Sunday, July 10, 2016
Meet James W. Collins of "One Day's Loving" by Rue Allyn
I’d like to welcome James W. Collins V of One Day’s Loving by Rue Allyn to my blog this week. Hmmm…the Vth… Sounds like some sort of aristocrat to me.
RW: What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about YOU?
RA: I am James W. Collins V, scion of the Collins family and attorney to the Aldens and other prominent families. I know that sounds rather stuffy and boring, but Ms. Allyn, who wrote my story, One Day’s Loving, saw more than the surface description. I am a man of deep convictions and passion. I despise injustice, and when my client—Miss Persephone Mae Alden’s grandfather—wrote a will that would have forced his three granddaughters into prostitution, I had to find a way to act.
RW: Can you tell us about your hero/ine?
RA: Miss Alden has two older sisters who appear to be more daring and outspoken. For various reasons, they left her alone with her dying and misogynistic grandfather. I’d encountered Miss Alden briefly during my business meetings with her grandfather at the Alden manse. She was always reserved and self-effacing, but a proper hostess for her grandfather. In addition, she was quite pretty. I’d often thought I might marry a quiet little woman like her. I was definitely wrong in my estimations of Miss Alden, but it turned out she was still the right woman for me.
RW: What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?
RA: As a prosperous attorney and the heir of a Brahmin family, I’ve been pursued by money-hungry females all my life. Dealing with a woman like Mae Alden, who desired money only to be able to fulfill her family’s obligations to the poor was refreshing. My work has kept me too busy to court potential wives. Also, I was approaching a time in my life when having a family was important. By birth, disposition, and circumstance Mae was the ideal wife.
RW: Do you expect your hero/ine to help or is s/he the problem?
RA: I had expected Mae would be happy to marry a man of my standing. Oddly, she resisted the idea. In fact, she claimed she wanted nothing to do with marriage. Although I must give her credit for not spouting a bunch of twaddle about love. She is a most unusual woman, and I admire her greatly for her courage in the face of her circumstances.
RW: Where do you live?
RA: Boston Massachusetts.
RW: During what time period does your story take place?
RA: The summer of 1870
RW: How are you coping with the conflict in your life?
RA: I am pursuing Mae Alden with all my energy. She will eventually understand that our marriage is best for both of us.
RW: That’s all the questions we have for you. Thank you for speaking to us.
RA: You are most welcome. Perhaps, if you encounter Ms. Alden you could put in a good word for me.
RW: I’ve never been to Boston, but if I should happen to go back in time and find myself there, I’ll be happy to.
About Rue Allyn:
When not writing, spending time with her spouse, or attending conferences, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at contact@RueAllyn.com. She can't wait to hear from you.
Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable. The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog. She’s not happy about it, but what can she do? She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.
A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?
James watched her approach. Her green eyes gleamed, and her lips smiled. Care still shadowed her pale complexion, and worry sat heavy on her slim shoulders. That would end soon. Her movements were graceful, her manner welcoming and gracious, her appearance all that was proper, if a tad dowdy—due to her parsimonious grandfather no doubt. That too would change. James would see her dressed in finer things, silks and jewels. Nothing garish. Pearls perhaps. Yes, luminous pearls to emphasize the inner light that shone with her every gesture and word. A smart man would give her pearls.
“I thought we agreed on first names?”
Her cheeks pinked. “You are correct, James. I’ve been distracted. Which reminds me, I’ve forgotten to thank you for arranging the return of the carriage and hiring a permanent coachman.”
“Think nothing of it. Having a coachman on staff should assure that you are safe when going out. As for your distraction, that is understandable given recent events.” Taking her hand, he bowed over it. When he raised his head and his gaze met hers, he noticed the blush deepening on her cheeks.
He swept his empty hand toward a side table where a good-sized packet rested. “I’ve brought the promised papers for your signature. Nothing terribly complex, simply documents that must be signed so you may receive your stipend and your grandfather’s businesses may continue uninterrupted over the next two years.”
“Please sit down.” She gestured to a chair and then seated herself on a divan nearby and studied him. “You’ve come to deliver these documents yourself instead of sending them by messenger. Was there something else you wished to discuss?”
