Time for another installment of What A Character Chat. We’ve got a live one this week! Help me welcome Blake Caldwell, the hero of Can’t Buy Me Love by the fabulous Amy Lillard.
Hiya, Blake! Such a cutie. Before we begin, would you mind telling us about your story in Twitter fashion?
Blake: To inherit the family fortune, Blake Caldwell must marry. He waits too long and is forced to wed a stranger. What could possibly go wrong?
Mac: Oh, I have the feeling plenty will go wrong on the way to right. What do you consider your biggest strength?
Blake: Well, Mac…can I call you Mac?
Mac: Of course.
Blake: I feel my biggest strength is my loyalty. I have worked so very hard at Caldwell Clothing to keep it up and running. I’ve given everything and more to the company. Maybe that’s why I don’t see the fairness in having to find a bride I neither want or need.
Mac: Uh huh. Biggest weakness?
Blake: I guess some would say that I’m a bit stubborn. I don’t know that I necessarily consider that a weakness, but I believe that Paige might disagree with me.
Mac: Yeah, see. I noticed that stubborn tendency in the biggest strength answer. It’s a guy thing. Chicks understand that life is hardly ever fair, so I’m sure Paige would disagree with you. Ahem! The romance genre is often heavy with heartbreaking conflict but what makes you laugh?
Blake: Lately, not much. But I used to love to watch old black and white movies with my Aunt Virginia. I enjoy my morning swim in the pool, but I can’t say that it makes me laugh. Hmmm…that’s a tough one. Perhaps that means I should stop being so concerned with work and learn to laugh a bit more. Interesting…
Mac: Ya think? Oh, Paige! *winks* Okay, what was the toughest aspect of your story for you and your author, Amy, to work through?
Blake: Paige feels that she is not as beautiful as her sister Lydia. How could she not be? They are twins after all. But somehow Lydia manages to attract the limelight while Paige has been content her whole life to live in the African jungle among a tribe that could count on one hand the number of white men they’ve seen.
Having her find her self-worth and beauty was feat in itself. I’m still not sure to this day that she realizes how very lovely—and worthy—she is. I guess I’ll just have to keep showing her.
Mac: Oh, Blake. Great answer. There’s hope for you yet. Give us a short excerpt from your favorite scene in Can’t Buy Me Love, will you? And tell us why it’s your favorite.
Blake paused at Paige’s door. She looked sleepy and content as she gazed up at him with those dangerous sea‑colored eyes. She looked so natural with her strappy pink shoes hooked on the fingers of one hand. It would be all too easy to lean down and capture her mouth with his own, then to push his way into that yellow and white room and make love to her until the sun went down tomorrow.
He dragged his gaze away from hers. He couldn’t do that to her. He couldn’t do that to himself. In a few short months this chapter of his life would be closed and the both of them would join the statistics of the divorced.
“Good night, Paige,” he whispered gruffly. He turned and hurried to his room before he could change his mind.
Blake: Maybe it’s not this scene that’s my favorite but what it leads up to. I walk away from her once. But I won’t a second time. A marriage of convenience can only last so long, I knew that going in, but I don’t think Paige realized it until this night.
Favorite? Oh, yeah.
Mac: LOL You’re such a guy, Blake. Now, last but not least, please ask one question for visitors.
Blake: How much money would it take for you to marry a stranger?
Mac: Hmmm. That’s a tough one. After all, I’m not cheap, but I can be had. So, I’d love another little taste of Can’t Buy Me Love, and where can we find you…er, your story, and Amy?
Thanks to his aunt’s cockamamie will, Blake Caldwell has two choices: get married or forfeit the family fortune. He’s worked too hard to let it all go. He’s got to get married. All he needs now is someone who’s not from his social circle. A woman willing to sign a pre-nup and walk away after the required year of marriage.
Enter Paige Parker: temporary secretary and wallflower extraordinaire. Paige just wants to raise enough money to get back to her father’s missionary work in Africa. Blake’s offer of marriage is the perfect solution. Play wife for one year, then she can return to the remote village where she belongs.
But marriage between strangers is never easy. Blake finds Paige more of a distraction than an asset as she begins to transform before his eyes. Until the sudden and strange accidents that endanger Blake’s life have him suspecting his plain bride wants the entire inheritance for herself.
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