Sunday

FIRST PAGE REVIEW

Well, this is exciting. Weekend Writing Warriors have started something new for readers, and authors (who are readers as well). It goes like this...

Do you want to know what readers think when they read the first page of your book?

Welcome to The First Page Review blog hop happening during the month of October! The idea is simple. Sign the linky list,
HERE, linking your own blog post that contains the first page--NO MORE than the first 1,000 words of a WIP, a manuscript, or a novel, published or unpublished.

This month-long blog hop is meant to answer one simple question for each participant. After reading your first 1,000 words, would a person continue reading it?

If you are so inclined, you can comment about why you would or wouldn't continue reading--in fact, that would be wonderful. If you do, please be professional and show respect for the author. 

This list will remain up for the month of October.

So - here is my First Page Review from CATHERINE, a work in progress.
The drawing room was quiet, save for the shuffling of papers and every now and then a soft, yet impatient sigh. “Darling, as much as I love our trysts, I’m feeling a trifle neglected.”
Lord George Kerr lifted his gaze from the documents spread before him and glanced toward the beautiful woman.  Lady Evangeline Anstruther, better known as Madame Reauchard, was currently draped in a seductive manner on the settee. He appreciated the way the crimson brocade couch acted as a perfect foil for her exotic features and raven hair.
“Evangeline, you know our agreement. I attend your exquisite establishment and you whisk me away to your drawing room, whereupon I gather information for King and Country.” He grinned at her sultry pout. “Now, be a pet and make some noise. Otherwise the servants will think I’m not a satisfactory lover.”
“If you only knew how envious my maids are. They remain convinced you are Casanova reincarnated. How they would laugh if they knew we only drink tea and talk.” She arose from the divan and glided behind his chair, combing her fingers through his hair, the scent of her perfume a heady aphrodisiac. “Could I not entice you, just this once?”
He stilled her hand and brought her palm to his lips. Pressing a kiss against the soft skin, he turned slightly to face her. “While I admire your tenacity, I cannot give what you ask. The only woman I will share a bed with will be my future wife.”
“I did not say we had to be in a bed.”
“Evangeline,” George warned in a low voice.
“Very well,” she purred, turning aside with an elegant shrug of her slim shoulders before she stopped and glanced toward the door. “Someone is coming.”
She moved swiftly to the divan. Without questioning her instinct, which had proven itself time and again, George laid his coat on top of the papers and joined her, positioning his body so that his head rested against her soft lap. With one knee slightly bent, he placed his left foot on the couch and stretched the right leg to the floor. She glanced down at him, her exquisite features tight with concern.
“Prepare yourself, Lord George. In order to facilitate our ruse, I must expose more than you would like.”
“I believe I’ll survive,” he replied in a dry tone.
She slipped the filmy gown down one arm and it gracefully puddled against his cheek. The door to her boudoir burst open and her lady’s maid, Colleen, the only one who knew of their true connection, trembled within the door frame. Behind her stood two men with hardened faces and loaded pistols. It may have been the way the candles reflected against his features, but George thought the eyes of the smaller man widened when his gaze fell upon the two of them.
“What is the meaning of this?” Evangeline demanded with a perfect Parisian accent. She tugged the gown back onto her shoulder while George remained where he lay, a deceptive picture of languor and satisfied coitus.
“I’m sorry, Madame,” Colleen began.
“Quiet, slut.” The larger man backhanded Colleen and she stumbled to one side.
Still semi-reclined, George slid a hand down his leg toward his boot. Meanwhile, Evangeline pushed George’s head off her lap and arose in an apparent state of agitation. She intended to clutch the divan as though frightened, which allowed her to retrieve a hidden weapon strapped to the back of it.
George was familiar with this ruse because she’d done it to him in France.
“Please don’t hurt me,” she begged and stumbled, steadying herself by gripping the back of the divan. “Why are you here?”
With both men distracted by her nervous display, George was able to unsheathe the knife and palm the deadly weapon. Colleen inched away from the two men who now advanced further into the room.
“Make sure they don’t move,” the smaller man said, moving toward the table. “Shoot the prancing dandy first.”
“With pleasure, Reggie.”
It was only through years of conditioning that George didn’t betray concern that Reggie would discover the smuggled documents. If he escaped with the knowledge of their clandestine operation, then many courageous people died for nothing. It was time for him to act.
He arose from the couch like a sleepy giant.
“You hafta wait your turn,” he slurred out, weaving on his feet as though drunk. “I paid a lot of money for her favors. You can have her when I’m done.”
“How dare you pass me off to these… these ruffians!” Evangeline raged and stomped her foot, the pistol hidden against her side.
Her tantrum had the desired effect. The man momentarily shifted his attention from George to Evangeline. Without hesitation, George whipped the knife toward him. Surprised, the thug glanced down at the hilt of the knife protruding from his chest. Then, a dark red stain slowly spread across his dingy shirt. In a matter of seconds he sank to his knees, dropped the gun and crumpled to the floor.
At the sound of his accomplice hitting the floor, Reggie turned, but before he could even point his weapon Evangeline had raised her arm and with deadly aim made sure he never breathed again. George eyeballed the bullet hole in the assailant’s forehead.
“Remind me to never challenge you to a duel, Madame Reauchard.”
She lowered her arm and cut him a sideways glance. “You are most fortunate I adore you, Lord George. Otherwise that may have been you on the floor after hinting I’d be your peace offering.”
“It was a means to an end.” He took hold of her free hand and brought it to his lips, murmuring against her skin. “I am forever grateful you did not shoot me in France.”
“Bah, Cavendish was right. You are a terrible flirt.” She tugged her hand from his light grasp and signaled to Colleen. “Let us find out who these two Cretans are.”
There you have it, and it's exactly 1000 words - Not Bad.
Would love to hear your comments.

