Hi Ivy. Thanks for having me over to blog today. Please remember I live in New Zealand
I had a lovely comment from a reader about one of my secondary characters in my second Wicked Wagers book, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone. Here it is, (thanks Pam)…
I also wanted to tell you how refreshing it is to have such a wonderful “other woman” in Lady Amy Shipton. Usually, in romance novels, that ‘other woman’ is horrible just to emphasize how wonderful the heroine of the novel is, but the reader is left scratching their heads as to how the hero felt any attraction with her to begin with aside from her looks. I actually felt a little bad for Lady Shipton at the end there. I really do hope she gets her own happy ending. What an endearing character to put other people ahead of herself. I’m looking forward to reading your other novels. Do you have a recommendation? Anyway, thank you for a well-written and engaging romance novel. You will now be on my autobuy list. (You can read Pam’s full email on my blog)
Wow – as an author how can I overlook comments like that. And I took great joy in emailing Pam to tell her that Amy Shipton would get her HEA in book three of the Wicked Wagers trilogy, my latest Regency historical romance release, TO CHALLENGE THE EARL OF CRAVENSWOOD.
To live happily ever after…
Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he’s searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he’s called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman’s name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she’s determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She’s not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.
A great secondary character does several things for an author, it makes the hero and heroine stand out more, it gives the author the ability to create another book, one that readers want to read because it contains characters they liked in the previous book, and it makes the readers engagement with the story and series deeper.
When I’m writing a secondary character I always ensure I’m true to the plot of the story. Pam’s absolutely right. Why would my hero, Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone give up pursuing the woman he loves if there wasn’t a viable alternative in Amy? I had to make Amy likeable for my hero’s actions to be believable. To show Marcus had a serious choice to make. Just like in this final book in my Wicked Wagers trilogy, To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood, I had to have the secondary character, namely Marcus the hero from book two, behave in a certain way as well.
I hope that Pam likes who I paired Amy with, Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood. I think they are perfectly matched. One kind soul finding the other kind soul. No wonder they’re soul mates.
Here’s a snippet:
“Do you ride, Lady Amy?”
Turning to look up at Henry, Any froze as she met his intense gaze. He stood looking at her in a manner he’d never used before. Like a starving man at a feast. Just like Marcus sometimes looked at Sabine. Her heart stuttered as did her mouth.
Today had altered the balance between them. They’d shared something special. Witnessed something personal and unique, and she was having difficulty keeping her feelings for him in check. She had to move their relationship back to formality in order to keep her distance. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust Henry, she didn’t trust herself.
He looked utterly gorgeous. Speaking of starving… He looked good enough to eat. She put her hand on her chest and felt her heart begin to race wildly.
His tawny fringe was pushed to the side highlighting long sweeping lashes, which lowered slowly as his gaze swept down her figure, then lifted again so that his stare captured hers. One perfect eyebrow lifted.
Amy licked her lips in order to pry them open. Her mouth suddenly dry. “Yes, my lord. I do ride.”
“Then perhaps you’d like to accompany me on a ride in the morning. The Roman city ruins near Silchester are said to be worth investigating, and it’s only a half-hour’s ride from here.”
Breathe. “I’d like that, thank you.”
Amy found his continued perusal disconcerting. He’d never paid her this much attention before. From a distance he’d been enchanting, but up close he hummed with vibrancy, heat radiating from his body in waves.
“I haven’t had the occasion to formally thank you for helping Sabine. You’ve made my good friend, Lord Wolverstone, very happy.”
Her face began to heat. “It was nothing that anyone else would not have done. Marcus was the hero. He got to Sabine in time to save her.”
His smile momentarily slipped, why she was not sure.
“I’m not sure many young ladies would have helped as you did. Not when they could become Countess Wolverstone by remaining silent.”
There seemed to be some hidden meaning behind his words. His face was alert, searching for…what?
“Marcus did not love me.”
Henry laughed. “That has not stopped women before. The ranks of nobility are full of marriages void of any love or real affection.”
Amy promptly scolded herself. Of course he would laugh at her notion. Yet it hurt. After listening to his late night discussions with his dead brother, she thought Henry wanted what she did—love.
Perhaps not. He was looking for the owner of the earring even when he’d whispered another’s name. Men. They were all alike. Love was convenient when required to gain what they most desired. Trouble was love lasted only as long as the pleasure.
She rolled the stem of her empty glass between her fingers and wished Sabine would call them all into super.
She risked a glance at him. She wished she could think of something clever to say. Instead she burbled forth quite forcefully, “I will only ever marry for love.”
“Very wise,” he replied.
Was he teasing? She was saved from further conversation by a servant. Henry stepped aside to let the man refill her glass. As soon as he’d left, Henry took the seat beside her on the settee. She gulped back a moan. She should have invited him to sit, but his presence was throwing her off-kilter.
A gleam entered his eyes. He leaned close, his thigh touching her leg through the silk. “Did you have anyone in mind?”
Amy glanced at him uncertainly, wondering if he were making fun of her, but his countenance screamed seriousness. “I beg your pardon?”
“Are you in love? Come, it’s a simple enough question.”
Amy looked quickly around the room, was he serious? As if she would tell him such personal information. She looked across to Marcus and caught his eye, pleading for help. He simply lifted his glass and smiled back at her.
“Marcus is considered to be an extremely handsome man. He has broken many hearts in his time. Not intentionally, of course.”
She tried to repress her flush of embarrassment. “I’m sure you’re right, but I think of Marcus as purely a friend.” She had not meant to have her words come out so sharp but really! “Why are the secrets of my heart so important to you, Lord Cravenswood? Perhaps you’d like to share who your heart belongs to?”
There, that will put him in his place. Who is Millicent? But to her horror he picked up her hand and brought it to his lips. They scorched her skin even through her glove. Suddenly he gave her a slow, charming, devilish grin that seared all her nerve endings. “There are many secrets I’d like to share with you, my sweet.”
She opened her mouth to reply, then shut it again, deciding it wiser to halt this conversation before she got herself into real trouble.
At her muteness, the gleam in Henry’s eyes intensified. “For instance, did you know men find the thrill of the hunt very exciting?”
Hunt? Amy’s eyes flared and she stifled a gasp. Was he indicating his hunt for the owner of her earring? Did he know it was hers or was he simply ferreting for information?
At her confusion he leaned further toward her and whispered, “However, it’s what we do once we’ve caught our pray that is pleasurable.”
Scandalous. His words were scandalous.
Who is your favorite secondary character and why? What made that character stand out and did they get their own story? One lucky commenter will win an eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. Giveaway ends @12am est 11-23-12. Winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence release in late 2012, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Bride.
If you want to enter the draw for the main Wicked Wagers Blog Tour prize giveaway of a $30 Gift Card from Amazon or B&N and all three of the eBooks then follow the raffle copter instructions.