Dear Wild Rose Press,
Eli Hastings, the charming Duke of Ravensworth fell instantly in love with the stunning beauty on the canvas, never imaging she was real let alone the sister of an acquaintance.
My novelette Ravensworth is a 14,000+ word historical romance set in 1820’s England, and tells, with heart, the story of how the duke and the beauty in the painting came to fall in love.
Eli purchases the painting of Miss Jaclyn Stuart at an open market in Kent and put it on display for is friends.This sets into motion the events that would eventually lead to the poor young woman’s ruin and subsequent exile from polite society.
Jaclyn was taught to paint by her grandfather and painted a nude self-portrait intended for her eyes only until it was stolen from her studio. Jaclyn is sent to France until the worst of the scandal fades returning to England years later to live in near obscurity until Jaclyn’s sister Sarah takes it upon herself to throw the two together.
Though outrageous, Sarah’s attempt at matchmaking bears fruit and the two are soon fast friends with an undeniable attraction between them only Eli is already engaged. When it becomes evident that Sarah was conspiring with Eli’s cunning fiancée Charlotte who as it turns out was madly in love with his cousin Brian, the matter is quickly set aside.
When Sarah and Charlotte’s recklessness threatened to further destroy Jaclyn's already tattered reputation, Eli asks her to marry him. She refuses for fear he was only asking out of a sense of obligation but he soon convinces her otherwise and a few days later the two happy in love marry.
Thank you for your time and consideration I have included the novelette's synopsis. The manuscript is complete and available upon request.
Our Hero: Eli Hastings, Duke of Ravensworth was a ruthless lord, head of his brood and a man madly in-love with a woman he never had the chance to meet in person.
His Heroine: Lady Jaclyn Stuart was a fiercely loyal and talented young woman who lived in near isolation after he displayed her nude self-portrait.
The Novel: Is based primarily around Eli and Jaclyn’s romantic relationship. The first few chapters introduce and give, in detail, the foundation of the two such as who they are, and where their heart lies. There are secondary story lines but their sole purpose is to add to the lead characters’ interaction so the story remains focused on their development.
Together: Eli and Jaclyn are a passionate pair that entertain and delight. They are genuine in their approach to each other and are faithful to the love they share so that they comes across as endearingly romantic without being trite or overly sentimental.
Their story: Ravensworth opens with a bang. Eli wakes with a sore head in Jaclyn’s bed, her concerned face close to his while her upset parents look on. He is having difficultly remembering how he came to be there but figured from the blood on his neckcloth that he was knocked over the head.
In between the furious words of Jaclyn’s father, Lord Stuart and Eli’s explanation, the truth of how he came to be in her bed is set forth by a distraught Jaclyn who pointed the finger squarely on her sister Sarah. Soon Eli, Jaclyn and her parents are working together to contain the potential scandal Sarah and her co-conspirators have set into motion only Eli's unfaithful fiancée Charlotte who was the mastermind behind the whole thing made certain that was not possible.
See, Charlotte wanted out of her engagement with Eli so she could marry his cousin Brian only her father would not allow her to cry off to marry a mere lord when she could have a duke. In desperation, Charlotte turns to the simple-minded Sarah whom she convinced that it was a win-win for all involved if they made it so Eli compromised Jaclyn and was forced to marry her.
Jaclyn’s parents are soon convinced that despite where the fault lay, Eli must marry Jaclyn but the two young people are resistant for concern of the believed innocent Charlotte and work in secret to come up with an alternate solution. That is until Eli’s cousin Brian pays him a late night visit to confess his love for Charlotte and his part in the plan to compromise him into marrying Jaclyn.
Furious at his idiot cousin and reckless fiancée Eli calls on Lord Stuart who, by now has accepted his daughter Sarah’s hand in Jaclyn’s compromise in order to make a formal offer for Jaclyn not thinking she would object once she learned the full truth. She is resistant to his offer half out of concern for Charlotte who, until then, no one had heard from directly and partly that she did not want to marry him because he was trapped into marrying her.
Particularly now that she was falling in love with him. But he was not to be deterred for now he stood to gain all he ever wanted so he kissed her to prove how deep he truly felt for her. The two share a passionate moment and agree to marry when Charlotte turns up to make clear her intent to come out of this whole debacle in her father’s continued good graces.
Eli, too happy in love with Jaclyn to care what his silly ex-fiancée does going forth, agrees to her terms and a few days later he and Jaclyn marry.
This I wrote and sent to Wild Rose Press an ePublishing site with the hope they'll accept it. If they don't I'll publish the story here in chapters for your entertainment.
Have a lovely weekend,