Meet the Character Day: Chatting with Curtis Taylor from Trust with Hearts
This “Meet the Character Day” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each “Behind the Scenes” blog, I talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. The “Meet the Character Day” blogs are fun chats with the heroes and heroines from my romances. Warning: blogs may contain spoilers.
Hello romance lovers! Today we’re chatting with Curtis Taylor, the hero from Trust with Hearts by Kelli A. Wilkins. Let’s see what’s on his mind…
Greetings, Curtis. Trust with Hearts is a contemporary summer romance. Can you tell us a bit more about the book?
Sure, I’d be glad to. The basic premise is: Sherrie moves in with her cousin Dave, and I’m already staying there. So we’re sorta thrown together and forced to get along. Or not. Sherrie is a city girl and hates country music, and I’m a country boy who just happens to make his living in country music, so you can imagine there’s lots of opportunity for conflict. But once we get past all that, Sherrie and I start a tenuous, yet passionate, summer romance. Readers will be intrigued and hooked right away.
In a good romance, the relationship between the hero and the heroine usually gets off to a rocky start. Tell us about your first meet with Sherrie. What attracted you to her?
Well… nothing. (Laughs) I met Sherrie early one morning—before she even knew I was staying with Dave. And she was a bit grouchy. She said a “banjo boy” kept her up all night playing music… Well, I didn’t take the insult too kindly, and I told her so. And off we went, right on page 1, we started fussin’ and feudin’. I liked teasing her, and I thought she was pretty (and had great legs) but she needed to tone down her attitude.
Sherrie came from the city and you’re a country boy at heart. How do you make that work in a relationship?
For the first few chapters, we fought like cats and dogs. Sherrie would insult country music (or me), and I’d tell her she didn’t know what she was talking about. After a few weeks of being forced together, (Dave conveniently left us alone a lot. It was his way of playing matchmaker.) I saw her vulnerable side and opened up to her. In time, we realized we both had been hurt in previous relationships and had serious trust issues. Once we dropped our defenses, we got along just fine.
Most romance readers know Kelli likes to torment her main characters. She tends to put them through the emotional wringer. When Kelli wrote the book, she gave you and Sherrie a lot of baggage, trust issues, and conflict. Tell us how she made your life miserable.
For most of the book I’m hiding a big secret from Sherrie, and when she finds out the truth it nearly ends our relationship. Kelli said the “bombshell” scene where Sherrie learns my secret was one of her favorites to write—but it put us through hell.
Sherrie already had a hard time trusting people, so learning I’d lied to her about something major shattered her trust in me and destroyed our relationship. At the same time, I’d just gotten horrible news, and I was in no mood to be questioned or to deal with a royally pissed-off girlfriend. I didn’t behave in the best way, and shut Sherrie out. (Thanks Kelli.) It took Sherrie a long while to come around, and for a time, I was certain we were finished. But in the end, we have a happy-ever-after.
But I’ll give Kelli credit, she wrote several amazing love scenes. And I certainly can’t complain about those. Sherrie and I weren’t incompatible in the bedroom, by any means! (Laughs)
Describe yourself in four words.
Stubborn, complex, sexy, talented.
Do readers need to be country music fans to enjoy Trust with Hearts?
Not at all. The book uses country music as a backdrop and setting for the main romance. If anything, country music fans might find Sherrie’s loathing and lack of understanding about the genre amusing. Readers who don’t like country music will probably agree when Sherrie calls country music “sad songs in denim.”
There’s a rumor that once upon a time the book had an entirely different ending. Is it true?
Yes. When Kelli originally wrote the book, Sherrie and I were in a horrible car accident and I nearly died. Sherrie risked her life to pull me out of a burning car. Kelli deleted those scenes from the current edition of the book, and wrote a new epilogue to tie up everything.
Will there be a sequel to Trust with Hearts?
After Trust with Hearts came out, Kelli was going to write a sequel, but other books got in the way and it never happened. Her idea was to have Dave fall in love with my girl cousin. (She seeks refuge with Dave the same way Sherrie did.) Kelli has shelved the project, but she did say if enough readers want a sequel, she might be persuaded to write a novella-length version of the idea. (Readers: Let her know your thoughts about this on social media.)
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with readers and talk about this great book. Trust with Hearts is a summer romance with interesting characters, an unusual storyline, and plenty of sizzling love scenes. It will make you laugh, cry, and root for love. I hope you’ll add it to your summer reading list.
Kelli has written romances in all genres—historical, paranormal, contemporary, gay, and straight—but they all have two things in common—they’re all unique stories, and they’re anything but boring! I invite readers to catch up on all of Kelli’s romances and visit her on social media. If you missed any blog in this series, you can catch up here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog
TRUST WITH HEARTS
After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.
Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.
Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?
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Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/trust-with-hearts
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 3 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.
She released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing in early 2021. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.
In 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.