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107- Crying Wolf

Rosaline Goode's life is turned upside down after she sneaks into the house next door to use their telescope. Instead of running foul of an old lady, she instead encounters Elijah Wolfe, an American business man who does not let others take advantage of him. Within minutes of their meeting they find themselves engaged and what starts are a marriage of convenience turns into anything but. **There are SPOILERS in the stars**

Grab your copy of the book we read today, Crying Wolfe by Kerrigan Byrne, here!

Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:

0:00 - 15:02: Intro/History Fact

15:02 - 15:24: Content Warnings

15:24 - 27:45: Synopsis

27:45 - 32:19: Parlour

32:19 - 1:05:52: General Discussion

We include our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)

TW: Abuse by a guardian, Suicidal thoughts (not in synopsis but in book)

Crying Wolf Synopsis:

  • Rosaline Goode is feeling restless. So instead of staying in her room, she sneaks across the narrow ledge that adjoins her attic room to that of the neighbors. She is there to use the neighbors telescope, for her neighbor is an old lady who no longer ventures up to her attic room of wonders. However, tonight instead of just focusing on the telescope, she sees a table that did not used to be there and upon it are all kinds of artifacts. Led by an impulse, Rosaline looks through the treasures and pockets one that looks to be of no real monetary value.

  • With that impulse quelled, she goes to adjust the telescope for an upcoming celestial event when all hell breaks loose. She is being SHOT AT! By an American, which makes the use of firearms seem more understandable.

  • Making a break for it, Rosaline is momentarily caught but manages, with the help of a very brave kitten, to free herself and hurry back across the ledge to her room. However, the American is in hot pursuit and winds up in her room too.

  • Elijah Wolfe, our intrepid obscenely rich American hero, follows her to her room next door. At first he believes her to be a servant in the house but then all hell breaks loose as suddenly there are multiple people at the door. One it turns out is his friend Carlton Morely, who he knows owns the house. Suddenly it becomes clear that the girl he has followed is not a servant but is in fact his good friend’s sister-in-law, and they have been caught be a society mama, whose daughter is practically engaged to Mr. Goode, Rosaline’s brother.

  • Thinking quickly Carlton tells Lady Brackenfeld that the couple in the room is engaged and just a little impatient for the event.

  • Eli originally thanks Carlton for the quick recovery, however Carlton wasn’t kidding. And that is how our couple becomes engaged within 30 minutes of acquaintance.

  • It turns out that Rosaline, the youngest of the Goode siblings, is a bit of an odd duck. She’s very smart but small and fragile. As she converses with her brother Emmett post event, we learn a bit more about their tragic childhood. Emmett is gay but marrying a woman. He underwent conversion therapy and now hides his proclivities. Rosaline feels the compulsion to steal when she is overwhelmed by stress. The stress of seeing Emmett marry a woman with an overbearing and domineering mother. His future mother-in-law reminds her of their own mother and that causes her to stress about Emmett’s future happiness.

  • However, she did steal an object and in order to protect her family, the siblings she grew up with and the ones she just met, she will marry Eli.

  • The next night Eli finds Rosaline in the upstairs room again. This time dressed and firmly set on using the telescope to see the andromameides.

    • “Tell me I’m not engaged to a lunatic,” he gritted out, unable to tear away his death grip on the door latch. “Tell me you didn’t break into my house after last night’s calamitous fiasco and—” “I didn’t!” She picked up the big leather logbook on the writing table next to the contraption and hugged it to her chest as if it’d block any incoming bullets. “I called upon you this afternoon to ask permission, but as you weren’t here, I obtained it from Mrs. Clarkwell. You can ask her, if you like. I wish I’d known she wasn’t the crotchety old witch she was reputed to be.

    • I figured, the damage has already been done, does it hurt anything if I watch the Andromedids?”

  • She shows Eli the meteors and they talk as he believes they should know as much as they can about each other and families. He has never been formally educated and admires her intelligence.

  • Rosaline suggests a kiss and he initially turns her down. Rosaline immediately apologizes assuming it’s because he’s in love with another woman or gay. He tells her it’s not, it’s just Morley had suggested the marriage be in name only for her sake.

  • Rosaline then initiates a kiss, which leads to a much fiercer kiss and it is electric. After Rosaline leaves, Eli decides he needs to stay away from Rosaline at least until the wedding because he is left with the feeling he would never get tired of her or her kisses and that’s a little frightening.

  • A fortnight later, we’ve had no interaction by the couple and they are now wed. Rosaline is feeling a bit blue but after a pep talk from her sister, she heads out to find her husband. She finds him speaking with some Lords, attempting to further a business association, but is failing miserably. Rosaline though is able to smooth things over.

  • Afterward they go out on the balcony and talk. He thanks her for her help and they bring up the subject of a wedding night. Rosaline is worried he does not find her attractive since he avoided her after their kiss, but he quickly tells her it’s because he liked it too much.

