First up, I want to say thanks to the Riding With The Top Down ladies for having me today. I’ve had two “top down” kind of cars in my lifetime – a General Motors (Ford in Australia) Capri convertible, and a Mazda Miata (MX5 in Australia) – so I understand and admire the whole “top down” ethos a great deal. I think it’s awesome that your blog celebrates this concept.
I wanted to talk today about tough choices. You know, those ones that are going to hurt no matter which option you end up choosing. Often they’re a choice between what we want and what we know is good for us. Sometimes they’re just plain hard.
Gabby, the heroine in my August Super Romance, One Good Reason, is a veteran of tough choices. Three years ago she made the decision to draw a line under her relationship with Tyler Adamson because she understood deep in her bones that she was far more committed to the relationship than he was. Tyler had secrets and hidden hurts that he refused to share with her, and he couldn’t understand why she took this as a sign that he didn’t fully trust her. So Gabby broke up with Tyler, even though she still loved him like crazy. She told herself she’d done the right thing. And she continued to be Tyler’s friend. She even went to work for him, and at the start of the book she is still managing the office in his successful furniture manufacturing workshop.
Tyler is the hero of my February release, The Last Goodbye, and in that story he met and fell in love with newspaper advice columnist Ally. In falling head over heels for her, he also offered up his trust to her, telling her all the things he’d always kept hidden from Gabby. Watching from the sidelines, Gabby saw how happy and in love he was and was happy in turn for him – and sad for herself. She couldn’t help but wonder what this other woman had that she didn’t. We’ve all done that, right?
At the start of One Good Reason, Tyler’s older brother Jon takes up Tyler’s offer to work in his business for a few months. Jon’s recently returned to Australia after ten years in Canada, and from the moment he and Gabby meet the sparks fly – but not in a good way! They both jump to wrong conclusions about each other. And then they work out that underneath all those misconceptions they might actually like each other. Suddenly Gabby is falling in love with another Adamson man. But Jon has secrets and hidden pain, too – like Tyler, his hurts are the result of a difficult and sometimes violent childhood. And like Tyler he wants to hold his cards tight to his chest rather than share them with Gabby.
At a certain point in their burgeoning relationship, Gabby realises that she’s about to lose herself in yet another relationship where she’s always being held at arm’s length. Suddenly Gabby’s faced with another one of those tough decisions. Stick it out with Jon and hope that this time things will end differently, or cut her losses and push him away while it’s still possible. I won’t tell you what she decides in case you get a chance to read the book, suffice to say that either way Gabby knows she’s in for one hell of a battle.
A couple of reviewers have talked about how much they wanted Gabby to have her happy ever after, and how brave they thought she was for holding out for what she felt she deserved. I was so pleased to read that other people got what I was aiming for when I wrote Gabby – a woman who knows herself and her own worth, and a woman who is brave enough to take the tough decision, even though she knows it’s going to hurt.
Can you relate to this? Have you ever had to make a decision that was tough at the time but that you knew in your gut was right? Or is there a decision you wish you could go back and undo with the benefit of hindsight?
I’d love to give away a set of The Last Goodbye and One Good Reason today, so comment to be in the running. I look forward to chatting with you all.