In my last post, I addressed the ‘Alpha’ heroine, who may be a little bit difficult to like at first, but then again, she’s on a journey of self-improvement. What, then, is the right kind of hero for her?
In my new novel, Moonlight on the Thames, Nicola Taylor is that spiky, hard-to-like kind of heroine. A high-flyer, in her high-powered job as a partner at a private equity firm, she’s used to doing multi-million pound deals and living in a man’s world. She’s been having an on-again, off-again affair with a man from her world, that leaves her feeling guilty and unfulfilled. For someone like Nicola, Christmas is the worst time of the year. It’s dark, and lonely, and she doesn’t want any part of it. It’s also impossible to avoid, when everyone around her is in the holiday spirit.
Dmitri Orlov is in many ways, the polar opposite of Nicola, but in some ways, they are also quite similar. Once a promising pianist from Russia, his career was stolen from him in his youth. He too experiences loneliness at Christmas, but combats it by embracing it: surrounding himself with people, spreading joy and cheer through the choir of Christmas carollers that he conducts. Dmitri has his own dark secrets and complexities, but he also has a genuine love of people. He has many friends who like and respect him, and he also goes out of his way to help people in need. He teaches music to children at a homeless shelter, and treats everyone he meets, no matter how downtrodden, as human beings. Dmitri, however, shies away from romantic relationships, sticking to casual sexual encounters and one night stands. And he definitely has his reasons.
When these two people come together, they have a magical day out in London that makes both of them question whether the choices they have made, and their beliefs that the secrets of the past make things impossible to change.
When I began writing the book, I had loosely based it in my mind on A Christmas Carol, with Nicola as Scrooge, and Dmitri as a sort of Ghost of Christmas Present, showing Nicola an alternative reality. While the book evolved from there, the themes are still present. In order to find love, both characters have to change. They have to confront their past, believe in the present, and reassess the paths they have set for themselves into the future. Most of all, they have to believe themselves worthy of love.
Each of them act as a catalyst for the other, and both of their lives are infinitely improved as a result. To me, this is the essence of happily ever after. Not just finding love with another person, but also learning to love and accept ourselves.
I hope that you will enjoy reading Moonlight on the Thames as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please do leave a rating or a review when you finish the book. It helps so much.
In an upcoming post, I am going to address some of the darker elements in the book. So do stay tuned.