Monthly Archives: April 2014

SWEET DISORDER short story: taking suggestions!

Hi everyone! When my first book, In for a Penny, was released, I asked for suggestions from readers for a free short story set in the world of the book. The result was this fun “five times” story (contains spoilers for the book!).

When A Lily Among Thorns came out, I did the same thing—but then Dorchester imploded and the book went out of print and I never actually wrote it. However, I’m going to! I have the story all planned (based on Steph Burgis’s request for a story about Solomon’s little sister and her stuffy fiancé—spoiler, they are virgins who DON’T immediately get the hang of it and need to figure some things out) and it will go up when Lily is rereleased in September.

And now it’s time for me to take reader suggestions for a Sweet Disorder short story! This one will go up when True Pretenses, the second Lively St. Lemeston book, comes out early next year.

I’ll take suggestions of any kind, in any format, as detailed or vague as you like. What ifs, alternate universes, missing scenes, backstory, and future scenes are all fair game. Feel free to treat your comment like a mini-brainstorming session if you want!

Legal stuff: by submitting a comment on this post, you permit Rose Lerner to develop your story idea without any expectation of financial compensation or remuneration. The resulting story will be available to readers free of charge.

Some suggestions to get the ball rolling:

1. Modern-day AU: Nick is a rentboy and Phoebe is a hardworking kindergarten teacher looking for an escape from her predictable life.
2. Ada and Sukey are trapped in a wardrobe together and things get sexy!
3. Nick and Phoebe interacting when his family is in town for Christmas when they’re both children.
4. Mr. Gilchrist and Jack Sparks accidentally swap bodies.
5. Toogood is secretly a spy!

Comment section is SPOILER-FRIENDLY!

DFH Interview #7: Courtney Milan

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

Here’s what Courtney Milan had to say about her heartwrenching, amazing The Countess Conspiracy.

Two warnings: this post contains mentions of rape and abuse, and there is a major spoiler for the series in the upcoming back cover copy.

tcc-smallSebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

“Dead first husband” is hereafter abbreviated DFH.

RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. Where do you see Lord Cambury as falling, and did you know from the start where you wanted Lord Cambury to land?

CM: Lord Cambury absolutely falls on the “abusive asshole” end of the spectrum, with the caveat that his behavior at the time would not have been seen as particularly abusive. I don’t want to say more because spoilers, but while I think his behavior is awful and unforgivable, it’s also something that wouldn’t have been seen as anything other than aggressive at the time. You can find tales of that kind of thing happening to all kinds of degrees back then.

I’d planned for him to be a Not Great Guy from the beginning. The exact details shifted over time, though.

RL: DFHs mean something a little different in Regency- and Victorian-set historicals since divorce wasn’t widely available. Like, if the heroine is married to someone other than the hero, he has to die for her to marry the hero. How do you think that affected your story?

CM: I don’t think it did.

I think the story is more affected by other powers that a husband has over a wife in that time period. For instance, they refer to sexual intercourse between a husband and his wife as the man’s “marital rights”—something that if you really think about it, is kind of gross, because it erases the notion of the wife being able to refuse sexual intercourse with her husband.

[RL’s note: Depressingly enough, marital rape did not start to become a crime in the U.S. until the mid-1970s.]

RL: How do you think Violet’s experience of marriage affects how she’s been living the rest of her life—not just practically, but emotionally, and in what she expects and doesn’t let herself expect? (This is a really basic question, I guess, since that’s so central to the story, but we also didn’t see Violet before her marriage, when she was already living by her mother’s rules. I basically would read ALL the backstory fic in the world about what she was like as a girl, and in the first months of her marriage when she thought things were going to turn out well.)

CM: Violet’s mother gave her girls a pretty good grounding in proper behavior, and society did the rest. Women are supposed to defer to their husbands. They’re taught to do that, taught that men know best, taught that men are the ones that will keep them safe. So when things don’t go down that way—when the things that everyone has been telling her don’t quite turn out that way—I think it’s hard for her not to blame herself. As the book starts, Violet has internalized a lot of her husband’s criticism. It may not be rational, but I think it’s pretty normal.

