Sunday, November 20, 2005

Characters in Disguise

Thinking about The Scarlet Pimpernel made us think about characters in disguise. We have a fair selection of them in our own books!

Louise's book, The Marriage Debt, opens with the hero, Black Jack Standon, in a condemned cell in Newgate waiting to be hanged as a highwayman.

Only he isn't a highwayman, his name is Nicholas Lydgate - and when Katherine Cunningham marries him as a sure way to escape her debts and then clears his name, it turns out that she has married into something which scares her even more than the highwayman did.

Louise isn't the only one who likes heroes and heroines in disguise:

In Melinda's book The Dream Chasers, the heroine runs away disguised as a boy.

In Amanda's book The Silverton Scandal, Lucien, the hero is disguised as a highwayman.

In Kate's book The Lady Soldier, the heroine is disguised as a soldier

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all, can I congratulate Louise on writing this book? It managed to make both the disguise and the misunderstandings between the hero and heroine credible, because of the personalities involved. In some books disguises end up seeming forced and artificial, for example when the beautiful young heroine is utterly convincing as a boy/young man, but when out of male clothes is utterly feminine-looking, with 'lush' curves etc. And sometimes big misunderstandings between the hero and heroine seem like plot devices inserted primarily in order to prolong the book, and which would be easy to clear up if only the characters would talk to each other, instead of instantly leaping to erroneous conclusions about each other. Louise Allen's book manages to avoid both pitfalls easily. For one thing, Nicholas is not intentionally 'in disguise' as a highwayman, though he is concealing his real identity. Secondly, the relationship between Nicholas and Katherine develops gradually, and as it does, their feelings for each other change and grow. Although they feel an instant affinity for each other, they are both cautious, with a great deal of reserve, and it therefore seems natural that neither will reveal all their secrets instantly.

I felt Louise had succeeded in bringing her characters to life: they're realistic and likeable. It's one of my very favourite romances of 2005.