Enjoy meeting her latest couple, Zarah and Bobby:~
Heroine Zarah Mitchell is what I like to call an average gal—she’s a little taller than average (about five foot eight) and that size that’s just between “normal” and “plus”—a size fourteen, which gives her a curvy, hourglass shape. The two features she dislikes most about herself are her frizzy hair and her nose, which she thinks is too big.
Hero Bobby Patterson is a former football player who spent many years in the Army before entering law enforcement. He’s quite tall, at six foot three, and muscular. But he’s not necessarily every woman’s ideal of attractive—with a heavy, square jaw and what another character describes as “aggressive” features, though he’s really a very nice guy.
The physical template for Zarah came from a Land’s End clothing catalogue from back in 2003:
The physical template for Bobby is Canadian actor Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, Riverworld):
Strengths and weaknesses
Zarah’s biggest weakness is her inability to trust people—developed from a childhood of emotional abuse crowned by a broken relationship that left her almost incapable of forming relationships. But thanks to her grandparents, and the two women who would become her best friends, she healed and learned how to trust God, which has given her strength. Her strongest gift is the gift of serving others—though some feel that she does this to the exclusion of taking care of herself.
Bobby’s biggest weakness is Zarah. He regrets allowing himself to be manipulated into ending their relationship fourteen years ago, and now fears that the case he’s been given to investigate at work might make it impossible to see if they’ll ever have a chance at finding happiness together.
Quirk (if any)
When Bobby needs to clear his head, he runs—whether through the neighbourhood or on a treadmill in the workout room at his condo complex. For him, it’s like he can see his problems falling into place like bricks along the path in front of him as he runs.
This story came about because of my love for Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion—a story of two people who fell in love, wanted to marry, but were separated in such a way as to create hard feelings between them; then they come back together many years later. So the inspiration for both Zarah and Bobby came from Anne and Frederick—though there are pieces of me and other people/fictional characters mixed in to make them completely mine.
Background to the story
Nashville native Bobby Patterson has just returned home after many years away to take a position with the Tennessee Criminal Investigations Unit. His new job: lead a task force investigating potential real estate fraud connected with the Middle Tennessee Historic Preservation Commission. Zarah Mitchell, who’s worked at the Commission for more than a decade, is about to face a piece of history that could ruin the life she’s built in Nashville: Bobby Patterson—her first love and the reason her father kicked her out fourteen years ago. When Bobby realizes Zarah is part of his investigation, he is tempted to use his grandmother’s not-so-subtle setups as a way to learn if Zarah is involved in the fraud. Zarah, at her grandmother’s suggestion, tries to put the pain from the past aside to see if any love remains between her and Bobby. But when she learns he’s been investigating her, will she be able to forgive him a second time?
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Stand-In Groom
Character spotlight on Kaye’s William Ransome & Julia Witherington from Ransome’s Honor
Visit Kaye’s website