Jul 19 2008
Welcome to Query Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a query to be read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. Published authors may do so under their own name or anonymously.
Readers, though, the way that I look at it is this: Would the hook itself interest you in reading the book. If yes, what interests you and if not, what would you change to make it more appealing?
His Wife, the Enemy is a 90K word historical romance, where a beautiful Boer spy is caught in her own lie when the man she claimed as her husband returns from the dead.
Seeking shelter across the dusty veld after a skirmish during scouting, Robert, Earl of Tollemache is charmed by the lovely, vivacious young widow who rescues and nurses him back to health. Entranced and beguiled, the intimacy of their arrangements and an unexpected night of passion lead Robert to contemplate marriage for the first time in his life. But when he returns to his camp with promises to return for her, he discovers her treachery in the most brutal and fatal way.
Countess Sophie von Wettin was indoctrinated in the art of deception. Abandoned at birth with neither name nor home, she was adopted by a mysterious Austrian Count whose velvet glove hid an iron fist he used to alternately torment and soothe her as he trained her to play his manipulative games in the capitals of Europe. After betraying the startlingly handsome and endearing British spy who dared to touch her heart, she takes the opportunity to escape her sordid life by burying herself in English society as his bereaved widow.
Neither expects to see the other again in their lives, and when Robert suddenly appears, rendering the report of his death in battle erroneous, his return shatters the fragile ruse Sophie had constructed. For him, their reunion is a bitter tonic, he having lost many friends due to her deceit. To her dismay, instead of revealing her lie and turning her out, Robert plays along with the story, intending to keep his enemy (her) close to circumvent any new plots she intends to unleash upon his family and acquaintances. Their farcical truce is upset when her foster brother and fellow spy infiltrates British society to coerce her into another plot of the Count’s under the threat of exposure–or elimination.
Beneath the layers of lies and deception a passion nonetheless burns between them, and Sophie can almost believe the warm, generous and absentminded affection she garners from Robert’s family can belong to her. Robert doesn’t want to trust her, but his conflicted heart is tested when the dangerous machinations and deadly vengeance of her profession lead them both into a place where their union, and their very lives, are threatened.
Interested in participating as an author or an aspiring author? Send your query to jane at dearauthor.com. All queries are kept confidential.