Maisey Yates writes some of today’s hottest contemporary romance. In her beloved Copper Ridge series, she returns time and again to the close-knit Garrett family. We asked her to talk a bit about why the family relationships in her books are so important to her, and why they feel so real to her readers…
Family. Love them, hate them or both (depending on the day!) family is what shapes us. Either with their presence, or their absence.
Family is the cornerstone of the Copper Ridge series. This trilogy follows the Garrett family — Eli, Connor and Kate, as they navigate life, love and the complications, and blessings, of family. The Garretts have a strong family unit. Even though they lost their parents early, the siblings have stuck together, supporting each other, harassing each other, and getting together once a week for poker and beer.
Connor and Eli raised their much younger sister Kate, Kate and Eli supported Connor after the death of his wife. And no one rallied for Eli’s bid for Sheriff like Kate and Connor.
I loved writing their banter. Siblings have that unique ability to insult each other in breath and profess their love in the next.
“You didn’t think about telling me you were going to lease out a house on our property?”
“I did think about it. I decided against it. Because I thought, at the end of the day, it was my damned decision.”
“Dammit, Connor, I say this with love, please get drunk and pass out. You’re impossible when you’re like this.”
“I’m always like this,” Connor said.
“Yeah, and you’re always impossible.”
“Why are you all growling in here?” Kate, the youngest of the Garrett clan, walked into the kitchen, her dark hair in a low ponytail. She looked like she’d been working hard all day, and it was probably because she had been.
“Because Connor’s in the room,” Eli told her.
Kate smiled and crossed to Connor, planting a kiss on his cheek. Connor grunted.
“I love you too,” she said. “Did anyone make dinner?”
(Excerpt from Part Time Cowboy)
One of the wonderful things about writing this family was the way they pulled other people into the fold. In Part Time Cowboy, Sadie Miller ends up renting a house on the Garrett ranch, and starts to get involved — not just with Eli, but the whole family.
In Brokedown Cowboy it’s family friend, Liss, who helps pull Connor out of his grief and ultimately helps him love again.
And in Bad News Cowboy, Connor and Eli’s best friend Jack starts to have very un-brotherly-type feelings for Kate.
Real love means telling each other hard truths, and when necessary, the Garrett siblings do that for each other too.
“Connor, you make a serious effort to be unhappy.”
“It doesn’t take that much effort to be unhappy when you lose everything,” Connor said, bristling against Eli’s words.
“It’s more than that. It’s more than just being sad because you miss Jessie. You push everyone away. You do your very best not to share anything with anyone. You are committed to staying unhappy. And I’ve never seen someone take that commitment more seriously than you.”
“Go ahead and tell me how you would have acted differently, Eli. Go right ahead. But you can’t guarantee that. You can’t know that.”
Eli rocked back on his heels. “I don’t have to know it. I just have to convince you to knock it off.”
“For what reason?” Connor slammed his hands down on the countertop. “I’m serious. Give me a reason, Eli.”
“So you don’t die alone. How about that, asshole?”
(Excerpt Brokedown Cowboy)
And even when they don’t fully approve of each other’s choices…they want the best for each other.
“So what’s the matter, then, Katie? If you don’t love him, you don’t love him. And that’s fine. But you’re in
here crying like someone reached in and pulled your heart out. You look like someone who just lost love. I’m the last person on earth to push anyone toward Jack. I know him well enough to know what he’s done, and that when it comes to love he’s unproven. But I don’t want to see you like this.” He released his hold on her. “Do you love him?”
“It isn’t that simple.”
“Bullshit it’s not. It’s completely that simple.”
(Excerpt Bad News Cowboy)
The individual romances are the primary focus of each of these books, but the relationship between Connor, Eli and Kate is the backbone.
USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. You can connect with her online at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.