Friends, I’m introducing you to a couple who will tug at your heartstrings today. Laila and Chad were soulmates from the time they met in kindergarten and married at the tender age of eighteen, but Chad’s alcohol addiction came between them.
Brief physical description: 5’ 7”, long blond hair, blue eyes. Wears her hair in a long, over the shoulder braid.
Resembles: Julianne Hough
Inspiration for Laila: I wanted that small town, country girl-next-door vibe. A girl who was beautiful but didn’t know it and spent most of her life trying to please others.
Five words that describe Laila’s personality: Kind, hard working, loyal, soft-hearted, guarded
Background: Laila was raised by a single mom who became addicted to painkillers when Laila was in grade school. She was never told who her father was. Her mom had a string of boyfriends in and out of her life and often chose drugs over Laila’s wellbeing and safety. In Kindergarten, Laila met Chad, her soulmate and future husband. She was also best friends with Katie Stone, and the three of them became each other’s family very young.
Is passionate about: Chad. Despite the pain he’s caused, she will always love him.
Can’t stand: Women who throw themselves at men and sleep around for security like her mother did.
Strengths: She sticks even when things are hard.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t speak up for herself or voice her pain.
Greatest struggle: She holds a lot of guilt for being a bartender when her marriage was destroyed by alcohol addiction.
Greatest accomplishment: You’ll have to read the book for this one! 🙂
Quirks: She keeps the same routines even when she no longer enjoys them.
Regrets: In a lot of ways, she feels like she enabled both her mom’s and Chad’s addiction.
The first thing people tend to notice about Laila is: Her kindness. She always puts other people first.
The thing that attracts her most to Chad is: Chad was her protector. He was the first man in her life who respected her and loved her exactly as she was.
Spends her free time: Gardening
Most influential person in her life: Katie Stone
Laila is most relaxed when… she’s outside planting flowers.
Laila’s idea of a good time is… low key picnic while Chad reads to her.
In a room full of strangers, Laila would… likely sit back and watch everyone.
It’s karaoke night. Laila would… probably be behind the bar working.
If Laila could talk to the author, she would say… Tell me who my father is.
Brief physical description: 6’1” Dark hair, green eyes, strong build
Resembles: Tom Welling
Inspiration for Chad: At first Chad was just someone who used to be in Katie’s past (My Hope Next Door), but I fell in love him. There is nothing more appealing than a reformed bad-boy who loves deeply. Especially when it’s to the same woman his entire life.
Five words that describe Chad’s personality: spontaneous, hot-headed, charsmatic, committed, insecure
Background: Chad was raised by an abusive father and a weak mother. He spent most of his childhood staying far away from his house, and when he met Katie, he immediately admired her strength, since he always felt like a coward. He fell in love with Laila at a very young age. She loved with all her heart, and Chad had never known what love could feel like before her. He started drinking and experimenting with drugs very young to cope. His mom died not long after he and Laila were married. He’s never forgiven himself for not fighting harder to save her from her miserable life.
Is passionate about: Laila. She is the only thing in his life worth living for.
Can’t stand: Himself most of the time.
Strengths: He’s a fighter.
Weaknesses: Uses substances as a means to cope.
Greatest struggle: Alcohol.
Greatest accomplishment: His sobriety.
Regrets: Letting his marriage fail
The first thing people tend to notice about Chad is: Charisma. People are naturally drawn to him.
The thing he most admires about Laila is… how deeply she loves others.
Saying to live by: If nothing changes, then nothing changes.
Most influential person in his life: Katie Stone
Chad is most relaxed when… he’s with Laila. Doesn’t care what they do.
Chad’s idea of a good time is… He’s still figuring that out now that he’s sober.
In a room full of strangers, Chad would… likely be right in the center of the crowd.
~ About the Book ~
After a year of grieving her divorce and living a life permanently stuck on pause, Laila Richardson is finally ready to have her own happy ending. Then a listing for a quaint cottage in another town answers her prayers for a fresh beginning—one that will bring her closer to her new boyfriend, Ben. Unfortunately, in her small town of Fairfield, Georgia, letting go of the past is virtually impossible. No one wants to see her move on, including the man who destroyed her heart to begin with.
Chad Richardson has spent years in misery but finally has his life on somewhat stable ground. When he learns his ex-wife is dating, he knows it’s time to go back and fight for the life he abandoned. Bolstered by his newfound sobriety, Chad has every intention of winning back the woman he loves, even if that means facing old demons that are waiting for him to fail.
Passions run deep as two souls searching for a second chance find the courage to let go of old patterns. Can they recognize that their dreams are still possible, even when forged from a broken past?
~ About the Author ~
Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. She writes modern Christian romance with true-to-life characters and culturally-relevant plot lines. She believes hope and healing can be found through high quality fiction that inspires and provokes change.
When not chasing after her three amazing kids, Tammy can be spotted with her head in a book. Writing has given her a platform to combine her passion with her ministry.