Continue reading

DFH interview #6: Lauren Willig

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

Lauren Willig’s The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is one of my very favorite dead first husband stories because Penelope and Freddy are still married at the beginning of the book, so we get to see their relationship (which is mostly bad, but not all bad) and we get to see her grieve for him, too.

bloodlily_pbEveryone warned Miss Penelope Deveraux that her unruly behavior would land her in disgrace someday. She never imagined she’d be whisked off to India to give the scandal of her hasty marriage time to die down. As Lady Frederick Staines, Penelope plunges into the treacherous waters of the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, where no one is quite what they seem—even her own husband. In a strange country where elaborate court dress masks even more elaborate intrigues and a spy called the Marigold leaves cobras as his calling card, there is only one person Penelope can trust…

Captain Alex Reid has better things to do than play nursemaid to a pair of aristocrats. He knows what their kind is like. Or so he thinks—until Lady Frederick Staines out-shoots, out-rides, and out-swims every man in the camp. She also has an uncanny ability to draw out the deadly plans of the Marigold and put herself in harm’s way. With danger looming from local warlords, treacherous court officials, and French spies, Alex realizes that an alliance with Lady Frederick just might be the only thing standing in the way of a plot designed to rock the very foundations of the British Empire.

“Dead first husband” is hereafter abbreviated DFH.

RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. How did you decide where on the spectrum you wanted Freddy to land? (And let me just pause for a second here to talk about how much I LOVE Freddy and Penelope’s relationship. Because they had an awful marriage but she also kind of loved him? And I also loved that their problems weren’t sexual. Also I just have a soft spot for Freddy’s type of jerkness. But seriously, <333.)

LW: I was frustrated with the trope of the first husband who is old, cold, and, for, bonus points, evil with a capital E. When I was writing The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, I wanted to address the question of: what happens when the heroine marries the wrong guy? Not a parentally arranged marriage to a much older man, not a nightmare marriage to an incurable sadist, but just your fairly typical specimen of slightly debauched aristocratic manhood, no better and no worse than many of his fellows. When I imagined Freddy, I saw him as a frat boy in Regency clothing, with an elaborately tied cravat rather than a baseball cap, and a decanter of claret rather than a keg of beer. It’s not that Freddy is evil; he’s just entirely the wrong person for Penelope, who is much more complicated than her public persona of daredevil debutante would suggest. They bring out the worst in each other, while, at the same time, being very physically attracted to each other—which is what got them into their mismatch in the first place.

Having them be physically attracted to each other, even in the worst of their troubles, was very important to me. For one, because without that attraction they would never be forced into their marriage of inconvenience, but also because I have less than fond memories of all of the romances I read during the 90s in which the heroine’s first husband was invariably impotent, deviant, inept, or just plain not interested in women. Penelope is a very passionate woman. I wanted the sexual chemistry to be the one thing in Penelope and Freddy’s relationship that did work.

On the other end of the spectrum from the evil first husband, you have what I think of as the Sainted First Husband trope: the one who was so wonderful that the heroine Can Never Get Over Him To Love Again (that is, until she meets the hero). This is one I played with in another book, The Garden Intrigue, in which my heroine, Emma Morris, ran off with a much older Frenchman, Paul Delagardie, when she was only fifteen. When we meet Emma a decade later, she’s grappling with her husband’s death—not because he was perfect, but because she had only just learned to love him for his imperfections. When sixtee-year-old Emma realized her husband wasn’t the romantic swain of her imaginings—after alienating her important family by eloping with him—she went off in a sulk. Over time, though, she and her husband had arrived at their own peace, and his death of a fever years later, just when they were truly beginning to understand each other not for their early romantic imaginings, but for who they really are, throws her for a loop and makes her curl up like a hedgehog. Continue reading

DFH interview #5: Tessa Dare

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

Here’s what Tessa Dare had to say about Twice Tempted by a Rogue, possibly still my favorite of her books (although it has a lot of competition!).

ttbar-cover-250x410Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper, who dares him to take on the demons of his past—and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.

Dead first husband is hereafter abbreviated DFH.

RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. How did you decide where on the spectrum you wanted Mr. Maddox to land?

TD: Maddox falls somewhere in between, I think. He wasn’t a villain, but they didn’t have a passionate love affair, either. Theirs was a marriage of convenience in the truest sense. He was kind to Meredith, she worked faithfully alongside him, and he left her the business (an inn) when he died. Neither of them went into it hoping for anything more, so I think they were content together, if not wildly in love.

RL: DFHs mean something a little different in Regency-set historicals since divorce wasn’t widely available, and because women gave up so many property rights by marrying. How do you think that affected your story?

TD: I don’t think Meredith would have ever contemplated divorcing Maddox. They were life and business partners. She was the one who actually proposed marriage, not him!

RL: One of the cool things about widow stories is the contrast between the decision the heroine took to be with the dead first husband and the decision she takes at the end of the story to be with the hero—and because she’s been married before, she knows what it means to compromise her autonomy in that way. Widow stories are often about learning to balance love and practicality, if that makes sense? Like a lot of times the heroine married her first husband either entirely out of love without thinking about whether it was a good decision, or else she married him for practical reasons without loving him at all. How does Meredith’s first marriage shape the course of her romance with Rhys? And how do you think that applies to how she lives the rest of her life, and what she expects and doesn’t let herself expect?

TD: Meredith is a very pragmatic woman, by necessity. Her father was disabled in a fire and she had to support them both, while living in a small village with few employment opportunities. So her first marriage was very much a business decision. She needed security for her and her father both, and neither love nor attraction factored into the equation.

Her attraction to Rhys, on the other hand, is anything but practical. Here’s this handsome, sexy, wounded man who was the object of all her adolescent infatuations and quite a few of her grown-up fantasies. Now he’s suddenly come back home, after a decade of absence—and within a day, he’s decided that the two of them are destined to marry. It’s like a dream come true—and that’s exactly why she doesn’t trust it. She’s afraid that if she lets herself give into the romantic fantasy, she’ll lose what ground she’s managed to hold for herself and her community. Continue reading

DFH interview #4: Cecilia Grant

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

Here’s what Cecilia Grant had to say about her stunning debut, A Lady Awakened.

lady-225Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate—and housemaids—from a predatory brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes…for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all…love?

Dead first husband is hereafter abbreviated DFH.

RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. Where do you think Mr. Russell falls on the spectrum, and how did you decide where you wanted him to fall?

CG: I hope Mr. Russell falls where I wanted him, which is in the absolute neutral middle.

For story purposes I obviously needed Martha to have had a first husband, but I wanted him to take up as little of the reader’s emotional energy as possible. I didn’t want the reader to actively dislike him, so I made sure he had some good qualities—disapproval of his villainous brother, affection for his first wife—but I also didn’t want the reader spending a lot of time feeling sorry for him for having been married to such a cold fish as Martha. I tried to make it clear that the marriage had been a pragmatic, unsentimental match on both sides: she wanted a grown-up life with an estate to be mistress of, he wanted an heir, and neither one had thought much further into it than that.

I also decided to give Mr. Russell a quiet over-dependence on drink. Drinking to excess was so common in that time period, and I think it must have been an issue in many marriages – sometimes manifesting in towering rages and abusive behavior (think of Helen’s marriage in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which takes place only a few years later), and sometimes carving a less dramatic, ever-present rift between husband and wife. It makes Martha’s distance from him a little more relatable, I hope, than if it had all been due to her cold-fishery.

RL: The DFH (and dead first wife) interests me in particular in historicals because divorce wasn’t widely available. Writing a hero or heroine who was married and isn’t anymore requires a dead first spouse, whereas in contemporaries I think bad breakups are more common as backstory. I realize that the entire plot of ALA hinges on Mr. R being dead since Martha is trying to conceive an heir, so I don’t really have a specific question for you about that, but if you have thoughts I’d love to hear them!

CG: Yes, it’s fascinating to read about how people navigated marriage, especially unhappy marriage, in a time when divorce wasn’t really a possibility. There were plenty of people trapped and miserable in ill-advised unions, but there were also people who managed to find at least partial escape.

