The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Monday, September 22, 2014

An Unusual Heroine: Richard Brawer's Romantic Suspense Novel Love's Sweet Sorrow

Please welcome Richard Brawer who will talk about his new romantic suspense novel, Love's Sweet Sorrow. Richard, can you give us a little background on how the story developed?

Love’s Sweet Sorrow started out to be strictly a suspense novel with a different title. The protagonist works for America’s largest weapons manufacturer. He uncovers evidence that the company CEO is conspiring with smugglers to sell weapons to terrorists.

I like to include a strong female character in my books who is more than someone the protagonist has sex with. She has to be his opposite where either she will change him or he will change her.

I was having trouble creating the female character, so I set the book aside and went to explore one of my favorite pastimes, local history. Shrewsbury, New Jersey, a town twenty minutes north of mine, was holding an Octoberfest. One section in the town is on the National Historical Register.

In the historic district was a Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers) meeting founded in the 1660s. The festival was Saturday and the Friends were giving a tour of their meeting house.

As I listened to the guide explain the Quaker religion it hit me, why not make my female character a Quaker. What could be more opposite and create more conflicts between the two major characters than to have one working in the military weapons business and his love interest a pacifist. (It is important not to confuse the Quakers with the Amish. The Amish are withdrawn from modern society. Quakers fully participate in the modern world.)

Now I had my female character―I named her Ariel―and it totally changed the book. As I intertwined her with Jason, the protagonist, the book quickly became a romantic suspense novel where opposites attract.

Ariel is an idealist who believes in truth and honesty and whatever happens in the world is God’s will. And she is a virgin.

Jason is a cynic who believes that if this crazy world should blow itself up and only two people remain, when they cross paths one will throw a rock at the other.

One reader said, "The Quaker character adds a unique perspective I have not seen in a romance novel."

Vinspire, 2014, 316 pp.
Romantic Suspense


It is said opposites attract. There can’t be two people more opposite than Ariel and Jason. Ariel is a traditional Quaker with an absolute aversion to war. Jason is the lead council for America's largest weapons manufacturer.

Their budding romance is thrown into turmoil when Jason uncovers evidence linking his employer to international arms deals that could devastate America. His determination to stop the treason puts Ariel in the middle of dangerous territory.

As the chase to retrieve the evidence intensify Ariel is forced to kill to save Jason’s life. She withdraws into a battle raging inside her, unable to reconcile who she has been with who she has become. Delving deeply into hers and Jason’s long-held opposing convictions she questions whether they are truly meant to be together.

Excerpt (PG): Ariel and Jason

A little background: It is Ariel’s birthday. Jason has agonized for hours over his gift. He is taking her to dinner and a Broadway show to celebrate her birthday. Jason is having second thoughts about the gift that expressed so unabashedly what he wanted. He is afraid it would ruin the evening before it started.

She reached for the end of the pink ribbon.

He took her hand. “Open it when we get back.”


“Because it’s to cap off the evening, not start it.”

Ariel’s eyes bounced from the box to his face, then back to the box. “What is it?”

“You’ll have to wait until we get back to find out.”

She gave him a curious look but questioned no further.

(The celebration over, they had returned to her apartment.)

“Can I open my present now?”

He sat forward, crossing his fingers behind his back. “Go ahead.”

She pulled the pink ribbon. The bow dissolved. She lifted the top. The tissue paper rustled as she unfolded it. Cautiously she touched the lace trim on the shiny, jet-black garment and quickly withdrew her hand as if her fingers had been burned by a red hot branding iron.

She smiled meekly. “Thank you. It’s very pretty.”

A few minutes later she escorted him to the elevator.

* * *
Ariel took her present into her bedroom and placed the box on the heirloom bedspread. Ever so carefully she removed the black silk camisole, laid it on the bed and smoothed it out. She placed the tap pants below it. Slowly she undressed, dropping her blouse and skirt on the carpet. Reaching behind her back, she unhooked her bra then stepped out of her panties.

Slipping on the tap pants, she trembled as the sensuous silk stroked her long legs. Holding the camisole by the thin straps, she extended her arms over her head and released it. It floated over her torso sending a shiver through her.

Turning toward the mirror, she stood tall, her arms dangling next to her thighs. Will wearing this blind me to the hungry, the homeless? Will it prevent me from working toward a more peaceful world? I don’t think I will change my convictions because I put this on, or wear makeup, or like movies, art, TV, dancing, and…

Her fingers fluttered against her thighs. She closed her eyes and envisioned Jason caressing the fabric against her hips, her waist, stomach, breasts.

“Jason, I want to, but…Lord, what should I do?”


Readers have said about Love’s Sweet Sorrow:

“Exciting thriller and love story extraordinaire!” Mortimer

“Excellent writing, impeccable plotting, and nicely developed characters. Shoshana Hathaway

“Your writing is very strong, and you have developed a gripping story.” The Writer’s Edge

“The characters and the plot were both extremely well-crafted.” S. Lynn

Read the full reviews at Richard’s website: or the Amazon page for this book.

Richard Brawer

Love’s Sweet Sorrow is available in a trade paperback and e-book wherever books are sold.

E-book: $2.99
Trade Paperback: $11.99

A couple of the more popular links:

Also can be ordered from any bookstore by title or ISBN: 978-0-9890632-7-2


About the Author

Richard Brawer writes mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and exploring local history.  He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife. Read more about Richard and his books at his website:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Meredith for hosting me on your blog.
Richard Brawer