Monday, August 04, 2008
Guess the Plot
His Wife, the Enemy
1. Gina knew she shouldn't be sleeping with her boss, especially when he's married and Lupe, his wife, is a wonderful person. But Lupe isn't Spanish. She isn't even human. And werewolves, like their mundane cousins, mate for life. Now Gina has to find an all-night gun store that sells silver bullets before she's found by . . . his wife, the enemy.
2. He's a spy for Great Britain, and an earl. She's a spy for the enemy, and a countess. After a night of passion, Robert proposes to Sophie. It's the honorable thing to do, and he's thrilled when she accepts. But can their marriage survive Sophie's next mission against the British Crown?
3. Was she the enemy? The Antichrist, maybe? Paul Pott had to wonder. She had drained his Boxter's brake fluid when he ordered her to wash his car. Her meals tasted of almond lately. Now, she's picked up his pistol and knife while cleaning his study, and asked, “Where should I put these, honey?” He spends significant time framing his response, and decides it's time to shop for a new wife. Will he live long enough to trade up?
4. Barry's life is spiraling down the drain pipe, what with the IRS audit, the charges of tax evasion and a pending divorce. Worse, his soon-to-be-ex wife is the cause of all his woes . . . and she's suing for everything, even the dog. So Barry doesn't just get mad, he goes to war against . . . his wife, the enemy.
5. Jillian is the perfect wife--or so Rob thinks until he finds the secret room with the radio and the copy of Mein Kampf. Now the mild-mannered accountant must turn sleuth in order to discover if his own wife is a secret Nazi or if his family is being set up.
6. Rat poison next to the sugar. Wood stripper next to the wine. Bits of glass on the plates. Frank is beginning to suspect that Sheila doesn't approve of his new job as porno cameraman.
I am querying my 100,000 word historical romance, His Wife, the Enemy, where a runway spy's pretense as widow to the man she betrayed is uncovered when her "husband" returns from the dead. [Let me save everyone else the trouble of Googling "runway spy." It's a secret agent whose assignment is to hide at an airport and report on suspicious activity. Like airplanes taking off and landing. Every country's got 'em.]
Colonel Robert Tollemache is attacked by Boer guerrillas on his way to deliver sensitive documents to his camp. [Believe it or not, your chances of selling this are much better if you change that to "bored gorillas."] He is rescued by a young widow who nurses him back to health. As a spy he hasn't the luxury of trust, but the intimacy of their arrangement in her small homestead influences him to lower his guard. This leads to a night of passion and Robert does the honorable thing by offering marriage. His elation over her acceptance is tempered however, when he returns to camp to discover his folly has resulted in a catastrophic and fatal battle. [Assuming he was in need of being nursed back to health, what was his folly? I assume the guerillas got his sensitive documents. Would he have gotten back to camp any sooner if he had skipped the night of passion?]
Countess Sophie von Wettin never intended her deceitful liaison with the British scout to lead to an offer of marriage. With neither name nor home to call her own save that provided by her manipulative foster father, [Her dead husband didn't leave her his name or home?] the promise of one is an overwhelming proposition. Though deeply remorseful about sending the earl to his death, [Who is the earl?] she grasps the chance to escape her sordid life by traveling to England as his bereaved widow. [Lemme get this straight. There's a countess living on a small homestead in the Transvaal, and she nurses a wounded colonel/scout/spy/earl? to health and then sends him to his death?]
Revenge sustained Robert during his slow and painful recuperation from near-fatal wounds and exposure, [Are we talking about his recuperation with Sophie, or his recuperation after she sends him to his death? If the former, who does he want revenge on?] and he [is] incensed to return home to discover Sophie playing the role of his wife. She hoped this to be her last deception, but her escape his [is] foiled by an obsessive Robert, who decides to play along in order to uncover whatever new plot he thinks she's hatched. [Hmm, there's a woman living in my house claiming to be my widow. And it's the same woman who recently sent me to my death. I think I'll play along with the gag and see what happens next.] Any hope of proving innocence or obtaining forgiveness from Robert is lost when her foster brother and fellow spy infiltrates British society, [Is there anyone in this book who isn't a spy?] coercing her into another mission with the threat of exposure--or elimination.
Sophie is caught between the life she desires and the life she has been bred for, but to have Robert, she must trust him--and he must also trust her. [She sent him to his death and moved into his earldom as if she owned the place. And she's an enemy spy. And she's hoping to gain his trust?] When Sophie's mission appears the [to] threaten the British Crown, this must take precedence over their estrangement. 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.
Too many minor errors.
Did the Boers bring Robert to Sophie and assign her the task of nursing him to health, or was it just a coincidence that she had a homestead right near where he was wounded?
I don't usually associate a woman with the title of countess with living on a small homestead or having a sordid life.
In the book, perhaps everything seems reasonable. I've pointed out a few things in the query that seem incredible. They need to be cleared up or left out, as they could bother whoever reads this. Stick with the main plot: Sophie thinks Robert's dead, and runs away to England to live as his widow. But Robert turns up alive. His thirst for revenge gives way to the hunger in his loins. But can true love win out when Sophie is coerced into spying on England? That needs embellishment, but not with stuff no one would buy.
Does Sophie need to be a spy from the beginning? Couldn't she just be coerced into spying on Robert by her foster brother/spy, after she's in England?