Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cover Cliché: Ribbons and Curls

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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Georgiana Dudley, the ‘Ice Duchess’, has just emerged from mourning after a nine-year marriage of convenience to the Duke of Darby, her twin brother’s lover. Deeply hurt by a scoundrel a decade ago, Georgie swore she would never turn her head for any man, let alone another rakehell. But then she encounters the wickedly handsome and all too charming Rafe Landsbury, the Earl of Markham and against her better judgment, her interest is reluctantly aroused. An affair may be impossible to resist but dare she trust Lord Markham with her most intimate secrets... and her heart? 

Society believes Rafe to be a diplomat but for many years he has been working on the Continent as a spy for the Crown. Leaving the shadowy world of espionage behind, he returns to London with the intention of finding a wife. When he is paired with the frosty yet fascinating Duchess of Darby at the picquet table during a ton ball, he is intrigued. Do-or-die man that he is, he’s certainly not going to let her cool demeanor dissuade him from pursuing her. 

When Rafe’s dark past returns to endanger Georgie, he is determined to protect her at all costs, even if that means hiding who he once was. With the stakes so high, both Georgie and Rafe must decide if love is a risk worth taking... 

Author’s Note to Readers: This historical romance has a steamy heat rating. It contains open door love-making scenes and frank language is used. 




After publically humiliating a suitor, Miss Celeste Armitage is sent from the Ton in disgrace and resolves never to marry. But when she finds a sketch book of nude studies and discovers the artist is her hostess's eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing, she finds herself dangerously attracted to exactly the sort of rogue she is sworn to avoid. 

Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf's life is a facade and he is being blackmailed over his late brother's debts. But just as the darkly restless Ranulf unexpectedly learns to love, the vengeful fury of his nemesis unleashed. In order to protect Celeste, Lord Ranulf faces a stark choice between duty and true love...

However Ranulf has underestimated Miss Armitage's stubborn resolve to clear his name, and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger...




Is he her darkest dream…or most terrifying nightmare? 

Cassiopeia’s dreams have never been her own. They are harbingers of death. Yet when she learns her gentle cousin, Mary, has disappeared from a remote castle on the Cornish Coast, the official story doesn’t fit with Cassie’s prophetic dream. The mystery compels her to leave the safety and middle-class comfort of Oxford to take a job as a maid in the house of Killdaren. There she discovers more than the daily indignities the working class must endure. There’s a darkness surrounding Sean Killdaren, a man born with his hands at his twin’s throat. Whispers of the murderous Dragon Curse… and an aversion to daylight that adds vampire to spine-chilling rumors. When Cassie encounters him in the shadowy corridors, his touch should make her tremble in fear. But that’s not what makes her knees shockingly weak. It’s the spell of desire he casts with his wicked green eyes…and the small acts of kindness that soften her heart. The closer she comes to the truth, the greater the danger. Mary isn’t the only woman lost to the Killdaren brothers’ curse. And as a killer lurks ever closer, Cassie wonders whom she can trust…and if she will be the next victim. Warning: Contains a prim and proper advice columnist who finds herself in situations not covered by the rules of etiquette, and a deliciously dark hero who sees more than a maid in itchy wool…he sees the only star that lights his tortured life. 

Lace hankies strongly recommended.




How has beautiful, popular Amanda Smythe-Kincaid managed to reach the ripe old age of twenty-five without getting married? Could she possibly still be carrying a torch for Jason, her brother's best friend? It’s been years since they were caught kissing in the conservatory.

Jason, the third Viscount Greyshott, has been in love with Amanda for ages. Too bad he can’t convince her of that fact, and too bad she repeatedly turns down his marriage proposals.

When Amanda asks Jason for a shocking favor, he realizes this may just be the opportunity he needs. And when fate, in the form of an exasperated older brother and some inadvertent eavesdropping, finally steps in to bring this charming Regency couple into each other’s arms—where everyone around them knows they’ve always belonged—Amanda doesn’t stand a chance.






If you love Downton Abbey and Jane Austen you’ll love The Marriage Wager! This is book #3 in the Sweet Deception series. Jena Christie had been kidnapped by a group of drunken gentlemen, married and deserted on her wedding night. Now her new husband, Lord Havenhurst was refusing to acknowledge their marriage! Convinced his new bride couldn't hold her own among the ton, Dev proposed a wager that Jena dared not refuse. Neither had planned on a wild card called LOVE!






