The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor #2) by Roseanna M. White --Review + Guest Post + Giveaway
About the Book
Will Fleeing the Scottish Highlands Only Leave Her in More Danger?
Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she’s never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.
Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena. He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.
Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’ll end up in more danger than she fled.
Books in the Series
About the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. The Reluctant Duchess is Roseanna’s eleventh published book. Her novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia.
Guest Post from Roseanna: How to Write Believable Characters
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, finishing my first book when I was 13. (And it was—ahem--brilliant. Ahem.) At this point in time, I have 11 books published and 20 more finished manuscripts just sitting on my computer (and let’s not even count the scores of unfinished ones…). So I’ve had a little bit of practice. And as I’ve explored my craft and what kind of book I most enjoy writing, I’ve discovered that I am definitely a character-driven writer. For me, characters come first—plots are just things that happen to make those characters grow.
I’m not the kind of writer who reads a lot of books on the craft of writing. I’ve tried. I just…can’t. I’m not the kind who can easily apply things I’ve learned in classes. Again, I’ve tried, but…I’m a writer who writes by instinct. Which is, frankly, sometimes scary, because I rarely write about people who are like me. So how, then, can I get into their heads?
For me, the answer always comes down to a simple truth: for all our differences, everyone experiences life through the lens of their emotions. So in order to understand a character, and to write that character in a believable way, I have to tap into my emotions.
Now, I’ll be honest—I’m not an “emotional” person. I don’t cry but maybe once or twice a year. I don’t yell very often. I’m not what anyone would call temperamental, or volatile, nor am I so incredibly cheerful that I make your teeth hurt (though I’m a die-hard optimist). I’m more likely to be quiet when I’m upset than to wear my heart on my sleeve. So it would be easy for me to look at emotions, even in my characters, from a step away.
It would be easy…but it wouldn’t be effective. So instead, I believe in being vulnerable in my writing, through my writing, and with my writing. It has to hurt, or I’m not doing it right. I need to let my characters ache, and then ache with them. I have to choose the harder ways to tell their story, knowing they’ll mean more to the reader.
Each character, as I’m writing their story, becomes a friend. I get to know them—their quirks, their moods, the goals. I have to know what drives them, what they fear. I don’t make lists of these things as some writers do, but I explore them. I have to let them grow and change, but I also have to make sure that everything they’re doing makes sense to them, if not to the other characters. And if it makes sense to them, it’ll make sense to the reader, even if it’s not something the reader (or me!) would ever do.
A good writer can make us root for someone we wouldn’t even like in real life. A good writer can make us view someone as unique and sympathetic, when we would have likely put a handy label on them on reality and then dismissed them. A good writer makes you realize that people who are so very different from you aren’t so very different after all.
That’s the kind of writer I strive to be. And hopefully, because I view characters as people to get to know and understand, I can translate that to real life too—and always look for the reasons behind someone’s actions. Always try to see their heart. Always try to understand them…and so, understand how at the heart of it, we’re all just children of God, trying to find our way.
Author Roseanna M. White’s novel A Reluctant Duchess, is a novel readers will not soon forget. From page one, Roseanna enraptures readers and takes them to the world of Lady Rowena Kinaird, heiress to a Highland earldom. Men have never treated her the best, including her father and the man she thought she would marry and would take her away from her abusive father. After being attacked by her former love, Lady Rowena is even less confident in herself than ever before. But Brice Myerston, Duke of Nottingham, comes to her rescue. Even going so far as to marry her when she is placed in grave danger. Will a love like no other blossom between these unlikely couple, or will secrets of questionable business with a stolen treasure be their undoing. Roseanna’s characters will steal your heart away as you fall in love with them, as well as the wonderful and engaging historical romance. I would recommend this novel to fans of Downton Abbey.
Series: Ladies of the Manor
Genre: historical, Christian, romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication date: April 5, 2016
Number of pages: 389
Content Rating: PG, some violence and abuse, nothing graphic
Book Rating: 5 stars
Other books in the series:
1-The Lost Heiress
3-A Lady Unrivaled (coming September 2016)
A review copy of this book was provided by Ladies of the Manor Launch Team.
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