The English Proposal is a historical Christian Romance. Set in England, during the Napoleonic Wars, I imagine, it features a headstrong, beautiful heroine and her dilemma – she’s engaged to her best friend, and in love with another man. The author, Jenna Brandt, is my guest blogger!
The Window to the Heart Saga started out as short story. I loved the character, Margaret, so much, I decided to write a whole book around her, which later turned into a three-part series, centering around her life and the trials and obstacles she faced. The original book leant itself to a trilogy type set-up because Book 1 was set in England, Book 2 was set in France and Book 3 was set in America. Hence the names, The English Proposal, The French Encounter, and The American Conquest.
When I starting researching books, I realized it would be hard to sell, market, and/or read a 150K word book, especially as a new author. When I noticed, readers tend to gravitate towards serialized books, it made sense to break it down. I did have to length the middle section in France, and now, it’s has much more depth and the new characters are stronger.
I knew I did not want a cookie-cutter books that followed the exact pattern of traditional romances and I also knew I wanted to incorporate Christian faith elements in my book, but I wanted to do it in a way that was not “preachy” but naturally showed the love of God for each of us.
I also have plans for book 4 and 5 (coming out later this year) in the series based off characters from the first three books. One will be set in Oregon and one will be set around Oxford University, which if you read the first three books should hint as to who the two books will be centered around.
The English Proposal by Jenna Brandt
A whirlwind of emotions
The English Proposal is a delightful read. In the beginning we meet Lady Margaret Wellesley, a young maiden engaged to be married to her childhood friend, Henry, Viscount of Rolantry. Henry and she have been friends for ages, and he worships the ground she walks upon. Margaret, however, is a headstrong, willful beauty who is used to getting her own way. Because her mother died when she was young, her father spoils her, even to the point of letting her ride astride and go about unchaperoned in the countryside.
At her first ball, Margaret meets a devastatingly handsome man, Richard, Duke of Witherton, who makes his admiration for her very clear – to the fury of her fiancé, Henry. Flattered, Margaret finds she can’t get the duke out her her mind. She is confused about by her strong reaction to him. By chance, they meet again, and Margaret is struck anew at how intense her emotions are when he touches her. They arrange to meet again – in secret – and the duke confesses his love for her. Stunned, Margaret realizes she is madly in love with him and begs her father to rescind her engagement so that she and the duke can marry. But her father refuses. Margaret rebels against the strict codes of the “ton” and her upbringing and does everything she can to escape her marriage with Henry – to no avail. Her father remains adamant. Then Richard asks her to run away with him. Margaret’s heart is torn. Will she run away with the man who sets her on fire, or stay and marry Henry, whom she considers ‘just a friend’?
I don’t want to spoil the story, but I can say I read it in one sitting because I had to find out what happens to Margaret. She reminds me of Scarlet O’Hara, a modern woman trapped in a time when women were considered nothing more than a man’s property. Margaret wants to escape the narrow confines of her life. But the book also deals in deeper subjects such as duty and faith, and how keeping ones faith is more important than anything, finally. The English Proposal is a whirlwind of emotions, and I am looking forward to book II in the series!