from Ruth Axtell’s
Her Good Name
In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron’s son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father’s business empire.
Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but “one of those Estradas,” Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor’s home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.
When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?
Introducing Espy & Warren
Espy (pronounced “espee”) is medium tall, long dark (ebony) hair, tawny skin, amber colored eyes. She’s slim but curvy (ie, well-endowed).
Penelope Cruz at that age (23)
Strengths and weaknesses
Espy is gutsy, self-confident, outgoing, friendly, generous. As the oldest of 11 children, she has helped raise all her brothers & sisters.
Quirk (if any)
Your inspiration for the character
When I wrote one of my other Maine stories, years back (Lilac Spring), I started thinking about a woman who could be attractive to a starchy, upright young man, someone who would throw a few curve balls into his life.
Warren Brentwood, III
Tall, broad-shouldered, classically handsome with light brown hair and woodsy green eyes.
Josh Duhamel or Jensen Ackles.
Strengths and weaknesses
Like Espy, as the oldest sibling, he is used to leading; he’s self-confident but not arrogant. He’s always been good at what he does from athletics to academics. His father has been grooming him to take over the family business, so he’s spared no expense in Warren’s upbringing and education. He’s attended a good college and been to Europe and the Far East. He’s a nice guy and has never displeased his parents…until he meets Espy—the beautiful, alluring young woman who resembles in nothing the scruffy young urchin he knew in school. No matter how much he fights his attraction it won’t go away.
Inspiration for the character
All those popular guys in high school who seem to have it all together. What happens when they want something or someone that is not approved of? Can they risk stepping outside the mold, what’s expected of them, and face everyone’s disapproval?
Background to the story
Espy has always had a crush on Warren Brentwood, III, ever since she saw him in grammar school. She’s from the shanty side of town, and he’s the son of the town’s leading lumber baron. Warren has been away a few years, to college and travel abroad. They meet again as adults. Espy’s admiration is still there. Warren, who has never paid much attention to her, since she was a few years younger, now finds himself drawn against his will. At first it’s just physical attraction, but soon Warren discovers there’s a lot more to admire about Espy than meets the eye.