Character Q&A With Lieutenant Commander Blake Sorenson by Dixie Lee Brown

Hello. I’m Dixie Brown. Thanks for joining me Between the Chapters. Today I’d like to introduce you to an American hero. I’ll be interviewing Lieutenant Commander Blake Sorenson, Navy SEAL, retired. He’s not a big fan of reporters, but that’s okay. I’m not really a reporter. I’m an author…of romantic suspense to be exact. The Lieutenant Commander is visiting fresh from the opening pages of FOR THE LOVE OF A SEAL. He’s not a huge fan of romance either, but, hopefully, we’ll be able to learn what makes the man tick. Here he is now.

Welcome, Lieutenant Commander. I’m glad you could make it today.

I’m not in the Navy anymore, so the fancy title isn’t necessary. Please, call me Blake.

All right, Blake. Have a seat and we’ll dive right in. How long were you a Navy SEAL and why did you quit?

(He flicks me a warning glance and mumbles something under his breath.) As you know, I didn’t exactly quit. After fifteen years, eight months and twelve days serving my country, my helicopter was hit by rocket fire. The mission was successful, but the Blackhawk didn’t make it. Shortly after that, I was medically discharged.

You seem to have recovered from your injuries quite well. I mean, you look strong, you’re in great shape and there are no visible scars. It was your leg, right? Didn’t your doctors think your only option was amputation? How is it you’re walking today with barely a detectable limp?

(He shrugs.) SEALs become SEALs because they don’t give up. Ever. I lost count of the number of times I could have come home in a body bag if I’d given up. Sometimes the only difference between life and death is deciding you’re not going to die today. I made the decision I was walking out of that hospital, and the doomsday doctors could either help me or get out of my way.

Just that simple?

I never said it was easy. Nothing worth fighting for is.

Did you fight for your marriage when your wife said she was leaving? (An instant chill in the air tells me I should have phrased that question better.)

(His chocolate-colored gaze pierces me even as a humorless smile touches his lips.) I see. No topic is sacred in spite of previous assurances. (He leans toward me and lowers his voice.) I trust you remember where the line is drawn?

(There’s no mistaking the promise of reprisal, and I nod my understanding.)

Celine was never meant to be a military wife—especially a SEAL’s wife. She was alone too much. There were so many things I couldn’t tell her. Would never tell her even if I could. Before long, there was nothing left for us to talk about. We became strangers. When I came home seriously injured, that was the deal breaker. The kindest thing I could do for her—for both of us—was let her go. A warrior learns to pick his battles.

(His openness forms a lump in my throat.) And now? Is there someone special in your life?

(He barks a laugh.) All women are special, and I meet my fair share. I’m not looking for a soulmate—if there even is such a thing outside of the greeting card industry. I guess you could say I learned my lesson the hard way. Forever is a fairy tale.

But… (He lifts an eyebrow, and I swallow the rest of my argument.) What is it that attracts you to a woman?

Confidence and a genuine smile. But red stilettos close the deal every time.

(His dark eyes sparkle with amusement as he gauges my reaction.) Moving on, what is your deepest regret in life?

(A shadow crosses his face.) The fighting men and women I couldn’t save. Not a day goes by I don’t remember…

(I wait for him to continue, but when he doesn’t, I change the subject.) What are you most proud of?

My kid brother, Christian. He’s a friggin’ inspiration.

(Surprise that he would mention his brother draws my gaze to his. The vulnerability is plain to see, beneath the I-dare-you mask. He’d made it clear from the start—he doesn’t answer questions about his brother. Christian is the reason Blake has no use for reporters. Suddenly, I realize the trust he’s given me.)

Your brother is a lucky guy, Blake. What do you say we stop right there and finish this off the record, maybe over a drink?

(He stands and offers his arm with a chivalrous gesture, a grin cutting a friendly swath across his face.) Now we’re talking my language. The rest of the story can wait.

On every deployment, Navy SEALS face impossible odds—and succeed. But winning over the perfect woman will be the most challenging mission yet. . .

This is Blake Sorenson’s story.

The security company that former SEAL Blake Sorenson works for helps him stay in fighting form—physically and mentally. He has little time for distractions of the female variety, which is fine with him. His fickle ex-wife taught him that love and loyalty don’t mix. Which is why he should eighty-six the rookie reporter he finds in his helicopter. The sexy stowaway in red stilettos is sure to be trouble. . .

A single mom, Tori Michaels can’t afford to lose her job because of an impossibly arrogant ex-sailor. But hitching a ride with Blake puts her right in the middle of a conflict brewing between the law and a dangerous hate group. When suspicions are raised over which side Tori is on, Blake has to choose whether to trust in her innocence or lose her. But in choosing to protect her, he’s making himself vulnerable to a desire he thought he’d never feel again—and an enemy he doesn’t see coming. . .

Praise for Dixie Lee Brown

“Dixie Lee Brown delivers all the goods in high style: romance, adventure and suspense—with a generous helping of sexy that will leave readers clamoring for more. The talented Ms. Brown writes the kind of story romance readers crave: sexy, fun and filled with adventure and suspense.”—Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Will Tell

“Brown will thrill readers who enjoy some spice.” —Library Journal