Although Grant Gerard was introduced to readers in the first book (A Night of NovelTea), you really don’t know much about him. Juliet is telling the story and she doesn’t know who he is or what he’s doing. In fact, these are the things she contemplates when she is trying to talk herself out of falling for him.
In book #2, NovelTea Next Door, we learn a lot more about Grant yet there is still much more to be explored in the subsequent titles. When I started to write the sequel, I wasn’t exactly sure how he would come across. After writing a few chapters, I had my critique partner read it and she said it was interesting that he’s cocky and he knows it. That was very telling to me and I used that as I continued to write. He’s cocky; he knows it, but why??
Grant Gerard is a government agent who has always been very focused on the job. He likes his life uncomplicated but meeting Juliet changed all that. He’s attracted to her but he’s also working with her and knows he needs to keep his distance or he will blow this operation and put Juliet into even more danger. He also finds Juliet incredibly refreshing because she is so honest and sincere. He isn’t used to that. He’s used to working with criminals and hardened agents.
NovelTea is a romantic suspense series but it is also riddled with romantic comedy and contains a fun, humorous and at times sarcastic tone.
Okay without further ado, here are a few excerpts to let you more into the mind of our intrepid hero:
Another week wraps up to a gratifying conclusion. Another perp stashed safely behind bars. When I thought of myself it couldn’t be as anything more or less than—Grant Gerard, Government Agent. It was my identity. I may not love it each and every moment of every day but it was in my blood, a part of me. It was what I ate, drank, and dreamed about—day in and day out. At least, that’s the way it used to be.
****“Grant, get in here a minute.”
Harry’s authoritative voice snapped me back to reality. I knew that tone. What had I done now?
“What’s up Harry? You have another niece in town dying to meet me?” I casually slipped into one of the vinyl covered chairs in his office and crossed my ankles on top of his desk as I gave him a big grin. I don’t know why I did it. I knew it would tick him off but it was too tempting and I was still on a high from Juliet’s smile.
“Why don’t you make yourself at home, Gerard? You finished with the games?” He shifted in his seat, leaning his right elbow into the armrest as the rest of his body moved in toward me on the other side of his desk.
I sat up straighter as I took in his serious tone, the vinyl of the chair beneath my legs reverberating offensively. “What’s all this about?”
“It’s Alexis Guthrie.”
****I pressed the doorbell and a minute later, Juliet herself stood in front of me. Dressed in a green, fluffy robe with her damp nearly waist-length auburn hair hanging behind her and her bangs pulled back with a head band, she looked as natural as a modern girl can these days. Her recently showered scent was tantalizing. There went those ideas of mine again.
“Someone order Chinese?” I opened with a big smile. Her cheeks filled with color as she recognized me. Appearing completely stunned, she was speechless and I’m sure a little embarrassed. I’d called her bluff.
The next second, I found she’d tripped over her enormous, furry slippers and was coming right for me. What could I do? I dropped the food and caught her. I twirled her around and looked into her deep brown eyes with golden swirls moving in their seemingly bottomless depths.
“Falling for me again?” I flashed her one of my signature grins. Then I set her upright, grabbed the sacks of food and waltzed right inside. Apparently, she still hadn’t found her voice.
I left the doorway and moved into the apartment. It had become habit to enter any location with a practiced eye—surveying it like a highly technical device, scoping out the windows, doors, balcony, and anything that on short notice could double as a possible weapon.
After examining the room, I noticed she’d paused the movie. A chick flick, one I’d actually seen before. There was a cup of tea and a bowl of popcorn on her oak-stained coffee table, signifying it was a party for one. I set the bags of food down on the table and plopped onto the worn but comfortable looking couch while I spread my arms across the back and smiled at Juliet still standing in the entryway. She joined me a moment later, minus the slippers. The head band was gone too and she was attempting to fluff her bangs into some kind of control.
“Sorry if I’ve interrupted your plans but you’re just going to have to postpone them.”
“Grant Gerard, what…what…”
“What am I doing here?” I tossed some of her popcorn into my mouth and flipped the movie back on with the remote.
“Yes…hey! How did you get that?” She looked at the remote in my hand as she patted at her robe. “I thought I put it..."
“You did. I lifted it from your pocket.”
A smile pulled at her mouth. She was trying to repress it, but there it was just the same. “What are you? Some kind of…professional pickpocket?”
“Well, yeah, when the job calls for it.” I grinned again. Then I stopped the movie and set the remote on the arm of the couch beside me.