Thank you for stopping by. This is week-three of the Character Interview Blog Hop – HEROES series, where you’ll be introduced to leading men from a variety of genres by different authors.
Last week, we met historical romance author Meara Platt and her Regency hero, Ian Markham, the rakish Duke of Edgeware, from THE DUKE I’M GOING TO MARRY (Book #2 of the Farthingale Series).
“So, uhh, hey Nick, how’s it goin’? Thanks for coming out.” Gosh, he’s such a total hottie, I’d hate to make a fool of myself—I do my best to be cool but my cheeks are burning. If tall, dark, and broodingly handsome is your type, you better watch out! My eyes linger on his broad frame as he peels off the Scenic View Fire Department bomber jacket and sets it on the seat before sliding in the booth across from me. “I know you’re kinda busy. I appreciate you taking the time to meet me at the diner for this interview. I’ll try to make it a quickie—uhh, I mean … make it quick.” I cringe at the Freudian slip.
He runs a hand over his shaggy hair, shaking off the first few snowflakes from this impending Nor’easter. “My pleasure, Deb. Wait … You’re not blushing?—Are you?”
“Nooo. They must have the heat turned up too high,” I lie.
The waitress comes to take our order—a coffee for Nick and a cherry soda for me.
“Oh, and could’ja bring us something sweet. Cookies, please. Chocolate chip. And a black and white. And if you have any with sprinkles, we’ll take a couple of ’em. And I’ll take a few donuts for the road. Thanks,” he says in a honey-thick voice.
“That’s quite a sweet tooth you got,” I tease.
“Dontcha know it.” Nick winks, and my heart stops. His eyes dart out the window, at the swirling snow, then at his watch, before sipping his coffee—which, by the way, he takes light and sweet, no surprise.
I know he’s gotta get back to work in a few minutes, so it’s time to stop staring at this Adonis and start talking. Tapping my pencil on the legal pad, I begin with a dreamy sigh before clearing my throat. “Okay … First question. What’s your greatest fear?”
He cringes, pausing in mid-sip to cut me with narrow eyes and a crooked smile. “Greatest fear?” He chuckles. “Couldn’t start with an easy question, huh? Like favorite color? Which, by the way, is red.”
“I didn’t write the questions.”
“Sure. I get it. Readers want to know what makes me tick—no problem, sugar. I just wasn’t expecting you to bust out the big guns so fast.” He sets the coffee down, then cracks his knuckles. “Lemme see … Greatest fear.” He taps his chin thoughtfully. “Okay. I got one for ya. I’ve never told this to anyone because … Well, I don’t like talkin’ about this kinda stuff. But I’d have to say my greatest fear is winding up alone. Ya see, I was married for a little while, years ago, to my best buddy’s sister, but it ended badly. She turned me off from getting serious with anyone else, so I just avoided second-dates, if you catch my drift. My friends nicknamed me One-Knight-Stand. I started believing marriage, kids, and mortgages were for other guys—not me.”
“Wow, that’s heavy. Sorry to touch a nerve—” The pain in his eyes forces me to look away, at anything but those deep, dark, fathomless pools. The cookies are a distraction for a nanosecond, but my appetite is lost. I glance at the snowflakes bouncing off the glass and swirl my straw in the soda.
“Don’t worry about it.” He swats his words away. “I’m over it. Next question.” He smiles while biting the sprinkled tip off a cookie.
“Who’s made the biggest difference in your life?”
“Gotta say my Grandma Dorothy. After my mom remarried, she and my stepfather just … left. I never knew my real father, so living with him wasn’t an option. Grandma was there for me when no one else was. She raised me right. Taught me how to be a man—a gentleman. I love that woman more than air. She died while I was away in the Marine Corp.”
Another solemn answer has me fumbling with my notes. I clear my throat and move on. “Let’s see … Where do you go when you need time to yourself?”
His face lights up. I swear he’s blushing as he smirks and says, “I, uh, take a ride. In my truck. Down to the marina … Do I really need to talk about this?”
Intrigued by his hesitation, I lie, “Oh, yes. I need this answer otherwise I’ll be booted off the blog hop.”
“Fine,” he growls, then whispers, “I drive down to the marina and park by the dock …”
“Why?” I prod.
“So I can … uh, you know, meditate.”
I’m confused. “What? Like, yoga, in your truck?”
“Not exactly …” He smirks, struggling to be honest. “How can I say it … I conjure up an image of this woman I like, and I meditate about her …”
I get it now. “Ohhh!” I squirm in the seat, feeling strangely awkward by this information. “Does she know you have these feelings for her?”
“Oh, she knows, alright. I told her plenty of times. But she has some hang-up about not dating firefighters. Or she’s just not into me like I’m into her.”
“I can’t understand that at all.”
“Me, neither. I’m still trying to figure her out. I know she’s got a lot of baggage. I guess she’s afraid of getting hurt.” He pays the check with a fifty-dollar bill and tells the waitress to keep the change—for coffee, soda, and a few cookies and donuts!? The guy’s a generous tipper, that’s for sure! He eyes the snow coming down sideways now, watching the plows going by. His cell phone rings and he takes the call, then hangs up quick. “That was the chief. Looks like the snowstorm’s gonna be as bad as the weatherman predicted. I gotta get going.”
“One last question. Please.”
He nods. “Shoot.”
“If you could ask for one thing in the world, what would it be?”
“That’s easy, sugar. For Lily to marry me.” He tosses back the last swig of coffee, then smacks his palms on the table. “Sorry to cut our time short, but I gotta start plowing. Accumulation only makes it harder. Folks can read your book, Sleeping with Santa, and can get my whole story.” With a wink and smile, he grabs his jacket and the bag of donuts, twirls his key ring, and heads out the door. He climbs into his big silver quad-cab pick-up, drops the blade and plows a clear path from the parking lot, heading toward Main Street.
Next week, check in with Debora Dennis and her time-traveling hero, William Montgomery, from A FISTFUL OF FATE. Debora Dennis is a native New Yorker and has been an avid romance reader since she first discovered Barbara Cartland on the shelves of her middle school library. A true believer in second chances and it’s always the right time to fall in love; she writes time travel romances and lighthearted contemporaries with modern snark and spice! When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, adding to her pocketbook addiction, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves. She loves to hear from readers and to connect via social media. Visit her online at:
Join the newsletter club to be the first to learn of new releases, enter subscriber only contests and more.