How do men in breeches find their way into a contemporary romance?
I like to write contemporary as well as historical stories and I find one genre keeps sneaking into the other – where it has no business – especially as there is no time travel involved.
I hadn’t immediately planned a sequel to my contemporary novella The Man in The Blue Flowered Shorts but Shona (best friend of Lyn the heroine) simply wouldn’t leave my head. She simply escaped from the pages and ran off on her own to appear in The Man in The Buff Breeches.
As a romance writer, once the happy ever after ending has been achieved, I prefer to leave my couple alone or possibly just make a cameo appearance. But friends and siblings of the central character are, in my opinion, great sequel material. Their characters are there already, alive inside your head, with a ready back story. A great start to plot out a worthy adventure for them.
In The Man with the Blue Flowered Shorts, we have Lyn, a thirty-ish career woman with a passion for reading Regency romance – and her best friend Shona who would gladly nominate the whole period to go into room 101. So as Lyn’s story ended, I found Shona needed a story of her own. And what better place to start then at a Regency themed ball in London.
Googling the subject I was surprised to discover these events are held frequently and worldwide. But do the book inspired heroes in breeches really look quite so sexy in modern day England? And why are these baggy seated, tight legged garments regarded with such romantic overtures?
I try to picture a man in Regency attire clambering out of a lake in 2014. Even if he looked like Darcy he’d still stink of pond weed (at the very best). And instead of striding purposely out of the water and across the grass he would more likely be cowering with cramp and shivering in the English rain.
But who knows with fashion – the full Regency attire may be on the catwalk next year. Only I don’t know if it will look half as exciting made in machine washable synthetics.
When a man in tight buff breeches examines her with his quizzing glass and calls her Miss Bennet, Shona fears the Regency themed ball is going to be as awful as she predicted. But then she is introduced to the gorgeous Nick who ticks every box for her perfect man.
As Shona looks forward to her first date with Nick, her happiness is marred by some disturbing observations around her flat. She doesn’t usually leave her blind rolled down that far, and she never keeps her bunny slippers tidily by the bed. And what is the man in the buff breeches doing lurking on the street outside?
As both men pursue her, Shona finds one makes her body quiver with desire, the other itch with annoyance. Then the men finally confront each other, and her life turns into a nightmare. Can her judgment regarding the male species really be so seriously flawed?
“If you’re looking for a quick but delightful escape that’s a bit reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary with a hint of Jane Austen’s wit and historical detail, you’ll be sure to enjoy THE MAN IN THE BUFF BREECHES……. ” The Romance Review