(Julie Ann Emery)
Needing inspiration, hard-hearted New York novelist Dru Cassadine needs to write the “novel of her life” before Christmas is over, but her newest romance story may just star her and the most eligible bachelor in her hometown.
Dru has enjoyed an exciting, successful career as a romance novelist. She has quite the reputation for being a literary superstar followed, fervently, by adoring fans. Dru was originally from Harbor Pointe, a small, southern coastal town, and when she left, she never looked back, throwing herself completely into the electric rush of New York City life. She is sophisticated, stylish, independent, opinionated, and can come across as a bit aloof. Now, her confidence is about to be shaken. Lately, book sales are down, and her fans are drifting. An acerbic book critic is relentless in his attacks. Her fast-talking agent begs her to get down to business, and her publisher has given her an ultimatum: deliver “the novel of her life” by the end of the holiday season, or she’s out. Reluctantly, she heads home for Christmas to get the creative juices flowing again.
Local building contractor and artist, Brysen Flynn and his daughter, Peyton, are fairly new to the Harbor Pointe area. A widower, Brysen is a bit of a mystery, though friendly, quick-witted, gentle and handsome in a rugged kind of way. He still struggles with the loss of his wife and a promise to her he was not able to keep.
Ellie is Dru’s doting mother. She is proud of her daughter’s accomplishments, but wishes she could see her more often. Ellie is a native of Harbor Point, is active in the community and is loved by everyone in town. She runs the popular bed and breakfast, and prides herself on being the person people turn to for advice. She’s taken Brysen’s daughter, Peyton, under her wing, acting as a surrogate grandmother for the girl.
Peyton is widower, Brysen’s only child. She is smart, witty, optimistic and creative. At her young age, she, like Dru, is a writer. She is a heartfelt romantic who believes all stories should have happy endings. When Dru returns to Harbor Pointe, young Peyton is overjoyed. She is a big fan of Dru’s and has read all her books.
Fletcher is overzealous, persnickety, and opinionated without filters…in other words, a book critic and blogger, whose reviews can make or break a writer. Right now, his target is Dru, and he never misses an opportunity to get under her skin—and push her to her limits. Despite his adversarial relationship with Dru, he recognizes she’s in a rut and challenges her to “step-up” her game and expand her literary horizons.
Hawk is Dru’s highly-caffeinated, fast-talking New York agent. While Dru may be in denial about her downslide in sales, Hawk is hyper-concerned. He’s ambitious, a tad pushy, but truly cares about Dru’s career. That means he’ll do anything to keep her publisher happy and Dru’s books on the bestseller list.
Marian was Dru’s best friend, until high school, when the two drifted apart. Dru, being the creative type, was looked upon as just a bit bizarre. As Marian’s popularity rose, Dru’s receded, and Marian went on to become a cheerleader and homecoming queen. Upon graduation, she took a job in her father’s real estate company is one of the most prominent realtors in the area. She married and never left Harbor Pointe.