race against time—becomes torn between two centuries. An attempt to return to her own era might mean forfeiting her blossoming romance with the irresistible Darlington and her growing friendship with Jane Austen, but it’s a risk she must take. And in the midst of this remarkable series of events, C.J. discovers something even more startling—a secret from her own past that may explain how she wound up in Bath in the first place.




A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas 

In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen'sPride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley's Promise. She's prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr. Darcy turns her world upside down.

When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society's rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?





The stunning, massively bestselling story of Napoleon's first fiancé

< First published in 1953, this riveting true-life tale comes to life in diary form, giving readers an inside glimpse at the young Napoleon and his family. Désirée is enchanted by the young officer, and he asks her to marry him. But he must leave for Paris, where he meets his eventual wife Josephine. A heartbroken Désirée is unsure she'll ever find anyone again. A love story, but so much more, Désirée is the tale of a simple merchant's daughter who ends up with a kind of royalty she never expected: an unforgettable story just waiting to be reborn.





As a spirit of change overturns Europe’s old order, strong-willed Elzelina Versfelt enters her own age of revolution. Married as a romantic young girl to a man who wanted only her money, but neither loves nor desires her, Elza refuses to be chained any longer. Leaving Amsterdam, her marriage, and her home, she flees to France—where the old rules no longer apply, debauchery is not a sin...and nothing is forbidden.

Yet Elza finds herself bound in a new way, to the ambitious General Moreau. And while they share pleasure, pain, and carnal adventures, she dreams of another man, an unruly red-haired soldier she first saw in the promise of a Tarot card. Drawn by this half-real, half-imagined hero, Elza defies her relationship with Moreau, and begins a perilous search across war-torn Europe. But will this woman with the instincts of a survivor, the passion of a courtesan, and the gift of second sight ever find the destiny for which she has risked it all?

This stunning novel blends history with the language of the heart to tell a sensual story of an era of upheaval...and of the clamoring, dangerous desires of a woman’s soul.




When Martha Dandridge Custis marries her second husband, George, she never suspects that the soft-spoken Virginia planter is destined to command the founding of a nation—or that she is to be “Lady Washington,” the woman at the first President’s side. Only a select inner circle of women will know the cost of sharing a beloved man with history . . . and each will draw strength from the unique treasure given to them by a doomed queen.

Seeing farm and family through each harsh New England season, Abigail Adams is sustained only by the fervent reunions stolen between John’s journeys abroad. She will face the terror of an ocean crossing to join her husband in France—and write her own page in history. And there she will cross paths with kings, commoners—and young Sally Hemings.

Just as Sally had grown from a clever child to a beautiful woman, so had her relationship with Thomas Jefferson grown from a friendship between slave and master to one entangled in the complexities of black and white, decorum and desire. It is a relationship that will leave Sally to face an agonizingly wrenching choice.

Dolley Madison, too, must live with the repercussions of a forbidden love affair—although she will confront even greater trials as a President’s wife. But Dolley will become one of the best-loved ladies of the White House—and leave an extraordinary legacy of her own.

A lushly written novel that traces the marriages tested by the demands of love and loyalty, Patriot Hearts offers readers a dazzling glimpse behind the scenes of a revolution, from adversity and treachery to teatime strategies, as four magnificent women shape a nation’s future.




The restorative power of the ocean brings Jane Austen and her beloved brother Henry, to Brighton after Henry’s wife is lost to a long illness. But the crowded, glittering resort is far from peaceful, especially when the lifeless body of a beautiful young society miss is discovered in the bedchamber of none other than George Gordon—otherwise known as Lord Byron. As a poet and a seducer of women, Byron has carved out a shocking reputation for himself—but no one would ever accuse him of being capable of murder. Now it falls to Jane to pursue this puzzling investigation and discover just how “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Byron truly is. And she must do so without falling victim to the charming versifier’s legendary charisma, lest she, too, become a cautionary example for the ages.




"Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights," declared Olympe de Gouges in 1791. Throughout the French Revolution, women, inspired by a longing for liberty and equality, played a vital role in stoking the fervor and idealism of those years. In her compelling history of the Revolution, Lucy Moore paints a vivid portrait of six extraordinary women who risked everything for the chance to exercise their ambition and make their mark on history.

