The Widow Wore Plaid
by Jenna Jaxon
GENRE: Historical Romance
The Battle of Waterloo made them widows, but each has found new happiness. And Jane, Lady John Tarkington, intends to keep her freedom, even if love—and one particular gentleman—are determined to claim her heart . . .
It is a truth rarely acknowledged—at least in public—that a wealthy widow is free to pursue a great many adventures. For two years, Jane has privately enjoyed her independence. Why should she remarry, even when the gentleman proposing is as wonderful as Gareth, Lord Kinellan? She entreats him never to ask her again. But as her Widows’ Club friends—now all joyfully remarried—gather at Castle Kinellan, Jane begins to wonder if stubbornness has led her to make a terrible mistake . . .
Kinellan needs a wife to give him an heir, and he wants that wife to be Jane. They are perfect together in every way, yet she continually refuses him. Just as he is on the point of convincing her, a series of accidents befall Gareth and point to an enemy in their midst. He has promised Jane a passionate future filled with devotion, but can he keep them both alive long enough to secure it?
“The men would stay here how long to hunt?” The primitive accommodations did not instill confidence in Jane. She’d likely not make it here a single night.
“According to my father, sometimes a week or more.”
Grimacing, Jane moved to the single door on the right. “What room is this?”
“That chamber is reserved for the Kinellan.” He opened the door and ushered her in.
Much larger than the other rooms, this one boasted a large double-sized poster bed with curtains around its four sides made of what was once costly blue brocade fabric, though now faded and dusty looking. At the time they were new they must have been quite elegant. The walls of this chamber were not Spartan as the other rooms, but decorated with several sets of antlers, a portrait of some Seton ancestor she assumed, and an ancient broadsword hung beneath the Seton coat of arms. A chest on chest and a wardrobe gave the room an aura of sophistication after the other sparsely furnished rooms.
“I see the Kinellan likes his luxuries.” She ran her hand over the comforter and pressed down on the mattress, testing the bed. “Although this mattress is quite lumpy.”
“Really?” Kinellan suddenly loomed over top of her and she caught her breath. “That could be unfortunate.”
“Unfortunate?” Her voice rose to a squeak as he tipped her head back and lowered his mouth to hers.
The insistence of his lips, the tension in his body, and the bulge in his buckskins all told of his desire.
So much the better.
So second historical romance of the week on the blog. I’m on a roll, so to speak. And they are from two different worlds. This one is set in Scotland, which is catnip to me. The cover alone is yummy. By anyhoo…
I really liked the book, however, Jane was a very hard nut to crack for me. Look, I understand that in the time period, children are rarely seen, much less cared for by their mothers but Jane’s attitude was a bit off-putting. I couldn’t imagine her pregnant with a child now that she was older and widowed. Not only that, how many times did Kinellan have to grovel (in my opinion) to get her to marry him? Independence is one thing but to love someone and NOT marry them? But after about 1/4 of the way through, I started to warm up. I loved her friends and that made her soften.
Kinellan is a very patient man. Almost too patient but I get it. He really did love her and wanted her for more than just to produce an heir. Sheer madness, if you ask me. He knew that she would crack eventually but still…he was the hero I needed right now. He was loyal, honest, and true to himself. The smexy times between them were sensual and if I said one thing that truly made the book for me was that their relationship started before the book. They were established so the book didn’t spend half the time building up to it. Instead, the intrigue and threats are spot on. In fact, the last couple of chapters sealed the deal for me in terms of the book and my love for it.
I didn’t read the other books but you will not be lost in the other widow’s stories. Ms. Jaxson does an excellent job explaining them to you, so no worries. If you are looking for a romance book with an established couple and how they go to the next step, Kinellan and Jane are for you. Not to mention, that the setting is Scotland with a dollop of intrigue.
