This book. These characters. Outstanding.
Brass Tabby by Rowan Helaine in December in the Contemporary Romance (Dark Comedy) genre.
It’s loathe at first felony for the man with no future and the girl with no past.
Left blind and gruesomely scarred following a horrific accident, former golden boy Grant Harcourt isn’t looking for new friends when a snarky ball of hellfire dives into the back of his chartered car. Scrappy street artist Enola Fothergill is just trying to survive, and she definitely doesn’t need the attention that association with the Harcourt clan could bring. A bungled carjacking sparks a slow-burning passion, but when Nola’s murky former life catches up with her, they’ll both have to decide how far they’re willing to go for love.
Howling At The Moon:
Grant craned his neck to inhale the dry tang of an approaching electrical storm, feeling an unexpected thrill go through him. She didn’t seem like the type to check the weather before doing anything, so there was a strong possibility that if she didn’t head home, the rain would keep her in one place. As embarrassing as it was to admit, she never really left him anyway. If she hadn’t shown up when she did, he would have spent the last four hours before sunrise staring up at the ceiling and thinking about her before he finally fell asleep. “So. How was work?”
“Long,” she said. An instant later, she tipped back her head and let loose with a sonorous howl. The sound carried for a while, across the broad expanse of the lawn before it echoed off the tightly packed cedar hedge at the edge of the property. He could hear the way the sound struck the trunks of the trees and bounced back, barely a whisper on the return.
Grant laughed, genuinely laughed, for the first time he could remember. “What the hell was that?”
She responded with another howl, louder this time, projecting her voice into the sky. Leaning against him, she nudged him with her shoulder. “Go ahead. Try it.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born and raised in New England, Rowan is currently leading a semi-nomadic existence in the company of her aggressively affectionate hound dog Filburt and a hardy Finnish sourdough starter. She enjoys solo travel, rescue animals, men, and carbs.
What are the worst traits of your heroine and hero?
I would have to say that the most challenging trait in both Enola and Grant is the way they have internalized their trauma. I liken Grant’s personal trauma to a meteor strike. In one moment, everything he was had been ripped away from him, and he couldn’t cope. He was so focused on the things that he’d lost that he let his disillusionment take him to a very self-destructive place. He missed his old self so much that he couldn’t find a pathway forward.
Meanwhile, Enola experienced longterm, sustained trauma, which as a very different kind of effect on a person. Several of my beta readers actually came to me with the comment that she seemed emotionally closed off, and I had to go back and rewrite her so that the reader would be given a better view of her thoughts, but there was a point where I had to stop because opening her up too much would damage the purity of the character. The truth is, that kind of longterm abuse, coupled with the constant existential dread of discovery, creates an overdeveloped defense response. A person may look totally normal, function as an adult, have a great sense of humor, but there in a line you can never cross with them. Those scars run deep.
The big joke in all of this is when you take two deeply traumatized people and put them together, it can foster the kind of understanding that transcends their defenses and creates something like a soul bond. In a way, Grant and Nola were exactly what the other person needed to get to a healthier place.
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