Meet Nicolas and Sydney
It happened on a damp April day, 1819, in the Missouri Territory.
When I first met Nicolas Reidar Hansen, I was struck by his size: six-four and two-fifty of solid muscle. Then he looked at me and I saw his beauty. Classic Nordic features, long hair the color of sunlit straw, and intense navy blue eyes. When he spoke, it felt like thunder on a bright autumn day.
But something was missing. Life. I soon realized that the death of his wife six years earlier, had effectively killed him as well. Though well-educated and world-traveled, Nicolas was still a romantic at heart. He believed his one and only chance at true love died with her.
On that chilly day, Nicolas had just rescued a badly injured woman on his property. His intent was to get her out of his house as quickly as possible, before her presence disrupted the carefully arranged details of his world; details which kept him numbed to the pain caused by all he had lost.
But circumstances made that impossible. She was going to have to stay a while - and it wasn't in her nature to stay quietly. Every challenge, every glance, every laugh, and every touch stirred parts of Nicolas that had long laid dormant. Slowly, he opened himself to her. He began to see possibilities. He began to feel again. He began to hope.
Her situation, as it turned out, was much worse than his. But she challenged him even so: did he have the courage to live his life?
The love of a strong woman makes a man. And it remakes a broken one. Nicolas grows over three volumes to be more than he ever would have been, more than he ever dreamt he could be. Into the man he was destined to be: a true hero in every sense of the word.
And all because a strong woman loved him. Sydney.
Sydney had her own multitude of problems to deal with. The first was to figure out what happened to her. When I met her, she had no idea. Nor did she know where she came from or where she belonged. And the most puzzling: why didn't anyone come looking for her?
The second problem was embodied in her handsome host. She was pulled to him like a magnet to metal. She caught glimpses of the man buried inside and she ached for him. She wanted him. He roused her in ways she knew no other man ever had.
But there was a ridge on Sydney's finger suggesting she wore a ring. Might she be married? Was she beaten and robbed? Or was something much more sinister the cause of her trauma?
When the horrible truth came out, she wanted to die.
But she didn't. Instead, she determinedly created a new life. With a man who allowed her to be strong, creative, and opinionated. Whose masculinity wasn't threatened by her capabilities. Who loved her completely.
Three years. Two continents. The choices life throws at us can be - unexpected.
Remember: For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.
A Woman of Choice (September 2010 / Goodnight Publishing)
A Prince of Norway (November 2010 / Goodnight Publishing)
A Matter of Principle (January 2011) / Goodnight Publishing)
Watch the trailer for A Woman of Choice here:
Tomorrow: The true story behind A Prince of Norway.