I must say, I’ve never had the opportunity to interview a fictional character before. After reading Brooke Williams’s romance Wrong Place, Right Time, I just had to know more about Kate Covington. I mean, it isn’t every woman who would follow the guy she loved to Vegas in hopes of crashing his wedding to another woman. Then, when Kate interrupts the wrong nuptials, things get really wild.
Lucky for me, Brooke was able to provide access to Kate, who agreed to answer a few questions about her outrageous behavior and its unexpected consequences. And keep reading after the interview for my review of Wrong Place, Right Time
First and foremost…WHY? Why work for years next to someone you have feelings for and say nothing, especially when he was unattached?
That’s what I asked myself every day, let me tell you! I don’t know if I can give you just one reason. There are plenty. What Brian and I had as friends was really special. We confided in each other about a lot of things and, after my grandmother passed away, he was like family. I was sick with worry that if I told him I loved him and he didn’t feel the same way, I would ruin what we had. On some days, it felt like he was all I had. I couldn’t risk it. And I was also worried about the relationship changing me. How would it be working with him and spending the afternoons with him outside of work as a couple? I don’t know; it made me nervous. Relationships have never gone my way and I wanted things with Brian to be different. The only way to ensure it would go well was to keep things on the level where we were both comfortable.
What was your first thought when you realized you barged into the wrong wedding?
Oops. Actually, my mind went blank for a minute. I felt it more in my physical reaction. My cheeks burned and my fingers were like ice. Once I realized what I had done and endured that physical moment, my mind started racing. Where was Brian? Was I too late? What was going on with this groom that a stranger barging in could make the bride run away that easily? I had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
When you were a little girl living with your grandmother, did you and she ever talk about what your own wedding might be like? Did she tell you about hers?
Hers was very romantic. She and my grandfather were long time sweethearts. They went to the same high school and then he went away to college. Back then women didn’t often continue on with their degrees. Instead she stayed home and got a small job and waited. They sent letters back and forth. Dozens of them. When he was about to go off to war, they could no longer deny their love. He wanted to go to war with a wife waiting and not a girlfriend. They actually got married at the courthouse. It was hurried and small but utterly romantic. She always said that he told her the reason he made it through the war was because he knew he had a wife waiting for him back home. They had a larger reception after the war and celebrated with family and friends. I still pull my grandparents’ letters out sometimes and read them. That’s what love is, and it’s what I wanted in my life. As for my wedding, since hers was so small and fast, she wanted me to have it all. The white dress, the lace veil, the candles, the church, the whole deal. We didn’t really talk details, and I knew the most important thing to her was who stood next to me at the altar.
What was it like to grow up without your mom and dad? How did your grandmother help keep you connected to them?
It was gut wrenching. I often wonder how life would have been different. Don’t get me wrong, my grandmother gave me a wonderful life. But emotionally, I would be a different person had they not passed away. There were a lot of things that happened that were hard to get through without them. The dad-daughter date nights at school. The moms volunteering in the classroom. The little things stuck out the most. But my grandmother was there for them all. Whether she fit in or not, she was there. And I could see a lot of my parents in her. I think she purposely said some of the things I remembered them saying to keep them around in subtle ways. There were pictures, of course, and my mom’s favorite quilt on my bed. My dad’s cologne on the counter. They were there in as many ways as they could be.
When you agreed to your business arrangement…let’s just say it…a sham marriage to Chad Leida, you got a little taste of life in the public eye. Has it changed your view of fame?
Oh yes. I had no idea what famous people go through, really. I mean, I was on the TV news and people would recognize me on occasion, but no one took my picture without asking first, and there was never any pointing or staring. People were friendly about it and respected my space and privacy. Real fame was a whole different ball game. I mean, Chad couldn’t step out without someone discovering him. And he’s not even on the same level as movie stars who have it even worse. We place these people on pedestals when, in reality, they are just people doing a job they love. They go through the day putting one foot in front of another like anyone else.
Chad’s mother didn’t exactly welcome you into the Leida family with open arms. Has that changed now that you’re settled on the ranch? What is your advice for someone who must deal with a difficult in-law?
