Oh, happy day! My second contemporary romance, The First Kiss comes out today, and it's a story particularly dear to my heart.
James Knightley is the good-looking youngest brother, full of charm, competent at whatever he turns his hand to. Because his older brother Trent (A Single Kiss) is the family law expert, and older brother MacKenzie (Kiss Me Hello) is the criminal law expert, James has made a niche for himself in the family firm as a business lawyer.
Whether he enjoys business law or not.
James is also the gorgeous guy the ladies call for a rebound night on the dance floor, or when they want to flaunt a handsome escort before their exes. He accommodates the ladies, even if he's been on his feet all day in the court room.
James keeps all the family vehicles running smoothly, because every family needs a shade tree mechanic, whether he has time to change the oil or not. When a need arises, James obliges, even if he'd rather stay home and read the Farmer's Almanac, because he's kind, and because taking up the slack, taking care of business, doing what needs to be done is what James does.
Vera, James's new neighbor, is a younger sibling like James, also a piano prodigy. She too, fell onto a path in life because others expected it of her. When she and James connect, both of them have a chance to re-evaluate their choices, and what they want out of life.
Vera and James have to walk away from other people's expectations of them, and that's hard, especially when the other people are family, and we've let them rely on us for a long time to fill roles we're not really keen on. Each finds strength in the other's regard, though, and it turns out family can be our biggest supporters when we're ready to make a change.
When I love writing a story, I know there's a good chance the readers will love that story too. I'm the sixth out of seven children, and a helpful sort. James and Vera's dilemmas spoke to me, and I think they'll resonate with readers too. If you'd like to read an excerpt from The First Kiss or order a copy, click here.
Many of you will already have a copy of this book, so I'll send the reader's choice of The First Kiss, or the first prequel novella, Kiss and Tell, along with its Scottish contemporary successor, Must Love Highlanders, to two commenters.
When have you have to step back from a longstanding role, and how did other people react? Is there a role or a job that's not such a good fit, and can you see a time when you can leave it?