Word of the day: Besmirch

An excellent word for a writer of historical romance, especially if you’re writing books set in an era during which one’s reputation is everything. Graphic: "besmirch" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

I utilized it in You May Kiss the Bride, which takes place in 1811, in the scene in which my protagonists, Livia and Gabriel, have been discovered in a rather scandalous situation. Things are heating up among the various characters, and Livia’s uncle crudely says to Gabriel’s grandmother:

“Isn’t it obvious your grandson has been dallying with her? He’s compromised her—we’re all witnesses to it!—and he’ll have to pay the piper.”

Scornfully the old lady said: “If you are suggesting financial remuneration—”

“Dallying?” Cecily cried. “Oh, Mr. Penhallow!”

“Money, ma’am?” Uncle Charles’s face was a livid scarlet. “He’s got to do the honorable thing and marry her! I won’t have the family reputation besmirched!”

This snippet appears in Chapter 3, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here. And if you’d like to preorder You May Kiss the Bride, which releases on March 28 (soon!), click here for ordering info for print, ebook, and audio formats.

 

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