Monday, July 24, 2017
Azrael Hanson from It Had To Be You, by Kat Henry Doran. #Anthology #ContemporaryRomanceNovella #Maine
Meet Azrael Hanson from It Had To Be You, a novella length contemporary romance by Kat Henry Doran. which is part of Welcome to Serenity Harbor: a Pine Tree State of Mind Anthology, published by the Maine Romance Authors.
Madeleine Flynn returns to Serenity Harbor intent on restoring her beloved home to its former grandeur. Nothing will get in her way, including a man who wears worn denim jeans and pec-molding flannel and who wields a power stapler with the grace of a philharmonic conductor.
Acting on their own agenda, local power brokers expect general contractor Azrael Hanson to monitor renovations on That House, tossing in diversions whenever possible.
Torn between duty to superiors and a private life he craves, if Az stands with Maddy, a woman who dreams the impossible, he’ll damage his career beyond salvage. If he follows orders, he’ll lose a future with the only woman who makes him want forever.
RW: Where are you from, Az?
AH: Right here, Serenity Harbor, Maine.
RW: Tell us a bit about It Had To Be You.
AH: Maddy Flynn wants to renovate the home where she grew up and hires me to be the general contractor. It’s a great old Victorian mansion which the folks in town have called That Place for as long as I can remember. One minor problem: the house was once a bordello and Madeleine’s grandmother--the woman who raised her--was the madam. My job is to oversee the renovations and report the progress back to certain members of the Town Council. Certain people are convinced she wants to turn it into a 21st century whorehouse and are determined to see her fail by whatever means possible.
RW: What did you think the first time you saw Maddy?
AH: Given that she’d just passed out in my arms, I guess I thought she needed someone to take care of her.
RW: Did you feel it was love at first sight?
AH: Hell no, but my interest sure was tweaked.
RW: What do you like most about Maddy?
AH: She’s got guts and a slew of imagination for what she wants the house to look like when it’s all done. Plus, she’s not intimidated by my mother, a rare occurrence around this town.
RW: What made you choose general contracting for a second career?
AH: I followed in the old man’s footsteps. What I learned from him, and from each previous job I finished, helped me know what needed to be done for Maddy’s home.
RW: Tell us a bit about Maddy’s friends and how you feel about them.
AH: Suzanne Quimby was the first ‘friend’ I encountered. When she blew into the ER to check on Maddy who’d been assaulted, it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the cubicle. Sue sports a number of tattoos so it’s an experience trying to focus on her face and not . . . look below chin level if you get my drift. Plus, with Suzie’s knack with carving knives, a man is wise to give her a wide berth.
Corazon Rivera is a former nurse who now takes care of Maddy and the house. I guess she’ll take over hostess duties of Pine Tree Lodge once it’s open for guests. Cori is super loyal to Madeleine and practices some sort of ancient religion popular in Central America. I wouldn’t cross her on a bet.
Lou Rawlings, an interior designer, is Maddy’s best friend and confidante. I wouldn’t dream of coming between them. Lou is a tad scary when he’s riled. So is Maddy for that matter.
RW: What is your biggest fear?
AH: Spending the rest of my life alone.
RW: If you had to go back in time and do something different, what would it be?
AH: I would have waited a bit longer before I married the first time around. My wife and I were on different wave lengths but I failed to see it until it was too late. She wasn’t happy when we moved back to Serenity Harbor. That thought didn’t really sink in till I came home from work one day to find she’d cleaned out the house and took off for parts unknown.
RW: Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
AH: I am a fan of the characters created by Daniel Silva. Based on Israel’s Secret Service, the plots are timely and realistic. The characters’ names have rhythm all their own: Gabriel Allon, Ari Shamron, Uzi Novott. They’re short tempered, cranky and cynical. If I had to do their jobs, especially in today’s world, I guess I’d be a smidge terse.
RW: How about favorite movies?
AH: Since I’m an aging jock with creaky knees, I’ll watch Major League or Miracle till the DVD’s disintegrate and need replacement. More recently, Spotlight and Sully rang my chimes.