Welcome, Jenna Jaxon! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
My name is Jenna Jaxon, I’ve been writing historical romance since January of 2009. I was published in 2011 by Lyrical Press and was picked up by Kensington Publishing in 2016 when they acquired my Widows’ Club series. Before I was an author I taught theater at a university in Virginia but retired in 2020 to write full time. I’ve always loved writing and history, so writing historical romance is a no-brainer! Before I picked up romance, I was (and still am) a huge Stephen King fan. I also scuba dive, have competed in championship fencing, and have ridden a camel!
Is The Widow Wore Plaid a single title, or part of a series?
The Widow Wore Plaid is the 6th and final book of my Widows’ Club series, published by Kensington Publishing. The last of my six widows, Jane, Lady John Tarkington, has been having a good time being a widow (widows had much more freedom and more legal rights than married or unmarried young ladies) and so is reluctant to give up her independence. Each of my widows has had their own reasons for wishing or not wishing to marry again, as the reader discovers in each of the books.
What were your inspirations for the story?
The particular story simply evolved out of the progression of widows getting married again. I’m not completely sure why I thought Jane should be last, although it’s likely because she wanted to hold onto her freedom as long as possible. Also, she plays an integral part in several of the other widows’ stories, especially in the one just previous to this one. So she had to wait to have her Happy Ever After.
Please share your setting for The Widow Wore Plaid. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The Widow Wore Plaid is, as its name suggests, set in Scotland. This was different from all the other books in the series, but when I introduced Kinellan in book 3, I specifically gave him estates in Scotland, so I thought I should take advantage of it in this book. And yes, my senior year in college I did a trip abroad where I visited Scotland—Inverness in fact, which is not far from Loch Kinellan my fictional Castle Kinellan is in the book. I loved the wildness of the Highlands. I remember taking a bus tour around Loch Ness and taking a tour over to the Isle of Skye. The scenery is just breathtaking. I had planned a research trip to Scotland to look at the scenery again, first-hand before I wrote The Widow Wore Plaid, but COVID had other plans. I do plan to go this summer and see in person all the places I researched and mentioned in my book.
When did the writing bug first bite?
Actually in the third grade. For no particular reason, I wrote a little 6 or 8-page story—with illustrations—called “Miss Priss Finds A Kitten.” My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Sheffield, was very impressed with it, and I remember always loving to write after that. More recently, I wrote a 400-page dissertation on The Women of the Abbey Theater to get my Ph. D. Then in 2009 I developed gluten intolerance, went on a gluten-free diet, and six months later got a boost of creativity. That’s when I read a romance novel and decided I could write something like that. LOL, And the rest, as they say, is history.
Who are your favorite authors, books/series?
As I said previously, I love Stephen King’s books. I love his character development especially. I am also a fan of John Grisham, and I loved Patricia Cornwell until she switched to writing in the present tense, which I don’t like, and so stopped reading her. In the romance world, my absolute favorite author is Jo Beverley. Her Malloren series spoke to me as no other author and I am in love with Beowulf Malloren, the Marquess of Rothgar, who is the hero of Devilish. I also adore Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflower series (Devil in Winter is my absolute fave—second only to Devilish). And Mary Balogh’s Huxtable Quintet, and Kleypas’s Hathaway series.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I find myself indulging in binge-watching all the past seasons of Project Runway. I watched the first couple of seasons, then couldn’t find the time. Now I’m retired, time is a bit easier to find.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Well, I swear I heard a ghost once. I was in my husband’s work, typing on his computer. No one was in the whole building (a very old building on an Army base), it was probably 9:00 at night. And suddenly, a door upstairs creaked open. I grabbed my stuff and was out of the door in seconds.
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
I always give the same advice my mentor, Judi McCoy gave me: “You can fix crap, you can’t fix nothing. You have to finish the damn book!” The point is you can go back and revise, even if what you’ve written is crap. But you can’t revise a blank age. Give yourself permission to write a bad first draft. Then you can turn it into a wonderful second draft.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling author of historical romance, writing in a variety of time periods because she believes that passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories.
She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets–including two vocal cats, one almost silent cat, two curious bunnies, and a Shar-pei beagle mix named Frenchie.
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Jenna Jaxon will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.