Schemes and Scandals--Blog Post #4 from Maya Rodale
In which James rewrites Three Schemes and a Scandal…and wins the wet shirt contest (Sorry, Colin Firth!)
James: You look vexed again. You have that certain look, like you are not pleased with the way of the world and considering how to rearrange it to your liking.
Charlotte: You know me so well, darling. It’s just I’ve read our love story and I realized that the author has missed a crucial opportunity for you to become soaking wet and possibly take your shirt off.
James: Perhaps she was concerned about my modesty. Perhaps I was saving myself for your eyes only.
Charlotte: I am disappointed. I’m sure many female readers would be. What a lamentable oversight. If only something could be done!
James: I have an idea…
Two hours later…
James: Char! I have conferred with the author. We agree with you that it is TRAGIC that she did not write a scene in which I fall into the Serpentine thus becoming soaking wet and necessitating the removal of my attire lest I contract a deadly cold, even though I am the hero and thus technically cannot die.
Charlotte: This is true…
James: So we rewrote it! Remember the day you, Penelope and I walked in the park and she dashed off? We just made a few alterations. Enjoy, darling….happy reading!
Penelope ran straight for the Serpentine; James followed her in up to his Hessians until it became clear the damn fox would swim across the river.
The swans were not amused.
They cried and flapped their great wings, crowding toward the shore.
James saw Penelope heading toward the middle of lake.
He also, fortuitously, spied a rowboat idling by the shore.
“Charlotte, hurry,” he called. They clambered about the rowboat and he set off, rowing hard and fast and ignoring the burning in his arms and the tightness in his chest.
With a few quick strokes, they were able to catch up to the maddening creature. As James reached over to grab Penelope by the scruff of his neck, he became unbalanced and tumbled headfirst into the water with quite a splash because he is so large and muscular. Exceedingly so. Much more so than, say, Colin Firth.
“I had better remove my jacket so I do not become a sodden mess,” James said, dramatically shaking the water out of his hair and shrugging out of his jacket, which clung to his broad shoulders, wide chest and incredibly muscled arms. More broad, wide and muscled than Hugh Grant, surely.
“Yes…” Charlotte said breathlessly.
“Just to be safe, I also ought to remove my cravat and waistcoat,” he said, whilst doing just that.
“Safety first,” Charlotte murmured.
“I think I’ll just stretch,” James said, and Charlotte heaved a sigh and had a dreamy smile as she marveled over his magnificence, which was presently draped in soaking wet, utterly transparent linen.
“In fact,” James continued, “I probably also ought to remove this soaking wet linen shirt that is clinging to my chest, revealing my rippling abdominal muscles and—
Char: I think we should take this inside. In private. Then you should definitely remove that soaking wet linen shirt. Perhaps your breeches too and boots… [blushing and rushing off to the bedroom, leading James by the hand]
James: [grinning] As you wish.
Question: What do you think happens next? Wait—don’t answer that! NSFW!
Charlotte and James are always causing trouble, but what would you do if you were in their situation? Play thischoose your own adventure gameto find out! Let us know how you fared: did you swoon? Live happily ever after? Kiss the rogue?
Comment to win an advanced copy of Seducing Mr. Knightly!
UPDATED WITH WINNER: Congrats to Joye, who has won an early copy of SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY! Joye, please email jessie DOT edwards AT harpercollins DOT com to claim your prize!