posted on March 20, 2019 by Jody Holford

Who is Declan James?

Thanks so much for having me here on Writerspace. I’m so excited to share my newest story, the last in the Love Unexpected Series, Story of Us.

Declan James figured he’d be a bachelor for the rest of his life and was perfectly fine with that. But when Sophia Strombi—a friend’s younger sister—comes back to Brockton Point, everything Declan was once sure of is up in the air. The only thing he knows for certain right now is that Sophia is a woman who could make him forget all of his rules.

Writing this story was really fun. From book one, Declan has been one of my favorite characters and I’m so excited that I got to give him his own story. So, who is Declan James? Well, I’m currently working on a baseball series for Entangled Publishing and I guess because that’s where my brain is, I thought I’d create some ‘player cards’ for my main characters. Both of my characters took on lives of their own. Sophia’s quick wit and hidden vulnerability are impossible for Declan to ignore. Sophia isn’t immune to Declan’s striking good looks but what appeals to her more is the way he really sees her and believes in her. More than that, he makes her believe in herself.

I enjoy writing stories that focus not just on families and friendships, but ones that explore the characters’ feelings about their own sense of belonging within their circle. So often, we are harder on ourselves than anyone else is. For Sophia, coming home meant facing a lot of things, including leaving Brockton Point at eighteen and choosing not to be part of her family’s pizzeria business. Though she thinks the path she took made her the person she is today, it’s still hard—in fiction and in life—to feel like we’ve let people down or not lived up to their expectations.

Declan didn’t have the same sense of familial obligations but he’s got some struggles of his own. Content with a life of serial dating, he’s more shocked than anyone else that he’s started to crave a home, a wife, a family—a future with someone. When Sophia walks back into his life, he doesn’t know why she’s the one. Simply that, she is.

They both have to jump over some hurdles to get to their happy ending but as with most things…it’s worth the fight. Hope you enjoy their ‘character stats’ below.



by Jody Holford

Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor––happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.

Sophia’s life is––well there’s no other word for it––a mess. She’s grateful to have some work at her brother’s best friend’s bar, and a place to stay. Since she’s working hard to get her life back on track, she’s desperately trying to ignore the fact her boss makes her heart pound in a good way. Wait––no. That’s not good at all.

Besides, she has a huge secret she’s keeping from everyone––one that’s a life-changer.

Each book in the Love Unexpected series is STANDALONE:
* Let It Be Me
* Never Expected You
* Story of Us


Jody Holford

Jody Holford

I'm a mom and wife first and many things after. I'm a best friend and a regular friend. A daughter, sister, auntie, a teacher, and maybe even... a writer. I am a book lover, a shopper, a pajama-wearer, movie-watcher, worrier, over-thinker, and a wanna-be-good-Samaritan. I'm a Gemini, a nervous talker, and an emotional writer. I am represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel.  

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