 

8 comments:

  1. Page review! I had no idea..Thanks for spreading the news. “Remind me to never challenge you to a duel, Madame Reauchard.”-I agree with the character on this one. backing away slowly...lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sue, generally, romance is not my thing, but if I was a romance reader, I'd definitely keep reading. I love that they've been chaste so far--though the hint is there that they eventually won't be. I love that they genuinely enjoy being in each other's company. I love this couple! And I'm intrigued by the tone of danger and their skill in getting out of it. Excellent first page.

    ReplyDelete
  3. More, more, more!! What a compelling and delightful opening. Just the kind of sharp-witted banter laced with action in a historical setting that I adore. Well done, Sue!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. very witty banter, "“Remind me to never challenge you to a duel, Madame Reauchard.”
    She lowered her arm and cut him a sideways glance. “You are most fortunate I adore you, Lord George. Otherwise that may have been you on the floor after hinting I’d be your peace offering.”
    “It was a means to an end.” He took hold of her free hand and brought it to his lips, murmuring against her skin. “I am forever grateful you did not shoot me in France.”"
    There is so much promise of an alliance that goes beyond the intrigue, the buildup to that dalliance is wonderful. The intrigue as to what these two are up to really pulls me in. I love romance but usually prefer contemporary, but this one would certainly keep me reading.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am not a reader of romance, but this appears more intrigue, espionage, and adventure which is most emphatically up my alley. I would want to read more!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ooh, this is a really great setup. I love the hint of intrigue, spies and pistols, and the subsequent action is very satisfying. Would definitely keep reading!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, what a beginning! I love romance, but it has to have plenty of intrigue and action and this excerpt has that in bucketfuls and hints of more to come. Although my own genre is SF Romance, I actually enjoy reading about the distant past as much as the distant future and I would certainly want to continue reading this one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Carole in CanadaOctober 10, 2017

    I just finished reading 'Caroline' and will post my review shortly. However, I came to check out when 'Katherine' was being released and I must say that opening chapter is much more than I was expecting! You have my attention and I can't wait for more!! Yes, Madame Reauchard is one you want on your side!

    ReplyDelete