Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Secret Agent #39

TITLE: Lady Grace's Rendezvous
GENRE: Regency

The sky darkened and wind blew the carriage, rocking it. Hail joined the hard rain mixed with snow. Lady Grace Carpenter pounded on the roof of her carriage. “How close are we to the Crow and Hound?”

“Not far, my lady. I’m thinkin’ we should stop,” her coachman responded.

“Yes, indeed. Make it so.” She huddled deeper into her fur-lined cloak. When they’d started out this morning, the weather had been dry and sunny, with no indication a storm would come on. She was only an hour or so from Stanwood Hall, her home, but they’d not make it. Better to trust in, Mr. Brown, the Crow and Hound’s innkeeper’s, discretion than risk her servants to this weather. They turned off the road and her coachman shouted for an ostler. The coach door quickly opened and the steps let down. Thornton, her groom hustled her from the carriage through the open door of the inn.

Mr. Brown came forward to greet her. “My lady, we didn’t expect to see you this evenin’.”

“For good reason.” Grace took off her cloak and shook it. “I didn’t expect to be here. I was visiting an elderly cousin and the storm blew up.”

“It’s as they say, my lady. No good deed goes unpunished.”

Grace smiled thinly. “Well, it certainly seems like that at times. I’ll need rooms for my servants and a private parlor. I cannot abide eating in my chamber. It should go without saying, you have not seen me here.”


  1. I really enjoyed this (and it's not in a genre I usually read). You give a great sense of place and time, and I loved the twist at the end. Good voice for the MC. And yes, I would continue reading :).

  2. I enjoyed the setting and the voice.

    Good luck!!

  3. Love the ending line. You hint at the innkeeper's discretion earlier, but maybe cutting that and just letting the reader know at the end would punch up the power of the line.

    The last line forces me to keep reading.

  4. I get so used to reading YA I was like, this doesn't sound like a young person-- oh wait. Nice job establishing setting and dialogue.

  5. I agree - the last line is a great hook & I would turn the page just to figure out why she's saying that. It's such a contrast to her dignified persona, almost stuffiness.

  6. I'm going to agree with everyone else--there's a very nice voice in this. I think you also do a very good job with the setting and the tone.

    A couple little things: The sentence "Better to trust in, Mr. Brown, the Crow and Hound's innkeeper's, discretion than risk her servants to this weather" is a bit hard to read. I think it would be more correctly worded as: "Better to trust in the discretion of Mr. Brown, the Crow and Hound's innkeeper, than risk her servants to this weather." Also, when she says "Yes, indeed. Make it so" I know that you're establishing a sort of withdrawn/formal character, but I think "Make it so" is a little too much. However, that's entirely up to you. And finally, "Hail joined the hard rain mixed with snow" is a bit convoluted; I'd suggest replacing "hard rain mixed with snow" with "sleet" or something. It reads a bit oddly as it is currently.

    That's it! Good job and good luck!

  7. As a diehard Trekkie, "Yes, indeed. Make it so." sounds a lot like something Jean-Luc Picard would say. But I think that sentence was a shade too formal even for regency, so many 'Indeed' would be more than enough. There's a comma needed after "Thornton, her groom" at the end of the third paragraph.

    But you have me hooked. I'm intrigued at what it is she's doing that she doesn't want to be seen!

  8. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of Jean-Luc Picard when I read the line "Make it so." :)

    Regency isn't a genre I really know, but after this entry, I made need to get more familiar with it. This sounds like a really fun read!

  9. I agree with the others...this is intriguing, but not in an unnatural, sensationalist way, so it's really easy to surrender to it. I thought the storm could be 'felt' by the reader a bit more, and maybe Grace doesn't need to be so cool that she says both "For good reason." AND "I didn't expect to be here." in response to Mr. Brown, but that's microscopic stuff, of course...nice work!