It’s been a long haul. She had a lot of expectations for Chad and his life. She wanted certain things for him, and the fact that he didn’t want them was very disappointing to her. She’s a stern woman and a perfectionist in many ways. We are very different people, and it’s hard to reconcile that. But she has come to realize that I am what Chad wants and he is what I want. She can’t deny that any longer and, I have to say, she’s coming around. She is who she is, but she comes to the ranch on occasion, and we even got her up on a horse last time. We’re so different it’s going to take some time to reconcile those differences, but I think the more we recognize them, the better we will get along. And she’s starting to understand that Chad’s happiness is the most important thing, and that I have that interest held high on my to-do list!
If your insane trip to Vegas to stop Brian’s wedding had succeeded and you’d ended up together (never meeting Chad) do you think the marriage would have worked out?
Well, in a way, we did end up together…for a while. And it didn’t work out. I was totally and completely, head over heels in love with the IDEA of Brian. He was the ideal man, in my eyes. What I was not in love with was the actual man. When we dated, I realized that my idea of him and the reality are two different things. Brian is an incredible man and he will make some woman very happy someday. But he wasn’t the man for me. So while my former self prior to storming in on the wedding believed with all her heart that things would work out in a fairy-tale, happily ever after manner with him, my current self recognizes the truth. There’s only one man out there for me. I thought it was Brian. I was wrong.
What is the single most important lesson a young woman looking for true love should take away from your experience?
I think women could learn from what I went through…a very important lesson. Actually, several of them! First, they need to learn to love someone for who they are, not who you want them to be or even who you think they are. When you start dating someone, everything is shiny and everything about them is wonderful. In reality, no one is perfect. If you really want to love someone, you have to dig below that surface part and get to who they really are. That takes time. It means forgiving flaws and learning to live with things you may not like as much. True love is loving someone despite and even sometimes because of those things. I had a certain idea about who Chad was, and it wasn’t until I got below the façade that I realized who he really was. I think women can also learn from my experience of showing up in the wrong place. I was definitely in the wrong place. I mean, I interrupted the wrong wedding for goodness sake! But in the end, it was the exact right time to be in that wrong place. What I’m trying to say is that mistakes happen. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes mistakes happen for a reason. Make the best of it and move on. You may have avoided a huge heartache by making that mistake. Or, who knows, it could even lead you to the man of your dreams!
REVIEW of Wrong Place, Right Time
Traffic reporter Kate Covington flies from Omaha to Las Vegas to stop the man she loves from getting married. Only she disrupts the wrong wedding. When the bride storms off, the desperate groom convinces Kate to step in so he can inherit a fortune.
Kate Covington is an endearing character with a touching back story. Her seemingly insane behavior comes from a place of vulnerability. She’s suffered so much loss that she’s reluctant to risk her friendship with Brian by declaring her love for him. Yet, she can’t miss out on what she sees as her shot at true love. Chad Leida is a very different sort of personality–confident, decisive. He’s not afraid of challenging his powerful parents, but he does need access to his trust fund to finance his dream–opening a horse ranch that serves disadvantaged children.
The chemistry between these two characters crackles. But they also complement each other. Kate shows Chad that emotional intimacy doesn’t equal weakness. And by exposing her to his crazy, paparazzi-filled world, he helps Kate develop inner confidence and a clearer direction in life.
Williams does an equally good job with most her secondary characters, though I found Brian a bit bland. I couldn’t quite see why Kate was so taken with him. Also, Ida, who comes to Kate’s rescue at her lowest point, is on and off stage in a blink. I think she should have been introduced earlier, so that her help didn’t seem so “convenient.”
The second half of the novel is not quite as well developed as the first half. There are a few too many coincidences–like Ida appearing just when needed and the perfect job opening popping up for unemployed Kate. Another ten to fifteen pages would have helped round out the narrative. However, there were plenty of unexpected plot twists that left me surprised and excited. A happy ending isn’t a given for Kate and Chad. They both have to work hard for it and take some risks.
Wrong Place, Right Time is part of The Writers Coffee Shop’s Afternoon Delight line, and that’s exactly how I’d characterize this romance. It’s a quick, fun read that leaves a smile on your face.