“So, Emma, I see that you wrote a book,” you say.
“Yes indeed. Funny you should mention it. It’ll be out in two weeks.”
“But why should I read it?”
- It’s a second-chance-at-love story. As I’ve discussed before, this is one of my favorite tropes. It is almost as close as it’s possible to come to a universal experience. In the back of all our heads is that nagging little question, “What if?” Brave in Heart explores that scenario.
- After a prologue, a postcard from the past if you will, Brave in Heart starts with a dance. There is almost always a ball in historical romances, but the dresses? The music? The subtext? How can you not love a novel that opens with dancing?
- One word: angst. “The course of true love never did run smooth,” Lysander says in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And for Margaret and Theo, this statement is practically etched in sky-writing over their heads (if of course there had been planes in the mid-nineteenth century). But their stumbles toward happiness are all the more rewarding for the difficulties along the way.
- The stakes are high. There’s a war on. A deadly, terrifying war that the characters care deeply about. Every kiss, every conversation could be the last one.
- Love letters that burn up the page. Or the, um, Kindle. You know that you’ve read Wentworth’s letter over and over again. In the course of Brave in Heart, Theo and Margaret spend a lot of time apart. The letters they exchange are their only contact for months at a time. It’s in the letters that you see them fall in love. Beta readers and earlier reviewers have consistently told me that the letters were some of their favorite parts of the book.
- The book features an accurate, compelling historical voice. If you’ve ever complained about wallaper historicals, then Brave in Heart is for you. I wanted it to read like it could have been written in 1863 (except now with sexytimes and faster pacing), including the diction and grammatical forms.
- Also, if you’ve ever complained about how narrow the scope of historical romance has become, give this a try.
- It’s a little book, meaning it’s short (41,000 words) but also it’s done in watercolor. It’s about quiet moments between adults who want to love each other and just can’t figure out how to given their historical circumstances.