A Bride for Tom (Adding a Wedding Night?) and a Question About Scandals in the Regency Era

Adding the Wedding Night to “A Bride for Tom”?

a bride for tom new ebook cover

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I should go back and add a sex scene at the end of “A Bride for Tom.” My concern is that people reading that book will assume my stuff is G-rated.  So when some people read my other books, they are appalled to find out I have sexual situations in them.  I don’t want to mislead people or make them think I write G-rated content when I don’t.  The reason I didn’t add it before was because I didn’t think it advanced the plot.  I mean, it would have been funny because Tom does fall over himself to impress Jessica.  But it doesn’t advance the plot.  I’d only add it so that people don’t read it and assume all of my books are G-rated.  That way those who prefer “clean” romances won’t be disappointed when they buy my other books.

What Makes for a Scandalous Lady in the Regency Era?

the earl's scandalous wife

I’m currently in the brainstorming phase of this book, which I do consider part of the writing stage.  It’s just one that doesn’t involve words on paper.  So anyway, I’d like to have the heroine have a scandal of some sort in her past that makes her less desirable for marriage.  This will make my opening scene where her brother is trying to arrange a very undesirable marriage for her.  Since she can’t easily get a gentleman of good standing (due to some past behavior), she would want to take matters into her own hands and work it so that she has to marry Perry.

But the problem is, I don’t know if there is a scandalous action in her past that would fit this scenario.  Any of you guys with Regency expertise have some ideas?

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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22 Responses to A Bride for Tom (Adding a Wedding Night?) and a Question About Scandals in the Regency Era

  1. M.L.Gardner says:

    I struggle with this too! Myadvice is to be true to the book. Second, write as if you are writing only for yourself or a best friend to read. If it fits, go for it! There are different “heat” levels you can use and still be very tasteful. My style is to show the romance leading into the scene. After that, it’s all the same, really!

    • Originally, I’d wanted to put it in, but then I thought I shouldn’t if it didn’t make the story stronger. At the time, I was also thinking I might do some PG-rated romances, but it never panned out. Now that I have 30 out and 28 have sex in them, I’m better off going back to “A Bride for Tom” and putting that in. “A Bride for Tom” is how most people discover me (because it’s one of my few free books). That will give them assumptions about what else they can expect, and the biggest complaints seem to be when they assume my books are G-rated based on what they read in “A Bride for Tom”. Once you establish your platform, you can’t really steer away from it. 😀

  2. Rose Gordon says:

    I think adding that scene would be to your advantage for the reason you mentioned. I’ve had a book where I really didn’t think it was necessary except for the reason to keep consistent with the other books I’ve written. If that’s the first book of mine someone picked up I wanted them to know what to expect not be disappointed in my other books because it was or wasn’t there.

    There are MANY scandals that would make her an undesirable bride:

    Caught kissing another man
    Jilted a gentlemen–not necessarily at the weddin just crying off after the engagement but before the wedding
    Had a wardrobe malfunction
    Was caught without a chaperone (especially if alone with a gent)
    Got drunk and said something really naughty

    Just about anything could have caused a scandal. Good luck.

    • Yep, I need to add it in. It’s the book I use to introduce people to my work, too, which makes it even more important that I get it done right.

      Thanks for the great list! Wow! A wardrobe malfunction could do it? LOL Good grief. So I guess if she got a rip in her dress in public and showed off a part of her body that shouldn’t be shown, that would scandalize her. It makes me see Olivia’s scene when she let her “assets” drop into view for Alex and the others in the room to see in a whole new light. ROFL

  3. I always wondered why this one was different. I think if it’s done tactfully (which of course you would do), it would only add to the story, even if it doesn’t drive the plot. Besides, Tom does extol the perks of marriage to Joel later on – you should give him something to talk about.

    • I think what I’ll do is add a scene where Tom asks his father for advice. (I can’t think of anyone else he might go to) and then go into the wedding night. I don’t know if more would be added to it than that. But I think it would be fun to show a scene where Joel is giving Tom a hard time after the wedding night–maybe a month or so later. Possibly when Tom’s first child is born.

  4. Karen Miller says:

    There are actually quite a few ways she could be scandalous in the Regency Era. If she was an Illigetimate Child, if she had tried to elope, if someone else in her family had eloped, if her father had dome something illiegal, if she was seen talking to an scandalouse person, if she cut the wrong person, if she made an enemy of the wrong person in the ton, If she had some French Relations, etc. Basically the Ton was easily scandalised.

