Word of the day: Onerous

A suitable word for Monday, don’t you think?

Graphic: "onerous" and its definition, via Merriam-Webster

 

I also used it in The Laird Takes a Bride, in a scene in which one of the “contestants” in a Bachelor-esque scenario receives the news that she’s been summoned to the castle of my hero Alasdair Penhallow:

When Miss Janet Reid, of the Lowlands, got her letter, she had only an hour before returned from a stroll in the manicured gardens to the back of her house, and in the company of a young man who had for the past months been courting her most ardently. (Her governess, Miss Sad Shovel as she liked to call her, had been discreetly trailing behind, her face just as dreary and spade-­like as ever.) Janet had been in­clined to encourage this young man over her other suitors, for he was terribly good-­looking, came from a fine family, and stood to inherit a handsome fortune from his father. Oh, and she liked him well enough.

But having read the letter, she changed her mind. And she laughed, and clapped her hands with joy.

A marriage to the laird of Castle Tadgh would be a far better arrangement — quite a coup, in fact. Besides, she’d heard a few things about Alasdair Penhallow, and he did sound like fun. And she was quite partial to fun herself. Not for her the staid life of your average miss, always sitting around sewing samplers, or plucking dolefully at harps, or poring over dull books. No, she was cut from a very differ­ent sort of cloth. Which reminded her. She went with her light tread to the drawing­-room, and announced:

“I’m going to Castle Tadgh. We need Miss Cowden to come in right away, and bring all her assistants, and plan to stay as long as necessary. I need a new wardrobe, and we haven’t much time.”

Her mother — seated across from Parson Tidwell, who had no doubt come on behalf of his tedious orphanage or his seemingly endless supply of poor people — at once lost her look of thinly disguised boredom and turned to Janet in astonishment. “You’re going to Castle Tadgh? Why?”

“So I can marry Alasdair Penhallow, of course.”

“The Penhallow? He’s offered for you?”

Janet Reid smiled. “No. But he will.”

Instantly her mother grasped the salient facts. “I’ll send a note to Miss Cowden right away,” she said, and with a nod to Parson Tidwell she rose, indicating that his presence was now, well, more than a little onerous.

Image: cover for The Laird Takes a Bride by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)As I mentioned in my recent interview with Lenora Bell, Janet Reid, a secondary but important character in The Laird Takes a Bride, was inspired by the indelible Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

This scene appears in Chapter 2, but if you like, you can read all of Chapter 1 here.

 

 

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