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Archive for September 25th, 2015

Peggy Jaeger: The inspiration behind the title,  FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Friday, September 25th, 2015

Many authors have a theme running through their works. The importance of family, the ultimate quest for something, well…questworthy; how good always triumphs over evil. Themes are wonderful; you can build on them and explore them in many ways.

The theme for my third MacQuire Women Book, First Impressions, is simply put, first impressions can be, and often are, wrong. The age-old adage that states don’t judge a book by its cover, essentially means the same thing, and I wanted to explore that thought,

In First Impressions, family Med Doc Clarissa Rogers has a not-too-positive opinion of local veterinarian Padric Cleary. She’s heard everyone from his twin sister to her own office staff label Pat as a player. This is not the type of man she wants to be associated with. From these descriptions, she bills him as shallow and superficial.

All that changes when Pat helps her through one of the worst days of her life. She sees him as a kind and caring man, honest, truthful and far, far from shallow. His concern for her is heartfelt and she responds to it as she’s done with no other man.

When a situation arises that seems to prove everything she’d heard about him was in fact true, their relationship takes a 180 degree turn backward. But, because this is a romance novel, you can guess how it ends. Pat and Clarissa’s journey and growth, though, are the most important facets of the book.

Now, another interesting fact behind why I titled the book what I did is this: Pride and Prejudice – my all time number 1 favorite romance novel – had as its original title, First Impressions. For those of you familiar with Pride and Prejudice you can see why Jane Austen called it that. Lizzy Bennett’s first impression of Darcy is that he is vain, pompous and arrogant, unconcerned with his fellow man and a snob. We all know how her opinion changes when Darcy shows Lizzy the true man he is during the Lydia/Wickham scandal.

I would never be so bold as to compare Clarissa & Pat to Elizabeth & Darcy. But both couples do share similar experiences with trust and being judgmental. Both books have strong, independent-thinking women as their protagonists, and both require the hero and heroine to go through a few mis-steps before stepping into one another’s lives forever.

I will admit this freely – I don’t usually make a good first impression when people meet me. I’m socially awkward and I tend to back away from a group and observe before I ever put myself into the mix. This has the tendency for people who don’t know me to think I am either excessively snobbish, rude or shy – none of which I am. Well, okay, I’ll give you rude -SOMETIMES!  But first impressions are usually, in my observation, wrong. We need to really get to know people before we ever assume anything about them. That old book and cover saw drifts back to my mind frequently.

So, if we were to meet, what do you think my first impression of you would be?

First Impressions

pjFirstImpressions_w9816_2_85 copy

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?


“Have you ever been friends with a girl before?” she finally asked.


“Yes. Friends.”

“Have a beer and shoot some pool friends? Or the kind with benefits?”

She laughed out loud, shook her head and grinned. “Have you ever been friends with a girl without having sex mixed into the equation?”

“Not since I was sixteen,” he admitted and then felt his neck heat. “Why?”

She cocked her head again. “It’s no secret I’m attracted to you, too. I think my reaction to the way you kissed me proves it.”

“Why am I hearing a ‘but’?”

Her lips twitched at the corners. “But I don’t jump into bed with a man because I’m attracted to him.”

“I never thought you did.”

“Good to know.”

He cocked his head. “So, what’s being friends got to do with anything?”

Clarissa sighed and settled back against the doorframe. “Can I be honest?”

“I would hope so.”

“I’ve been hearing about your reputation with women since I moved here, and I’m not looking to be the flavor of the week.”

He stared at her for a second as hurt washed through him. “When you say honest, you don’t pull any punches.”

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