Yesterday, I received two lovely reviews for An Impulsive Debutante -- one from cataromance and one from the Pink Heart Society. They were reviews I was waiting for as I always like to see how Julie enjoyed the book.
The summary from cataromance made my day!
I lapped up every single delicious word of this wonderful Regency romance! Michelle Styles is a skilled wordsmith who can make any period of history come gloriously to life and An Impulsive Debutante is a testament to her breathtaking storytelling prowess. Sexy, stunning, heartwarming and absorbing from start to finish, Michelle Styles proves once again that she’s one of the most refreshing and original voices in historical romance writing today!
Tomorrow, I am off to London for the annual Association of Mills & Boon Authors lunch and then drinks party with the editors. I plan on taking my camera...
Alice in the comments section yesterday was asking about a Marriage of Convenience and how to make the heroine not seem passive. Hopefully, I achieved this in Sold & Seduced. The scenario Alice described is the basic Beauty and the Beast scenario. A young woman, in order to save her father sacrifices herself to a beast type figure. If you have read the early fairy tales, rather than simply seen the Disney version, you will see Beauty actually has an inciting role. She asks for a rose rather than the silks and jewels her sisters ask for. Despite his misfortune, her father climbs into the garden to get the rose as it should not cost anything and Beauty is his favourite. Equally she is the one who volunteers after her father has agreed to send the first thing that greets him on his arrival home. The father is hoping for the dog, but Beauty spies him and rushes out.
In other words, it all depends on the motivation for the self-sacrifice. Rather than being told to, Beauty feels obliged because of her earlier past actions.
What you need to make sure is that both your characters are assertive. When the world does not act the way they think it should, they do something about it. They always have a plan -- goal, motivation and conflict.
In S&S, Aro saved Lydia's father in return for a shipment of Falarian wine.But Lydia, after her father fell ill, sold the wine to pay debts. When Aro shows up demanding the wine or he will ruin the father, Lydia feels obliges to sacrifice herself as she feels it was her fault. When the marriage terms are different than she first thinks, she negoiates terms. Hence the Spanish title Sept dias sin besos -- seven days without kisses.
I am still revising my wip....