Need a Hero?
Welcome, Liv Thomas author of Beneath an Irish Sky and An Irish Promise. An Irish Promise is the second in Choc Lit’s ‘Emerald Isle Romances’, written by two internet buddies, who have still not met in person – Val Olteanu lives in Vancouver, and Liv Thomas, the other half of Isabella Connor, lives in the South of England, where she works for the NHS.
Liv is kindly sharing Finn, who, despite his obvious physical attractions, is a troubled soul and suffers from low self-esteem *sigh*. I’m falling for him already.
First of all, we’re listing five facts so you can get a feel for him (I did say for him). Next is a brief excerpt showing our hero in action. Lastly, the pic! Does your hero want to come out to play? Send him on over!
FIVE FACTS about Finn:
Finn MacKenzie seems to be ‘a golden boy’, around 6’, slim and toned, with blue eyes and hair streaked with highlights from Australia’s sun. (Does that count as one fact? J )
However, Finn is a troubled soul and suffers from low self-esteem. An actor, his confident facade is possibly his greatest performance.
Finn is the youngest of three, with two older brothers.
Finn accepts responsibility for how his life turns out, never tempted to blame a history of abuse and neglect.
Finn has a fear of driving – a fear he has to conquer in the worst possible conditions.
A brief EXCERPT: Possibly not showing Finn at his most heroic, as those parts would involve spoilers, but maybe this shows what a nice guy he is.
It was after eight, and Donegan’s was just getting started. From a reasonably peaceful place at lunchtimes, it was now a hive of noisy activity, the locals drowning out the singer who didn’t seem to mind, happily drinking his Guinness while the fiddler seemed quite lost in the moment. Finn could swear he was playing a different tune to what was being sung, but no one seemed to care. He returned to Rachel in one of the corner booths, with two packets of Taytos and their drinks. Only a half for him. He wanted to keep his wits about him.
‘Thanks.’ She sipped at her vodka tonic. ‘This should be mandatory after a shift at The Fat Pheasant. The boss is a bit of a dragon.’
Finn nodded. ‘I know. I’ve heard people say she has a bad temper. It’s a shame you have to put up with it. Can’t your family help you out with some money?’
‘My parents are dead.’ There was regret in her voice, and Finn wished he’d picked a safer topic. She didn’t clam up, though, as he might have done. ‘I have lots of relatives who’ve helped me out in the past, but I think there comes a time when you have to stand on your own two feet.’
He respected that. ‘I felt the same way about Helen. She’d have given me the moon and the stars if I’d asked. But the day after I started drama school, I took my first modelling job. Boring work, but it gave me my own steady income. I got picked up by Calvin Klein, and I didn’t have to ask for handouts anymore.’
‘So your face became your fortune,’ Rachel commented.
Finn suddenly felt shy. Tongue-tied. Like he was sixteen again and didn’t know how to talk to girls. ‘My father wouldn’t call that a real job,’ he blurted out, just for something to say to cover his discomfort.
‘Isn’t he pleased you’re doing what you want?’
‘Oh, Finn. I’m so sorry...’
‘Don’t be. He was a bastard.’
Rachel looked shocked and no wonder. Too much information, too soon. He should be trying to sweep her off her feet with his charm, not make her think he came with baggage. ‘Don’t feel sorry for me, Rachel,’ he said. ‘Lots of kids have crappy parents. They don’t all have someone like Helen to take care of them. ’I’m lucky. She’s been like a mother to me.’
Another can of worms. Next thing she’d be asking about his mother, and he couldn’t bear to talk about her. Even thinking about her would get him upset. He’d have to head Rachel off.
‘So, tell me about you. Do you like living in London? Did you always want to study art history?’
Rachel suddenly closed her eyes and held up her hand, palm towards him. ‘Finn, please...’
He stopped talking immediately and sat there in shock. What had he done wrong? She dipped her head and stared into her drink. He was on the verge of panic, not sure what to do. At that moment, he was thankful for the din of the music, the laughter, and the foot-tapping in the pub. Silence would have been unbearable.
When she finally looked up, her eyes were full of sadness.
‘What is it, Rachel? Please tell me.’
‘Finn, I like you, I really do—’
‘Good. I like you, too.’
‘But we have to end this now. Before it starts.’
Disappointment clawed at Finn’s heart, and the feeling made him realise he couldn’t give her up without a fight. At the very least, he needed an explanation. ‘Why, Rachel? Help me understand.’
She took a big gulp of her vodka and set the glass down carefully. ‘It’s very complicated. I’m not in a good place right now. I’m working through some really bad stuff.’
Finn sat there, absorbing what she’d said. It would surely be the wrong thing to push for more information, however much he wanted to. All he could do was be supportive. Helen had told him to listen – to really listen. ‘I hear you, Rachel, and I don’t want to make things more difficult for you. If you don’t want anything more, can we at least be friends?’
Her expression was doubtful. ‘You could get hurt, Finn,’ she whispered.
‘That’s my choice,’ he said. ‘Friends stick by each other, no matter what.’
‘But what if I’m not the girl you think I am?’
Finn knew all about self-doubt. It had taken him years to suppress it, but it was still there, lurking beneath the surface. ‘I’m here for you, Rachel,’ he told her. ‘Whatever you need, just ask.’
‘That doesn’t seem like much of a deal for you,’ she protested.
‘Hey, if this all leads to something more, I’ll be delighted, I won’t deny it, but I won’t push. Us just being friends is fine with me. And I think maybe you need a friend right now.’
The atmosphere between them was highly charged. It was time to lighten the mood a bit. ‘So, that’s settled. Now for some ground rules. Eye contact only. No secretly checking out the other’s bits. A friendly peck on the cheek is fine – anything else and the person has to pay a forfeit. Touching of the hands is allowed, but it has to be pre-approved twenty-four hours in advance. Should I draw up a contract?’
Rachel was laughing now, looking much more relaxed. ‘Oh, Finn, you’re a tonic.’
‘One of my many talents,’ he said. ‘I also cook well, mix a mean cocktail, and have been known to vacuum.’
‘All admirable skills. But can you ice skate?’
He frowned. ‘Never tried. Why?’
‘We’re going to the opening of the ice rink tomorrow, remember?’
‘So we are. Well, it’ll be a first for me. Just promise you won’t think less of me if I fall over.’
He raised his beer mug. ‘Here’s to friendship.’
‘To friendship,’ she said, and chinked his glass.
Art historian, Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family.
Australian actor, Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident façade hides heartbreak and tragedy. Although Finn isn’t looking for love, when he meets the mysterious Rachel, there’s a definite spark between them.
Rachel is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn’t want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost?
Liv tried real life once and didn't like it. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a writer with ChocLit Publishing. She loves her family, Ireland and animals.
Find Liv at:
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Thank you so much for sharing Finn with us, Liv. I may have to adopt him!
Keep safe everyone!
Lots of love,