Today I’m sharing an “After the Story Ended” inside look at my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts.
Here’s the synopsis:
TRUST WITH HEARTS
After a bitter breakup, Sherrie Parker seeks refuge at her cousin Dave’s house in rural West Virginia. Early one morning, she runs into Dave’s other houseguest, a singer named Curtis Taylor. The last thing Sherrie wants is to share living quarters with a country music crooner – even if he is sexy, in a cowboy sort of way.
Thrown together by circumstances, Sherrie and Curtis get off to a rocky start, but soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined. Unable to fight their growing attraction, they give in to their desires and start a sizzling summer romance.
Everything is perfect between them until Sherrie discovers that Curtis is keeping secrets from her – and his biggest secret of all will change everything. Can their newfound love survive, or will destiny keep them apart forever?
Most people don’t know that the book had a much longer and different ending. Here’s an exclusive snippet:
Curtis leaned back in the red vinyl booth as he toyed with his granddad’s pocketknife. He had found it in the back of a kitchen drawer this morning when they’d closed up Gram’s house. It wasn’t very sharp, but it made a nice memento.
For the last three days, Sherrie and Ginny had gone through the house, sorting and shipping important items to the ranch in
Now they were headed back to Dave’s house. It was late, but they would be home
by in the
morning. He was looking forward to telling Dave the good news about their
engagement in person. California
That pocketknife comes in handy later in the book when Curtis and Sherrie get into a terrible car accident. (Sherrie has to cut through the seat belt and pull Curtis out of the car before it burns.)
After they’re released from the hospital, they go back to Dave’s house to recover. Curtis’s cousin Jen and her son Rowan were coming to stay with them for a while. In the alternate ending I hint that Jen and Dave might hook up:
“Ginny and Rowan should be here soon,” Curtis said.
“Good. It’ll be nice to see them. I’m glad they’re gonna stay for a while. Has she ever met Dave?”
He shook his head. “Nope. Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if they hooked up and got married? Then we’d all be related in some weird hillbilly cousin kinda way.”
Sherrie laughed. “I just hope they get off to a better start than we did.” She batted his shoulder. “And I don’t think Dave’s going to settle down with anyone, anytime soon.”
Curtis shrugged. “You never know. Strange things happen. I got you to like country music,” he said with a wink.
So what happened after the story really ended?
When Curtis and Sherrie got back to California, Curtis started recording his latest CD titled “Yankee Girl” and was besieged by reporters. They wanted to know all about CJ’s “secret” life and find out every detail about him and Sherrie. At first he resented the media’s intrusion into his very private world, but after his brother threatened to blackmail him about his background, Sherrie convinced him to give a candid interview and open up about his past.
Sherrie volunteered at a local animal rescue shelter and helped them adopt out homeless cats.
Three months later, Curtis and Sherrie got married and honeymooned in Hawaii. Jen and Dave and most of Curtis’s band members were in attendance. After the honeymoon, Curtis went on tour with Sherrie at his side.
A Trust with Hearts sequel?
I had an idea for a follow up story focused on Jen and Dave. The basic plot went something like this:
One afternoon Jen finds out that her ex-boyfriend, Tony, has been released from prison. Jen fears that Tony will come after her and calls Dave for help. Dave tells her that she can stay at his guest cottage as long as she needs to. Jen arrives with her five-year-old son, Rowan, and Dave can see that she’s barely holding everything together.
Over two weeks, Dave and Jen bond and fight their growing attraction to each other. Dave helps Jen relax and see herself as not just a mother, but a sensual woman with needs. Dave and Jen have been hurt in the past and have trust issues, but eventually they give in to their desires.
When Jen goes to town she sees a man that looks like Tony and is afraid that he’s found her. Dave reassures her that everything is okay and she reluctantly lets Dave take care of Rowan for the rest of the day. When Rowan accidently gets injured, all of Jen’s fears resurface and she falls back into her old pattern of not being able to trust anyone. Dave and Jen argue and she decides to leave. That night as she packs, she finds Tony waiting for her in the cabin. Eager for revenge, Tony wastes no time terrorizing her.
The idea for the follow-up book is a romantic suspense – with plenty of intense love scenes between Dave and Jen.
Readers – I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about the alternate ending to Trust with Hearts? Should there be a spicy sequel featuring Dave and Jen? Or should we just leave the characters where they are?
I welcome your feedback, ideas, suggestions, and questions! Feel free to email me (or post a comment) and let me know what you think.