Inside Kiss Me, Annabel
Warning! In describing relations between characters, I may wreck a book for you by making it clear who someone marries, or the outcome of a book. Please do not read about The Inside Take if you're wary of knowing who is paired with whom!
- Annabel is the second of the Essex daughters to marry; her eldest sister Tess married in Much Ado About You. In that book we learned quite a lot about her husband, Lucius Felton, which explained precisely why he acts with such prompt generosity in this book. Lucius will always use his financial resources to find an intelligent way out of a problem, although of course he had no way of knowing that Annabel did not wish to end her marriage.
- Imogen appears in Much Ado About You. When Kiss Me, Annabel begins, she is grieving, and channels that grief into anger. I watched a friend find her way through the early stages of grief in a similar fashion…it’s a hard way to find peace.
- Mayne first appeared in Your Wicked Ways. Then he cropped up again, like a bad penny, in Much Ado About You…and yes, I did write his story, Pleasure for Pleasure!
- The ballad about widows that Griselda quotes comes from a collection of Renaissance songs. There were many songs (and plays) about lusty widows. It seems that Renaissance women didn’t always want to marry again, since they would have to give up the right to manage their own estates…and yet they wanted companionship. Well, who can blame them?
- Josie talks of quinces as a meal for a bride…the custom goes back to the times of the Greeks and Romans. A quince was likely the “golden apple” that Venus was given by Paris (he gave the golden apple to the fairest goddess…a gift that started the Trojan War). So Venus is often depicted with a quince in her hand.
- The tradition of blackening a bride with molasses and feathers certainly existed in the Highlands. I rather doubt that a future countess would have faced the likelihood, but I needed Ewan to face his greatest fear – that something akin to what happened to Rosy would happen to Annabel. I didn’t do it just to be cruel to my hero; men are slow to articulate their feelings, and Ewan always has to be forced into discomfort or rage before he expresses himself.