For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.
5 Reasons Why Brisbane Is a Great Romantic Hero
Few romantic literary heroes vie for a place in my imagination. Jamie Fraser, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, held the sole spot for many years. That was until I bought a Kindle set of the first three books of the Lady Julia Grey series. There are some heroes you fall in love with on page one of a book; Nicholas Brisbane was not one of those for me. Even with his wit and charms, I was fickle and cautious with my initial feelings toward him. It took me until the third book to finally fall completely head over heels—and I fell hard! Yes, I know he is a character from a book that takes place in Victorian England, but please indulge me and prepare yourself for some gushing as I offer my top five reasons why Brisbane is a great romantic hero.
First: The Obvious
Brisbane is tall, dark, and handsome. He’s half gypsy and half Scottish; how sexy is that? We’ve seen him dressed impeccably for British society as well as down to earth in gypsy garb… perhaps he might be persuaded to don a kilt? Be still my heart!
Brisbane is completely loyal and extraordinarily devoted to Lady Julia. What woman would not appreciate that? I love the scene that takes place in Silent on the Moor where Julia and Brisbane have one of many confrontations, fighting their feelings for each other:
“I am leaving England for a while.”
“For how long?” I asked him, determined to keep my composure.
“Until I am quite recovered from you.” he said evenly.
“When will that be?”
Sigh… A man who displays that kind of devotion is drop dead sexy in my book.
A warrior who knows how and when to fight, Brisbane is fiercely protective of Julia. My absolute favorite scene in the books and one that illustrates this quality perfectly is from The Dark Inquiry:
“It was not until later that I learned that Brisbane lay awake the whole of the night, one hand wrapped around my back, the other gripping a loaded revolver as he peered into the night.”
I think I swooned when I first read that, but c’mon!
Brisbane has a superb intellect. He speaks multiple languages, is a world traveler, solves mysteries, plays the violin, and is definitely a feminist before his time. Though hesitant at first, he made Julia his partner, not his assistant. “You are my equal,” he told her early in their relationship. How can you not love him for that attitude? Swooning again!
Fifth: Romantic Nature
Brisbane is nothing if not romantic. Case in point: he has given Julia two very tangible and heart-felt tokens of his love. The first was his medusa pendant inscribed with a code referring to a line from Henry VI: “For where thou art, there is the world itself.” The second was her wedding ring inscribed with a code referencing a line in Hamlet: “Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
On the Darker Side
For all these wonderful qualities, Brisbane is a flawed character. I suppose this adds to his elusive mysteriousness. To paraphrase from the books, he did not take happily to married life. Being a man of action, domestic life was difficult for him. He has an extensive background with drug and alcohol usage—albeit for the purpose of medicating himself due to his incapacitating, violent visions. He is also secretive and not forthcoming with his feelings for Julia at first. But once he declares his love, watch the loyalty factor come out!
I must admit I have read the entire series of books and novellas more than once, and I am always tickled with how enthusiastically Brisbane applies himself to his conjugal duties. (Note to Deanna: Feel free to elaborate more with these scenes, please!)
All the characters in the series are so well written and the books so much fun to read. I hope Deanna continues to write more books on Lady Julia’s adventures, so that I may continue to enjoy the ever enigmatic, lovely and romantic Brisbane.
Rebecca Digerness is a freelance writer, also working on a romance novel, who hopes her hero will be as compelling to read about as Brisbane. She blogs at theGothicGardener.blogspot.com.