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Title: Cross My Heart
Author: Cross My Heart
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Release Date: 02/20/2017
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the dwarfs, to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.
American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.
Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.
Eight Favorite Characters not from my books
- If you asked, could you ever root for a sociopathic character, I’d have said no, but Hawk in the Spenser series by Robert B. Parker is so seductively charming. He kills without a qualm, but only according to his rules. The saving grace, aside from Hawk’s sardonic sense of humor, is the mutual devotion between him and Spenser. The first time we meet Hawk, we’re not so sure about him, but they prove their loyalty to each other over and over. They never explain it, even when Spenser’s girlfriend asks. They trash talk each other endlessly, but they always have each other’s back. The author never tells us too much about Hawk, leaving him a mystery that I can’t get enough of.
- Although Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy is told in Simon Murray’s snarky voice, we get a clear picture of Declan Tyler, an athlete hiding his sexuality but sure of what he wants, which is Simon. When Simon’s tongue gets too bitter, Declan is able to look past the sarcasm to the man Simon really is, a man who tells the truth, usually tactlessly and sometimes very inconveniently, and stands up for what he believes. When they are outed as a couple, Declan has the courage to accept the inevitable and defend his lover and their love. He doesn’t try to change Simon, Dec just loves him with patience and understanding that is almost superhuman. Declan comes across as a very admirable man.
- I love a strong woman and Pamela “Momma” Murray in Morning Report by Sue Brown fits the bill. She embraces her gay son and his lover without any hesitation and stands as the strong center for her family. When the people in town suddenly lose their collective minds and turn against the gay couple, she is always there, staring down the sheriff and making sure they all stick together. I like reading about a character who goes against type, and in the middle of conservative Texas, Pamela is a breath of fresh air.
- Who doesn’t love a smart-ass, especially one as good with a wisecrack as his fists? Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout says he’s a good detective, but Nero Wolfe is a genius. A lazy one, whom Archie must chivvy into taking cases and keep from relapsing into a culinary haze. Even if Wolfe is a genius, Archie’s self-esteem remains completely healthy. He is smart enough to pull off a few strokes of genius himself and it’s a joy to watch him explain slang terms to Wolfe. Archie is also a bit of a clotheshorse and although a transplant from Ohio, he loves New York City. I grew up in NYC and reading the books makes me homesick for the sounds, sights and smells of the city.
- M. Montgomery gave us Anne of Green Gables and the Emily of New Moon series, but Valancy Stirling in The Blue Castle captured my heart in one book. She is a plain girl (yay for plain girls!), poor and under her mother’s domineering thumb. A mistaken diagnosis of only a year to live is the catalyst for Valancy to change her life. Like Bette Davis in the film Now, Voyager, Valancy speaks up for herself, moves out and gets a job in a time when women had few options. There is also a makeover (I love a makeover!) and she finds true love with another social outcast, who turns out to be a rich man in disguise. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
- Unusual amongst fictional heroines, Jane Marple in stories by Agatha Christie, is an old woman when we first meet her and she gets older through the series. She is no fist-fighting superheroine using her physical powers to solve mysteries. Instead she relies on observation and her knowledge of human nature. She also has the bravery to look facts in the face without flinching. I like a character who still can surprise me after a series of stories and Miss Marple does in The Moving Finger, when she says, “We are not put into this world to avoid danger when an innocent fellow creature’s life is at stake.” I admire that kind of moral courage, that a person would risk their comfortable life for what they know is right.
- Bagoas in The Persian Boy by Mary Renault is a boy from a noble family with property and a future, when a political change in Persia changes his life. His family is murdered, their wealth stolen, and only Bagoas’s beauty spares his life. He is made into a eunuch and courtesan for the King. The subjects of child abuse and sexual abuse are difficult but what happens to Bagoas was common for that time. Bagoas finds a way to continue his life although his just future was stolen from him. He’s an underdog survivor. What endears the book to me is this was the first love story I ever read between two men. Although they are unequal in every worldly way, they do find a way to love each other for a while. Spoiler: Not a happy ending.
- Harriet Vane, in the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Parker, is another strong woman. Sometimes infuriating in her stubbornness and sometimes empathetic, Harriet may have been the first female character I read who values intellectual life above romance. She is not going to surrender her sense of self to get a man and in one book, where the characters discuss civic responsibilities vs personal attachments, she speaks about the importance of putting public duty first. The casual racism in the entire series is off-putting, as it was written in the 1920’s-30’s, but I still love watching Harriet repeatedly reject Lord Peter (a member of the nobility! Rich! Smart!) until he wises up and realizes that Harriet will only be able to love him in a totally equal relationship.
About the Author
Catt Ford lives behind the orange curtain in southern California with a partner and two familiars in the form of cats whose fur is as black as their evil little hearts. She is a graphic artist by day and a storyteller by inclination. Catt enjoys the research required for writing a believable story. She is a rabid card-carrying fan of bull riding and also enjoys swing dancing. She gets drunk on words and sometimes over imbibes, but loves to write about love and happy endings.
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