YAY! Erica Vetsch is here today! She, of the fabulous books & swoonworthy covers 🙂 Always a delight to chat with this friend & today I’m especially happy that she’s chatting about her new Regency romance, The Gentleman Spy!
THE GENTLEMAN SPY
SERIES: Serendipity & Secrets #2
GENRE: Inspirational Regency Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2020
He only wanted a duchess for a day―but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life
When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life―as a secret agent for the Crown.
But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society―the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?
Carrie, girl, thank you so much for having me at RIMSP again. I am so excited about my newest release, The Gentleman Spy. Often when I write, I find myself drawn either more to the hero or more to the heroine. Weird, I know, since I’m the one who is creating them, but there it is.
But, I found as I wrote The Gentleman Spy, that I was equally drawn to each of the main characters. This made the book so fun to write! I couldn’t wait to get back to it each day to see what would happen to Marcus and Charlotte.
I’ll confess, I developed a bit of a book-boyfriend crush on Marcus while writing book one in the series, The Lost Lieutenant. He was so mysterious and bright and observant. I knew he was going to be fun to write, because for all his spy-craft and social acumen, he was a bit of a dolt when it came to women.
Marcus is chivalrous, tolerant of his mother’s histrionics (up to a point) and very focused. When he zeroes in on an issue, a mystery, a clue, he cannot leave off until he’s gotten to the heart of it. He is a problem solver, and he likes things to be quite tidy. Everything belongs in its proper place, and that includes people. He moves through London Society well because he knows the rules…the very strict rules…that keep everyone in those imaginary boxes. He can predict most behavior, because it will follow the well-established mores of the day.
Until he meets Charlotte.
Charlotte is my favorite heroine I’ve ever written. She’s bright, inquisitive, a book lover!!!, with a heart for justice and fair play. She’s concerned about others, but she’s also quite unsure of herself. Not one of nature’s great beauties, she often compares herself to others, to her detriment. In order to cope, she loses herself in books. History books mostly.
She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work on a problem, which is where she and Marcus are most alike. When someone is in need, Charlotte wants to help, even if doing so puts her on the wrong side of Society’s rules.
One of the most fun scenes in the book to write was the meeting of Charlotte and Marcus in Hatchard’s Bookstore on Piccadilly in London. It was fun because it was 1) A Bookstore!, and 2) Hatchard’s is a real bookstore from Regency London that is still a bookstore today!
I was all set to visit Hatchard’s in London this past May, but alas, the pandemic put an end to that notion. We’re hoping to reschedule what was to have been a wonderful anniversary trip, and I hope to visit England (and browse Hatchard’s) next year.
I love finding pictures of actors/models who represent what I think my hero and heroine look like, and I was pleased to find photographs from of all things, an Italian series that had exactly what I was looking for in Charlotte and Marcus. I think they’re perfect, matching exactly what I had in my head!
Question for Readers: Do you like an author to describe in detail what characters look like, or do you prefer to imagine them for yourself?
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!
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Kregel is offering a print copy of The Gentleman Spy to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch? Do you like an author to describe in detail what characters look like, or do you prefer to imagine them for yourself?
I would like to read this book simply because I always love a good regency. As for the character’s physical descriptions, I used to think that it didn’t matter. But it does, because I recently read a book that I really loved but the female character on the front cover did not match the description that the author put into my head with her writing. So I’ve changed my mind and now see the reasoning behind all of those covers that leave off the face of the characters. I still loved the book but I definitely have a different image in my head for the female lead!
Marcus became my “book boyfriend ” in Lost Lieutenant too. I would totally marry him.
I had forgotten how much I enjoy Regency era until I had read “The Lost Lieutenant”. Looking forward to reading Marcus’ story.
Hi, Carol, I’m glad The Lost Lieutenant got you back into reading Regency! I hope you think Charlotte is a worthy match for Marcus!
Perrianne, I have the same issue when a book is made into a movie…and the actors don’t match my mental image of the character. I sort of have to separate the book and movie from each other in my mind.
I am looking forward to reading this book because I just finished The Lost Lieutenant, staying up way past bedtime to do so! I like descriptions of the characters, and I like seeing pictures of what the author thinks they look like.
Linda, I read past my bedtime, too! 🙂
I enjoy vivid descriptions of the characters since I can picture them as I read the book. It makes the novel meaningful and true.
Anne, I like descriptions of characters, too, because it makes them seem more real to me. I tend to ascribe personality traits to certain eye color or hair color or mannerisms, and that fleshes out the characters for me.
I like an author to give a description of the characters, but I imagine that beyond what the author has written, each reader fleshes out the description in slightly different ways. I’m looking forward to getting to know this book-loving Charlotte and this problem-solving Marcus.
Suzanne, I love that about reading. That we get to use our imagination and fill in the blanks…no matter how much an author describes a person, a room, a setting, the reader always brings their own imagination to the text and creates a fictional world that fits. Such a cool thing!
I love some details about a characters appearance, but I like to leave it to my imagination!
I love it when an author engages my imagination with a bit of description, too!
I prefer the author give the vivid description of the characters so I can visualize them better.
Debbie, isn’t it great when you have a really solid idea of what the character must look like? It draws me deeper into the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lost Lieutenant and want to read this one. I do enjoy at least some details about the characters so I that I have a visual. I will still have my own visual as well in my mind.
