Meet Jack McShane (Character Interview by Alexis Morgan)
Please tell us your name and a little about your background.
My name is Jack McShane. When I was a kid, I ended up in the foster system when my birth father went to jail. My mother had disappeared years before to get away from his temper and his fists. My luckiest day was the one when I was sent to live with Sgt. Joe Lukash and his wife Marlene. They ended up adopting me and two more teenagers, using their unwavering love and acceptance to forge a rock-solid family. Like my brothers, I enlisted in the military in part to serve my country, but also because I wanted to become the same kind of man that Joe was. I’m back home now and running the family construction business. I meant it to be a temporary measure, but fate clearly had different plans for me.
What is your greatest fear?
That I will turn out like my biological father and grandfather—abusive, bad-tempered, and violent. You know, like those things came hardwired in my DNA.
Whom do you trust the most?
I trust my two brothers, Tino Gianelli and Mikhail Wanjek, implicitly. We might not be related by blood, but we are family right down to the bone. Yeah, we spend a lot of time yanking each other’s chains, but the bottom line is that they have my back and I have theirs.
What is your greatest weakness?
I need structure and a sense of purpose in my life. Something to give me focus. I lost that when I left the army behind after that last mission where I trashed my knee in a night jump. Now I’m drifting, looking for a new anchor in my life.
What is your greatest strength?
Once I commit to a mission, I’m in it for the long haul. That was true when I served in the Special Forces, and equally true now that I’ve taken over the family business and accepted responsibility for Ricky, the kid I found living on the streets. He’s a handful, but he reminds me so much of me back in the day.
USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of more than thirty books, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and most recently, contemporary romance. Alexis has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA from the Romance Writers of America, the top award in the romance genre.
Praised by Susan Mallery as a bestselling author whose “heartfelt, touching stories never disappoint,” Alexis Morgan introduces Sergeant Joe’s Boys: three brothers living up to a legacy of courageous military service—and pursuing the women who have captured their hearts.
No one understands family loyalty like Jack McShane. He’d do anything to honor his foster father’s last wishes, even if it means putting his own plans on hold to manage Joe’s construction business. An ex–Special Forces operative, Jack thrives on the thrill of globe-hopping rescues. But now he’s needed closer to home. His foster mother has her hands full with a troubled teen, and when Jack meets the hired tutor, he discovers a woman who stirs his protective instincts—and his deepest desires.
Caitlyn Curtis knows that good looks can hide a hot temper. After an abusive marriage crushed her dreams of a happy ending, she swore off men—until one intoxicating dance in Jack’s strong arms breaks down every emotional barrier. Tough but tender, he leaves Caitlyn yearning for more of his gentle seduction. Despite the violence he’s seen, Jack is a good man. And even though passion can be dangerous, the promise of Jack’s kiss tempts her to believe that love is a risk worth taking.
Caitlyn Curtis pulled to the curb and parked. Before getting out of her car, she studied the house where her newest client was staying. It was probably two decades older than the one she’d grown up in, but there were definite similarities. She guessed the main living space was on the first floor while the bedrooms were all on the second. The master bedroom was most likely located toward the front with the smaller ones overlooking the backyard. At least that had been true of the two cozy rooms she and her older brother had laid claim to in their childhood home. The memory of that room had her smiling. How many hours had she spent curled up in the window seat daydreaming as she stared out at the world outside?
She shook her head, clearing away the memories to concentrate on her first impressions of her newest clients. She liked that the yard was freshly mowed, and the flowerbeds were kept neat and tidy. The house itself was also well maintained, so that even a casual observer would know the owners took pride in their home. Hopefully that meant they would extend the same degree of care to the boy who had been sent to live with them.
Only one way to find out. She picked up her briefcase and purse before getting out of the car. She walked up the driveway, taking note of the pair of vehicles parked there. One was definitely a workingman’s truck with all the dents and dings to prove it. There was a sign on the driver’s door that read Joe’s Construction. The second one, a late-model SUV, was obviously someone’s pampered baby. It would be interesting to meet the owners and see if she could guess which one belonged with each vehicle.
The front door swung open before she had a chance to knock. Caitlyn knew she should introduce herself, but at that moment she wasn’t sure she could string the words together in any coherent order. She’d been told that Marlene Lukash, the foster parent, was a woman in her late fifties.
Instead, the person on the other side of the screen door was a man of about her own age, and what a man! He was around five inches taller than she was, making him a shade under six feet tall, but his shoulders came close to spanning the full width of the door. His reddish-brown hair was cut military short, and his green eyes bore into hers with an incredible intensity. God, she hoped she wasn’t drooling.
He arched an eyebrow, clearly wondering why she was just standing there and not saying a word. “Ms. Curtis?”
She managed to answer. “Yes, sorry. I wasn’t expecting . . . they told me you’d be older.” And deciding she might as well go for broke, she added, “and a woman.”
His mouth quirked up in a small grin, clearly enjoying her embarrassment. “So, tell me, Ms. Curtis. Are you disappointed that neither of those things are true?”