Charlotte Ginster is good at her job. She is the manager of a large venue in Germany. When KJ, a world-famous hiphop artist performs on the premises, Charlotte works closely with his Chief of Security, Jake Powers. He is a professional, efficient former US Navy Seal and when she meets him in person, her world turns upside down.
At first, their budding relationship seems to be all either one ever wanted. Not even the distance between Germany and the USA seems to present a challenge. But when Charlotte moves, her past catches up with her and she has to end the relationship. Meanwhile, Jake is forced to take on a job in an Arab emirate.
In the face of adversity, Jake still wants the woman back he fell in love with. When he finds out what is haunting Charlotte, he tries everything in his power to win her back.
However, sometimes the greatest challenge lies within…
Excerpt: “So you still got the hots for me then?” he suddenly asked.
Charlotte groaned. “Oh God!” She hid her face with one hand.
“You don’t have to be embarrassed, Charlotte. I’m actually very flattered – and I feel the same about you. And now that we have established our mutual interest in each other, where do we go from here? You know our schedule. We’re leaving the day after tomorrow. I apologize for being so direct. I’m not a player, but…”
“We don’t have the luxury of time right now,” she softly ended his sentence in her own words.
“Yes. I don’t expect you to spend the night with me, but I had hoped you’d be open to changing locations for a… more private setting with less noise, so we can talk in a more relaxed atmosphere.”
“I only came to see you. I’m happy to go to your room to talk,” she answered.
“There isn’t a table in it, apart from a small desk set against the wall. I’m afraid I don’t have the same luxury to offer you as KJ has. Maybe we can go downstairs to the bar?” he suggested.
Charlotte’s head raced. How could she voice her preference of wanting to go to his room without coming across as if she were throwing herself at him?
“I don’t mind less luxury, so I’m fine if you want to take me to your room. I’d like some peace and quiet. The day up till now was noisy enough.”
There, that was a good excuse, wasn’t it? Peace and quiet after a stressful day at a noisy venue, the Köln Arena topped off by a live concert with heavy basslines and beats and a private party with loud music and shrieking, cackling women.
“There is only a bed to sit on,” Jake said.
“Is that a problem for you?” she asked in return.
“No, I merely don’t want to be presumptuous.”
“If you were, I wouldn’t have suggested it,” she replied softly.
“So we’ll have a pyjama party with you in that dress?” he smiled making Charlotte grin up at him.
“Hmmm… I’d have to borrow one of your t-shirts perhaps?”
“Now you’re talking! My kind of girl!” His pleasure was evident at her uncomplicated personality. “Come on, I’ll tell KJ I’m leaving.”
“I had better say goodbye, too.”
Charlotte turned towards the doors. Jake warned her against it on the grounds that KJ might not want her to leave and that discussions could be tiresome when KJ wasn’t quite together anymore. Charlotte knew the artist liked to drink and assumed alcohol was most likely not his only drug of choice. She replied that she might not allow KJ to keep her. Jake looked doubtful, so she rolled her eyes, took his hand and led him inside stopping in front of KJ.
“Thanks, KJ. It was very nice. Enjoy the party. Good night,” she waved at the superstar.
“Hey, you’re not leaving already?” KJ asked in surprise.
“I am. I got what I came for,” she said, held up Jake’s hand and winked.
Then she turned and walked out without further ado.
“Wow! I didn’t know you had that in you,” Jake smirked.
“You said yourself I was efficient,” she replied saucily which made Jake burst into laughter.
They walked to the lift and rode down a floor, then went to the far end of the corridor, opposite of the direction KJ’s suite lay on the floor above.
“Peace and quiet,” Jake sighed when they entered his room.
Charlotte kicked off her high heels at once.
“Popcorn or ice-cream? And I want the t-shirt you are wearing it smells nice,” she smiled, making Jake grin and shake his head. “Can you unzip me, please?”
The Book's Creation
It all began with a chat I had with a friend in which she mentioned another friend of hers who is an event planner for trade exhibitions. I thought that was a great idea and changed it to venue manager. And thus, the character of Charlotte was born. She is a brilliant manager, keeps her cool and has everything under control. A real career woman with a great salary.
When she meets Jake in person, the chief of security of a hiphop artist performing at her venue, she decides to leave her home and job and start all over again, because it was time anyway. So she might as well move across the pond to L.A. where Jake lives and works. Jake is really into her, too, but that would be too easy, of course, and not lend much depth to the characters.
Everyone has a hidden shadow side they battle with, and so the façade of the all-powerful career woman crumples and things from the past she’d hitherto kept suppressed start to show up and sabotage her happy relationship with Jake. It was important to me to show that not everything that looks pretty and shiny on the surface is all perfect underneath.
We often get blinded by the shiny gloss that hides what lies beneath the surface; good and bad. And we also need to learn throughout life that when we merely suppress traumas or negative patterns and memories of any kind, we end up hurting and sabotaging ourselves and the relationships around us because we hold back a part of ourselves.
And therefore, Charlotte is not the only one who falters, but when the relationship fails because of her demons catching up with her, Jake’s shadow emerges. Hurt and pride cause him to do some really unwise things and to reject any help when it is offered. A perfect example of self-victimisation and false pride that can destroy a life.
But then, there are always some angels in the form of loved ones. At the time of writing this, I had a personal experience, not any crisis, but I had a bad cold and needed some help and my mum, my aunt, as well as a couple of friends were there for me and supported me for which I was very grateful. When you have three children, you know “the show must go on,” and so I could rest and have everything taken care of for the couple of days I needed to recuperate.
Despite the fact that it wasn’t a major life experience, it drove home to me how blessed I was to have such a support system of loving souls and that yes, sometimes they would tell me things I didn’t like to hear when they thought it was in my own best interest. And sometimes, people help you out of love, even when you say you don’t need any help. Years ago, I used to be like that. Just like Jake, I’d retreat into my cave, do perhaps something stupid and get through it all on my own.
I’ve learned over time that it is a strength when you can ask for help without shame when you need it. Everyone needs some help sometime and no one is an exception in this. So in my novel, Jake has to witness his family and Charlotte disregarding his rejection and help the person they love. And in turn, Charlotte experiences some healing, too. Love is the highest power, indeed.
So I am slowly working my way through this author's bibliographies and I have to admit, I am not yet tired of her style. That's probably in part due to the fact that she likes to experiment with different styles and scenarios which result in no two books being the same. At the same time, I can already observe a distinct arc in her writing development which I love.
I generally love development vs stagnation as I am a proactive person myself. If something scares me, I do it out of defiance so nothing has the upper hand over me, certainly no fears. I think this is what Ms Schaefer is trying to accomplish. In the event of love is a special book in that the author digs deep into her heroine's past to build the reasons why the woman is acting the way she does. This added depth is a nice new twist and instead of taking away from the romance, it gives the storyline more fuel.
The characters are both not "clean" black and white but they have strengths and weaknesses in their personalities which I find very interesting, especially the way how these traits determine not only the MCs actions but also the storyline on the whole.
This book has the hot steam I am already accustomed to from this writer's works, challenges and psychological depth that takes on a new level in this work. Well done!
Tuari Eagleswing, Reader