Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Jenna Jaxon, and her characters from Only a Mistress Will Do. It’s a fantastic historical romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Tristan and Violet.
How did you first meet your writer?
Tris: We actually were introduced by the hero and heroine of another book, A Precious Jewel. Jenna was reading their story and their situation was similar to ours. They also met in a brothel.
Violet: But that heroine, Priss, was actually working in that house. Their author had hinted that Priss’s first week at the house had been terrible, but gave no details. So Jenna started thinking, what it would have been like for a lady to be forced by circumstances into a life of prostitution—which happened quite often during our time period. So Tristan and I were born to tell that particular story, about a woman’s “first time” with a customer.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
Tris: Well, I for one liked the action. I got into a couple of excellent fights during the course of the book, a couple of real corkers! You had a hand in one of them, Violet.
Violet: I enjoyed the romance more. (Sidewise glance at Tris) He can be very romantic, very thoughtful, the perfect gentleman. If only we hadn’t been at odds with one another so much.
What do you think your greatest weakness is?
Tris: My sense of honor. It kept me from Violet much too long. I almost lost her because I thought my honor mattered more.
Violet: That’s as it should be, Tris. My greatest weakness might be my temper. I got very angry at Tris and almost made a grave mistake.
Tris: You were provoked, my dear.
Violet: Yes, but it could have been a disaster if I’d—
Tris: But, my dear, that would be telling.
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
Violet: The capacity for forgiveness. I’m so grateful I was able to forgive several people throughout the book.
What is something no one knows about you? Why do you keep it a secret? And what would happen if everyone found out about it?
Tris: Well, I think I must keep that secret a bit longer or the readers will be disappointed. Suffice it to say, I had quite a secret that comes out in the book, at the worst possible time and with disastrous consequences!
What do you like most about where you live?
Violet: Oh, London is the most wonderful city. So many entertainments, such beautiful houses and gardens, and musical opportunities. It is quite the best place in the world to live when you’re in love.
What word makes you the happiest?
Violet: Music, although marriage makes me happy also!
What is your most favorite memory?
Violet: The evening Tris gave me the most beautiful harp in the world. I play, it is my favorite instrument, but had had to sell my harp when my finances dwindled. Tris’s present was the most wonderful thing. It helped make me who I am again.
What’s the worst/weirdest thing you did as a kid?
Tris: I believe the strangest thing I ever did as a lad was to organize a parade of frogs in the foyer at our house in Yorkshire. My mother said she was never the same again.
What is your most prized possession?
Violet: Other than Tristan? My harp
Tris: Other than Violet? Possibly my sword. It’s helped me get out of several very dangerous situations.
The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman.
Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .
Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .
“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.
“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”
“You are how old, Miss Carlton?”
“Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”
“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.
Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self-conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes.
Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.
In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”
Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.
The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”
Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.
“Lie down on the sofa please.”
“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”
Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.
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Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical in all time periods because passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series currently available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.
She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.
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Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!