October 5th 2016 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc
When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married. But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another, a man she’ll never love.
Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding, certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too little, too late?
Seven Ways to Win the Love of Your Betrothed Wife
by Regency Historical romance author, Donna Hatch
Winning the love of a woman who already gave her heart to another can be problematic. Still, with a little patience and imagination, hearts can be turned.
First of all, a man must be open to giving and receiving love. If he is too closed off, his lady will know it and will be reluctant to entrust him with her heart. In the case of my Regency Romance novel, Richard is so terrified that everyone in his life will eventually betray and abandon him, that he closes his heart. It is only when he lets go of his fear that his heart opens enough to love her. It is then that she can finally entrust him with her love.
Second, one must examine the motivation behind wooing a bride to be or a current wife. If he wishes to prove that he is just as desirable as the other man she likes, the lady will sense that his motives are not pure. Few ladies are won in such a way. In Richard’s case, however, the challenge issued by his brother is the proper incentive to begin courting his betrothed, which, in turn, leads to spending enough time with her that he realizes all his preconceived notions about her were wrong.
Third, sending flowers and taking her out on carriage rides are less important than listening, really listening, to her. Giving her full attention, and time, and truly caring about her feelings go a long way to touching her heart. During a ride to the park, Richard asks Elizabeth questions about herself and discovers that she is not only an intelligent young lady with a healthy wit, but that she is desperate for love and acceptance due to her difficult upbringing. This inspires in Richard a desire to protect and cherish her.
Fourth, remembering what a lady says makes her feel valued. Recalling and referencing hopes and dreams of hers creates the sensation that she is important, that what she says and feels worthwhile. When Richard mentions that he looked into a new business venture she’d read about, she’s astonished that he not only remembered, but actually considered her words as noteworthy.
Fifth, acts of kindness and consideration goes a long way to showing a lady that a gentleman can be trusted with her heart. Coming to the aid of a girl selling flowers in the street will warm a lady’s heart far more than being courteous to a lady of rank. When Richard helps an overlooked girl who was nearly trampled by members of so-called polite society, helping her to gather her flowers and even overpaying for broken blooms, Elizabeth begins to see him as more than the aloof, untouchable lord. Instead, she views him as a man of warmth and consideration.
Sixth, taking advantage of moments to touch her hand, her face, her hair, warms a lady’s heart. Little tender touches inspire trust and confidence that a gentleman will treat his wife with the gentleness she desires. As Richard does this, Elizabeth begins to see him as a man capable of great tenderness and that there is, indeed, more behind his stern exterior.
Seventh, revealing a subtle wit and developing private jokes helps a lady see a gentleman as an ally. A gentleman who can laugh at himself, and even gently tease others, as well as refer to past humorous incidents crates a feeling of friendship and comradery. When Elizabeth and Richard begin to find humor in ordinary incidents, they forge a bond that only laughter can fuel.
Eighth, knowing when to let a lady fight her battles and when to step in and rescue her when she’s overwhelmed shows her that a gentleman sees her as both capable and precious. As Richard takes a greater interest in trying to turn their relationship into one of mutual affection and trust, he sees all the ways that she is his equal. He also realizes that her relationship with her mother will require some intervention if he is ever to show her he cares.
Ninth, waiting to kiss her until she’s desperate for the contact, and then kissing her until she nearly swoons is a time-honored way to woo and win the heart of a lady. While Richard could never be considered a tease, he waits until Elizabeth’s feelings for him have grown before he kisses her. And wow, what a kiss!
By the way, all of the above methods work pretty well at trying to get back into the good graces of a lady who is angry with a gentleman. Just saying.
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