He blinked. He’d imagined her too worn with worry to consider the reasons for his visit. Regardless, she was right. He had something very intimate to discuss with her.
James swallowed. The moment had come, and somehow he expected proposing would be easier. He should have thought how sudden his offer would appear. For indeed it was. Certainly no untidy emotions were involved. She had a problem, and he had a solution. It was that simple.
Nonetheless, he felt slightly awkward and—if he gave it thought—no small amount of trepidation. He did not understand himself. Why was he suddenly filled with dread so great that his tongue tied and he struggled to breathe? Perhaps such emotions were natural. Never before having proposed marriage, he could not know. However, allowing such nonsense to stand in the way of a perfectly sensible offer was absurd.
Be business-like. That is the foundation of all our interactions to date. Surely Mae will be most comfortable with a professional approach and therefore more amenable. He swallowed once more and cleared his throat.
“It has not escaped my notice that your grandfather has been less than kind in his bequests.”
“Grandfather did not see kindness as a virtue.”
“Yet,” he forged on, “you have been everything that is kind and gracious. You’ve borne much with little or no complaint, and unlike your sisters, you have persevered. You remained with Mr. Alden throughout a protracted and difficult illness.”
“I love my sisters; please do not think unkindly of them.”
“Your loyalty does you credit. However, it concerns me that you will see no reward for that loyalty and may very well suffer for it.”
“James, I am certain—”
He raised a palm to forestall her comments. “Please, hear me out.”
Her brows rose, but she nodded and fell silent.
“I have great admiration for you and would not see you suffer needlessly. Therefore, I believe you should marry.”
Her brows arched higher. “Have you a candidate in mind for my future husband?”
Some of the tension left his shoulders. Excellent, she was considering the idea, which gave him hope of her acceptance. “I had thought to wait until my term as executor of the Alden estate was complete, but that contemptible clause has made me reconsider. I believe any delay would be to your detriment, causing you no little embarrassment and exposing you to the attentions of men of unsavory character. Thus, I am willing to transfer my executor’s duties to another attorney. Miss Alden, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
* * * *
Mae felt the blood rush from her face. She could not have been more shocked had he asked her to remove her clothing. His proposal made her feel utterly exposed. Which was odd, since there was nothing unusual or invasive about a proposal of marriage. No, she was being silly, once again reading more into his expression than could possibly be there. He’d phrased his offer in businesslike terms. His features showed kindly disinterest of the sort one bore toward pitiable children.
However, his features were also set, frozen, as if indifferent to her response. She’d seen her grandfather arrange his face just so before a business appointment. James’s expression when added to his words caused her momentary panic. He could have been negotiating a contract for all the emotion he displayed. There was nothing in a contract to cause panic, yet anxiety twisted her stomach and made her slightly ill.
“Miss Alden.” He moved to her side, taking her hands in his.
She heard him as if from a distance.
“Are you all right? Shall I ring for smelling salts?”
She shook her head, staring at him in horrified wonder. She finally found her voice. “No!”
Heavens, she hadn’t meant to shout. Nor had she meant to be so blunt. Frankness was no way to maintain a safe and secure reserve. Yet, recalling the time in his office, she showed an alarming tendency to forget her self-preserving methods in his presence.
“No,” she murmured with greater moderation, taking back her hand. “I am fine. You simply surprised me.”
The look of concerned doubt on his face melted her heart, but he would look so for anyone suffering a shock, president or pauper. She shouldn’t take his innate thoughtfulness for anything more—just as she must reject a proposal made out of pity.
She tapped her fingers against the settee, angry and embarrassed to be the object of anyone’s pity. However, she suppressed the irate spark—temper was unproductive and harmful.
He nodded, but he regained her hands in a gentle clasp. “You will need time to think.”
Yes she would need time to think, but not about his proposal—and for the rest she had almost two years. “You honor me, James, but I fear I cannot accept.”
Contact Rue Allyn:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/
Buy Links for One Day’s Loving:
Crimson Romance: http://www.adamsmediastore.com/one-days-loving
Barnes & Noble: