Character Spotlight: Kate Breslin’s Eve & Simon (with giveaway)

high-as-the-heavensMeet a spy and a pilot in

Kate Breslin’s

Historical Romance

High as the Heavens

Bethany House


The Story

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s cafe. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

Brief physical description

Evelyn (Eve) Marche is 26 years old, tall and willowy, with jet black hair and large violet eyes.

Simon Forrester is 30 years old, tall and lean with rugged features, wavy copper locks and penetrating gray eyes.


British actress Kaya Scodelario-Davis reflects Eve’s likeness, but Simon was tailored after the actor, James Norton. Both pictures can be found on my Pinterest board.

Strengths and weaknesses

Eve Marche is extremely resourceful. Her cleverness and daring in Belgium prove to be assets in aiding the Allies during the Great War. Eve also has secrets in her past that prevent her from trusting others, and she avoids getting close to anyone, especially the man she loves.

Simon Forrester is a WWI British pilot and knows much about bravery and hardship. When presented with a problem, he approaches a possible solution with single-minded persistence. He can become impatient, however, and his pre-conceived notions about women—in particular, Eve Marche—throw him completely off guard. He must shift his way of thinking in order to get close to her.

Quirk (if any)

None, really

Your inspiration for the character

My inspiration for Eve’s character is a composite of several real-life Belgian heroines of the Great War: British nurse Edith Cavell, who helped a covert group smuggle Allied patients out of occupied Belgium; Gabrielle Petit, another heroine, started working with British Intelligence shortly after helping her fiancé, a soldier wounded in the war, to cross into the Netherlands to re-join his regiment. Perhaps the most influential for me was Marthe McKenna (nee Cnockaert) a Belgian nurse who worked alongside the Germans at their hospital while aiding the Allies in secret. Of the three women, only Cnockaert was saved from the firing squad. I felt compelled to share aspect these brave women’s lives.

Simon Forrester’s character was inspired by a real WWI British pilot, A. J. Evans, who wrote about his war exploits in his 1920s book, The Escaping Club.

Background to the story

Espionage and “spy mania” were rampant during the Great War, and after writing about Britain’s enemy agents in my previous novel, Not By Sight, I chose to explore in High As The Heavens spy activity in other parts of Europe. I learned that German-occupied Brussels was teeming with spies from both sides during the war and thought it would be interesting if my hero, Simon, becomes convinced that Eve is an enemy agent, perhaps the one he’s searching for. It was from that idea, the story was born. 

Thank you, Katie!

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26 Responses to Character Spotlight: Kate Breslin’s Eve & Simon (with giveaway)

  1. I guess what intrigues me about people who become spies is that many of them seemed quite ordinary but were able to be brave and cunning. In the desperate times, they were able to do what they had to for their country.

  2. It’s that constant flirting with danger that attracts me. There’s so much tension in spy stories that the stories typically fly by. Will they skirt the danger successfully, or will this be the time they get too close to the flames? Will it be the big mission that puts them in the most danger, or will it be some tiny slip-up that catches the opponent’s attention?

  3. This book looks and sounds amazing! I could never be a spy. I’m not a good actress and would probably get caught quite easily. Spies have to be courageous and have good acting skills.

  4. Sounds very interesting and mysterious.

  5. A spy would for sure have to have great acting/pretending abilities. :)

  6. Spies in literature are compelling, especially when they’re female. The most compelling are the ones who know that they are not immune to the consequences if they get caught (which is usually death), but they still do what they can to help their country’s cause, because they believe that what they are doing is more important than the fear of death.

  7. It’s like they have to live a double life. They can’t share so much of their life with the people near to the. I’m not sure I could keep that many secrets.

  8. It is fascinating that someone can appear normal or ordinary on many fronts yet have an alternate life.

  9. Spies have to be able to be convincing. So much so that one would wonder if they are truly working for your side. They could just as easily be a double spy.

  10. Hmm I have not thought of that before. A good question. I suppose that they are people just like you and me. That they go into this knowing there is danger and intrigue and mystery, that it will not be easy all the time. Do they know that life will no longer be normal?

  11. Why they become spies.

  12. danielle hammelef

    What intrigues me most is what other secrets are they hiding?

  13. I recall listening to a policeman who worked undercover. He said he began to act and think like the drug pusher he was pretending to be, and it affected his family life. So how good people who are trying to combat evil by lying, etc. is interesting to me.

  14. Sounds like a really fascinating read. I would think it would be really difficult to be a spy. I think it would be easy to slip back into your regular way of life.

  15. What intrigues me most about spies is if they constantly struggle with the fact that they are living a lie. That would be extremely hard for me to do.

  16. I’m not sure I’ve ever been intrigued by spies. I’d not be able to keep all the secrets straight that they have to or I’d be afraid to accidentally give a secret away. I also don’t think I could live a lie, I’d probably hate myself!

    Thanks for the author spotlight and giveaway chance Rel!

  17. It would be so difficult to trust anyone once you’ve been a spy.

  18. Enjoy her previous books and am looking forward to this new release. Spying – can’t imagine having the coolness and steely nerves to pull that off.

  19. Being able to lead a dual life intrigues me. Takes a special person to be a spy.

  20. Would love to win

  21. What intrigues me about people who become spies is the mystery, the various roles they have to play, the adventure, and intrigue. It all seems very thrilling when you read about spies in a book or watch them in a movie. I think it would be very exciting, but also very hard living real life in regards to the spy’s family and friends….not being able to tell the truth, the danger and risk to themselves and their family.

  22. Rel, thanks so much for hosting me and High As The Heavens on Character Spotlight! I’m loving all of the comments too! What would it really be like to live a hidden life, filled with constant danger and keeping secrets from those closest to me? I can only imagine, which is why I enjoyed writing about it. Espionage continues to fascinate me–I guess all of those Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie mysteries I read growing up rubbed off LOL! :-) Blessings, my friend!

  23. I think that the people who were considered just to be unassuming citizens living quiet, ordinary lives contributed to the success of these spies! This sounds like an intriguing book.

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