I’ll admit it now, up front. I love to watch movies and read books that are scary. Give me a good Gothic Novel, along with a dark and stormy night, and I’m in heaven. And it’s Halloween, so I should be talking about things that go bump in the night.
But I decided not to. We all know that Halloween is about scaring away malevolent spirits from the underworld. And the way we humans do that is to dress up in terrifying disguises to scare away the bad spirits. (Like THAT ever worked, eh?)
My blog today is about characters in books who disguise themselves for reasons other than to scare away Halloween spirits. I asked the other Quills to help me out with this, and I’m going to ask all of you for your input, too.
Robyn and Kathy both mentioned Gentle Rogue by Joanna Lindsey. The heroine disguises herself as a boy in order to get on a ship. Which reminds me of Shana Galen’s The Rogue Pirate’s Bride – it also has a heroine whose identity is hidden from the hunky pirate and leads to some interesting shenanigans. Which always works well in romance, right? The hero doesn’t know she’s a girl and – well, let the games begin.
Terri Brisbin’s The Earl’s Secret had a hero who hid his true identity to search for his adversary who was also hiding hers. Talk about conflict!
My first book, The Bride of Windermere, had a heroine who dressed as a boy – but not because of a disguise. She was a tomboy in a Medieval world. The hero knows she’s female, and falls in love with her in spite of her clothes (and in spite of himself!)
In Emily McKay’s Her Wildest Dreams, the heroine, Jane, disguises herself as someone who is sexy and uber-confident so she can do an important presentation. But then she runs into her boss and starts an affair with him while in disguise. O.M.G. I haven’t read this one yet, but I just added it to my kindle because I want to find out how this works out.
Seems like we mostly run across heroines who disguise themselves. There’s one exception I can think of – it’s a book that was high on everyone’s list of favorites: The Scarlet Pimpernel. And what a great premise – the hero behaves like an effeminate fop in one “life” while he is the brave and dashing Pimpernel in his other “life.” [[Sigh]] What a man!
Shana Galen says some of her favorite disguised characters are from Shakespeare -Rosalind dressed as Ganymede in As You Like It, and Portia saved Antonio when dressed as a lawyer in The Merchant of Venice. And of course there are all kinds of mixed up identities in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare was a master at this.
What are your favorite “character in disguise” books? I’m going to choose one commenter to receive a copy of my latest book, a Highlander adventure without any disguises at all, The Warrior Laird.