Among the upper classes there were separations, and marriages where both parties took lovers with the other’s tacit consent, and mistresses who had almost as much security and social standing as wives. Among the lower classes there might be wife-selling (not so common by this time, but it did happen) or people simply dissolving their marriages and taking new partners without legal or church sanction.

I don’t know how palatable any of these scenarios would be to modern readers, though. An HEA with the love of your life, when you’re still legally married to someone else, is probably a bit too messy for our present-day sensibilities. Thus, widow and widower stories. Continue reading

DFH interview #3: Jeannie Lin

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

Jeannie Lin’s The Dragon and the Pearl is one of my favorite romances EVER (my Goodreads review). Technically the heroine is not a widow, she is the Emperor’s former concubine, but I think it fits!

TheDragonandthePearl-9780373296620Former Emperor’s consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone–until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away…

Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell—yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend…

RL: Dead first husbands (or in this case, protectors) fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. How did you decide where on the spectrum you wanted the Emperor to land?

JL: This is going to be odd because I have to talk about a book that does not exist to the public to answer that question. I originally wrote a trilogy of books of which Butterfly Swords and The Dragon and the Pearl were books #2 and #3. Book #1 will likely never see the light of day, but it first introduced the character of Ling Suyin and also the Emperor and sets up the period of unrest and political upheaval. (I was young and counting stars. I fully thought that, not only was I going to be able to sell one historical romance set in the Tang Dynasty, I was going to somehow sell three that constituted an epic saga)

In that book, the Emperor was established as a benevolent ruler who tragically doesn’t leave behind any heirs. So from the beginning, he was a larger than life, almost legendary figure.

RL: How did you want the Emperor, and Suyin’s relationship with him, to contrast with Li Tao and her relationship with him? What does Li Tao bring to Suyin that the Emperor didn’t and couldn’t? (Besides sex. 🙂

JL: With the Emperor, Suyin learned her games of intrigue and subterfuge. So he was always both her sovereign and also her mentor. The Emperor teaches her how to fool the world. With Li Tao, Suyin finds herself on the same level as an equal. Here, she tries to play the game as she’s been taught, but finds an adversary who is in many ways her mirror image and so she’s able to find herself. In a way, both Li Tao and Suyin were set up in a way that they could only ever discover themselves when forced into conflict against a worthy opponent. (Wow, I just realized how Eastern philosophy that sounds.) Continue reading

DFH interview #2: Susanna Fraser

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

My critique partner Susanna Fraser has written no less than three awesome widow heroines: Anna in The Sergeant’s Lady, a cross-class road-trip romance about an heiress and an NCO Rifleman who end up stranded together in a Spanish war zone and have to find (and sometimes fight) their way out together; Elizabeth in An Infamous Marriage, about a general and a mousy young woman who wed because of a death-bed promise and after years of separation try to find a way to live together; and Rose in A Dream Defiant, an interracial romance novella about a soldier’s widow who must marry immediately to keep herself and her son safe in an army camp, but finds herself falling in love with the man she chooses. I highly recommend all three, especially if you like historically accurate military romance!

Dead first husband is hereafter abbreviated DFH.

thesergeantslady-200x316RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. You’ve written DFHs at all points on the spectrum (let’s see, there’s Sebastian, Sam, and Giles…actually Giles is one of the few DFHs I’ve seen that was actually a great marriage, or had the potential to be one). How do you decide where you want them to fall?

SF: It varies from story to story. In general, I feel like making the first husband an evil abusive asshole has become too much of a cliche. It can be the easy way out, narratively. Of course the hero is the best thing that ever happened to the heroine, her One True Love! That other guy was evil, don’tcha know? So my default is to write DFHs who are decent, well-meaning men, whether they’re someone like Giles in An Infamous Marriage whom the heroine could’ve been happy with, or more like Sam in A Dream Defiant, who was a really sweet guy, but without the brains and ambition to make him an equal partner for Rose.

