She touched her fan to her heart and rested it there. Her message was as clear as day—My love for you is breaking my heart—and he let the regret show in his eyes before he turned back to his betrothed.
Consider that akin to texting in the Victorian era. When doing research for my historicals, I came across articles on the language of fans and was fascinated by the different messages that could be sent between lovers simply by the use of a fan. All I could think was, how cool was that?!! Of course, as the hero was fanless, he could only respond by body language or a certain look in his eyes. But rest assured, he understood what his love interest was signaling and knew exactly how to respond. Maybe he wanted her interest in him, or maybe he didn’t. That’s what stories are made of.
Here’s some fan placements and their meanings:
When may I see you? A closed fan touched to the right eye.
Do not betray our secret. Covering the left ear with an open fan. (Bet that one was used a lot.)
We are being watched. Half-opening the fan over the face.
I love another. Twirling the fan in the right hand. (Now there’s a sad one.)
I see that you are looking at another woman. Passing the fan from hand to hand. (Uh oh)
You may kiss me. Half-opened fan pressed to the lips. (I would have this one memorized, for sure.)
I belong to you. Dropping the fan. (I love this one so much.)
There are more fan messages if you’re interested. All you have to do is Goggle fan language. Although I didn’t end up using any of my fan research in either THE TRAINING OF A MARQUESS or THE LETTER, I would love to write a book where the hero and heroine use her fan to flirt their forbidden love. Maybe some day….
Then there is the language of flowers. Interestingly enough, I did use what I learned from my historical research in my contemporary novel, CRAZY FOR HER, the first in a five book series of the men of K2 Special Services. My heroine, a Regency romance author, gave flowers to her husband and their friend, Logan Kincaid, as they readied to board a plane for Afghanistan.
Because she knew the meaning of flower colors from her research, on the day he left on deployment, Dani Prescott gave her husband, Evan, a red rose, signifying that she loved him. It was the last time she would ever see him.
To Logan Kincaid she gave a yellow rose, telling him he was a cherished friend by both her and Evan. Little did she know then that she and Logan would have to deal with their grief of her losing a husband and him a best friend, and that only love would heal them.
White roses can signify both new beginnings and are also a gesture of remembrance. They say “I’m thinking of you,” whether as a hello or a goodbye. Pink roses are for when you have something important to say. They are a token of your admiration and appreciation.
Although this picture has little relation to anything above, there are roses, and I’m a sucker for anything with a kitten in it.
A (very) short excerpt from CRAZY FOR HER.
Logan watched her pick up the frame. Crushed between two pieces of glass was the rose she’d given him before his last deployment. Would she remember? She had met them at the base with two roses, a red one for Evan and a yellow one for him.
“In the time period I write about, the colors had meaning. Yellow is for friendship,” she’d said, and handed it to him, following the gesture up with a sisterly hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Keep Evan safe for me,” she’d whispered.
He had held his yellow rose of friendship, standing awkwardly by when she told Evan that red signified love before throwing herself in his arms. That night Logan had pressed the flower between the pages of a book and carried it to Afghanistan and back.
Maybe if she’d given her husband the yellow one and whispered in his ear, it would have been Evan who returned to her. Logan wished to God it had been so because he loved both of them with every fiber of his being and every beat of his sorry heart.
What would Evan say about her standing naked in Logan’s bathroom after being thoroughly loved by his best friend? Because she was magnificent, every single part of her, and she’d never been meant for the likes of him.
The guilt he thought he’d banished returned with the force of a desert storm. What right did he have to love Evan’s wife? He turned off the shower and walked out of the room, through his bedroom, and onto the deck.
A hard rain battered him and he welcomed the beating. It was no less than he deserved.
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/nfx8wnn
Question – I find fan language to be incredibly sexy, and any one of the above meanings would inspire me to write a book. Which of the examples would you use to base a story around?
Trivia Question: What color rose did Dani give to Logan? Enter your answer here