Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook's daughter pregnant wasn't part of any life plan, but he won't run from his responsibilities. He'll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn't have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close, because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn't with anyone--the truth and his heart.
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Welcome, Victoria, and huge congrats on your newest release! Can you tell us a little about THE BEST MAN'S BABY?
The Best Man’s Baby is book two in my Red River Series. It’s about two opposite people facing the repercussions of what was supposed to only be a one night stand. Claire is the ultimate good-girl, and Jake…well, he’s the town bad-boy. Their journey to HEA is filled with self-discovery, passion, laughter and heartache. They are both really strong-willed characters, neither of them willing to back down and surrender their beliefs. But they’re also both holding onto some painful memories, and Jake has a secret past that he must finally confront before moving on with Claire.
There were several memorable moments in the book, and I have a few choice favorites. Do you have a personal favorite?
I have two favorites…the first is in chapter one and I’d really hate to give it away, but it involves Claire finally getting up the nerve to do something impulsive and taking charge of her life. Unfortunately for Jake, it’s a little embarrassing ;-)
My other favorite was the epilogue…I know people either love them or hate them, but as a reader and as a writer, I adore epilogues. And I really wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Jake and Claire yet, especially as a happy couple.
Were there any parts of this book that were more challenging to write?
While so much of this book was light-hearted, there was a darker side to it. When Jake has a confrontation with his brothers and then finally opens up to Claire about his past, I found myself struggling. He was such a great hero to write-I really felt for him, and all the pain that he kept buried for so many years. So when he finally opens up to Claire and bares everything, completely vulnerable in front of her…well, he broke my heart. He’s the bad-boy with a true heart of gold. Lucky for him, Claire was the perfect woman to help him heal ;-)
When you began the Red River series, did you have Jake and Claire's story in mind, or did it evolve as you wrote book one?
It definitely evolved. I knew that Claire and Holly were these childhood best friends, and of course the two of them had their crushes on the brothers, but that was about it. Jake and Claire’s characters were really dynamic and just came to life as I wrote A Risk Worth Taking, and I remember getting really excited by the prospect of writing their stories.
The town of Red River is so charming. Was it inspired by a real place that holds special meaning to you?
Yes, Red River was inspired by a little fishing village I have been going to with my family since I was a child. It’s quaint, and everyone knows everyone…it has a lift-bridge, just like the one in Red River, and it’s on the shores of Lake Erie. Now that I have my own family, my husband and I take the kids a few times throughout the year.
This is your second book in the Red River series, and you have one more planned. Any hints into what we can expect in book three?
Ah, book three…I just turned it in a few weeks ago. If you follow my blog you’ll know that the youngest Manning brother proved to be the most difficult to write. There is a lot of angst and heartache in book three-of course with a HEA…but the journey to get there was a rough one. All the favorites are back of course, and there is another wedding in the book (probably not who anyone is expecting!) along with some brand new characters. I think I’ve left Red River and the Manning’s in a very good place…
Sadly, the Red River series will end with the third book. What can readers expect to see from you after that?
Right now, I’m working on another Indulgence. It’s a little different for me-no small town setting or scenario. This book is set in France...in a castle. Brand new characters, new families, new setting, glamour…I’m kind of in love with it at the moment ;-)
Thank you so much for chatting, Victoria!