Okay, I admit it. I love tortured hero’s. Hero’s with guilt for something in their past. Guys with painful backgrounds they struggle to overcome. Men who were emotionally scarred and are fearful of loving or trusting again. I like them not because they are in pain, but because I want to give them the perfect woman to save them, and show them how to love again and find happiness.
I kind of went overboard with the hero in this book. Raised in foster care, Ethan has had only one goal in life – to make a living with his camera. It’s his way of viewing the world from behind the safety of the lens and protecting himself from painful emotional connections. He becomes a conflict photographer in the middle east where his emotional distance is shattered. Upon the advice of a friend he comes to little Dover, Mississippi to start over and goes to work for store owner Nicki Latimer.
Poor Ethan. A foster kid and suffering from PTSD. I suppose I could have left one of those things out, but I wanted Ethan to have a difficult journey. Nicki too. I throw a few big obstacles her way as well. Nicki escapes a bad relationship and comes home to her parents in Dover where her little girl is born. I had no idea how difficult that book would be to write. This couple had a lot of baggage to overcome before they found their happily ever after. But I can promise you, their future is bright and filled with joy.
This story required a bit more research than I’m normally required to do. I learned a good bit about war photographers and how their emotional reactions to what they see effects them. It’s not something we usually think about. We know about our soldiers, the men in the forefront of the battle, but the photographers and journalists are right alongside. This was brought home a few years ago when ABC reporter Bob Woodruff was injured in an explosion and his long recuperation was documented on television. While Ethan didn’t suffer the same injuries, what he witnessed changed his life forever. Like real life sufferers of PTSD my character will always battle the effects of his ordeal. I’m glad I could give him a family that will love and support him along the way.
I hope this will be another enjoyable visit to Dover. If this is your first trip then, welcome. I think you’ll like it here. The people are friendly, their faith is strong and the town is charming.
I am giving away a copy of his “His Small-Town Family”. Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. US shipping only.
Nicki Latimer never expected to be back in her tiny Mississippi hometown – much less running a store with a baby on her hip. But when her father falls ill, Nicki will do anything to save the family business… even putting her dreams on hold. And she’s found just the person to help her. Ethan Stone is strong and reliable, but also haunted by his past as a war photographer. He’s convinced he could never be the man Nicki thinks he is. But with Ethan by her side, Nicki’s dreams of love and family are closer than she thinks.
Be sure to and check out my Pinterest board for glimpses of Dover and their sidewalk sale.
Previous Dover books: Rekindled Romance, Restoring His Heart, Protecting the Widow’s Heart. Look for Bachelor to the Rescue coming next May from Love Inspired