Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Widow Wore Plaid Guest Post and Review


The Widow Wore Plaid

by Jenna Jaxon


GENRE: Historical Romance



The Battle of Waterloo made them widows, but each has found new happiness. And Jane, Lady John Tarkington, intends to keep her freedom, even if love—and one particular gentleman—are determined to claim her heart . . .

It is a truth rarely acknowledged—at least in public—that a wealthy widow is free to pursue a great many adventures. For two years, Jane has privately enjoyed her independence. Why should she remarry, even when the gentleman proposing is as wonderful as Gareth, Lord Kinellan? She entreats him never to ask her again. But as her Widows’ Club friends—now all joyfully remarried—gather at Castle Kinellan, Jane begins to wonder if stubbornness has led her to make a terrible mistake . . .

Kinellan needs a wife to give him an heir, and he wants that wife to be Jane. They are perfect together in every way, yet she continually refuses him. Just as he is on the point of convincing her, a series of accidents befall Gareth and point to an enemy in their midst. He has promised Jane a passionate future filled with devotion, but can he keep them both alive long enough to secure it?



Parched, Gareth headed for the refreshment table that had been set up sufficiently far from the dancing to be out of danger. Footmen were stationed at each end to help keep those who might have imbibed too much from crashing into the table. He grabbed a cup of ale and drank thirstily until the tankard was empty. Setting it back on the table, he then took a glass of rich, red wine and sipped more moderately before heading back to the dancing.

He skirted the dancing couples, where Lathbury was heying with Jane, who was now flagging a bit. Two sets of fast-paced Scottish dancing was hardly comparable to the more staid English country dances. One actually had time—and breath—to converse during those. The faster paced Scottish tempos demanded stamina and good wind.

A young couple ran laughing in front of him. Smiling at the gaiety of the pair, Gareth backed out of their way, toward the blazing bonfire, his gaze still on Jane’s entrancing form. She did cut a delightful figure when dancing.

A passerby jostled his elbow, but he managed to save most of his wine. He spun toward the ungraceful lout when someone else shoved him harder.

The jolt propelled Gareth, already off balance, backward, directly into the flames of the roaring bonfire.

Desperately windmilling his arms to regain his balance, Gareth fought the sickening, helpless feeling of falling backward. Searing heat on the back of his head and jacket grew greater with each passing second, telling him his efforts to right himself would be in vain. God help him, but this would be a fiery end.


This well-crafted story has all the necessary elements: adventure, friendship, intrigue, and romance. From the beginning, Jenna Jaxon introduced compelling characters that it was easy to care about. The settings are described in rich detail, making them easy to picture. 

The heroine, Lady Jane, is faced with a series of challenges that she handles with varying degrees of finesse. Jane is more confident when facing danger than her own feelings. The intimate moments between Jane and the dashing Gareth are moderately steamy and described tastefully. 

Fans of regency romance will not be disappointed with this stimulating historical romp, which easily earns a five-star rating.

Guest Post

The Romance of Handfasting

Many readers are familiar with the ceremony of handfasting, whereby a man and a woman are joined by the strips of cloth tied around their wrists or hands as they promise to marry. In ancient cultures, if the couple did this in the presence of witnesses, they were (at least until 1939 and the Scottish Marriage Act) considered legally married even without benefit of clergy. This ceremony is supposed to be Scottish in origin, and said to be a trial marriage for a year and a day, after which the couple could part and remarry or remain married. However, there is evidence that that part of the ritual was a fabrication by Sir Walter Scott.

What most scholars claim is that handfasting grew out of a medieval practice of betrothal, where the prospective bride and groom and their families held a ceremony to formally betroth the couple, who would then marry at a later date. The practice was abandoned in most of Europe around the time of the Reformation, however, a form of it continued to be a legitimate way to marry in Scotland.

Although the Church of Scotland banned handfasting in 1575, it continued to allow the binding of hands in weddings into the 17th century. Scottish law, while frowning on the practice, never took the step of outlawing handfasting until the 20th century. If the man and woman spoke vows saying they took each other as husband and wife in front of witnesses, then by Scottish law they were married, although the marriage was deemed irregular. To have a “marriage in full” the couple would need to have the banns read on three successive Sundays, then repeat their marriage vows in a church before a clergyman.

The idea of handfasting appears in The Widow Wore Plaid when the hero and heroine are stranded and under attack from a stranger with murder on his mind. As Jane and Gareth are not yet married and Gareth is concerned he may not live, he suggests he and Jane perform a handfasting ceremony to give her a claim to be married to him in the event he doesn’t make it. It’s a very tender and emotional scene that I enjoyed writing very much.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling author of historical romance, writing in a variety of time periods because she believes that passion is timeless. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories.

She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets--including two vocal cats, one almost silent cat, two curious bunnies, and a Shar-pei beagle mix named Frenchie.




Instagram: passionistimeless


















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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and The Widow Wore Plaid today! And thank you also for that wonderful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. :)

  2. How do you pick a cover photo? I love this one, looks great

  3. Sounds like an interesting story.


I try to get comments published as quickly as possible. I don't always reply to comments on my blog, but I do try to visit as many people as possible when I participate in blog hops and I share links where possible to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and such so others can discover your work. I do read and appreciate your comments.