That’s because the heroine is posing as someone she’s not, and the hero has access to more information than she does. So each has to operate within the parameters they know, and that leads to assumptions and decisions that aren’t fully informed. Just like real life. With the reader standing over it all, not completely omnipotent, but not far off. And yet still, hopefully, intimate with the characters, too.
I’ve also been tweaking and reworking another historical novel of mine, and again, the one character is pretending to be someone she’s not, in fact, she has two layers of deception going – one on a large number of people, and a second one on an individual – and the reader is the only one who has all the facts.
I find when I’m reading it, its a fun feeling. Knowing something, seeing someone make assumptions you know are wrong, and blundering about, making decisions that are off. I don’t read many books where this is the case, but when I do read them, I like them. And I think they are obviously more common in a novel where the main character is deceiving most of the other characters.
The trick is to make that deception necessary, and have the reader’s full sympathy for it, while still liking and routing for the other main characters, even though you know they are being misled.
It is also fun to discover things along with the main character, and in first person novels, that’s the only way it can be. But in third person, where there is more than one point of view character, there is scope for the reader to be the only one who knows everything, and I think it adds to the tension, because its like a car wreck you can see about to happen, but can’t do anything to stop. You just have to watch and see how it all pans out after the crash-tinkle-tinkle.
So, what are your thoughts about being in the know as a reader? Do you like it? Do you enjoy the power the writer gives you? And do you use that power for good? LOL.