Right? But sometimes evidence points to the opposite.
Sometimes we just keep falling back into our firmly established grooves. We can see areas where we need to grow or change, but UGH! Do we really have to?
This isn’t going to be a self-help column. I can hear the collective sigh from here!
What I’ve got is a character who’s been an important secondary character in three previous novels. She’s spouted a lot of “people can’t change” over the course of those stories. She’s a believer, so she also admits that God could change them, but that He doesn’t usually interfere at that deep a level.
This negative pattern is firmly established in Sage Mulligan’s mind. She used it to cast doubt in her friend and roommate Lyssa’s mind in Topaz Treasure. She used it to caution Dakota’s returning trust of Travis in Give Me Another Chance, Cowboy. And she used it to cause trouble between Dale and Trinity in Ruby Radiance.
She’s not a horrible person. She realized the problems she was causing. She apologized. But the fact is, she herself didn’t change her attitude with the flip of a switch.
When it came time to write Sapphire Sentiments, I was face-to-face with Sage’s issues, particularly (but not limited to) her back-story with the hero, Caleb. They’d been high-school sweethearts. Something happened (I had to figure out what). They went their separate ways, but now both are back in Jewel Lake. They are pretty good at avoiding each other… until the opening pages of Sapphire Sentiments.
Writing this story challenged me to dig deep into my beliefs and understandings of that age-old tension between free will and God’s sovereignty. I’m not going to tell you I solved the dilemma and put the answers on the page, but I did toss them to my characters to wrestle with!
About Sapphire Sentiments
Sage Mulligan might believe in God, but she has a hard time believing that He actually changes people. Especially those like her high-school flame, who abandoned her without a backward glance after the disaster that destroyed her future.
Caleb Grant’s full-ride scholarship lifted him above his wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing. Now he’s back in Jewel Lake with a successful online business, but his former girlfriend won’t even speak to him until they’re pushed together in the Pot of Gold Treasure Hunt to woo potential investors to the small town they both love.
What will it take for Sage to realize the man of God Caleb has become is the perfect one for her… and that she might be the one who needs to change?
Sapphire Sentiments releases tomorrow, July 13. It’s the third title in my new Pot of Gold Geocaching Romance series, after Topaz Treasure and Ruby Radiance (part of the Love’s Treasure multi-author collection).
I’ve read a few stories lately with similar over-arching themes and tropes. A high-school romance gone awry, turning the couple into enemies before they learn to forgive and move forward.
Have you read an enemies-to-lovers story lately that you loved? Did the couple have a back-story to overcome, or did they meet in Chapter One and hate each other for “new” reasons?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this trope!