12.26.2006

HH Com 464

Claire Cunningham has tried to keep her father happy since he was crippled three years ago. But now he wants her to marry, and marry well. Her only suitor--a wealthy Viscount--is a respectable match in theory, but the man's breath can fell an ox at six paces. Seven, if he breathes heavily.

Gareth Wyndleton has neither title nor wealth. Instead, he has reams of paper filled with scientific observations, a passel of ink-stained cravats, and an unfortunate tendency to choke up around women. Claire's little brother needs her to marry a man who can pay his ever-rising gambling debts. Her father, desperate for recognition, wants her to clinch the family's social success. And the Vile Viscount's scheming dominatrix of a sister is all too willing to drive away other suitors with rumor, innuendo, and a leather riding crop.

Most women would hold their noses--literally--and take fifty thousand pounds over ink stains and data on bird migration. But the accident that left Claire's father unable to walk crippled her entire family. What Claire needs now isn't money, but the healing power of . . . geometry?

This looks fun but you've got too much going on. And it's unconnected. Her family needs money..you don't need all the blather about why-a few choice words will do it. I want to know more about how Gareth meets Claire and if he wants to ruffle her feathers. Focus; connect the dots.

17 comments:

Kat said...

I don't read much romance but I'd pick this up in a heartbeat -- the line about the Viscount's breath made me howl. I don't care if it's all setup. I LIKE the setup.

KingM said...

Miss Snark as pointed out the flaws of the hook, but I think this one has potential. The writing has a certain energy and skill that makes me think the writer knows what he/she is doing.

Luc2 said...

Too bad, this is well written. I was actually interested, and this isn't even my sort of story.
Good luck!

writtenwyrdd said...

I think you might get away with this for a Regency. We all know the plot of a Regency Romance, but we read them for what is different. Now, while I don't care for the bad breath bit because it seems too slapstick, the overall story on the back of a book would have made me read a few pages.

December Quinn said...

I agree, this sounds much, much more fun than the usual Regency romance.

But yes, the hook is flawed, in that I don't understand how the two MCs even meet or what their individual stakes are aside from "she needs money".

Anonymous said...

I love romance. I've read a lot of it. This one interests me. Write it, do the idea justice, and I'm the gal who'll buy it.

jamiehall said...

There are a lot of characters here, and your hook has a feel of too many character descriptions jumbled together. In particular, Gareth Wyndleton is introduced in a confusing way. Give us more about what actually happens, less about why characters are pre-inclined to dislike each other.

I agree, that there is a youthful, peppy energy here that could really draw readers if it is done right. First, you've got to catch an agent, and that calls for the proper hook.

Inkwolf said...

I bet the dominatrix sister could whip some sense into the gambling little brother. :p

I also don;t read romance, but this sounds like good fun to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kat, but I did a "bwahahaha"!

Virginia Miss said...

Some good stuff in here but you jump around too much. You tell us Claire's father wants her to marry well, and present the Viscount problem (money but bad breath).
Then you give us the alternate suitor. Up till now, you're fine, but then you jump back to reasons why Claire should marry the viscount.

Here I've tried to re-arrange your sentences into a more sensible order. I suggest you start with this when you re-write according to Miss Snark's formula:

Claire Cunningham has tried to keep her father happy since he was crippled three years ago. But now, desperate for recognition, he wants her to marry, and marry well, to clinch the family's social success. Her little brother needs her to marry a man who can pay his ever-rising gambling debts. Her only suitor--a wealthy Viscount--is a respectable match in theory, but the man's breath can fell an ox at six paces. Seven, if he breathes heavily.

Gareth Wyndleton has neither title nor wealth. Instead, he has reams of paper filled with scientific observations, a passel of ink-stained cravats, and an unfortunate tendency to choke up around women. Most women would hold their noses--literally--and take fifty thousand pounds over ink stains and data on bird migration. And the Vile Viscount's scheming dominatrix of a sister is all too willing to drive away other suitors with rumor, innuendo, and a leather riding crop. But the accident that left Claire's father unable to walk crippled her entire family. What Claire needs now isn't money, but the healing power of . . . geometry?

Anonymous said...

It may not have been a great hook, but the description's amusing enough that I'd page through it and give it a chance if I found it on a shelf.

skybluepinkrose said...

Why do the viscount and his sister want Claire, in particular, if "most women" would go for the 50 thou? Does Claire find Gareth attractive enough that he'll make a plausible love interest? If these questions are answered believably, I think you've got something going here.

CM said...

Thanks for all the comments, Miss Snark and Snarklings! Very encouraging, and much nicer than I had feared, and the specific comments about how to pare things down and what to include instead are helpful as well.

Eviltwin said...

I love a nerdy romance hero! Bring on the geometry! And yes, other posters have raised important points. What brings our couple together, and what's the obstacle to their love *besides* the money? There's got to be more than the money. And yes, why is the smelly viscount's sister so set on Claire?

All that aside, I think you're on the right track!

Southern Writer said...

Hook or not, it sounds like fun to me. I don't usually read light and fluffy, but I think you've got something here.

xiqay said...

The only thing vile about the viscount that you mention is his halitosis. I'm thinking tictacs, scope or whatever is time-appropriate.

No big deal to fix his problem.

Also, I can't see why the dominatrix sister would scare away suitors from Claire. Surely a Viscount with money and position has more than one poor woman willing to be his bride.

And is Gareth into bird migrations and scientific observations or into mathematics/geometry?

I agree Claire's best bet is to hook up her little brother with the dominatrix.

Then I propose that Claire have Gareth use his scientific knowledge to whip up a potion for halitosis for the Viscount. Claire can marry the V and carry on with Gareth when she goes to fill the prescription. done and overdone.

Generally, I'd give this a thumbs down. I'm not charmed and only bored.

jmho.

Good luck.

batgirl said...

I like Regencies and I like scholarly heroes. The thing that threw me is the bad breath--it seems such a completely 20th c. issue. Most people probably had bad breath then. Now, if it meant he was in the last stages of some hideous venereal disease picked up from some bit of muslin or lightskirt, I'd have a lot more sympathy with the heroine's dilemma.