You’ve probably encountered a character in a book who’s one hundred percent convinced she won’t
end up with a particular person (or type of person). And as soon as she said it (especially if the book was
shelved in the romance section), you probably thought to yourself, “I know who you’ll end up with by
the end of the book!”
In my Profiler series, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is extremely talented at her job and extremely serious.
She got into it because her best friend went missing as a child and was never found. Now, all these
years later, she sees every case as a chance to bring someone else the kind of closure she never got for
herself. So, of course, FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie is someone she
immediately dismisses as an impossibility: not only is dating a teammate forbidden by the FBI (and
Evelyn would never put her career in jeopardy), but he also never seems to be serious. But as the series
progresses, that “impossibility” becomes reality.
In my latest romantic suspense trilogy, The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn, every set of heroes and
heroines has someone who thinks “this could never happen” about a relationship with the other. In
Bodyguard with a Badge, Juliette Lawson is on the run from an abusive ex – who just happens to be a
cop. When he sends hitmen after her, the only way out she can see is to turn the tables on the FBI
agent who just rescued her, taking him hostage in order to facilitate her disappearance. So, agent Andre
Diaz is completely off limits – trusting him could mean letting him get the upper hand and deliver her
unintentionally right back to her ex.
In the second book (POLICE PROTECTOR) in the trilogy, Cole Walker and Shaye Mallory have known each other since Shaye started as a forensic specialist near where Cole works as a detective. Cole protected Shaye once from a barrage of gang members’ bullets and the experience traumatized her enough to drive her out of police work. When she returns to it and immediately becomes a target again, Cole vows to protect her. Although he’s had a crush on her since the moment they met, he knows it could never go anywhere, because she belongs in a different world – a safe world. And that’s a place he’ll never belong.
In the final book in the trilogy (SECRET AGENT SURRENDER), Marcos Costa and Brenna Hartwell were each others’ first crushes, back in childhood, in a foster care home. When that home burned down, they were separated and neither expected to see the other again. Years later, they run into each other, deep in the Appalachian mountains in a drug lord’s hideaway. Both are pretending to be someone they’re not, so falling for each other again – and revealing the truth about who they are and why they’re really there – could get them killed.
In fiction, love is stronger than the forces trying to keep two characters apart. In my books, the
characters must fight to deserve their happy endings, but they eventually get there. In real life, things
aren’t always so neat.
I always said I’d never date someone in the writing/publishing industry. It would be too weird, too much
overlap between professional and personal. So, when I met my fiancé at my first Thriller Writers
conference in New York City, I wasn’t thinking about romance at all. I ran into him the very first day of
the conference and didn’t see him again until the final banquet was coming to a close. We stopped to
chat for a minute and discovered that we lived about twenty minutes apart, back in Michigan. We
agreed to meet up and talk business once we were back home.
That was four years ago. And in May, I’ll be marrying him. Luckily, despite my own “impossibility,” love
was stronger in real life, too.
About Elizabeth Heiter
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they’ve also been shortlisted for the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers’ Choice award and the Booksellers’ Best award and won the RT Reviewers’ Choice award.
The heroine of Elizabeth’s Profiler novels was called “one of the most amazing characters created in print” by Fresh Fiction. Her novels have received praise from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë Sharp.