I don't know what it is about a heroine who has a hard lilfe and struggles to survive. There's something appealing about a strong woman like that, she speaks to me. Maybe I identify with her as I've had some pretty tough places in my life, too.
Jess Lennox, the heroine in "Renovating the Billionaire" is like that. As I wrote the book, her grit, stubborness, determination --whatever you want to call it -- spoke to me. I felt her exhaustion, her fear, her sense of responsibility. She meets life head-on, no matter what comes down the pike. Her salty language and tough demeanor never fool me. I knew from the start she was a marshmellow inside. Look at her relationship with her younger brother? She'd do anything for him.
It's not difficult to admit how taken I was with Jess Lennox when I sat down to write her story. (And it's as much her story as it is Stryker's.) Who wouldn't be? Who wouldn't admire her guts, her drive to survive on her own? She wins your heart and you're rooting for her.
Sounds good, right? Like an easy peasy story that should roll right off my fingers? Uh, no. "Wait a minute," you say. "You just got through saying how in tune with her you were." And that's all true. But when it came to giving her a happy ending, giving her what she wanted, I struggled.
I knew what she had in mind, but I couldn't figure out a way to get it to her. Not one that would be believable. And, if you know me, you know that the credibility of characters is paramount.
So I paced. And I pondered. And I put it off. And I kept writing, hoping it would come. And hoping, and hoping...
I've never had this much difficulty with a happy ending. Does Jess get what she wants? I can't say. If you truly need to know, you'll have to read the book.
You can pre-order it here:
For those who don't know me, I never ever give away the ending.