Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Secret Agent #19

GENRE: Adult Historical Romance

Chapter 1 – NEW YORK, 1906 — LIAM

“Nanny Deirdre, Nanny Deirdre,” the five-year old boy called, “watch me run up the hill.”

“Careful, Master Charles,” Deirdre said.

“Oh, let him be,” a man’s voice whispered in her ear.

Deirdre jumped up from her seat on the bench and spun around, her hand clutching her chest. Liam stood behind her.

“Do you think that little bump on the ground could cause him harm, Deirdre?”

“Liam? Is it really you? Oh, Liam, it’s so good to see you again.”

“Come here and give me a hug, love.”

“Liam O’Mara! Have you no manners at all anymore? A hug? In broad daylight? Really, Liam.” Eyes downcast, she smoothed the front of her apron and fixed her cap as her cheeks turned bright red.
His booming laugh attracted the attention of the other nannies who were out in Central Park on this warm sunny day. After days of cold rainy weather, everyone was relieved to finally bring their charges outdoors where they could release some of their pent-up energy. When she looked up, she saw the same mischievous smile she had known all her life. Even Liam’s slightly bent nose, a result of his many prize fights, couldn’t detract from his handsome face, chestnut hair, and twinkling green eyes. His laugh, good looks, six-foot one stature, and barrel chest kept the other nannies focused on him.

Regaining her composure, Deirdre asked, “Are you back in New York for good, now? Or is this another quick stop between boxing exhibitions?”


  1. OK, good introduction of MC and LI right away! I would suggest moving the "Eyes downcast" line till after his "booming laugh" line so she can see the nannies reacting to him. Then she can look up and take in the hotness. (Hope he doesn't distract her from Charles long tho;)

  2. The heading says Liam, making me think this will be his chapter, in his POV, but we're seeing things through Diedre's eyes. I was confused. Does the heading mean something else?

    The description of Liam felt forced, like it was there solely for the readers' benefit. Perhaps let it come out a bit more organically.

    And I personally would have liked a bit of setting and mood to start the story, rather than Charles' dialogue, but that's probably subjective.

    For me, it works overall, but getting a bigger hook on the first page may help it stand out more.

  3. Saying Liam over and over tripped me up a little. People don't normally say the name of the person they're talking to that often. I agree that the description of Liam could be done more subtly.

  4. For historical fiction, I prefer to get grounded quickly into the setting. With this snippet, though, the dialogue is overwhelming the setting for me. The dialogue is smooth and organic, so it doesn't bother me terribly, but I would like to see what this is like if more setting was pulled in.

    From the chapter heading, I would expect this to be written from Liam's POV.

    Still, overall, a very enjoyable read. Nicely done. I would keep reading.