Hunter Smith, the hero in The Courage to Say Yes, has spent a lifetime behind the lens of a camera. In order to cope with the pain and loss he’s experienced over the years – both personally and professionally -- he holds himself at an emotional distance. He believes that keeping the world at arm’s length is the best way to keep from being hurt. This motto, of course, is challenged when he meets Abby Gray. Before he realizes what he’s doing, he’s thrust right in the middle of her personal dramas – and falling hard for her in the process.
In my mind, Hunter has a weary kind of matter-of-factness that comes from having seen too much. He’s cool and unflappable under pressure. When “casting around” for an actor to inspire me, I needed someone who presented these same kinds of qualities. I found him in Scott Foley.
Or more specifically, Scott Foley in The Unit.
Most people probably remember Scott as Noel from Felicity where he was sweet, patience and adorable. In the Unit, Scott played special forces sergeant Bob Brown. Bob was a black ops rock star. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do –speak four languages, assassinate villains with a high powered rifle, fly a jet…the list is to long to continue. Didn’t matter what the bad guys threw at him – he handled everything with a coolness that could rival ice. This coolness came from years of enduring childhood abuse.
The only thing that could break Bob’s demeanor was his wife, Kim. She could get under his skin in ways Al Qaeda and the CIA couldn’t. Because she knew how to dig to the emotions he kept locked inside. And what was inside was a fiercely loyal, loving man.
In other words, Bob was still water that ran very, VERY deep. I have to admit, there is something very sexy about a man who doesn’t crack under pressure. A man who has seen it all, done it all and yet, can still be rattled by a woman’s tears. That’s the kind of man I wanted Hunter Smith to be.
And okay, the fact that Scott Foley is absolutely gorgeous doesn’t hurt. I mean, fact it – who can resist those beautiful brown eyes?
When she’s not obsessing over strong, silent, sexy men, Barbara Wallace writes for Harlequin Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her current release, The Courage to Say Yes, is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Mills & Boon, and Harlequin.com. Readers can keep up with Barbara’s books and musings by following her on Twitter - @BarbaraTWallace.