He's a writer with a dark soul forged from a dark past. He writes dark books.
Annie Hewitt - She's an actress cum puppeteer. She hasn't had a sunny past, either, but it hasn't effected her quite as strongly. She is currently down on her luck, though.
They knew each other back in the day. It ended badly.
Now here they are again; neighbors. Him in the big mansion on the hill. Her in creepy Moonraker Cottage.
From the jacket: "Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business."
When Susan Elizabeth Phillips lectured about this book, she talked about using a device she has used before. Annie's feelings are voiced by her puppets. Theo's by his novel characters.
You might remember she did this in a book called This Heart Of Mine. In the book Molly writes children's books. One of her characters, Daphne, voices Molly's thoughts she can't say out loud. Another character, Benny, parallels what Molly is thinking about Kevin Tucker. I loved this book, too.
Of course, Susan writes romances and we can trust her to give us a happily ever after that was worth all the trouble getting there. In fact, some of my favorite HEA's are from Susan's books.
I dearly love the epilogue* for this book where the puppets are having a conversation with Annie and Theo's progeny, little Charlie Harper. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it by saying anything more.
The ending of This Heart of Mine was great, too. This is a spoiler so if you haven't read it, skip this paragraph. Molly and Kevin are in a boat in the middle of the lake. Kevin ties his big sweatshirt around Molly like a straight jacket and throws her in. He waits a bit and then jumps in to rescue her. When she asks him what he is doing, he tells her he has to prove he loves her like Dan did with her sister Phoebe in It Had To Be You, by saving her life. She points out that Dan didn't try to kill Phoebe first and Kevin's reply is that he likes to go the extra mile. I laughed so hard.
My all time favorite ending, though, is the very last paragraph from her book, Breathing Room:
"They'd just begun to drift off when the door creaked open and two pairs of small feet scampered across the carpet, fleeing all the monsters who lived in the dark. Ren reached out and drew the invaders into the warmth of the bed. Their mother cuddled them close. For the next few hours peace reigned in the Villa of the Angels."During her lecture, she said in a very self-deprecating tone that it takes her a full year to write a book and she isn't getting any faster. She is currently writing another book in the Chicago Star series (It Had to Be You and This Heart of Mine are both part of that series.) She said she thought sure she was finished with the series and, in fact, her husband, Mr Bill, says the Stars have had more quarterbacks than any football team in the history of football.
It was so lovely meeting her, hearing her lecture, mingling with her fans and getting my book signed.
I look forward to her next book. If you haven't read Heroes go for it. It really is one of my SEP favorites.
*I told Susan that I now had a signed book and a picture of myself with both her and Crusie. She told me Crusie's only flaw was her aversion to epilogues. I agree!