Message From The Author

Toni Blake

Genre: General Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

What is it about a woman going home to her small town that readers love? For me, I never consciously decided to write this kind of book – it just started happening. First in Tempt Me Tonight, then again in One Reckless Summer, book one in my Destiny series. And now I’ve returned to that theme again in Sugar Creek. I guess there’s just something compelling about the idea of facing your past, confronting your youth, being plunked back down in the place where you became … you.

There’s no denying that youth is a dramatic time for all of us. We have our first love, our first kiss, our first temptations. We face peer pressure, we learn what kind of person we are, and we begin to break away from our parents’ influence and guidance to shape our own lives for the first time. And when you go home … well, going back to the places where all those dramatic moments in your life took place is about as close as you’ll come to experiencing them – feeling them – all over again.

Maybe I’m drawn to this type of story because I grew up in a small town myself. I understand the strange push/pull a small town can have on you. And no matter how long I’m away, I have to admit the place still feels like home.

In Sugar Creek, the next Destiny novel, home is the last place Rachel Farris want to be going. She’s a hardened city girl now and she’s left the small town of Destiny, Ohio far, far behind. But before it’s over, even tough-as-nails Rachel is softened by the life and the people she finds there, most notably gruff cop Mike Romo.

At first, these two can’t help but butt heads – and that part was enormous fun to write – but when Rachel begins to learn exactly what happened to make Mike so gruff, it begins to change everything inside her. There’s a lot of humor in this book, and a lot of sexiness, too – but I think and hope that what holds all my books together is that they also have a lot of heart. Rachel and Mike both have to dig a little deeper than most people, have to break through the rough exterior shells they’ve built to protect themselves, in order to get to the softer emotions still inside them, but eventually, they find their destiny in Destiny.

It was a pure joy for me to revisit Destiny in Sugar Creek, and I’m happy to tell readers there are lots of upcoming Destiny books in the works, so right now is a great time to dig in and fall in love with the town, with the characters, and with that indefinable push/pull of going home. I can only hope readers will love Mike and Rachel’s story as much as I loved writing it!

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