Now that she's in San Amaro, Texas, Dr. Rachel Culver has very little room for socializing. Working double shifts in the E.R. is jump-starting the medical career she's worked so hard for. She'll worry about a social life later. Still, when gorgeous Cale Jackson is constantly around, concentrating on work-and keeping old feelings at bay-is difficult.
How can Rachel not notice him? Especially when he's being so nice, so irresistible. Cale doesn't seem to understand she has good reasons to avoid him-reasons that only got bigger when she lost her twin sister. Worse, the way he treats her resurrects her long-denied hope their time together has finally arrived!
Amy Knupp is a multi-published author of contemporary romance and a freelance copy editor for Blue Otter Editing LLC. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and five cats. She graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in French and journalism and feels lucky to use very little of either one in her writing career. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, buying books in excess, traveling, breaking up cat fights, watching college basketball, and playing addictive computer games.
I've been a huge Amy Knupp fan for years and, as expected, this book was right up there with her other excellent Texas Firefighters series. From page one, we're drawn in to the characters and the emotions involved. At first I thought this storyline would be too sad, and it was sad, but it was impossible to put down. I became so invested in the characters, so pulled in to their grief and despondency that I spent several nights reading way past my normal bedtime hours.
What I loved most was the obvious pull these two main characters had on each other – their apparent need for one another. By chapter two, I was screaming for them to come together, even though they fought it page after page (of course magically building the tension and the conflict). Rachel and Cale were both haunted by Noelle’s death, Rachel’s twin sister. Noelle’s tragic death brought much sadness to those around her, but especially these two main characters who were involved emotionally. Rachel, her twin sister, happened to be the complete opposite than bubbly, socialite Noelle. Rachel had always been the brainiac sister. Yet, they had that connection that is so often referred to with twins. Cale, her fiancée, loved Noelle and didn’t know how to stop loving her. Neither of them ready to move on in life, drew upon each other to get past their personal hurdles and learned to live in life rather than death.
This was a beautiful love story. Two people who fought every step to be together were actually meant to be together in every way. Amy Knupp tied this whole cast of characters, storyline, and another great firefighter tale into one perfect romance I’m glad I didn’t miss.
My favorite scene takes place after Cale and Rachel’s first disagreement, after Cale loses it and accuses Rachel of not handling her grief for her sister very well. Rachel escapes to her refuge—kayaking in the bay—and Cale follows her there. They’re both raw from all the emotions of the morning, and these emotions work their way out in the scene. While it’s a serious scene, it also makes me laugh—and I hope readers will laugh as well—because the characters’ anger morphs into begrudging playfulness.
Most _____________ in high school. (popular, nerdy, sporty…) Why?
I was voted most likely to succeed in high school. Why? I guess because I got good grades and tried not to make enemies. I suspect there are people from my class who didn’t get as good of grades who are more successful now…but then, it depends on how you define success. I’m not rolling in money, and I drive a 1999 minivan named Myrtle, but I love what I do for a career, both writing and freelance editing, and I’m generally happy with my life.
What is your writing environment?
My writing environment is ever-changing. I have a desk in my bedroom, but that’s mostly where I handle my freelance editing business (unless it’s the only place I can have peace). Most of my writing is done before the sun comes up (and before my noisy family crawls out of bed) and I usually sit on the couch or at the dining room table to work then. My favorite place to write is on the deck, with the sun shining and a slight breeze, but living in Wisconsin, that’s not possible for half the year.
One of your favorite quotes.
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow."
I draw on this quote repeatedly in my writing career, because even after twelve published books and a few other manuscripts, there’s a point (at least one) in every manuscript when writing is scary, when I’m convinced I can’t pull off the book, or that it’s the worst thing I’ve written yet. And all I can do is try again the next day.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I used to try to plan out everything. It never worked out well. Now I get the story idea and I do spend some time pondering it. Then I write the first chapter or two, often without knowing a lot of detail about my characters. The more I write, the more they “appear” to me, or the more I develop them. I sometimes fill out character charts for the hero and heroine but usually not until I’m partway done with the story. It’s been key for me to learn to trust myself to move forward without knowing every single thing about the characters or story.
Which actor or book character do you have a crush on? This will date me, but I have a thing for Rob Lowe. Still.
What’s your favorite body part of the opposite sex? Hands. They say a lot about a guy.
What does love feel like? Warm, tingly, light and bubbly.
Hey, baby! What’s your sign? Libra
When was your last kiss? My husband kisses me before he leaves the house every day.
What’s an absolute no-no in a relationship? Lying.
How did you meet your significant other? We worked on the college newspaper together, but it was scandalous because he was on the news staff and I was on the advertising staff. (These two don’t normally mix!)
What’s your idea of a perfect date? Dinner for two overlooking the water, a sunset, an adult beverage, and good conversation.
If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be? A tour of the Loire Valley chateaux in France.
Do you believe in love at first sight? No. I think you need to know someone before you can love him or her. Lust at first sight? Sure!
Planner or Panster? A combination of the two
White wine or red? Yes, please.
Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla
Sweet or salty? My fave is a combo, like trail mix with nuts and chocolate.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in (though I work best if I get up early)
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Winter or summer? Summer!
Cat or dog? Cat (I have 5. :/)
Spotlight or In the Shadows? Shadows
City or Country? City
Clubbing or candlelight dinner? Candlelight dinner
Backpacking or luxury hotel? There’s a time and place for both, but I’ll never get my husband backpacking.
Morning or night person? Night
Optimist or pessimist? Realist verging on optimist.
Amy is graciously giving away an autographed copy of one of her Texas Firefighters series, winner's choice. I've read them all and they are all GREAT! (Available titles are: Playing With Fire, A Little Consequence, Fully Involved, Burning Ambition, Island Haven, After the Storm, or A Time For Us. More information on each story can be found athttp://www.amyknupp.com/
Leave a comment below stating which book you'd like to win and why. Winner will be chosen randomly on June 7.