Romance Firsts: The First Kissing Couple on a Cover

lucifer's angel Violet Winspear kiss

The “First” Couple to Kiss on a Romance Cover

Violet Winspear’s Lucifer’s Angel

What is the first romance novel to have a kissing couple on the cover? I don’t know for certain, but one of them is Lucifer’s AngeI by Violet Winspear.

The book summary:

“DO YOURSELF A FAVOR,” LEW SAID. “FORGET ME.”

Fay had worked desperately in the train crash — using all her nurse’s knowledge. Even Lew didn’t know all she’d gone through that night to save his life.

But what could she do now to save their marriage? Was it worth saving?

There’d been so many mistakes, so much bitterness and hurt in their past. Was it possible that she and Lew, despite their differences, could really have a future together? 

LUCIFER’S ANGEL by VIOLET WINSPEAR, back of the book

The Four Virgins Versions of Lucifer’s Angel

Harlequin Romance #593 (1961)

I ordered Violet Winspear‘s Lucifer’s Angel sight unseen from Amazon. I had hoped to get either the original Harlequin edition or the second Mills & Boon edition.

The OG 1961 version shows the heroine smoking a cigarette. Back in the day, that was common for pulp covers, and I’ve seen heroes on a few old romance covers puffing away at the not-so-wacky-tobaccy, but never the female MC!

And there she is, looking as toasted as melba and draped over the hero’s white tuxedo jacket in a flirty manner. Wonder how this image got past the prim and proper editors:

Lucifer's Angel first kissing couple on romance cover

Mills & Boon #857 (1973)

The 1973 first Mills & Boon edition is pretty enough, but I try to collect first-run M & B’s that were never published as Harleys. So I wasn’t that interested in this one:

lucifer's angel mills boon

Mills & Boon Classic Re-Issue (1980)

No, the copy I really wanted was the 1980 Mills & Boon reissue. I’ve read that this is the first romance (contemporary/category, anyway, not so sure about historicals) to feature a kissing couple on the cover.

Whether it is or isn’t, it’s certainly one of the firsts. And what a pretty one it is.

Lucifer's Angel first kissing couple on romance cover

Harlequin Seasons Greetings (Bah, Humbug!)

But unlucky sucker that I am, I got stuck with the worst option, the plain Harlequin Seasons Greetings reissue in Pepto-Bismol pink that doesn’t do the title any justice.

Lucifer's Angel violet winspear

No First Kiss For Me From This Winspear!

I should have paid for a more expensive version of Lucifer’s Angel to guarantee I got the first (?) kissing couple on the cover… B Damn, this book-collecting obsession I have adds up!

Oh, I’ll review this one eventually. I’m just not super inspired to read it yet.

The covers are half the fun of these books!

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