At the heart of Paris's intellectual movement, Germaine de Staël was a figure like no other. Passionate, fiercely intelligent and as consumed by love affairs as she was by politics, she helped write the 1791 Constitution at the salon in which she entertained the great thinkers of the age. At the other end of the social scale, her working-class counterparts patrolled the streets of Paris with pistols in their belts. Théroigne de Méricourt was an unhappy courtesan when she fell in love with revolutionary ideals. Denied a political role because of her sex, she nevertheless campaigned tirelessly until a mob beating left her broken in both mind and body. Later came the glittering merveilleuses, whose glamour, beauty and propensity for revealing outfits propelled them to the top of post-revolutionary society. Exuberant, decadent Thérésia Tallien reportedly helped engineer Robespierre's downfall. In so doing, she and her fellow "sans-chemises" ushered in a new world that combined sexual license with the amorality of the new Republic.




Beautiful, dark-haired Marianne d'Asslenat fled England, leaving her dastardly husband for dead in the blazing ruins of what had been their home. In France her beauty and wit won the heart of the Emperor himself, Napoleon Bonaporte, and under his patronage she found a place high in Parisian society and a new career as an opera singer. But on the very night of her debut, she is terrified by a face in the audience - the scarred visage of Francis Cranmere, the husband she believed dead.

In desperation Marianne seeks someone to protect her from Francis' insane lust for revenge. But there is no one. Even Napoleon seems to slip away from her after his marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria.

So Marianne must once more venture into the unknown: to Italy and the magnificent villa of the Tuscan prince whose face no one has ever seen; a villa haunted by some strange, nameless evil...

English Title: Marianne and the Masked Prince




Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will love his grand home as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two construct is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and there he dies suddenly. Jealous of his marriage, racked by suspicion at the hints in Ambrose's letters, and grief-stricken by his death, Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow with hatred in his heart. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious Rachel like a moth to the flame. And yet... might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death?





Although it was illegal, secret, and against the express commands of his famously mad father, King George IV of England married twice--once for duty and once for love. While Caroline of Brunswick eventually became his lawful queen, it was the beautiful Maria Fitzherbert, recognized as his wife by the Catholic Church but not by the laws of England, who claimed his heart. In the hands of author Diane Haeger, their relationship becomes a mesmerizing love story, filled with intrigue and passion. The characters and drawing rooms of 18th Century England come alive to create a portrait of the age that is colorful and resonant with historical detail.





The task had taken shape thanks to the inconvenient way secrets had of bubbling to the surface. It went without saying that it was going to be difficult. But then, murder always was…

The London docks, 1817.

Beneath a silent moon, a mysterious exile slips back into the city to complete a nefarious mission that began decades before.

On that same night, London's titled, wealthy and beautiful waltz the night away at Glenister House. Among the guests aristocratic Charles Fraser, a former spy recently returned from the Napoleonic Wars, and his bride Mélanie, who has charmed London society but hides her own secrets. In the brilliance of Mayfair, a visitor from their past pulls Charles and Mélanie back into the world of danger and espionage they thought they had left behind. But this time, the intrigues are rooted in Charles's complex and troubled family.

An assassination, a secret society, and the dangerous liaisons of the Fraser family lead Charles and Mélanie from the glittering ballrooms and shadowy streets of London to the Fraser estate on the Scottish coast. This is a deadly game that could shake the fate of nations: but for Charles, the stakes are the lives of those he holds most dear, and the love of the enigmatic woman who shares his name...and his bed.




The Time Baroness is the story of Dr. Cassandra Reilly, a scientist from the year 2120 who embarks upon a time travel journey to England of 1820. Her purpose is to conduct an experiment: living for a year in the guise of a wealthy widow and interacting within the Regency world. Though she has painstakingly prepared for the experience, her new neighbors in Hampshire County sense something strange about her, and though most embrace her for her kindness and charm, some are shocked by her odd ways. Ultimately though, her beauty attracts a handsome violinist, also new to the neighborhood, and they begin an affair, which further endangers her reputation in the community.

As she is struggling to fit in, her grown son, James, suddenly arrives on her doorstep, popping in from the future. His presence is one more component that could cause her masquerade to unravel. James becomes a popular addition to the Hampshire society, but he makes a terrible mistake. He brings with him a device from the future and shows it to a young woman with whom he is smitten. She is terrified and creates an uproar. James is arrested for possessing a dangerous and subversive object and it is up to his mother to free him from a London prison and return him to the future before her enemies succeed in convicting him. Help comes from a surprising source, and ultimately Cassandra realizes that people, and love, are not always what they seem to be.


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Which cover strikes your fancy and why? What colors draw your eye? Do you think the image appropriate next to the jacket description? Leave your comments below!

Have you seen this image elsewhere? Shoot me an email or leave a comment and let me know. 


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