  • The wedding night is steamy after they have a convo about her thinking that he didn’t want her - he explains he had to resist temptation and also plans to keep his vows unless she releases him. Eli also has realized though that someone has definitely hurt her significantly in her past

  • The more he gets to know her the more Eli feels he could love her and while that is a bit of a frightening thought, it is not the first thing on his mind. They have a deliciously long and intimate encounter.

  • The next few weeks they get to know each other, and Eli tells her about his brother and friend who deceived him, and how she’s the only person who hasn’t taken from him, which makes her feel guilty because she took from him the very first night they met.

  • After this conversation, Rosaline sneaks away to get rid of her treasures from her compulsive stealing. She’s taken an item from each person who’s hurt her in the past, something small and innocuous they wouldn’t miss. With Eli, her joy with him has also instigated her compulsion and she has pilfered many of his items and now the shape and guilt is overwhelming. She is determined to return them and work on her compulsion, but Eli discovers her before everything can be returned and realizes she had taken the cup he had bought the house searching for.

    • “I’m sorry, Eli. I—I thought this was harmless. Until you told me what you told me tonight… And I heard you, Eli. I vow it, I was putting everything back where it went. I’d made a pledge not to ever again touch what wasn’t mine.”

  • Eli is furious and leaves her with the parting words:

    • “That’s not nothing,” he conceded. “But no more. No wife of mine will be a thief, you hear? I refuse to spend my life watching for you to slip up. Wondering what else you’re going to take from me… I just…” Both fists curled at his sides. “I won’t fucking do it.”

  • After days of separation, Rosaline finds out Eli is at an auction which is displaying the Anatolian sapphire that he has been determined to possess since it was taken from him six years earlier.

  • When she arrive she overhears his conversation with a mutual acquaintance, Rosaline decides to use her particular set of skills to acquire the sapphire for him.

  • Finding her prize, Rosaline is making her way back down when she is caught on her way back down to the main room by guards who say she’ll have to use her mouth if she wants to get out. Luckily Eli, having previously spotted her as she ventured upstairs, has been searching for her and comes to her rescue.

  • They leave the guards incapacitated but hearing more people approaching, Rosaline steers them to a closet.

  • In the enclosed space they hash out their grievances of the past few days and have an encounter which is steamy but also honest words are exchanged and Rosaline gets to explain her affliction and also the harsh conditions she lived under with her Uncle.

    • “Living under such intense regard seems to exacerbate my proclivity. Indeed, often the anticipation of punishment would drive me to steal. Little things. His shaving brush. A favorite Bible. A pair of spectacles. The black bishop off the chess set in his study. He’d caught me once, at seventeen, swiping a brass button from a shop in town. Rather than have me return the pilfered item, he gave me five sharp swats with the ruler on the open palm of my hand. When my skin broke and bled upon the final blow, I noticed how…” Her breath hitched and she swallowed convulsively. “I noticed how aroused he’d become, and I fled the house.

    • I was caught, of course, and became little better than a prisoner in my own home. I’d taken to stealing things from my siblings, from the staff, and from Uncle Reginald when I had no alternative and could no longer stand it. I hardly ate. I never slept. I was a ghost waiting for this… this monster inside me to finally do me in for good.

  • After this unburdening explanation, they’re discovered by Blackmore (the man running the auction and the hero of another fabulous book by the author) who tells them that something’s been stolen, the auction is canceled, and the guests are being searched. Rosaline, as they are righting their clothes, admitted to be the thief everyone is looking for but before Eli can do anything she goes to the ladies area as directed.

  • Eli, in a bit of shock, is confused when Blackmore offers a bag. He says it is to put the undergarments, which he divested Rosaline of during their encounter, in so they can be discreetly taken home. Eli then is told he can fetch them after he’s been searched from the butler.

  • They return home separately, but when they finally are together Rosaline shows Eli the sapphire that had been hidden in her undergarments, which were conveniently not searched thanks to their lusty encounter. Instead of focusing on the Sapphire he tosses it aside, quote

    • I came to this country searching for one fortune.” He lifted his hands to her face, cupping it as if it were the most fragile, precious thing in the world. “But I realize what I found was something more valuable than I could ever imagine.”

  • Then we get our finishing dialogue

    • She kissed him with all the love she could hold, which was more than most people twice her size. “I promise to be better,” she whispered against his mouth. “I will always be honest with you, Eli. Starting with this first confession.” He tensed a bit beneath her, but his gaze was steady as he looked up at her. “I love you, Elijah Wolfe.” “Oh, honey.” He lifted his hand to extract the last of the pins from her ruined hair, so it could cascade over them both in cool waves of silk. “You took the words right out of my mouth.” “Then here,” she whispered. “Have them back again.” Her lips sealed over his, and that seal didn’t break even when he sat up, lifted her against him, and stood.

  • Epilogue: they have literally just had their first child, a daughter, and are discussing what to name her.

    • “I know exactly what to call her. [Eli Says]”

“What’s that?”

"Andromeda.” “You two are everything in my sky.”

  • “Andromeda,” she murmured. “Our little constellation of joy. She’s going to slay her own demons, I think.”

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