Since I’m working on final edits of Ilsa this week, I thought I’d share a little about our two main characters.
If you read Aundy, Book 1 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, you know that Ilsa Ingrid Thorsen is Aundy’s sister.
Aundy gave Ilsa into the care of their only living relative, nasty Aunt Louisa, and her French husband, Henri, after their parents died. Aundy left all she knew in Chicago to travel west to Pendleton, Oregon, as a mail-order bride, hoping she’d be able to eventually bring Ilsa to join her.
While she worked to make her way on the farm she inherited from her deceased husband, Ilsa turned her talents with designing and sewing fashions into her career.
Ilsa, who was the youngest of three children, has been babied and pampered most of her life – up until she went to live with Aunt Louisa.
She’s tiny, lovely, and clings to propriety like it’s a lifeline.
I thought Britt Robertson made a fabulous Ilsa. From her blue eyes and pert nose to that sweet smile, this is how I pictured Ilsa.
Ilsa can be fun and playful, and has a keen sense of humor when she allows it to run free. She also has a temper that she keeps hidden, and fears that she sometimes let get the best of her.
Arriving in Pendleton, she meets Aundy and Garrett’s closest friends, Caterina and Kade Rawlings. Ilsa feels an immediate and overwhelming attraction to Caterina’s brother, Tony.
In the story, Tony is hot-tempered, passionate, and a little wild. He’s also compassionate, friendly, generous, and hard-working. He takes an immediate interest in Ilsa and decides someone needs to help her learn to lighten up. Giving himself the job, he goes out of his way to tease her.
In the meantime, here’s a little teaser from Ilsa:
“Oh, Ilsa,” Aundy said, trying hard not to smile as she carefully put her hands on her sister’s shoulders and turned her toward the house, knocking eggshells out of her hair as they walked. Garrett winked at his wife and a giggle escaped. Soon everyone was laughing.
Ilsa glared at Aundy then marched herself around the house to the kitchen door.
Mad at her sister for laughing and the rest of them for joining in, Ilsa stamped her foot and dislodged a flurry of eggshells on Aundy’s clean floor. Yanking her apron over her head, more broken shells and slimy yolks dislodged themselves from her head.
Hearing the back door shut behind her, she let her temper have free rein.
“How could you? It’s bad enough I made a fool of myself, but you set off all the laughter. It’s just mean.”
The sound of a muffled laugh made her even angrier. Trying to reach behind her back to undo the buttons of her dress, she needed to take a bath and have a fresh start to this awful day. It wasn’t even yet six in the morning.
“Don’t stand there like a hysterical ninny. Help me get out of this,” she ordered, resisting the urge to stamp her foot again. She felt fingers working at the buttons of her dress but the musky, masculine scent that reached her nose made her fully aware Aundy didn’t stand behind her.
Spinning around, she looked into the smirking face of Tony Campanelli.
“Me,” he said, in a husky, low voice. Although his mouth still turned up in a smile, his eyes burned like a golden fire as they bore into hers. “Let me help you, chickadee.”