So in chapter 2 we fast forward six months, and Quinn is a full fledged PI and business owner in Brooklyn. It was Brooklyn’s turn to get some love in the series. My heart always lies in Queens because I grew up there, but in many ways Brooklyn is one of my favorite settings. It’s an interesting and rapidly changing Borough, and like so many of the other 4, it bears many different faces. Full disclosure here, I haven’t spent that much time in my life in Brooklyn outside of Coney Island, which I discuss in the book. It’s the scene of one of Quinn and Jen’s dates, and a place I used to visit multiple times every summer, but that’s a topic I’ll write about in a later post.
More importantly we get to see that things aren’t going so well at first for Quinn. He’s a new business owner, and he’s dealing with all of the stress that comes with that position; a bad location, crappy office furniture, unfinished storefronts, and absolutely no business. The case that walks through his door, however, will not only change the trajectory of his career, but of his personal life as well. When we meet Jen she’s disheveled, upset, and looking desperately for help. She finds it in Quinn. Their two paths collide in a moment of pure vulnerability, and we get to hear a little bit about the case. Jen has a sister named Sarah, who’s disappeared outright, and Jen needs someone to see whether this is just the typical junkie behavior her sister has exhibited in the past, or something far more sinister.
Sometimes the challenge of setting up the stories in romance novels comes in how to get the characters together. In my case, for this series, there’s a sort of character chain going on where I introduce characters in one book that link into the next. In this case I wrote a scene in Jesse specifically to introduce Quinn to Jen, but that scene was intended to be brief, and it was a setup for what I knew would come later on. But once I reintroduced Jen I needed to get them together somehow without the case specifically involved, so I had Quinn simply take her out for dinner to try to take her mind off of things. This leads to some interesting conversation, and sets up one of many dates throughout the book. . .