One Book, Multiple Covers #1: The Velvet Promise

one book multiple covers

The Cover: The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

We’re introducing yet another new feature here at Sweet Savage Flame! This One Book, Multiple Covers series will look at the original cover art for a popular romance novel and then compare it to re-issues and foreign language or alternate editions.

Today, we’re focusing on The Velvet Promise cover by Jude Deveraux. Although we haven’t reviewed this one here, we have read it. It’s the first in a series about 4 handsome English brothers during the reign of Henry VII. This is a fantastic read by Jude Deveraux.

We’ll try to review it soon here. (I just need a refresher as it’s been thirty years since I last read it.)

It was originally published in 1981 by Pocket Books. The synopsis follows:

All of England rejoiced on her wedding day. But Judith vowed that her husband would get only what he took from her!

At the flower-bedecked altar, the first touch of their hands ignited an all-consuming passion. Gavin Montgomery looked deep into her golden eyes and burned with desire for her…but his heart had been pledged to another.

Humiliated and alone in a strange castle, Judith resolved to hate this husband who took her body, but rejected her love…never admitting her fear of losing him.

But destiny held another fate for Judith…a fate that would keep at last…The Velvet Promise.


The Many Covers of The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux

The Original Cover

This original edition of Jude Deveraux’s The Velvet Promise was published through a collaboration of Gallen Books and Pocket Books back in 1980.

The artwork by Harry Bennett is stunning. His use of the black background made a perfect foil for heroine Judith’s flowing red hair. The various colors on the hemmed portion of Gavin’s dazzle vibrantly.

The hook under the author’s name markets this as the bodice ripper it was:

“Her beauty inflamed the desire of all men, but there was only one who enflamed her passion–and her hatred!”

the velvet promise
The Velvet Promise, Jude Deveraux, Pocket Books, 1981, Harry Bennett cover art

The American Re-Issues

The Faux Stepback

This circa 1992 Pocket Books reissue of The Velvet Promise was a fake-out stepback cover, highlighting the faces of the couple in the center.

This would be a popular style for Jude Deveraux’s second edition paperbacks.

When I was younger, they were the only ones I could get my hands on.

The Plain, “Respectable” Re-Issue #1

This edition of The Velvet Promise has a less dramatic font and a design in the center. There is no hint of a clinch or a stepback. This is a “plain” style cover that became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially for big-name authors.

A plain cover was a stamp of “respectability” that publishers thought would lure readers in.

The Plain, “Respectable” Re-Issue #2

Here is another Pocket Books re-print that sports a plain cover. Reissues in general didn’t get flashy cover art, so this is no shock.

The International Versions

U.K. Versions

This Arrow edition of The Velvet Promise is a different take on the original artwork, with the hero and heroine embracing.

The main difference–besides the artist & style–is the image is flipped with Judith on the left and Gavin on the right.

This is yet another Uk edition of the first in the Montgomery Saga, published by Arrow Books in 1984. The cover shows more skin than the original American Pocket Books cover.

Each subsequent paperback book in the series published by Arrow shows an even more revealing clinch.

Across the pond, in the 1970s and early 1980s attitudes were more relaxed about sexy covers.

Spanish Language

Can’t go wrong with using the original cover art, as the Spanish-language edition does. This was published in 1993 by Vergara Editor S.A.

The title here translates to “Bold Promise” as The Velvet Promise makes no sense in Spanish. Then again, it makes no sense in English, either.

The tag line roughly translates to: “She swore he would only have her by force, but his passion made her break her promise.”

Not so bodice-rippery, is it?

A plain blue cover with an arched window marks the first book of the Montgomery Saga. This is the Spanish re-issue 2018 by B de Bolsillo for e-reader.


This entry was posted in Authors, Covers, Discussion, Historical Romance, Jude Deveraux, Romance and tagged , on by .

About Jacqueline Diaz

Old-School, retro, and vintage romance reads are my jam, baby! The good, the bad, the cheesy, and the sleazy! I have no shame about it; I love ’em! An auto-didact, amateur historian, and reader of romance novels since 1990, I hope to offer a unique perspective on the genre. As a blogger, you may know me by several names; here, I’m Jacqueline Diaz. I’m also the aspiring author of two works-in-progress, historical romances, The Savage Noble and What She Says with Her Eyes, which hopefully will be released in 2023.

3 thoughts on “One Book, Multiple Covers #1: The Velvet Promise

  1. Loverofromance

    There are so many great covers here, the first one is my favorite because the hair is just beautiful but each cover edition has its own beauty. I read this book a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. She is a great author to read.


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