RW: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
AH: This came from my father. It fits Maddy like a second skin. I wish Dad could have lived to meet her:
“… Whatever you give a woman, she’s going to multiply. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a feast. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She will multiply and enlarge what is given to her. So, my son, if you give her crap, you will get back more sh**t than any one human being can handle. …”
Thanks for having me in for a visit, Rochelle. Come to Serenity Harbor and stop by Pine Tree Lodge. You won’t be sorry.
RW: It’s been a pleasure, Az. Maine’s one of the few states I’ve never visited. It’s good to know if I ever get up there I’ll have a nice lodge to visit.
“I’m here to settle things.”
On reconsideration, upset was too mild a word to describe Madeleine Flynn, Az decided.
Royally pissed came closer to the mark. In a red power suit with a tight skirt that skimmed her knees and matching spike-heeled shoes that only made her legs look more spectacular than usual, she looked … magnificent. “There’s no need to settle anything, Maddy.”
She whirled on him. “In case you didn’t hear me the first time, I am here to settle the bill for services performed, as well as products delivered to date. My attorney and I reviewed the contract I signed with Hanson Scapes. He assured me as long as I comply with the clause governing premature cancellation, you have no cause for suit.”
“What the hell is going on?” Rosemary Hanson squawked, not for the first time.
He tried to quell his mother’s repeated questions with a calming gesture of his hand. It did no good.
To Maddy, he said, “Please. If you’re unhappy with the work we’ve done--”
She shook off the hand he’d laid on her arm with a brisk snap of her wrist. “I’m tired of having to repeat myself, Mr. Hanson, and would very much appreciate you taking this message back to your friends on the town council: I’ve recently come into an obscene amount of money. Enough, as my Granny used to say, to make the Pope look like a piker. More than enough, I assure you, to keep the Township of Serenity Harbor tied up in the courts for many years to come.”
“I don’t understand.” Though he feared he did—all too well. Someone had blabbed and Madeleine the Magnificent was now on to the entire scheme. Aw Gawd.
Referring back to his training in crisis intervention, he softened his voice and body language. “Look, Maddy, this can all go away if you’d settle down so we can discuss it in a calm, sensible manner.”
“I’m not finished,” she spat, then drew back those magnificent shoulders and took a deep breath. “I will burn the Lodge to the ground before I let anyone turn it into a casino.”
At that Rosemary screeched, “Casino? Azrael, who wants to build a casino?”
“You should also know I have placed a call to the office of the Maine State Attorney General,” Maddy stated calmly. “And the state professional licensing board. Plus, I’m certain there’s a few investigative reporters, print and electronic, who’d love to expose the scams you and the boys have pulled on former clients.”
Az ran a hand through his hair, debated blurting out the whole truth—if only to shut down his mother’s wails. “Please, Maddy. I can understand why you think you have a right to be upset—”
“Upset?” Her bellow was loud enough to rattle the paper-thin walls of the office. “Sir, you haven’t seen upset.”
She turned to his mother who was now pale and shaking with rage. No one attacked her boys and got away with it.
“I’m sorry some of your children possess the ethics of alley cats, Mrs. Hanson. Since they are courting criminal charges as well as civil lawsuits, perhaps you should contact an attorney so that you can protect your personal assets before this whole situation goes any further. Believe me, before I’m done, I will take Hanson Scapes down.”
With slow, deliberate movements, she handed them both plain white business cards. “Should you have any questions, call this number. I’m sure you will recognize the name.”
With that, she turned on her heel and walked out, closing the door with a quiet click.
Buy Link: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01LXRQEZ7
Malpractice insurance investigator, former victim advocate and sexual assault nurse examiner Kat Henry Doran has been there and done that—too many times to count. She uses her past professional experience for fodder when creating settings and characters who stand for the less-thans in this world.
Over the years, she has been called many things, not all of them flattering. The name she treasures most is Nana to the four brightest lights in her life: Meredith, Ashlin, Owen, and Kieran.