Next week, Brother of Interest, the second installment in The Unde(a)feted Detective Series, will be released to the world, and I couldn’t be more excited! In honor of the fast-approaching launch, I’ve been posting a series of three character spotlights to acquaint readers with old and new characters in the book. For my last one, I’m covering Cael Avery and Autumn Hastings, who create the novel’s secondary storyline.
Readers of Husband in Hiding, the forerunner to Brother of Interest, probably remember Cael well, as he played a prominent role in the book’s ending. Being Wes’s brother and Minka’s partner, he shared a special relationship with the couple and showed unwavering support for Minka while Wes sought refuge in witness protection. In fact, their bond runs so deep that Wes and Minka name their baby daughter, Caela, after him.
In contrast, Autumn is new to the series, introduced in the sequel as Cael’s girlfriend. Spoiler alert: Their romance culminates to a marriage proposal halfway through the book. Meanwhile, Minka, who’s still adjusting to not being Cael’s partner, grapples with insecurities about her place in his life. Plus, Autumn’s bubbly personality and hipster ideologies don’t sit well with her future sister-in-law.
Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll step aside to let fictitious reporter Doreen Packard give her take on the lovebirds in her article announcing their engagement.
Detective Cael Avery to Take on a New Case—Matrimony
By Doreen Packard
Sorry, ladies. One of Orlando PD’s most eligible bachelors has turned himself in to be locked up in wedlock. Detective Cael Avery has asked Autumn Hastings, a local fitness instructor, to be his bride. Though the handsome police officer has held on to his single status for many years, he sprung the question after just a few months of dating Miss Hastings.
“I cringe at the cliché, but it’s true: ‘When you know, you know.’ ” He winks at his fiancée.
The couple has one of the most adorable love stories out there, engineered by some cunning and a tiny matchmaker.
Autumn begins, “We met at the grocery store. I haven’t lived in Orlando for long, so I didn’t recognize him from the news or anything. I thought he was cute, but I wasn’t impressed by the selection in his cart.”
Cael snickers. “I was stocking up on soda and microwavable pizza. I can’t resist a good sale on the essentials.”
She shakes her head with a grin. “I reserved my judgement when he approached me and struck up a conversation. I mentioned that I started an aerobics class for toddlers, and he told me about his little niece, who was almost a year old and had just begun to walk. He said he’d refer me to his sister-in-law, but he didn’t stop there.”
Cael takes over, “I didn’t refer Minka as much as I begged her to let me take Caela. As usual, she put up some resistance, but I eventually convinced her.”
While we’re on the subject, I address Cael’s bond with his sister-in-law and former partner, and I ask Autumn what it’s like to be marrying into such a tight-knit family.
“I admire their relationship and all they’ve been through together. I hope Minka and I can grow close in time.”
I zero in on this remark and ask if they have trouble getting along at present. She slides a cautious look over to her husband-to-be.
She finally responds, “Minka’s just been going through so much lately, with her brother and everything.”
Cael sighs. “Yeah, we’re all dealing with lots of changes.”
I reached out to Minka for comment but didn’t hear back by my deadline. Guess we’ll have to wait to see them gather together for the big day, being planned for this fall.
Character Spotlight: Minka & Wes Avery
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