Friday, March 1, 2019

Brief Victorian Engagements

by USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin Holt

We’ve heard the crazy stories were people barely meet one another and BOOM!—they’re married. Well, maybe we haven’t. It surely seems that with the “Mail-Order Bride” trope of Western Historical Romance, that the meet, court for half-a-second, and wed is the order of the day. But what about cases without a courtship by mail, or without a “Newspaper Bride?”

While writing (my current Work in Progress “WIP” is The Silver-Strike Bride, book 2 in my Prosperity’s Mail-Order Bride Series), I had a little too much fun discovering the angst and difficulties spawned by a couple so much in love that they wed quickly... only to discover that A) they don’t know their spouse well, B) they don’t know the other enough to manage, and C) the marriage that had seemed so promising and a “happily-ever-after” is rapidly failing. Don’t worry. This is how Romance Plots go. Hang on through the circumstances and difficulties, as this is hardly the worst of it. As with all (true) romances, this story ends with a happily ever after (though I respect that some niches within romance accept a “happy for now” conclusion). This series, set in a mining-camp-turned-fledgling town high in the Colorado Rockies, began with the bestselling novel The Bride Lottery.

Shortest Engagements

Have You Thought This Through?

At Least Engagements Can Be Cancelled...

The Daily Republican of Monongahela, Penn on April 21, 1897. Part 1 of 2.
The Daily Republican of Monongahela, Penn on April 21, 1897. Part 2 of 2.

It’s Worth a Chuckle

An engagement lasting twenty-eight years!... and the TRUTH about secret engagements.

Sometimes, Short Engagements are a Very Dangerous Thing

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We look back at the “romantic” time of the late nineteenth century, a setting we enjoy reading... and often see a mirror of today (because human nature hasn’t changed all that much). Isn’t it true that today we still see a couple who choose one another and find their parents disapprove. People still break off engagements. Some have lived independently or together for years of engagement, wherein it’s not uncommon for couples to raise children together (This wouldn’t have been acceptable by most in the nineteenth century.) And, unfortunately, scammers have lived in every century and in every county. More than one woman, then and now, have been hoodwinked into believing “they’re the only one.”

I assure you none of these glitches affect newlywed Mr. Thomas Hagenmeister and his new bride Caroline Grayson Hagenmeister. I genuinely love every part of the development of a romance novel, but for some reason, the segment of the plot where this husband and wife must discover who one another really is, beneath it all, has been a bit too much fun. (Both Tom and Caroline are secondary characters in The Bride Lottery.)

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Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author, writes Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West. She writes frequently about Old West history and contributes monthly to Sweet Americana Sweethearts.

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