Opposites attract in Stephanie Grace Whitson's A Most Unsuitable Match. But what does that really mean for the well-to-do heroine Fannie and Samuel, the common man who catches her eye while they are both on board a steamship headed West? Today we get all the details about Fannie, Samuel and the spark of inspiration that became this new inspirational historical romance.
“They are opposites in every way … except in how neither one can stop thinking about the other.” The back cover copy for my August release A Most Unsuitable Match makes me smile every time I read it, because I didn’t set out to write that story. Honest. I’m a victim of my own characters, two young people who marched onto my raggedy steamboat and took things into their own hands.
I begin every book the same way: forcing a woman into a challenging historical setting and seeing how she does. The setting for A Most Unsuitable Match was inspired by a visit to Desoto Bend Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska where the cargo from a wrecked steamboat is on display. What kind of woman would willingly step aboard a battered steamboat and head up the Missouri in 1869? Surely not a well-to-do one. Ta-dah. Enter sheltered, well-to-do Fannie Rousseau, the least likely woman to EVER undertake such a journey.
Next question: what kind of man would Fannie be drawn to? Certainly not a common laborer running from the past. Ta-dah. Enter Samuel Beck. Eventually, these two people from different worlds discover that the very things that make them so different ... the very things that would make the world look at them and say “a most unsuitable match” … actually create a strong bond of friendship flavored with sparks of “wow … she’s beautiful” and “my … he’s amazing.” But flying sparks don’t always ignite the kind of love that lasts. So … how to draw these two people together in spite of themselves.
Armed with piles of history books and pages of notes, I asked myself more questions. What would make a girl like Fannie head for remote, rustic, bawdy, Fort Benton? She’d have to have a mighty strong motivation. In Fannie’s case, that motivation turns out to be the promise of the very thing she’s always felt lacking—family love and acceptance. Why is Samuel Beck on that boat? Why is he drawn to Fannie—a young woman clearly “out of his league.”
As it turns out, Fannie and Samuel have something profound in common. Eventually, their mutual emotional need and regret over the past combines with a natural disaster to draw them together. But then Samuel finds spiritual answers to his deepest questions about life—answers that give him a sense of peace and a new excitement about his purpose in life. When Fannie fails to understand, there’s more conflict and tension between them. Eventually, Fannie and Samuel come to believe that their emotional and spiritual bond is strong enough to overcome their differences. The journey is bumpy, but in the end … love wins.
It’s gratifying to provide readers with a few hours of adventure and romantic tension, especially when there is an underlying promise that things are going to turn out just as they should.
Life is hard. Read a romance!
- Stephanie Grace Whitson
Stephanie Grace Whitson is right, sometimes life is hard. So, if you're looking for a good romance to read, you can dive right into A Most Unsuitable Match in stores now!