Let’s face it, not every woman you meet instantly becomes your best friend. There has to be something about her that piques your interest or just clicks. You have to admire certain traits in your friends, like compassion, loyalty, humor etc.
When I was mulling over ideas for my second book in the ‘Invitation to’ Regency romance series, INVITATION TO SCANDAL, I fell instantly in love with my heroine, Rheda Kerrich. Probably because she’s someone I’d be proud to call my best friend.
I connected with Rheda the minute she popped into my head. I love that she’s a risk taker. She doesn’t sit back and let life dictate terms. She’s prepared to try and shape and mould her lot to suit her needs. If something is not right, she tries to fix it, not always successfully, but she doesn’t sit about and mope. And it’s not only her world she tries to make the best off. She has her local village to look after, especially the widows and orphans.
To better understand her character, let me briefly tell you about the book Rheda is in.
In Invitation to Scandal, Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore is desperately trying to capture a deadly French spy—for two reasons. One, because that’s his job, he works for the Secret Service, and two, because he hopes that in doing so he can learn the truth about his late father’s supposed treason and clear the Strathmore name. However, to find the spy he needs to capture Dark Shadow, a notorious Kent smuggler. The spy is using Dark Shadow’s network to send his communiqués.
On his first day in Deal, Kent, who does he spot with an unstamped barrel of brandy? You guessed it Miss Rheda Kerrick, dressed as a local farming wench. She’d be a perfect informant. A local beauty who can help him discover a smuggler, while also keeping his bed warm at night. However, his normal charm doesn’t appear to work, and she refuses to reveal her name or who gave her the cask. [CLUE FIVE: THAT’S]
Miss Rheda Kerrick, the eldest child of Baron de Winter, was left penniless and parentless at the age of seventeen when her dissolute father dies. She also has a younger brother, Daniel, who will inherit Tumsbury Cliff Manor and the estate. Facing bankruptcy she resorts to whatever means necessary to save Tumsbury Cliff for him. In addition, she quickly realizes that unless she wants to end up like her mother, married to a man who sees her only as a means to beget an heir, she’d better work out a way to become financially independent. At twenty-five she’s almost there. Prince Hammed has gifted her two Arabian mares, and her dream of owning her own cavalry horse breeding business is in her reach. She simply lacks one vital ingredient- a stallion. Unable to afford stud fees, she cheekily decides to ‘borrow’ Rufus’s magnificent stallion.
But Rufus is not as dumb as most men, and Rheda is caught red-handed. Her punishment is to aid Rufus in his mission. Rufus uses the opportunity to try and seduce the information from her and to her horror she longs to submit.
The more they work together the harder it is to resist the handsome rake. Rheda empathizes with his desire to clear his father’s name and restore his mother and sister to their rightful place in Society. Soon it’s more than her pride at stake. She’s beginning to fall in love with him. But once he learns the truth about Dark Shadow, how can they have any future together?
Rheda is a woman of strength and determination. It took strength to single handedly run an estate and hold onto her brother’s inheritance. It took strength to ignore the expectations of Society and to risk doing a little wrong in order to accomplish a lot of good. It took courage to defy convention and want to create her own safety net and financial independence. As women we could all learn from Rheda about this—ensure we have something concrete behind us. And finally, it takes strength to sacrifice everything for the ones you love—there is nothing in life more honorable.
Why is Rheda my best friend? She throws herself into life and it’s contagious. She is smart, brave and loyal. But like all my favorite romance heroines, she is strong. And if you get the chance to read INVITATION TO SCANDAL , I hope, that as I did, you will find yourself a new best friend, too.
I’d love to hear what characteristic you most identify with in your favourite heroines! Is it strength? Cunning? Bravery? Something else? What, to you, is the most important trait a heroine should have?
One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, INVITAION TO SCANDAL, (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the INVITATION TO ROMANCE Blog Tour Grand Prize of a $200 Gift Card from Amazon or B&N PLUS 30+ ‘signed by the authors’ romance novels by visiting www.bronwenevans.com
There will be a one WORD hidden in each blog post ie. [WHO] in brackets (the word ‘WHO’ is the first clue). There are 30 words altogether. These words will spell a paragraph related toBron’s 1 May release INVITATION TO SCANDAL.