It was half admirable match, half good deed when the dashing Lord Dorset married his wife. Summoned abroad shortly after to spy for the crown, he left behind his shy wife and didn’t give her another thought. That was a mistake.

Little did he know she would turn into a beauty while he was gone. Or open a scandalous gaming hell to pay for her cousin’s social debut. Now his dependents are run amok, his good name is at stake and so is his marriage. He’s fallen in love with his wife but can he win her away from the rakehell suitor who wants her? It’s going to take more than a little luck.

This traditional sweet Regency romance will appeal to fans of drawing room comedy and misadventure.




The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie...

He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life...but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he's asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone believes he still is to find out more.

Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too...

All her life she's played by society's rules, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it's gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, though a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he's been murdered, she realizes he wasn't so harmless after all.

And now the killers have set their sights on her...

The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker--a man she knows she shouldn't trust. And she soon realizes he's hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the clock ticks down to the assassin's trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy behind the prime minister's death. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.




What’s love to do with anything? ….

Immersed in her herbal laboratory, Lady Felicity secretly yearns for a dashing, romantic love straight from a gothic novel. So when her brother’s houseguest, Lord Andover, presses her hands to his chest, and proposes, she is too stunned to take in his words of undying love. Words he surely spoke. Didn’t he? Oh, drat, she should have listened.

Victims of misguided and inept medical men, Lord Andover’s father and brothers are in their graves, his mother lost to the apothecary’s opium. Desperate to save his mother, give her a will to live, he sets three goals: marry a sweet, soothing young lady, produce an heir and free them of apothecaries and quacks. In return he offers all he that he is, all that he owns, except his beleaguered heart.

Title, wealth, and good name are all a man need offer.




Mr. Darcy has learned he must prepare himself when he and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, make their yearly visit to his aunt, particularly when it comes to Lady Catherine’s expectation that he marry her daughter, Anne.

This year, however, will throw in a few additional obstacles to Darcy’s peace of mind with the presence of a nephew on the de Bourgh side of the family, and quite unexpectedly, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

An interrupted proposal, a letter written and unknowingly lost, a harsh accusation, and a rival all conspire to thwart Mr. Darcy in securing Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s affections when he visits his aunt at Rosings.

Will Elizabeth find the handsome and engaging Mr. Rickland more suited to her than Mr. Darcy? And will a novel she reads that was written secretly by Miss Anne de Bourgh help smooth the path to the couple finding true love?




Mr. Darcy has learned he must prepare himself when he and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, make their yearly visit to his aunt, particularly when it comes to Lady Catherine’s expectation that he marry her daughter, Anne.

This year, however, will throw in a few additional obstacles to Darcy’s peace of mind with the presence of a nephew on the de Bourgh side of the family, and quite unexpectedly, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

An interrupted proposal, a letter written and unknowingly lost, a harsh accusation, and a rival all conspire to thwart Mr. Darcy in securing Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s affections when he visits his aunt at Rosings.

Will Elizabeth find the handsome and engaging Mr. Rickland more suited to her than Mr. Darcy? And will a novel she reads that was written secretly by Miss Anne de Bourgh help smooth the path to the couple finding true love?




Miss Hyacinth Grey has had a quiet life, managing her father's household in Gibraltar. Then she learns that she's heir to a small fortune, left by her grandmother, an infamous courtesan. She sets sail for England with plans to found a charitable school for girls. Her father warns her away from her fellow passenger aboard the Whistler, saying that he's a black sheep from a family of scoundrels.

Thomas Pently, alias Smithson, made his fortune in the East India Company. Then his mistress was murdered, and his aristocratic family summoned him home. He's now second in line to his uncle's duchy, after his aging father.

One stormy day, Thomas leaps into the sea to rescue Hyacinth's young brother. As the storm clears, they kiss on the moonlit decks. Thomas, heartbroken from his lover's death and wary of his future, makes a half-hearted offer of marriage. Hyacinth refuses.

They meet again in London, where Hyacinth discovers Thomas's true identity. Her fashion-obsessed aunt reiterates her father's warning – Thomas can only embroil her in scandal. Thomas's mother urges him to choose a bride fit for a duke – which Hyacinth most certainly is not. Memories of their shipboard friendship and that stolen kiss draw them together again and again, as they find their footing in an unfamiliar home country.


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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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