Dream Bonus One
If I said a city girl is ambitious but a country girl is simpler, would you agree with me?
No, I wouldn’t agree either. That’s overgeneralising with a humongous brush. But when I first met Aurora, that overgeneralisation fit her like a tailored glove.
She’s sweet and simple, a lot like the pretty Yorkshire town she grew up in. It’s easy to look at her and say, “Hey. Another bright eyed country girl who wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose.”
Actually, I should say ‘sheep’. Yorkshire has more sheep than geese, though they’re just as obnoxious. And smelly.
Luckily Aurora isn’t obnoxious or smelly. And she doesn’t bleat either. What is intriguing about her though is the fire of ambition she keeps tucked away deep inside.
She dreams of owning her own fashion label. Yet she lives the reality of working hard to keep the roof over her and her mother’s heads. So she has this interesting tug of war going on inside her. She wants one thing, and on the surface has accepted she won’t get it, but she can’t let go of the dream.
And that tempted me to look even deeper. Because situations like this are catnip to an author. Seriously. I spend my days studying people, right down to which colour socks they prefer to wear on Mondays.
I know. It’s freaky. Hide your socks from me.
But I was right about Aurora. She’s an entire ball of tug of wars. And the biggest one is her pining for Nathan.
Most of us get over our first crush, right?
But not Aurora.
When she loved for the first time, she loved with her whole being. She took that dream into her heart and made it a part of her. Made him a part of her.
It’s brave of her to try to get over Nathan now. But I sense that no matter what she says on the surface, she just can’t let her dream of him go.
I’ve been talking about pretty Yorkshire (UK) and many of you have never even heard of it.
So, welcome to Yorkshire!
Aurora’s story happens here, in the fictional town of Langley, close to my home. Well, I call Langley a ‘town’, but it’s more like a village with just one supermarket and a handful of mom-and-pop shops.
You’ll find plenty of these small ‘towns’ dotted about the Yorkshire Dales. They’re stone-built islands of civilisation in a vast rolling landscape of green hills and fluffy sheep. They’re happy and sleepy, and life doesn’t race past in them, it snoozes.
That’s one reason Nathan never could settle in Langley (the bog pit of the world according to him). He needs energy and movement, the constant climb to the next peak. But I’ve long suspected he wasn’t running from Langley so much as running from his feelings for Aurora.
But he’s too proud and too stubborn to admit that to himself or her.
Maybe it’s a good thing Aurora gripped tight to her dreams, including her dream of Nathan, even though life told her no. I think her dream is what finally brought him back to her.
Hot Guys & Cars Bonus Two
What do little bug cars and hot guys have in common?
They both make your head turn and your heart jump, for different reasons of course. One will mow you down. The other will bowl you over. That is unless it’s a hot guy behind the steering wheel of a bug car and he’s intent on ploughing through you. In which case, he’s less a hot guy and more a flaming a**hole.
Always avoid flaming a**holes.
I try to heed this advice myself, so I had a moment of panic while I was writing ‘Be Mine’ when I thought Nathan might be turning into one. He’s hotheaded. He’s sharp. He’s possessive about Aurora without giving much of himself. But luckily that’s just the surface of him. Many of the things he’s compelled to do when with Aurora come straight from his heart.
The frustrating thing is he doesn’t realize it.
He’d returned to Langley, scheming for a quick affair to get Aurora out of his system. Well, thank goodness nothing went according to his plans, or I might have ended up with a flaming a**hole ending.
But I can’t blame Nathan. He’d spent a childhood searching for and not finding love, so he wasn’t likely to recognize love when it stared him in the face. It had to sit up and slap him instead.
And for all Nathan’s stubborn arrogance, when it came time to return to Aurora, there was no way he was going to win that battle of the heart.
But back to vintage bug cars. There’s something quaint about them, don’t you agree?
They’re like your grandpa’s slippers that he’s passed down the generations: well-worn, but hardy, and fiercely reliable.
But there’s more to bug cars than looks. When you’re zooming around in one you suddenly become king of the road. All those pedestrians who’d otherwise give you the evil eye while they crossed the road veeery sloooowly in front of you, take flying leaps as soon as they see you coming. They probably think your brakes are kaput. They’d be right. Your brakes have long given up the ghost. Your steering is wonky. And what keeps you on the road is more hope than mechanics. But that bug car will always get where you want to go.
So bug cars rule. They turn more heads than a Porsche, and even the crankiest of road crossers are quick to pay their respects. I don’t blame Aurora for not wanting to part with her beloved car when Nathan made the offer.
And on a side note, Nathan was right. That bug car would have eaten him alive given half the chance.
True Feelings Bonus Three
Second chance romances are delicious, don’t you think so?
People make mistakes, and second chances exist for just that reason.
They’re even more satisfying when one or both of the couple messes up royally first time around, spends years denying the other, but barely existing, and then finally finds that love again. And this time recognizes it for the true love it always was.
But there are always issues to work through. The past doesn’t disappear just like that, and being ready for a relationship isn’t the same as being ready for love.
Nathan messes up big time in ‘Be Mine’. And being Nathan, he’s too stubborn to see it was his fear of love and commitment that kept him and Aurora apart for years. But once he realizes his mistake, he’s not afraid to own it and go after the one woman he’s always craved.
He wouldn’t be a hero if he didn’t do that. Well, he wouldn’t be my hero.
We need more second chances in real life. People spout poems about ships passing in the night, but I think it would be even more poetic if some of those ships met again and even sailed off into the horizon together.
At least in a romance, that can happen.
Second chances and Valentine’s Day. What a great combination. Valentine’s is a time that draws lovers together, so I thought it the perfect atmosphere for Aurora and Nathan. Their romance was so full of intense push and pull with so many unsaid feelings that it needed the uncompromising light of Valentine’s shining on it.
It takes a certain amount of courage to put yourself out on a limb, doesn’t it? Especially when you risk losing someone you love so much. Sometimes it seems easier to let a relationship struggle along, even though admitting your true feelings might transform it into something wonderful.
But then sometimes that’s a risk worth taking.
Much of the change in ‘Be Mine’ needed to come from Nathan. He’s determined and opinionated and plain bull headed. And he won’t budge for anyone.
Well, maybe he’ll budge for one person.
Aurora didn’t know it at first, but she’s the only one he’ll let smooth out his rough edges, and it was so sweet to see this gentler side to Nathan.
It was also sweet to see him take a risk to get Aurora back. Often it’s when we lose the other person that the risk of speaking our true feelings becomes the only right choice.
OTHER LONDON BILLIONAIRES BOOKS
(Moira and Darren)
London Billionaires Book 2
Heartbroken Moira Stanley is desperate for a new beginning at Christmas. But her ex, billionaire Darren Tate, has other ideas. Moira is stuck with him aboard a luxury train travelling to Venice. With the odds stacked against her, can Moira resist falling for Darren’s seductive game of revenge before it’s too late?