Character Spotlight: Victoria Bylin’s Jake & Mia (with a giveaway)


Meet a former police officer and a nurse in

Victoria Bylin’s

contemporary romance

The Two of Us

Bethany House


The Story

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding. 

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

Introducing Jake & Mia

Brief physical description

Jake Tanner:  Jake Tanner is tall and lean, with dark hair and intense green eyes. When he walks into a room, the world feels a little safer. Picture him in Wranglers and a plaid shirt, and he’s a working man running a business. Put him in a suit and tie, and he’s the best man at a friend’s wedding. Add hearing aids and his service dog, and you’ll know he was wounded in the line of duty as a Denver police officer.

Mia Robinson:  Mia reminds Jake of a sparrow. From a distance, her shoulder length hair appears to be plain old brown. But up close, it’s rich with subtle shades of chocolate and sienna. Her eyes, clear and blue, remind Jake of the pool at the base of Echo Falls. Mia is five-foot-six, an average weight, and has worked hard to earn the lab coat she wears as a nurse practitioner.


Sullivan Stapleton as Jake Tanner

Rel: Great to see another Australian feature, Victoria, and it’s not a Hemsworth 😉     

Nina Dobrev as Mia Robinson

Strengths and weaknesses

Jake:  Jake is almost too good to be true. He’s loyal, patient, generous, funny, deeply caring, and dedicated to his cause. But of course he’s not perfect. Because of his injury, he feels dead inside—until he meets Mia. He may be just a tad bit overprotective . . . or a lot, depending on the circumstances.

Mia:  Mia’s strengths and weakness are the opposite sides of the same coin. She’s very responsible—a good thing. But she struggles to let go of problems she can’t fix. On the surface, she’s calm and in control, but deep down, she’s a vulnerable child. Trust doesn’t come easily to her.

Quirk (if any)

Jake:  A bit of a scoundrel, Jake pretends his hearing aids aren’t working so he can play a joke on Mia.

Mia:  Don’t tell anyone, but Mia has a closet addiction to Skittles.

Your inspiration for the character

Jake:  The opening lines for The Two of Us go like this:  “Mia Robinson couldn’t take her eyes off the man in a cowboy hat working a claw machine game, the kind where a child—or a boyfriend or father—put in a dollar and tried to grab a toy in thirty seconds or less.”

The picture of that cowboy has been in my head since my family and I drove cross-country from Los Angeles to Washington DC. It was late when we stopped at a motel in Oklahoma and decided to grab dinner at a rundown coffee shop. A real-life cowboy swaggered to the claw machine game, cleaned  out the toys, and passed out stuffed animals to all the kids in the restaurant. I’ve wanted to put that cowboy in a book for a long time and finally found the perfect fit in Jake Tanner.

Mia:  Mia is a firstborn oldest daughter. So am I. We tend to carry the world on our shoulders. When trouble arises, we feel compelled to jump in and clean up the mess. But what happens when we’re the ones who need help? With Mia, I wanted to show both strength and vulnerability. She’s a “lab coat by day, Teddy Bear jammies by night” kind of person.

Background to the story 

Our culture sends out all sorts messages about love, sex, romance and marriage. In writing The Two of Us, my goal was to put flesh and blood on those messages and the questions they raise: Is there such a thing as waiting too long to consider marriage? How does a woman balance career choices with “heart” choices? What are the costs of waiting—both obvious and hidden? Mia would like to know!

And then we have impulsive Lucy, pregnant and married at 18. What will her life be like? What are the costs and benefits of getting married so young? The Two Of Us is an attempt to put the Christian view of love, romance and marriage in the context of our modern world choices and opportunities. No spoilers, but in the end, both women find their answers.

Thanks Vickie!

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Bylin @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Victoria’s website
Buy at Amazon: The Two of Us or Koorong

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20 Responses to Character Spotlight: Victoria Bylin’s Jake & Mia (with a giveaway)

  1. I enjoy reading about the romance that leads up to the marriage, but I also enjoy reading about how married couples work together over time.
    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. I love reading about both situations. Many books lead up to marriage which are great. But those that deal with the trials and joys in marriage are wonderful, too, as they’ve encouraged me in my own marriage.

  3. I have only read Victoria Bylin’s first novel, and would enjoy trying another. Reading about marriages, even if fictional, is often encouraging in my own life or in helping someone else.

  4. Since I’m a single gal, I prefer the romance leading up to marriage. But I have no preference of Sullivan Stapleton in Wranglers or a suit..I’ll take both, please. :-). Just saying.

  5. I enjoy reading the romances leading up to marriage. But I do would like to read more of the after marriage romances. There aren’t nearly enough of those that are well written and entertaining. I envision this type of relationship like Nick and Nora in The Thin Man or the married couple in Mr. and Mrs. Murder, an Australian television series I’ve been watching.

  6. I enjoy reading about existing marriages and the struggles and overcome obstacles the couples face. I don’t find enough of these books that I really enjoy.

  7. I enjoy reading about both. There are so many books that just show the romance before the marriage but not so many that show the nitty gritty of married life. It’s important to have both to be realistic. As much as we’d like it to be, it’s not all “happily ever after.”

  8. I have read a couple of Victoria’s books and loved them. I would love to win a copy of this one. I enjoy reading abut romances leading to marriage and, also, about marriages.

  9. I love to read about both. Each character is so unique and has their own story to tell

  10. I prefer romances leading up to marriage. I like seeing the chemistry and banter between the leads as they fall in love. I haven’t read too many romances when the couples are already married, but I’m not opposed to them.

  11. I don’t have a preference either way – but if there are married couples, I want them to get along. :)

  12. It should be a really good book! Wanna read!

  13. I like both kinds of books. It’s good to read about marriages that go thru things to see how God heals and directs. It’s also fun to have a bit of fresh romance, it can be something added to marriages which are just need a bright spark.

  14. I enjoy reading about the romance that leads to marriage.

  15. I enjoy both types of romances! :)

  16. I just wanted to say that I LOVED this book!! It was SOOO good!!! I read it in the car, and was so thankful for a long trip so that I could finish it. I even read parts of it to my husband, and he thought it was really well-written.

  17. I love both reading up to marriage and books set within a marriage. Sounds fabulous!

  18. Beverly Duell-Moore

    Sounds like a good book! I don’t Twitter or Tweet!

  19. This is a book I would like to win. The story looks very good. Thanks

  20. I enjoy reading both. Clean romance is fun at any stage, and I like changing it up and reading about couples once they are married and the trials they face or ways they interact with others. This looks like a fun read!

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