Saturday, October 10, 2015

Waiting for a Hero -- Anne McAllister

A few years back Tallie Savas and Elias Antonides took up residence in my head when her father outfoxed his father, and, as a result, named Tallie president of Antonides Marine. Elias, who had rescued the company -- and the family -- from dire financial straits by dint of unrelenting work, was not pleased.

He didn't like Tallie.  He didn't like her father. He didn't much like his own father, to be honest. He was Feeling Hard Done By, to be sure.  Tallie who Only Wanted To Be Taken Seriously as a business person (her father, despite naming her president, wasn't exactly doing that), felt she had a lot to prove -- to her father, to Elias, to the world.

The sparks that flew between them in The Antonides Marriage Deal only complicated matters.

So did their siblings. They both had plenty of siblings. And cousins. Enough so that I've been writing a bout these Savas and Antonides families for what seems like half my writing life (though it's probably really only been a third!).  If one family didn't have a sibling ready to get hitched, there was always a cousin ready to take the plunge (or be pushed).

Even Peter Antonides, the middle son, about whom I had no intention at all of ever writing a book, because he was already married, for goodness' sake (because he had reinvented himself in Hawaii, called himself PJ, and rescued a damsel in distress by making her his wife), found that she wanted a divorce and he had to win her

But I always thought I'd write about Lukas, the youngest son, because he just seemed like a hero-in-waiting.  (Sometimes they actually line up and pester me, saying, "My turn. Write about me!"

Not Lukas. He was too busy having a grand time elsewhere in the world. He went walkabout, more or less, about the end of his second year at NYU. He went off to deal with a family issue in Greece on his father's behalf (or so he said) that May, and when the school year rolled in September, Lukas was nowhere to be found.

He almost never came back. Only for weddings where he was obliged to put in an appearance.  And never -- he was clear about this -- as the groom.

At first I didn't think anything about it.  When I got his twin sister Martha married off to Theo Savas in The Santorini Bride, he showed up for the wedding, pointed Theo in the direction of Montana when required, and went straight back to wherever he had been before the wedding.  I didn't see him again for a couple of years.

He reappeared for PJ's wedding.  He didn't make an appearance, as I recall, for any of the Savas cousins' weddings. They weren't his cousins, he told me. Only related by marriage. Didn't count. Did I think he had nothing better to do than attend weddings?

Then in Breaking the  Greek's Rules (which appeared in Mistletoe Surprises in the US) he inadvertently re-introduced his cousin Alexandros Antonides to Daisy Cummings when Alex needed a matchmaker.  Lukas didn't need one.  Everyone thought he'd do his duty and get married someday because all Antonides men did Once They Found The Right Woman.

What Lukas never bothered to tell anyone (even me) was that he'd met The Right Woman years ago -- when he was no more than a kid. Trouble was, he hadn't known it then.  Hadn't wanted to know it. And by the time he finally did, it was too late. She'd fallen in love with his best friend.

Lukas wasn't ever getting married.  No book, he told me.  Go away.

And then things changed.  He came back to New York.  Grown up.  Mature. Responsible.  Ready to get on with his life -- which promptly brought him face-to-face with Holly Halloran -- the woman he'd loved and lost. The woman who had every right to hate him and pretty much did.

Lukas never expected to be a hero. But by the time we got to The Return of Antonides, he'd paid almost all his dues.  I figure he deserves a happy ending.  He has the whole book to convince Holly.

On the left is the US Presents cover.  The non-large-print version has an added Christmas novella in it (not mine).

My favorite is the UK version (no novella) because I love the cover.  This is Lukas as I always saw him.  I'm delighted the UK art dept did, too!  Let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

I have all of these books. Can't wait to read The Return of Antonides! I prefer the UK cover, too. Ann Cameron

Anne McAllister said...

Thanks, Ann. Glad to hear you've read the previous Savas-Antonides books. I hope you enjoy Lukas's story.

dstoutholcomb said...

I love the UK cover, too.