Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #40

TITLE: Becoming Lady Beth
GENRE: YA Romantic Comedy/Time Slip

None of it was working. None. She’d worked her way through all of her pinks and most of her blues but Elizabeth Goldsworthy was fast discovering that there were some kinds of pain that the right dress could not ease. She pressed a hand to her chest and looked about her room. There was a dress that she hadn’t tried yet, one startlingly beautiful Versace, a midnight blue to highlight her eyes, but she could barely bring herself to look at it. It should have been the dress, the dress that would have wiped every other girl’s face from his memory.

Her throat tightened. Oh, his face! He had the most beautiful face and beautiful eyes. Eyes that were green flecked and just, well, just about the most perfect eyes that she’d ever seen. His hair, light brown and golden caramel in the right light, curled ever so slightly at the back, so that when they kissed, she felt thick strands wrap around her fingers. She sighed, her mind plunging her into the memory of his mouth. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself the fantasy; her lips puckered ever so slightly and then came the pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain.

It was way harsh. An emotional crisis should never be allowed to happen at the same time as a life crisis. And although she knew it wasn’t right, she blamed her parents. Well, her parents and Claudine Layton. Okay and him, Jasper Sinclair: heart-breaker, toe-rag and cheater extraordinaire.


  1. Great beginning but I'm confused as to whether she's looking for a dress that would make him forget about other women, or is she looking at dresses although her chance has already passed to make him only think of her.

  2. The imagery in this is really rich and beautiful. I am standing with her and you do a great job conveying the feeling. I'd read more for sure. At first I thought we were in a historical piece, but by the end think it's contemp. Her voice is great, so if you got it up front... I'm thinking it could work really well to switch the first paragraph and the last and that would amp up the emotional draw immediately. I'm not a big romance reader, but I love the pull of this. Nice work!

  3. Great opening. It re-awakens all that throat-tightening, teenage love angst, then calms it with a little humour. I presume Claudine is Jasper Sinclair's latest distraction. Poor Elizabeth, but at least she still has the Versace. Very interested to learn why it's her parents' fault.

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  5. I love the voice in this, but at first I thought it was taking place in the 19th Century. A big part of that was the name - Elizabeth Goldsworthy made me think of Jane Austen for some reason - but once you mentioned Versace I was right there with you in the present.

    In the final paragraph, you say way harsh. That kind of vernacular would help your first paragraph set the time right away, too.

    I was drawn right in. This was very enticing.

    Note: I wish you could edit comments instead of deleting and reposting when you find a typo. Oh well.

  6. Firstly, just say Elizabeth (without the Goldsworthy). Secondly, this is fun and already funny. I know you didn't say anything so funny YET, but somehow it feels like it's building. I did have to look up what a "toe-rag" was, so perhaps you want to change that? All in all, this is a promising start.

  7. You've set up the stakes immediately. She still longs for the guy and wants to pick the right dress to draw him in, even though he's a cheater.

    The flavor or the writing makes me think this is happening in a more Victorian time.

    Only thing that gave me pause is when her mind plunged into the memory of his mouth. That just seemed a little weird.

  8. I also thought the tone was nineteenth-century. Loved the description of the dress, love her going off on her guy's beauty in such an over-the-top way. I'm getting a good sense of a fun character here.

  9. A good intro. I really can't find much to criticize but that isn't helpful so....working and worked in the first line. Rethink. And try: she plunged into the memory of his mouth.
    And I think it is a little awkward way to introduce the MC's name. At first I thought she was talking about someone else.
    I'd read more. Crises coming up!

  10. I love your beginning, mostly because I've been there, looking for the perfect dress (though, granted, it wasn't a Versace).

    However, I'm having a little trouble with your voice. "Oh, his face!" sounds pretty mature, as does most of the paragraph that follows. Then, you say "way harsh," which sounds way less mature, much more like a teenager.

    Also, I'd cut out a few pains. I get why they're there, but maybe it's a little overkill?