That said, the first DFH I ever wrote, Sebastian in The Sergeant’s Lady, was definitely of the evil abusive asshole variety, and I do think the contrast between him and the hero allowed me to write a powerful story of healing and second chances. But even he didn’t start out evil. He and Anna were secondary characters in the first manuscript I ever finished—one which, in much altered form, eventually became my second published book, A Marriage of Inconvenience. That book took me something like two and a half years to write, and over all that time Sebastian changed from a stern, solemn, but basically good man into a misogynistic control freak, and Anna kept revealing hidden depths. So as I finished that first draft, I promised her I’d write her a sequel and give her someone awesome.

RL: DFHs mean something a little different in Regency-set historicals since divorce wasn’t widely available, and because women gave up so many property rights by marrying. How do you think that’s affected your stories? In a contemporary, might you have chosen to make some of those heroines divorced instead? (I realize that saying “what if this book were a contemporary” about stories so entrenched in their period is kind of meaningless, but it’s still fun to think about…)

SF: I think in a contemporary I’d be more likely to fill the DFH role with a Live Ex-Boyfriend, because in our time there’s less stigma attached to a woman having had romantic and/or sexual relationships that didn’t end in marriage. (I wish I could say “no stigma attached,” but sadly that isn’t always the case.) Continue reading

DFH interview #1: Theresa Romain

As part of my blog tour for Sweet Disorder, I wrote a guest post at Heroes and Heartbreakers about the tradition of widows and dead first husbands in historical romance. For that post, I interviewed the authors of some of my favorite historicals with widow heroines, and I got back such awesome, detailed answers that I wanted to share the complete interviews with you.

ITTTT_web-183x300Here’s what Theresa Romain had to say about her adorable, poignant It Takes Two to Tangle. (For the complete schedule, see the end of this post.)

WOOING THE WRONG WOMAN…

Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit…

IS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE…

Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that’s only going to break her own heart…

The dead first husband (hereafter abbreviated “DFH”) is Charles.

RL: DFHs fall on a spectrum between evil abusive assholes and great guys the heroine could have been with forever if they’d lived. How did you decide where on the spectrum you wanted Charles to land? What kinds of DFH stories in romance influenced how you wrote? Were you reacting to or interacting with any genre conventions that you were aware of?

TR: In planning ITTTT, I wanted to twist the trope of the so-called pure widow. You’ve probably seen this character before: she may or may not be a virgin, but she’s certainly never been in love before meeting the hero. I started with the opposite character in mind: what if the heroine had loved her first husband desperately?

That “desperately” is a key word. It was a passionate romance that overrode sense. Frances’s love for Charles is an important part of her character, because it was a cross-class romance that led to a breach with her parents. That shows what she’s willing to sacrifice for love.

As for Charles himself, he falls in the middle of the spectrum you describe. At heart, he was young and lusty and somewhat selfish. A lot like Frances herself! Their romance started off hot, then dwindled on his part into indifference. That hurt her deeply, but it wasn’t a pain Charles meant to cause. His love was conditional, but neither he nor Frances knew that until the conditions changed.

RL: DFHs mean something a little different in Regency-set historicals since divorce wasn’t widely available, and because women’s control over their money was so tied to their marital status. How do you think that affected your story? In a contemporary, might you have chosen to make Frances divorced instead? (I realize that saying “what if this book were a contemporary” about a story so entrenched in its period is kind of meaningless, but it’s still fun to think about…) How do you think Frances’s experience of marriage affects how she’s been living the rest of her life—not just practically, but emotionally, and in what she expects and doesn’t let herself expect?

TR: In a contemporary, Frances might have been sued for divorce due to fraud, since she, ahem, neglected to mention key financial details before marrying Charles. In ITTTT, money is closely tied to love and trust. Frances’s money is a large part of her appeal to Charles—and once she doesn’t have access to that money, Charles ceases to trust her. That’s when their marriage begins to fall apart.

After Charles’s death, Frances never again thinks of herself as eligible because she doesn’t have the money that seemed to be the source of her appeal. And she feels guilt not in having lied to Charles, but in not feeling sorry that she did. She was reckless in pursuing the man she wanted. When she meets Henry, he lays his trust upon her. That’s what snares her attention—and that’s what makes her a little reckless again, as she begins to hope for a new romance. Continue reading