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Queries and Agents => Query Review => Topic started by: Syouens1 on September 23, 2022, 07:52:02 AM

Title: THE CORSETED BRIDE by Zinnia Ravenhouse - 300 words (HX Rom)
Post by: Syouens1 on September 23, 2022, 07:52:02 AM
Ms. Agent,

My work is a saucy historical romance with S&M, set in the 1800s. The story runs in the vein of “50 Shades of Gray” with the chivalry of “Bridgerton.” THE CORSETED BRIDE is complete at 99,000 words. This is a standalone novel written in close third person and has series potential.

It’s the Gilded Age of the British Isles. Sassy redhead Athena and her two brothers are traveling acrobats. The ginger trio performs for British royalty; King Thaddeus and his son Prince Trent. During the performance, there’s a failed assassination attempt on Thaddeus. The brothers are framed for the crime and all three siblings are imprisoned in the castle’s basement jail. The boys are soon proven innocent but the paranoid King won’t hear it.

Trent convinces his father to at least let Athena out of jail. But per the King’s decree, Athena must be Trent’s tethered servant. To appease Thaddeus, Athena wears a corset and snaps to his son’s beck and call. Trent has her sleep in his bedroom to protect her. Athena’s insolence to the Prince infuriates Thaddeus. Upon seeing his father’s anger, Trent publicly spanks her to quell the vexed King. 

Nonetheless, Athena remains defiant. The pampered Prince and the headstrong acrobat start trading quips, beginning an enemies-to-lovers relationship. This leaves Thaddeus eyeing the pair with both suspicion and envy. Athena must fight to free herself and her family from the clutches of the nefarious King Thaddeus while resisting her blossoming feelings for handsome Prince Trent.

My name’s Shivaun McSheehy but I’m writing as “Zinnia Ravenhouse.” I’m a nurse who’s married with two daughters. This will be my debut novel and my first step into the exciting world of writing.

Thank you for considering my work.

Title: Re: ATHENA AND THE CROWN PRINCE by Zinnia Ravenhouse
Post by: MichelleG on September 23, 2022, 08:16:43 AM
Whats missing here, for me, is a line showing kindness towards her by the prince or something.  As it stands now he treats her like s**t and she begins fall in love with him.  Yeah, unfortunately it happens in real life all the time, but not to ATHENA!
Title: Re: THE CORSETED BRIDE by Zinnia Ravenhouse
Post by: Syouens1 on September 23, 2022, 04:38:31 PM
Yeah this makes it more clear that Trent's doing all this to protect her.
Title: Re: THE CORSETED BRIDE by Zinnia Ravenhouse
Post by: Sara.E on September 24, 2022, 01:50:39 PM
Hey there!

I like that you've clearly defined what your story brings to the market. Any agent will know exactly what they are getting into right off the bat. You've also clearly defined the romance tropes included in your story.

That being said I do think your explanation of how the enemies to lovers trope is included in your story is a little clunky. Like the other reviewers said it would help to get a better sense of how and why Trent and Athena develop feelings for each other.

I would also recommend nixing any mention of the book cover. From what I understand authors have no say in the book cover when traditionally publishing. I don't even think agents have a say. It's entirely up to the publisher. Authors only have control over the book cover when self-publishing.

I would also reccomend ending on your bio, and moving the sentence about the twin's sexuality to the paragraph above.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: THE CORSETED BRIDE by Zinnia Ravenhouse
Post by: MichelleG on September 24, 2022, 03:05:39 PM
Your new version is much better. 

I do have one issue regarding the prince - (not sure if for the query) Okay so the siblings are framed for the attempt on the king's life. Does he have a reason to believe they are innocent? If I believe, or had reason to believe, someone just tried to kill my father I'm not sure if I would be kind to them.  EWWWWWWW  was the prince involved, like the - not going to say anything in case someone is reading this and has not read the first pages - that would be real twisty.

If the twins sexuality is somehow important in the book and you feel it should be mentioned here then mention it in the query. Here it reads like you're trying to get on the bandwagon. 

The query is not quite there, but it is close.