I like a hero who’s solid and honorable but—not too perfect. Guys who definitely talk and act like guys, not some version of what we women sometimes wish they were. I’m not sure how successfully I accomplish that, but … 🙂
After five long years of war, Jedidiah (“Jed”) Wheeler is not just older but more world-weary, and swings between cynicism and anger over the various injustices he sees. Though he played the role of instigator to his cousin Sam in my previous novella The Highwayman, his devil-may-care attitude has grown somewhat of an edge. When asked to take on what amounts to a suicide mission, he does so fully expecting to lose his life, and caring little about that.
And then he meets Lizzy. He’s sharp-eyed enough to recognize the signs of neglect, and he suspects abuse and all his protective instincts rise up on her behalf. So much for cool detachment on this mission! And suddenly his own life counts for more than he expected. He isn’t entirely happy about that, but he also knows that if he doesn’t stay alive to be there for Lizzy, no one else may be.
He also finds Lizzy beautiful, where others seem not to. He sees a depth in her eyes that grabs him by the heart. And more than anything he finds he wants to be the one that makes her believe she’s lovely, that she has worth.
Oh, and he’s on the tallish side, with sturdy shoulders and a square, mostly ordinary face that escapes plainness by the humor that his sparkling blue eyes betray. Longish, straight blond hair is caught back in a plain colonial-style tail, and he dresses in otherwise nondescript shirt, breeches, waistcoat, and hunting frock (moccasins instead of shoes) … but Lizzy notes that his cocked hat is a little “fancy.”
So much for not being too perfect, huh? 😉
BIO: After more than two decades in the South, Shannon McNear now makes her home on the windy northern plains with her husband, four of their eight children, two German Shepherds, four cats, several chickens, and a noisy flock of guinea fowl. She serves in worship and youth ministry, and has been writing novel-length fiction since age 15. Her first novella, Defending Truth, from A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® nominee. When not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the Dakota prairies.