Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

will he be always hers? Semper Fitz (Minne-sorta Falling in Love #1) by Aurora Russell

" This is a really beautiful story about guilt, family, hurt, pain, loss, hope, healing and love and I couldn't put it down as it was so emotional and addictive and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen next between Clara and Colin." Jean, Goodreads


Published: January 11th, 2022

He’s always strong, always faithful…but will he be always hers?

Pregnant, alone and temporarily staying at her family’s cabin in northern Minnesota, Clara Olafson is determined to overcome the hurt of her recent past and build a good life for herself and her child. The last thing she expects to find on her morning walk through the state forest nearby is an unconscious and injured former Marine.

Colin ‘Fitz’ Fitzhugh might have initially joined the Corps to prove that he was more than just a wealthy playboy, but he grew to love the brotherhood and purpose he found there—until his last mission in Afghanistan cost the life of one of his men and left him badly scarred in body and mind. Hoping to shed some of his pain and guilt alone in the wilderness, instead he finds a feisty, pregnant angel.

Sparks fly as sassy Clara nurses the gruff and mysterious Fitz back to health, but the happiness and peace they both begin to find in the little cabin is shattered when Clara faces a health emergency. When Fitz reluctantly chooses to return to the wealth and privilege of his family in order to save her and the baby, he plunges them all into a glittering society that Clara doesn’t know if she likes. But Fitz might just prove to her that, whether he’s being a billionaire philanthropist or a sudden stand-in dad, he’s always hers.

Amor Semper Fidelis

First, thank you so very much to Mythical Books for having me, and for suggesting such an amazing topic for my guest blog post! What is “Amor Semper Fidelis,” always faithful love, and what does it look like in a modern romance novel, given the changing trends in the genre? This is a question that faces me as I start any new project, and my latest book, Semper Fitz, was no exception.

I have watched with wonder the evolution of romance novels, from the few that I could sneakily check out at my local library where the culmination of physical romance was a kiss (I still love you, Betty Neels!) to being able to find mainstream erotic romance in Walmart with full-on explicit sex scenes with back-door and barb action (Lora Leigh’s Breeds series…my jaw actually fell open at the heat level when I opened a page one aisle over from the toothpaste). With so many changes, I haven’t always known where to situate my own tastes, or my writing, for that matter.

I will start by confessing that I have tried several times to write a Hallmark romance novel and I just could. Not. Do. It. Seriously. It just felt unnatural, like if a man is meeting a beautiful woman with whom he feels an instant connection, there’s no way he wouldn’t have at least one or two R-rated thoughts. If the heroine accidentally brushes the hero’s chest, it just seems disingenuous to act like the only thrill she feels is in her fingertips if she’s genuinely attracted to him.

Do I LOVE watching Hallmark movies, especially in the month of December? Yes…a thousand times yes! Can I feel authentic writing a love story with the heat-level of a Hallmark movie? Nope.

The fact (which the romance genre seems to embrace more each year) is that the majority of modern adults who are falling in love have sex, with a wonderful variety of preferences, predilections and kinks. Sex is one of the most beautiful expressions of love that humans are capable of, and I firmly believe that descriptive love-making scenes deeply enrich romance stories. I also love a good dominant alpha male, protective and sometimes jealous and possessive, which seems to be the guilty pleasure of a lot of modern, younger readers (including me!)…which I recognize is in direct contrast to the political correctness that surrounds us on a daily basis.

However, I have read some edgier contemporary romance stories that just seem too extreme for my taste as a reader or writer. Sometimes, the sheer number of sex scenes starts to interfere with the story and even overshadow the romance. Equally unforgivable for me in a love story is if I start to dislike either of the main characters because of their extreme or non-loving behavior. To borrow a favorite phrase from one of my close friends, I’m not here to yuck your yums…I’m only speaking for myself, and if that’s your thing, more power to you!

When I sat down to start Semper Fitz, the question of heat level was a challenge. I knew from the start that Fitz would be a protective alpha male, because that simply felt natural for him. However, with Clara being pregnant in the beginning of the story, and the mother of a newborn later on, imagining how their physical relationship would play out wasn’t as straightforward. I genuinely feel that I put in the love scenes that match the story, and for Fitz and Clara, who have instant sizzling chemistry, the action is more suggestive rather than explicit for the first half of the book. Things really heat up after Clara recovers from the delivery of baby Hope, though, and highly-descriptive passionate love-making ensues.

I think that this type of consideration is the crux of “Amor Semper Fidelis” in a modern romance setting. It should be whatever feels most authentic to the tone of a story, as well as the characters. For Fitz, waiting until Clara is ready, then making her feel gorgeous and desirable with some hot, passionate love-making that he dominates just feels like the way he would express his feelings for her. For another character, and another story, who knows? Especially for Fitz, who is a former Marine, but for any of the other heroes in my stories as well, the idea of a love that is always faithful is at the core of their beings, no matter how they express it.

About the author:
Aurora is originally from the frozen tundra of the upper-Midwest (ok, not frozen all the time!) but now loves living in New England with her real-life hero/husband, two wonderfully silly sons, and one of the most extraordinary cats she has ever had the pleasure to meet. But she still goes back to the Midwest to visit, just never in January. She doesn't remember a time that she didn't love to read, and has been writing stories since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has always liked the romantic scenes best in every book, story, and movie, so one day she decided to try her hand at writing her own romantic fiction, which changed her life in all the best ways.

Find out more about Aurora, upcoming releases, and news at:

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Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a book I will enjoy.

Denise said...

Sounds like a real feel good love story, with some tears too.

Bea LaRocca said...

I love the cover and synopsis, this is a must read for me. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details and for offering a giveaway

laurie nykaza said...

This sounds like an interesting love story and I also like the cover.

Amy Woolard said...

I would love to read this book!

Denise said...

Can the author give a hint of what is the next work in progress?