Author Helen Brenna On Her Characters and Their Biggest Mistakes


Popular series author Helen Brenna discusses her newest Superromance Along Came A Husband and why her characters 'jump the gun' on their relationship for all the wrong reasons.

Every writer’s dream is for a book to write itself, to be in a zone where the fingers are flying across the keyboard effortlessly. If I’m lucky, I get one scene in every story that comes out of nowhere and hits me over the head in its urgency to get onto the page. I’ll be typing away and suddenly the characters get carried away in their own story and start doing something I didn’t see coming.

I was a little worried when it happened in Along Came A Husband, my June 2010 Harlequin Superromance. In part because it was a sex scene. But mostly because Missy Charms and Jonas Abel hadn’t even kissed yet.

Missy and Jonas, though, have an unresolved past, so I think they knew what they were doing when they hopped into bed together. They have amazingly hot chemistry and have ever since they met about four years before the book starts in a bar where she’s giving Tarot readings. One look into each other’s eyes and they were out the door and heading for his SUV. Sex in the parking lot. Sex back at his apartment. Sex the next morning.

It turned into more than a one-night stand. These two fell head over heels in love and got married less than three months later. But like many things that come together too quickly, Missy and Jonas slowly unraveled.

Their marriage didn’t fail because they didn’t love one another. It failed because they were too immature for the hard work and commitment necessary for a successful relationships. So Jonas thought he was doing Missy a favor when he faked his death and took a long-term undercover assignment with the FBI.

Along Came A Husband starts when he shows up at her front door four years later with a gunshot wound after his undercover mission goes sour. Suddenly, Missy gets a second chance to get this right. Except that, once again, their relationship starts off on the wrong foot. With sex.

Ever had sex and regretted it later? Wrong guy. Wrong location. Wrong everything. Usually that means the sex is bad, too, right? So what happens when you have the hottest sex you’ve ever had in your life, but hate yourself for it?

Sometimes bad things happen for a good reason. This sex scene happens to be a turning point for both characters. Jonas realizes he’s been undercover with the dregs of society too damned long, and Missy realizes she has some growing up to do.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Along Came A Husband is the 4th in my Mirabelle Island series, stand-alone stories set on a fictitious island off Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore. Three more Mirabelle books will be coming out in mid-2011.

And in the meantime, The Moon That Night, the sequel to Finding Mr. Right (an RT Top Pick) will be released in November 2010.

For more information, check out my website at

Happy reading!

- Helen Brenna