Before I start with my own story, I would like to take a moment and send out a big THANK YOU to all the talented authors who have been joining in for these posts. When I originally thought that I would like to do some type of blog series revolving around the motivation and inspiration behind a character of a book, I asked if anyone would be interested in participating. The response was more than I could have hoped for, and I greatly appreciate all that took the time to write their stories and share them with us. Thank you again!!
On to the inspiration behind Nick in my novel Arms of Serenity!
Some time ago, a good friend of mine came home from the military a few years older, forever changed by what he had experienced and struggling emotionally with the loss of a fellow soldier that had been under his command the night he had been killed. The amount of guilt that he carried had been constantly present and had overwhelmed every aspect of his life. It was heart wrenching. Eventually he had been able to free himself of the emotional bondage he had placed upon himself, but the memory of his struggle had and always will stay with me.
When I sat down to write Arms of Serenity I already knew the hero was going to be ex-military for no other reason than I really enjoy stories that surround men in the military. He was also going to be strong, sexy and have alpha tendencies, but I also wanted him to have experienced something similar to my friend and touch upon the battle within himself to overcome the memories that weighed heavily upon him. I won’t tell you if our hero was able to win his inner battle or not. But, I will give you a hint. There is a love interest and in the end doesn’t love conquer all?
It is a romance novel, after all. ;-)
Plagued by guilt, Nicholas Hollsten ended his military career in the Special Forces and returned home only to be forced into a life he never wanted. Nick found himself running his father’s company and making good on a promise to his team. Angry and frustrated with the direction his life was taking, he calms his thoughts by filling his evenings and bed with soft distractions. Until one woman captures his interest.
Rebecca Klayton thought she was happy in her small town, running her bakery and avoiding love. That emotion only meant heartache and being left exactly where you started—alone. Lesson learned. But, when the sexy stranger from their hot New Year’s Eve party shows up at her counter, will she be able to ignore the temptation or will she find what she’s been missing in the Arms of Serenity?
Becca got as far as the curb outside before she heard Nick’s voice calling her name. She closed her eyes and groaned.
Almost made it.
Why was he following her? Couldn’t he just leave her alone? She held up her hand to signal a taxi and hoped ignoring him would work until one stopped.
Becca heard him say her name again. Only this time he was too close to pretend that she didn’t hear him. She turned to find him holding the picture frame.
“You forgot this.”
He just wanted to give her the frame. She sighed in relief and reached to take it from him.
He looked at her and put a smug smile on before saying, “You forgot these also.” He reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a glimpse of white lace material.
Becca gasped when she realized it was her forgotten panties. She got closer to put her hand out.
“Thank you for finding them.”
Nick pushed them back in his pocket. “How about that coffee?”
Becca took a step back and crossed her arms. “Are you seriously holding my underwear hostage until I go out on a date with you? Doesn’t that border on blackmail?”
Nick laughed. “Just using whatever means I have at my disposal to get you to say yes.”
Becca would laugh too if she wasn’t so angry. He was being an arrogant pushy ass. She glared at him. From his polished shoes, tailored pants, and what looked like a cashmere sweater, he was head to toe everything that Becca wasn’t. Why was he doing this? Damn him for coming after her. Damn him for wanting more when he could go back into the ballroom and have anyone of those models sitting at the table.
“You’re not my type.” She turned away from him and once again put her hand up in the air.
She stood there not wanting to look back. He hadn’t answered her, and Becca silently hoped that he had walked away. She was a mess. Her insides trembled at the conflicting emotions of anger and longing coursing through her. It would be so easy to give in and go with him.
Becca felt a hand brush against her neck and his voice against her ear.
“I’m going to have to argue that statement. I seem to remember being exactly your type last night as you shook and screamed in pleasure when I was buried deep inside of you.” He kissed the spot behind her ear, and she gasped in response. Shivers cascaded through her, and she leaned back melting into his body.
Becca cursed herself.
Dammit, Becca get some control! He’s just a rich guy who thinks he can get anything he wants.
Becca pulled away and turned around to face him as a taxi finally came to her rescue. Opening the door, she stood behind it to use as a barrier between them and took a breath to steady her trembling legs and gain some courage.
“Nick, last night was great, and thank you for not saying anything back in there.” She nodded her head in the direction of the hotel and continued. “But I’m just not interested.” She got in the cab, closed the door, and stared ahead as she gave the driver her destination. As the taxi pulled away, she could see him in the rearview mirror. For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, she left him just standing and staring after her.