Long hair breathes sensuality. Imagine shining trellises tumbling past milky white shoulders, or even better, woven into intricate braids so the light dances across the undulating surface.
But there are downfalls. An intricate hairstyle requires hairpins to stick into every inch of your scalp. And a mere lift of an eyebrow is sufficient to grind those pins even further into your head. And it takes time, time that cannot possibly be described as pampering, not when you need to keep completely still for fear of your dresser accidently ripping out half your hair by the roots. Assuming you are lucky enough to have a dresser, if not, you do at least quickly develop excellent triceps muscles. I should know.
I cut my long hair last year and I regret it. Shorter hair is more practical, especially when you have young children with grasping hands. But I miss the feeling of my hair piled on top of my head and the contrast of hair pulled taut by each pin and the loose tendrils framing my face.
Here is an extract from Braving Madness, where the hero gets his first proper view of the heroine.
With the room well lit, Edward approached Betty in trepidation. He’d thought her appealing beneath the moonlight, at least in looks if not personality, but moonlight could cover a multitude of sins. Even with the brightest moon, the night was still rather dark.
She was hunched over the writing desk and a tendril of light auburn hair framed a face screwed up with concentration. The auburn, spanning the myriads of tones between the deepest copper and the lightest blonde, highlighted the peach tint of her cheeks.
Edward sucked in his breath. The moonlight had been accurate.
First impressions count, especially when it comes to an Englishman’s castle.
Overgrown lavender straggles my front door, a door that would be all the better for a new coat of paint. And there’s nothing even special about the door. No porch. No impressive knocker. Just two glass panes that could do with a clean and the stiff letter box the postman wrestles daily with.
A staircase would make all the difference. It’s hard not to be intimidated by a front door when it towers several feet above your head. I don’t suppose my postman would thank me though.
Below is an extract from ‘Braving Madness’, where the heroine, Betty, is outside waiting to catch Edward before he leaves.
Betty shifted on the step, twisting so she could lean against the sculpted balustrade lining the staircase as it swept up to the front door of the Taunton’s grand house. Cold air crept through her clothes, stealing her heat with the light fingers of a common thief.
She would have waited indoors but since her cousin had managed to wangle an invitation from Lydia, hanging around in the corridors alone was just asking for trouble. And there was no way she was going to join the flock of giggling girls in the main rooms. Geese would be better company.
A woman’s tools for seduction aren’t what they once were. Blood red lipstick and killer mascara are all very well, but they pale in comparison to the seductive power of a fan. From rapping a suitor’s knuckles to peeping behind with coquettish eyes, a fan is the must-have accessory for any regency lady.
In the following extract from Braving Madness, the antagonist Miss Taunton uses her fan to full effect on the hero Lord Edward Carrington:
Lydia rapped the fan against his chest, the blades hitting each other in a volley of clatters. “I do love a bold man, a man of action and of impulsive decisions.”
Edward’s only impulse was an urge to flee. He held his ground.
She trailed the fan up his chest, catching his coat buttons with the tip. Compared to this calculated flirtation even simpering misses would be preferable. “But aren’t you a little too confident of yourself?” she said through pouting lips. “What if I don’t care to be married?”
Then the rest of the eligible male population could breathe a sigh of relief.