    • I can’t believe how picky the Ton was. LOL Thanks for the great ideas! I’m surprised about the whole eloping thing. Maybe I could shoot for an angle where she had run off to elope but the gentleman changed his mind and returned her, thereby making people question her virginity. That could work great.

  5. If you didn’t write the sex scene in the first place, then you obviously didn’t think it was needed. I wouldn’t mess with it. I have different levels of “hotness” in my books. Starfane is probably the “hottest”, and The Gnome really has no heat. I never assume a writer always writes the same way in every book.

    I wish I knew more about Regency. One of my biggest fears of even trying to write in that genre is making a mistake concerning what might happen in that time. I’ve seen readers really slam authors for not being exact in the customs and languages of the time period. I’m always like, “What in the world does it matter? Did YOU live during that time period? So how do you really know?” Hahahahahaha. So, to make a long story short (since I made a short story long), I have no opinion. LOL

    • If I had more romances without sex in them, I’d agree and let it be, but since my other 29 romances (with the exception of Romancing Adrienne) have sex in them, I figure it’s become part of my brand. Most of the complaints I get has to do with the confusion women have when they read “A Bride for Tom” and then the others. Those who hate sex in books are pretty much disappointed because from “A Bride for Tom”, they thought they were getting sex-free books and they weren’t. I figure while I’m at it, I’ll add in a couple other scenes that should help enhance the story and overall series. I’m just brainstorming other things I can add. 😀

      Regency readers are very picky. But I’ve had some good warm ups from people who didn’t like my historical inaccuracies in my historical westerns. To be fair to them, though, my original books were very modern in language. LOL I’ve been going through the originals and modifying them a little at a time. Eventually, I’ll make them better, but my focus will still be on new books since I want to write more of them.

  6. I for one would love to have their wedding night included. I love the book as it is, but would really enjoy the addition. It makes for a more complete story and better insight into both characters.
    -Shelley

    • I’ve decided to do it. I think it’d be fun to add another scene as well, but I haven’t decided whether I want to have it a month later or at the birth of Tom’s first child. I’m leaning toward the child since I can see Joel giving Tom some grief over it. I don’t know why, but I enjoy it when Joel gives poor Tom a hard time. 😀

  7. Adding to ‘A Bride For Tom’ would be awesome! I love the story, but there is just too much chemistry between those two to skip over their love scene!

    • I’ve decided to do it. You’re right. There is some chemistry there to work with. I think the two would be a fun one to write about. I’ll also add in another scene or two. It might be better to flesh more of the story out.

  8. Judy DV says:

    Could it be anything where she acted less than a lady? Riding horse astride, wearing britches, having her hair loose or the number one scandal…being caught alone with man and not a chaperon in sight.

    • I have no idea if any of those scenarios would warrant a scandal, except for being caught along with a man. It sounds like there’s a whole lot of things that would have caused a scandal, though, by the comments I’ve already read. I would have hated to be in that society where everything is scrutinized. It sounds like if you sneeze the wrong way, you were screwed. LOL

  9. Tarla Kramer says:

    I think you should add one. After reading it then going straight into ‘A husband for Margaret’, I was left wondering why Jessica and Tom didn’t get one. Do it!

  10. Sue Grainger says:

    I think that ‘A Bride For Tom’ is wonderful as it is, but I know where you’re coming from. I’ve recently written a prequel to my stories that has no romance in it really – which isn’t the case with the rest of the series (but what can I do – it’s mostly written from the point of view of an eleven year old!!). I agree with M.L. Gardner – stay true to the book. If it fits, go for it, but if it doesn’t, don’t mess with what’s already an excellent story.

    Sorry… don’t know ANYTHING about the regency era, so can’t help you with that! 😦

    • I’m currently writing a backstory that goes along with a romance I wrote years ago, and it’s got a sad ending because he doesn’t end up with the girl (he was the villain in story). I’m using it also as a prequel for his romance, but I worry that since it’s not a nice little fit into what I already do, it’ll cause some upset. So I understand what you mean about your prequel. I guess there’s always a risk when you venture off the beaten path. 😀

      I owe you a Facebook message. I plan to do that this week.

  11. There have been several good ideas for scandalous behavior. I think perhaps it should be something that happened when she was very young. Perhaps behavior that occurred due to someone taking advantage of her innocense and because of being young and naive.

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