A Little Extra index


Character Sketch and Background

The Smuggler and the Society Bride

GABRIEL HAWKSWORTH, 6’2”, BLACK HAIR, INTENSE BLUE EYES, 25, “GERARD BUTLER”

Since we’d already established the families for Regency Silk & Scandal, I had a heroine, but no hero. After Lady Honoria Carlow is ruined by some unknown adversary, she wants to get as far from London as possible. She’s also angry at her family for initially believing she was responsible.

How much further away can one get than Land’s End? And if one wants a hero guaranteed to horrify one’s very proper family, how much more dashing and ineligible can he be than a smuggler?

Enter Gabe Hawksworth. Blacksheep younger son of an Anglo-Irish aristocrat, Gabe is returning a favor to the army friend who saved his life by becoming temporary captain of one Dickon Kessel’s smuggling sloops. Growing up on the Irish coast, he’s as comfortable with a tiller as he is on horseback. Though his current occupation, should they ever learn of it, would mortify his relations, the wildness of the sea calls to Gabe. The dangers involved in piloting a small craft through wave and storm, the constant threat of disgrace and prosecution should the revenue agents catch him, add a zest to life that Gabe relishes. He’s been bored silly and restless, stuck at his family’s estate at Ballyclarig while he recovers from wounds suffered at the battle of Orthes, and is delighted to grant Dickon’s request when his old army mate comes asking his help.

Encountering the beautiful and mysterious “Miss Foxe” adds another layer of charm to his Cornish visit. Why would such a stunning girl be visiting her maiden aunt in remote Cornwall instead of residing in London, dazzling suitors? Gabe scents a scandal—and if the lady is of a mind to be seduced, he’s just the man to oblige.


LADY HONORIA CARLOW, 5’10”, WAVY GOLDEN-BROWN HAIR, GRAY-BLUE EYES, “VIVIEN LEIGH”

Since Lady Honoria Carlow was the daughter of one of the families we created for the REGENCY SILK & SCANDAL miniseries, her name, age, and background were already determined. But we’d established only a brief sketch of her personality.

I like parallels, so I was drawn to the idea of an innocent targeted for ruin by the revenge character in retaliation for the ruin of his life by the original scandal. Fueling the desire to target Honoria is the fact that, of the three friends involved in the murder and hanging, only her father escaped the debacle with title, reputation and fortune intact. What better way to hurt him than by destroying his innocent daughter?

Except for the plan to work, she couldn’t be entirely “innocent.” For even her own family to believe she might have been reckless enough to set up a rendezvous with an older roué to make her fiancé jealous, she must already have been skirting the edges of propriety. So the tempestuous character of Honoria began to take shape.

Honoria was her dashing older brother Hal’s shadow when they were growing up, wanting to take part in all his adventures. She learns to swim and shoot, to play billiards, fish and from time to time, smoke an illegal cheroot. She’s always got a smudge on her gown, a lock of hair falling down, and stitches that wander all over the sampler.

Though Hal encourages her and her father and brother Marcus are indulgent, she and her mother have a strained relationship. They’ve nothing in common to talk about except her exemplary younger sister Verity, whose hair is always neat and whose pinafore is always spotless, who sews, embroiders and stitches beautifully, and who has never taken a single step off the maidenly path of decorum. Lady Narborough is constantly reproaching Honoria for unladylike behavior, chiding her that it is the younger sister, rather than the older, who sets the example of what is expected of a Carlow lady.

As she grows up to be a golden-brown haired, blue-grey eyed Beauty, Honoria finds life even more unfair, for while Hal can go off and have ever-more-exciting and scandalous adventures, she is supposed to behave with ever-more-suffocating correctness. When she comes to London for the Season, is it any wonder her escapades set all the ton whispering?

 

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