Characters We Fall In Love With

We all have characters we fall in love with in television, movies and, of course, books. People who jump off the page and grab us by the arm and take us on their journey. When they laugh, we laugh. When they cry, we cry. As an author, I’m often asked if I have a favorite character I’ve written.

For writers, it’s different. I live in the heads of my characters as I write their books. I often know things about them that may never reach the page and in the case of a secondary character who will one day become a main character, I may know a little glimpse into his or her heart that the reader hasn’t even guessed yet.

I do this with just about every character I write and I get pretty invested. So the characters I’m writing at the time end up getting a lot of my mind space and care. In the end, whoever I’m writing at the time are the characters I love the most.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have characters who jump out and grab me. Sometimes it’s just that they’re so strong, but sometimes it’s because their books are watermarks to me, something that changes my life. Some of my favorite characters from my books are:

Serafina from The Other Duke – Not only was this the first book I jumped into as a completely indie author, but I also just loved Sera. She is so strong and yet so wounded. She doesn’t want to let Rafe in or believe that he could be as wonderful as he seems. But slowly, slowly, she opens up like a flower and takes the risk to be happy.

Crispin from The Widow Wager – I’d built to Crispin through the Notorious Flynns series so I was really ready to write him. But also, this is the first book of mine to hit the USA Today, so Crispin (and Gemma) will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Warrick and Claire from Ruined – I felt like War and Claire had been whispering to me for so long that I couldn’t WAIT to write them. Both of them were pretty much burned into my brain and I still smile when I think of Claire sneaking onto her brother’s property just to see if War is there and ends up in his bed, demanding both pleasure and help. They end up being great partners, as well as lovers.

Gray from An Affair in Winter – And my most recent character obsession is Gray from An Affair in Winter. He’s another character who was in my head for years and after doing the cover shoot in L.A. this year, I had such a strong picture of him thanks to the intensity the model brought to the shots.  Plus, he’s utterly sexy, utterly protective and utterly driven. I loved writing him and matching with someone just as intelligent and protective. Rosalinde unwinds him, makes him question himself and what he’s doing. They’re a good balance.

So if you read a character you’re utterly in love with, one that sticks with you long after the book is closed? Chances are the author has felt the same way. And that’s pretty much the best thing ever!

The Widow Wager

A USA Today Bestseller

Crispin Flynn has been on a downward spiral ever since he lost the woman he loved and watched his brother forced into a life he never would have chosen. His response has been drinking and gambling his way to utter ruin, trying to forget all he’s lost and pushing away anyone who cares for him. One night, deep in his cups, he places a dangerous bet that results in him being forced to marry Gemma, the widow of the Earl of Laurelcross.

Gemma once had a passionate side, but has been suppressing it ever since her much older husband died during the act of making love. Now she finds herself the much unwanted wife of one of the biggest libertines in London and the subject of even more gossip than ever. All she wants to do is escape, even if Crispin is dangerously attractive.

Once they determine they cannot undo the marriage, the two begin a slow circling of each other, trying to determine how they will move forward. With their natures, they find passion to be easy, but can they overcome mistrust and secrets in order to turn the worst night of their lives into one of their best? Or are they bound to lose each other before their love can take root?

CW: Abuse, Alcoholism, Sexual Assault, Grief, Suicide

The Other Duke

For years Serafina McPhee has been engaged to marry the heir to the Duke of Hartholm and for almost as long, she has been struggling to find a way out of that engagement. When he suddenly dies, she does not mourn but thrills at the idea that she will be free. Unfortunately, best laid plans go awry when the next in line for the title, her intended’s cousin, Raphael “Rafe” Flynn is forced to take over the engagement. But Serafina knows Rafe’s reputation as a libertine and wants nothing to do with him, either, even if he is devastatingly handsome.

She proposes an arrangement: she will agree to the marriage and provide Rafe with his heir and spare. Once she has done her duty, he will let her go. Rafe is intrigued both by her beauty and by her utter disgust with the idea of being his bride. Women normally fall at his feet, not cringe away from him. However, since their arranged marriage is not something he can escape, he agrees to her terms.

But when he finds out on their wedding night the truth about her torture at the hands of his predecessor, he finds himself driven not just to fulfill his bargain with his new bride, but to introduce her to desire. While they move closer together, surrendering to wicked pleasures, dangerous emotions may violate every agreement they’ve made.

CW: Rape, Abuse, Violence

Available in KU

When Claire found out a devastating secret about her family, the famous Woodley clan, she ran straight into the arms of a criminal and disappeared for years, utterly ruined in the eyes of Society and leaving her family terrified for her safety. But now she’s desperate to escape his clutches and get back what he’s stolen from her: her child. She turns to longtime family horse master Warrick Blackwood, knowing his secrets can get her close to her target.

War doesn’t want to return to the dangerous life he left behind, even to help Claire, but he has no choice. Not only does she know the truth about his past, but he’s never been able to resist her. Her frantic attempt to save her daughter will bring them close, revealing both War’s dominant nature and his heart, but it may also destroy any hope at the future both secretly long for.

CW: Domestic Abuse (described), Assault/Violence

An Affair in Winter
Book 1
An Affair in Winter

Widow Rosalinde Wilde wants only to protect her beloved sister and find out the truth about her mysterious father. It seems she can do both when her sister becomes engaged to an earl, fulfilling their wicked grandfather’s desire to see one of them wed above her station. Now Rosalinde is on her way to the wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion. But when morning comes, they both walk away, certain they’ll never see each other again.

Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother’s impending nuptials.  He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother’s intended and she is just as determined to see this wedding go forward.

Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. Who will win? And who might lose it all?

CW: Emotional abuse, assault, suicide (discussed), child abuse