I used to do online role-playing. No, not THAT kind of role-playing. Together with a handful of other writers I created characters and we wrote an on-going story of sorts. It was my first attempt at writing historical romance, and it was a ton of fun (shout out to "Ruffian" & Kristin!). Believe it or not, it helped me grow leaps and bounds as a writer, and some of the women from the Quartet (*josephinecoughcatherinecough*) are actually based on my old characters. One of the things I really enjoyed was finding pictures for these various characters. Not always an easy thing to do, especially since they were required to be time period specific. Of course, now that I have to sift through hundreds of stock images to find just the right one for my covers, sifting through actresses seems like a breeze in comparison.
Photographs have always helped me visualize my characters better. No matter how I describe them in my books, I always have a vivid picture in my mind. I purposefully never try to describe them to death because I want you, the reader, to make up your own mind about how they look. But just for fun, I'm going to share the actresses/models that I visualize as Catherine, Margaret, Josephine, and Grace respectively. Do you agree? Disagree? Who would YOU see representing the ladies of the Wedded Women Quartet?
A Ravishing Redhead is the second novella in the Wedded Women Quartet and features the feisty, free spirited Margaret and Henry, the rough around the edges Duke with tons of charm (at least I think so). This is one of the favorite interactions between the two of them, taken from the second chapter after Margaret tricks Henry into thinking she is a stable boy. Enjoy!
She had really done it this time. A bit stunned at her own daring, Margaret hurried after Henry. Her shorter legs were no match for his long ones and she had to break into a run to catch up. He did not spare her so much as a sideways glance as she pulled alongside him, but he did stop short in the middle of the drive which she took as a good sign.
“H-hello,” she said, a bit out of breath from the short sprint. “How are you?”
“I apologize for tricking you. It was not a very kind thing to do.” Even if you bloody well deserved it, you blundering ape of a man.
“So you have finally come to visit me? For what reason do I owe this unexpected pleasure?” This time she made no effort to disguise the sarcasm in her tone. And why should she? It wasn’t her fault the man was so blind he couldn’t recognize his own wife. She bet even if she was in a dress with her hair curled he wouldn’t know who she was! Margaret’s temper began to simmer. Not only that, but he had been impossibly rude to her when he thought she was a stable lad. She could not abide people who were rude to their servants. A man’s true character was revealed by how he treated those beneath him, and Henry’s dark nature had just been unearthed in spades.
“I am leaving,” she decided abruptly.
“No,” Henry said, his voice deceptively soft. “You are not.”
His fingers reached out with surprising quickness to wrap around her wrist, effectively holding her in place. Margaret considered trying to yank her hand away, but his grip felt like steel, and she would only embarrass herself. Pinching her lips together she looked away from him towards the house, waiting for him to make the next move. She did not have to wait for very long.
“In two weeks I will be traveling to London on business. You will accompany me,” he said after a brief pause. Unwrapping his fingers from her wrist, he wiped them clean on a white silk handkerchief he procured from the vest pocket of his riding jacket.
The gesture was not lost on Margaret, but she was too fixated on what he had said to comment on it. “I will not go with you!” she cried, positively aghast.
He stared down at her without expression. “This is not a matter open for discussion.”
For a writer, one of the most important ways you can get feedback is from a review. For better or for worse, reviews let you know how the general public is receiving your work. Good reviews give you the warm and fuzzies. Not so good reviews make you head straight for the chocolate. Either way, I strongly believe there is no such thing as a bad review. Here are two I've selected, one positive, one negative, for A Ravishing Redhead. Both helped me, and both taught me a lot.
3/5 Star Review
This is the second installment to Jillian Eaton's Wedded Women Quartet series and centers around Margaret and Henry Winter, the Duke of Heathridge. Amazon provided a thorough description so I won't regurgitate it. Hence, here are my thoughts on A Ravishing Redhead:
This second installment was a fairly good read. I thought that Henry was going to be a scum, but he more than redeemed himself as the story progressed and after betrayals and truths were revealed. Henry was caring, protective, and loving of Margaret despite his intention of only marrying her for her dowry in the first place! I also liked Margaret's characterization; she was bossy, feisty, and strong-willed.
The reasons for my rating are as followed: I felt that the story lacked plot and relationship development. I felt it didn't provide much depth and the story ended too abruptly for my liking. Overall, although it didn't quite measure up to A Brooding Beauty in my opinion, it was still a decent read.
5/5 Star Review
"A Ravishing Redhead" by Jillian Eaton was a short wonderful and sweet historical romance novel. I really like the way this storyline flowed and it was definitely one enjoyable reads that you will not be able to put down until you are finished.
The author did a wonderful job at keeping the reader interested in what would happen next...and the characters were simply good.... and yes .....full of hot sex. The heroine Margaret was very entertaining and her husband the hero ... who had married her for her dowry...well this is the time I say pick up "A Ravishing Redhead" and get the whole story. You will not be disappointed.
I would recommend "A Ravishing Redhead" to all who wants a short historical romance novel and the question will be asked and answered...Will they lived happily ever after?