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Written by Brianne Martin
Elise is the main character in the novel and is actually a pretty unlikely hero as, on the face of it, she has done something rather heinous and seemingly unforgivable in many years ago leaving her daughter in a hot car for too long whilst running into the office, forgetting about her, and losing her daughter to the heatstroke that killed her as a result. Elise is like able though, because she is essentially a good person who made a horrible mistake. Her daughter's death was ruled accidental but Elise has never forgiven herself and considers herself unlovable because of it.
Outwardly she seems confident but inwardly Elise has no self-esteem whatsoever; the child of a very abusive father and a mother who stood by, she repeated the cycle of abuse in her choice of husband, marrying a controlling, narcissistic philanderer who had an affair with her best friend. These elements have not made Elise hopeful about deserving or finding romantic love and for this reason she is rather closed off to Nick at the start of their relationship, and subsequently terrified when she realizes she is falling in love with him. Happiness is a concept she finds frightening because it is alien to her but the more she is treated well by Nick the more she is able to treat herself well too.
Nick is an attorney who is well aware of the negative opinion many people have of his chosen field and goes the extra mile to be kind, genuine and a good person to attempt to offset this. He is physically stunning and could charm birds out of the trees but he is also doing everything from the heart and there is nothing at all fake in his character. Nick is very successful and although relatively young has already made partner at his law firm which is located in the same building as the travel company Elise works for.
When Nick was sixteen he snuck his first couple of beers at a party and realizing his friend was more drunk than Nick decides to drive them both home. Nick did not realize he was impaired and caused an accident that killed three members of the same family riding in a car that he collided with. Nick was sentenced to serve two years at a juvenile prison. His family disintegrated and blames him for their disintegration. Nick feels heavy guilt for all that happened and like Elise avoids getting to know people on a deeper level because of this.
Before he was a private practice attorney, Nick worked for the District Attorney on Elise's case and was the person who recommended her daughter's death be ruled an accident, empathy sizing with her obvious remorse. He is a thoughtful and sensitive man who sees beauty in a person's face only I'd it is a reflection of their character. He is an incur able romantic.
Elise's ex-husband is an extreme narcissist who enjoys belittling Elise and telling her that if he didn't want to be with her, nobody would. He is emotionally abusive with the potential to become physically abusive if not go em his own way. He is a cheat and had an affair with Elise's best friend. Now she is cooling on their relationship Dan believes Elise should take him back again. He is spiteful and has a sudden and vociferous temper. Dan cannot bear the thought of Elise being happy in another relationship and does his best to sabotage the bond between her and Nick.
Cathy is stolid and reliable and is both co-worker and friend to Elise. She genuinely wants her friends to be happy and is thrilled that Nick adores Elise but she is also very surprised by this and does not hide her surprise particularly well which can sometimes be a little insulting. She is a book keeper and is hard working and methodical.
Mark owns the travel agency where Elise works. He is a little on the cheap side but does the decent, right thing by his employees. His holiday parties are beer oriented but generous although a little bit tacky and flashy. He cares about people and is surprisingly protective of Elise.
Zoey is disarmingly beautiful with an incredible figure and a knack for accentuating her beauty with the right clothes, jewelry and make up. She works at the travel agency with Elise and at first Elise does not like her as she dates multiple men simultaneously and seems to be a shameless gold-digger. She can seem vapid and fake but this hides a sensitive, thoughtful girl underneath. She knows men are not interested in her personality which makes her strangely envious of Nick's depth of feeling for Elise. She is a good friend to Elise and one of her prime cheerleaders.
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