Ever wonder, “What would that book be like if someone else was the hero?” Well, that’s what I’m doing in this post. :-)
I’m taking one scene from His Reluctant Lady, His Abducted Bride, and Eye of the Beholder and I’m going to swap heroes. I’ll be using their personalities to see how things would be different. I’ll be doing this for a couple weeks. During or after that time, I’ll give Dave Larson, Christopher Robinson, and Gavin Blackheart a chance to give their thoughts on this swap. While the men wanted to keep their heroines, I decided to make it much more interesting. The men will have to interact with the other guy’s heroine.
This week, we’re going to look at a scene from Eye of the Beholder. I’ll use Christopher Robinson in today’s post. The scene I’m doing today is based off this one I posted on Sunday.
Three days later after supper, Susannah was ready to foal, and Christopher had to be dragged into the barn.
“No! I won’t do it,” he insisted. ”I’m the cousin of an earl. I’m not meant for this kind of work.”
But forces beyond his control (aka Ruth Ann Nordin) threw him into the barn and wouldn’t let him leave, so he was forced to continue.
With a shudder he gingerly walked over to the stall and gagged when he saw the mare lying in the straw. He took out his bandana and pressed it to his nose.
The irritated mare grunted and snorted while she struggled to push her foal from her belly.
“You have got to be kidding me,” he mumbled and tried to run out of the barn but the force field prevented him from leaving.
Mary ran into the barn, her expression controlled in the midst of the stressful situation. “I brought the clean towels for you.”
“Great.” He gestured to the stall. ”The horse is in there.”
She studied him for a moment then asked, “Aren’t you going to help Susannah?”
He nearly choked. ”No. I’m going to help you.” He grabbed the towels from her and motioned to the stall. ”Go ahead.”
“But…but you’re supposed to do this.”
“I’m a liberated gentleman. I think it’s all right for a lady to do this kind of thing.”
She frowned. ”You mean you’re too afraid to do it.”
He snorted. ”Nice try, Mary, but I’m not going to be lured into doing this disgusting thing by being called a chicken. You wanted to move out west and marry a farmer. You deal with it.”
“But you said you could handle a day in Dave’s shoes, and he does this kind of work. How are you going to experience his life if you don’t go and deliver the foal?”
“When I made the agreement, I wasn’t told I’d be stuck in this disgusting scene. I assumed it would be a scene where I could slap Neil across the face with my glove and challenge him to a duel.”
The horse let out an impatient neigh and she sighed. ”Very well. I’ll deliver the foal, but you have to stay here and help.”
He nodded, relieved when she went over to the bucket and washed her arms with soap and water. Then she went to the mare and knelt by her. Though he tried to watch her as she put her hand up in the mare’s birth canal, he felt dizzy and had to avert his gaze. The whole thing was downright disgusting. Disgusting! There was no other word for it. No one should be subjected to this horror.
“It’ll be over soon,” Mary murmured in a soothing tone.
At first, he thought she was talking to him so he looked over at her. But she’d been talking to the horse, and he saw the head of the foal appear as she continued to soothe the mare. He clutched his stomach and groaned. He was either going to pass out or lose his lunch.
Sitting on a stool, he reminded himself, “I am the cousin of an earl. This isn’t my life. Everything will be all right.”
“It’s a good thing you don’t live in the old west.”
He glanced up and saw Mary, her arms and the front of her dress drenched in birthing fluid. ”Is it over?”
“Yes, the mother and baby have it from here.” Though she didn’t look pleased, she went over to the bucket full of clean water and washed her arms. ”I can’t imagine what you’re going to be like when your wife has children.”
“I’m going to be where God intended gentlemen to be while their wives give birth: in another room.”
She went over to him and held her hand out so he gingerly held a towel out to her, not wanting to get too close. God forbid that icky substance should get on himself!
“I think it’s safe to say you’re better suited in the Regency novels.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” He rose to his feet. ”Can I leave now?”
“Yes, you may,” Ruth said and removed the force field she had placed around the barn. As he left, she added, “Wimp.”