Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LOVE IS LOVELIER with Donna Simonetta

I'm joined by fellow Wild Rose Press Author Donna Simonetta, who has a new contemporary release this week. LOVE IS LOVELIER is book two in Donna's Rivers Bend trilogy. She's here to talk about secondary characters, one of my favorite topics! Please welcome Donna Simonetta.

Every secondary character in a book is the lead character in their own story. I try to keep that thought in mind, and create well-rounded secondary characters in every book I write.  I also love to infuse my books with humor, and secondary characters are a great source for humor. They can also function as a sort of Greek chorus––helping the main characters find resolution.

In the case of a series, like my Rivers Bend trilogy, the secondary characters in one book LITERALLY become the main characters in the next. We first met Heather Braden, the female protagonist of Love is Lovelier in the first book in the series, A Sweeter Spot. We get to know a little bit about her sunny personality, and work at the Retreat. And get a glimpse of what’s to come in Love is Lovelier, when we see her reaction to the news that Mick Evans will be moving to Rivers Bend to become her boss. Spoiler alert––she is NOT happy:

Jeez! And Magda told him Chicago was cold! It had nothing on the icy glare his sister pierced Jeff with, as she sat on the opposite side of his desk from him. 

She spoke through tight lips, “It’s not enough that you’re bringing that cretin to work here—” 

Jeff held up his hands. “Hold on—Mick is not a cretin. He’s a good guy; I don’t know what you have against him, but unless he’s physically hurt you—in which case tell me, and I’ll kill him—I want you to cowboy up and get along with him here at work. He has a great head for business, and Cisco and I think he’ll be good for the Retreat. Which, need I remind you, benefits all of us.”

Heather crossed her legs and turned her head to glare at the wall. “He never physically hurt me—where do you get this stuff? I just don’t like him, and it will be uncomfortable for me to work with him. But, you’re the boss, right?” 

And throughout both of these books, we get to know the youngest Braden sibling, fun-loving, commitment-phobic, Jason––who is going to be the main character of the third book in the trilogy.  Here’s a glimpse at what his sister and mother have to say about him in Love is Lovelier, when he’s going out with a friend for a night on the town:

…Jason went with Chase.” She grinned at her mom. “I doubt he’ll be much help at the farm tomorrow.” 

Her mother laughed and turned to face Heather. She leaned her backside against the dresser. “We didn’t schedule any riding lessons tomorrow, for just that reason. Hank and I can take care of the animals without Jason for one day, but my charming son is in heavy demand as a riding teacher, and oddly all his students are single, young women.” 

Although, there are some indications in Love is Lovelier that Jason has met his match! We’ll find out when we read his story, in a book with the working title, What Was I Thinking.

I love the secondary characters in all of my books, but I have a real soft spot for the population of Rivers Bend. It may be a fictional town, but it’s real to me, and I wish I could go there someday. Since that’s impossible, I guess I’ll have to settle for visiting in the pages of the books.

Love is Lovelier Blurb:

Heather and Mick have a long history together, and Heather wants to leave it in the past where it belongs. Yet, here Mick is, very much in her present, thanks to her brother Jeff, who hired Mick to be her boss at the Retreat at Rivers Bend.

It wouldn’t be so bad, except Heather and Mick are still attracted to each other like metal to a magnet. Oh, and her brother is considering offering Mick a partnership in the Retreat, which by rights should be hers. And even if they act on their attraction, Heather is a small-town, country girl, and proud of it, whereas Mick can’t get far enough from his West Virginia coal-mining roots.

Will they be able to get a second chance at their first love and find their happy ending together in Rivers Bend?


“Stick close. I’ll get you out of here.”

He used his broad shoulders as a wedge to propel himself though the crowd; Heather scurried to keep up with him so she could take advantage of the gap he created, not wanting to be so close that she could feel the warmth of his body through his elegant suit, but because she needed somehow to beat this crush of people to the Retreat to make sure that everything was in place for the post-christening party she’d planned for Bethanne – only perfection would do for her BFF.

She watched Mick’s back as she stuck close to him; he looked so strong and fit – it was hard to imagine him the way he was ten years ago, when he’d suffered his NFL career-ending injury, but the same business acumen that kept him with the Portland Pintos organization back then was the reason Jeff and Cisco hired him at the Retreat.

He’d be good for business – she’d just have to keep chanting those words in her head like a mantra, or else she’d do one of two things she’d regret – kill Mick, or kiss him, and she’d gone the kissing route with him before. It did not end well. And tempting as the killing option was at the moment, it probably wouldn’t end any better.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:

The Wild Rose Press:

Amazon UK:

Author Bio:

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Author Links:


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jana! I loved having the chance to talk about the secondary characters in the Rivers Bend trilogy! They are all people I'd enjoy having lunch with at the Nosh Pit on Main Street in Rivers Bend. ; )

    1. It's great having you here, Donna! I wanted to tell you how much I love your cover. Gorgeous!

    2. It's a beauty! Debbie Taylor did it--I just love her work!

  2. Great excerpts, Donna! I try to keep that thought in mind, too, with my secondary characters. Again, best of luck with Love is Lovelier!

    1. Thank you so much, Judith! Your secondary characters in the Cauldron Stirred were all very intriguing! Thanks so much--I hope Shadow of the Swan is selling like hotcakes for you!

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