Why am I starting with the heroine?
Spellbound is Raven's story. I love Tristan but he is almost a secondary character to Raven. He helps her story move along and eventually helps her find her happily-ever-after. That said...
Raven was first introduced into my fictional world in Betrayal. She was the mistress of the hero, Adam Prestwich. She was a favorite character of many readers, myself included. When Adam let her go, she accepted the protection of Levi, Lord Greville. (He is the hero of my upcoming release, Deception.)
Raven was raised in a strictly religious household. Illness struck down most of her family, leaving her father bedridden and her as the only means of support for the survivors. She used what few talents she had, making her way to London and the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. She soon made a name for herself as Shakespeare's Juliet.
Raven's looks are the type that will always be considered beautiful. It is more than just her waist-length straight black hair and sultry dark eyes. It has everything to do with the way she carries herself, her outer certainty in regard to the world and her place in it. She is kind to everyone, has an odd penchant for mothering those around her and is typically calm and collected. This last has led to some bottling of emotions that lead to something of a breakdown.
It was never her intention to grace some gentleman's bed. She wanted better for herself. Living frugally allowed her to take care of her ailing father and younger sister. Unlike many women in such situations, Raven didn't fall into the demimonde out of necessity. She was a victim of lust, plain and simple.
Where did I come up with such a character?
Oh, I don't really know. I suppose I got tired of the "mistress" being either a desperate woman trying to survive or a mercenary hussy. So Raven was "born", a woman whose calm acceptance of her lot in life warred with the very real desires women experience. Not all women are able to say no. Raven gave in to impulse and simply lived with the guilt.
I should point out that despite the fact that Raven was little better than a prostitute, I do not in anyway condone her choices. I attempted to portray a real personality, a real woman who fell away from what she believed was right and merely did the best she could after the fall. No one is perfect and while many more modern thinkers would not think Raven so bad for her choices, for the time period, only money and power could have raised her in public esteem. Even then, the acceptance would be mere facade. In Raven's own mind, the guilt is permanent.
*The preceding is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are fictitious or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, to factual events or businesses is coincidental and unintentional.
(c) 2009 Laura J Miller aka Jaimey Grant. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be reproduced in print or electronically without the written permission of the author. Image is in the public domain; click picture for enlargement and more details.