I’m so glad you enjoyed The Lost Lieutenant. Evan and Diana make an appearance or two in The Gentleman Spy. 🙂
For the most part I like when authors give some detail about what the characters look like. I don’t every minute detail though, because I do like to imagine the people in my mind.
I like a little framework so my imagination can do its thing, too. I’ve read some books where the hero/heroine aren’t described at all, and I found it hard to connect to them. But if I have at least an inkling of hair color, eye color, mannerisms, I can dive right in!
I can’t wait to read this series! I love the covers, and titles, and…everything! I like when authors give a good description, just enough to give my imagination a direction!
Hi, Melissa! I hope you get to read the series soon! 🙂 Some of my favorite character descriptions are by Charles Dickens. He was a master at capturing a likeness in words.
I enjoy Erica’s books, and it was fun reading about her experience writing The Gentleman Spy. This book is on my TBR list. I like at least a general description of characters so I “see” them in my imagination. If a character’s appearance is pivotal to the plot or storyline, then a detailed description is necessary.
Hi, Roxanne! I hope your TBR pile is somewhat manageable! Mine is quite tyrannical these days! 🙂
I like a general description unless there is something about the character that requires more such as blind, deaf, or handicapped in any way, or maybe disfigured then more is better. Thanks for the chance.
Hi, Lynn, I agree, if the physical traits are integral to the character or story, the more the better!
I enjoy reading regency books and espresso if a spy is involved! Sounds intriguing! Thanks for the chance to win!
Hi, Faith. Isn’t it fun when a combination of storylines/settings/characters hits us in the sweet spot? Regencies and Spies make a great combo!
I visited Hatchard’s last year on my European vacation there and bought a book and had it stamped with the store’s seal. It was my favorite souvenir! And ‘yes’ I like it when an author describes in detail what characters look like. Even better when they post pictures of their book characters on their websites or Instagram.
oh wow! how fun! not at all jealous 😉
Ah, Amy, I’m holding back my jealousy…really! I WILL get to Hatchards! I WILL! And I will buy souvenirs!
This book sounds so good! I’d love to read it because Marcus sounds dreamy and I like it when a heroine is a fellow book lover.
Megan, I think you’ll like Charlotte. she’s as bookish as they come! And I made her a history scholar because….I LOVE history! 🙂
I wanted to read “The Gentleman Spy” because “The Lost Lieutenant” was so good. I have become a real fan of Erica Vetsch’s. And it was as good if not better! I like the author to give some details of their appearance and I always like to see what the author envisions as did Erica did in this post. I think the picture she shared was perfect.
Jeanne! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed both stories so far! I hope you’ll grab a copy of the Joy to the World, Regency Christmas Collection, because Marcus and Charlotte and Evan and Diana all show up!
It sounds like a really interesting book. I like an author to describe in some detail what characters look like so I can better imagine them for myself.
Diana, I hope you get a chance to read The Gentleman Spy! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
I really prefer to imagine myself. Sometimes I tend to pass over too much description.
Jocelyn, I have been known to pass over great blocks of description…but that usually happens in much older books. Nathaniel Hawthorn could (and did) write pages and pages describing the sun coming up over the mountains….yawn!
I do like the author to describe the characters, but only once. This authors book covers are done so well, they look so inviting to read them! I would love to read this book for sure.
i agree, Judi!
Judi, didn’t Kregel do a wonderful job with the covers? I just love them! <3 I love that they focused on the heroes, both in the titles and in the cover art. 🙂
I read the first book that was extremely good. I prefer the author describe what the characters look like.
Hi, Gina! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Lost Lieutenant! I had so much fun researching and writing it. 🙂
Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “The Gentleman Spy”. Enjoyed reading the guest post by author Erica Vetsch learning about how she created Marcus and Charlotte. Although most times I think of myself as a visual person, when an author does it right, I can “see” the characters as clear as if they were standing in front of me or have known them for a long time.
I love description. Sounds really great
Hi, Lori! Thanks for stopping by!
I like it when the author describes the main characters. I have been known to picture my own version, though, that’s nothing like the author described, lol.
lol i do that too
I love that readers have the opportunity to use their imagination and create the character they want to see. I have been know to imagine different endings to stories, and even to carry on the story in my head after the book is finished because I didn’t want to let characters go. 🙂
I like some character description to help my imagination. The photo Erica chose fits well with my idea of Marcus and Charlotte. This is such a great book. I really liked Charlotte and Marcus and look forward to reading more about them in the next books.
Pam, I’m so glad you like the story and the photo. 🙂 In about six weeks, a Christmas Regency novella of mine releases as part of the Joy to the World collection, and Marcus and Charlotte play a key role in the story.
Erica is an exceptional author. I can’t resist a Regency romance with spies either….
Ah, Caryl, you’re such a loyal reader! I Heart You!
I am so looking forward to reading this Regency spy novel by Erica Vetsch!! I like when an author gives some character description so I can picture them in my mind, but not too much detail to bog down the story line.
Hi, Alison! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you get to read Marcus and Charlotte’s story soon!
I agree, Kay, that when an author gets it just right with the physical description and the characterization, it feels as if you’ve always known them. It’s such a tricky balance with no formula, that it’s like capturing lightning in a bottle.
But you now when an author gets it right!
I like to imagine details myself. This sounds like a great read!
I like the synopsis and characters that are described in detail. It makes them more real.
Sounds like a great book.