Sit Down Saturday with Tara Randel

Today we’re celebrating the release of His One and Only Bride.

He never thought he’d see her again.

After being reported missing, and presumed dead, globe-hopping photojournalist Mitch Simmons never thought he’d see his estranged wife Zoe again. Yet here he is, back in their coastal Florida town where Zoe is mayor. Turns out she isn’t the only one he left behind.

Discovering he has a baby son awakens thrilling new emotions in Mitch. And there are his still-powerful feelings for the high school sweetheart he vowed to love and honor forever. Thankfully, they’ll have the chance to find the love that was always there...

So, Tara, where did you get the idea for this novel?

As an author, I always had this story in the back of my mind, a tale that asks the question, what would happen if you thought your husband had died, only to have him show up again when you least expected it? That’s the dilemma in His One and Only Bride. Zoe is shocked to learn her photojournalist husband, thought killed while on assignment, has returned home. They were estranged before his final assignment and Zoe grieved the fact that they never worked things out. But now she has a second chance. And a surprise for her newly returned husband, they have a child. Suddenly Mitch is thrust into fatherhood and finds out he’s unprepared. Through starts and stops, how does this couple decide to make their marriage work and become a family? That’s the fun part about being a writer, I can take stories just like this and create an entire world around one little question of what if. 

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

Don’t forget the memories or a picture is worth a thousand words.

What is your favorite scene?

I actually have many favorite scenes in this book, but here’s an excerpt to give you a glimpse of the book.

Mitch expected his wife’s surprise. After all, to her, he’d risen from the dead.

His hand gripped the cane that had become his lifeline. He wanted to heave it over the railing, but that meant lifting an arm that still needed rehab to function properly. Instead of cataloguing his injuries, he focused on his shell-shocked wife.

“I don’t understand. We were told…I thought you were…”


She reached out to place her palms on the deck railing.

“The report was mistaken.”


“I was injured in a truck accident while leaving a refugee camp.”

She visibly pulled herself together. Took a step toward him, faltered and stopped. “Pretty soon I’m going to have a ton of questions, but right now…I don’t know what to say.”

“How about ‘welcome home’?”

He watched her struggle with this major surprise. “When did you get here?”

“About fifteen minutes ago.”

“How?” Her gaze took in his appearance and he knew what she saw. A guy who’d lost weight, whose complexion had turned pasty after weeks in the hospital. Not the image of the healthy husband who’d walked out of her life nearly two years ago.

“Wyatt. I called him to tell him I was heading home. He picked me up at the airport.”

A flush of red crept up her neck. “You didn’t think to call your wife?”

“I did, but considering how we ended our last conversation, I thought it would be better if I talked to you in person.”

She ran a hand through her shoulder-length black hair. What had happened to the long straight strands that had reached to her mid-back? In the hospital, he’d dreamed of running his fingers through it. Had dreamed of her easy smile, which was nowhere to be found right now. Had he expected her to jump into his arms when she saw him again despite the circumstances? Expect that old feelings would rush over her again? Disappointment swamped him. She looked like the same Zoe, yet there was something different about her. He couldn’t put his finger on it.

“I’m sorry, you didn’t want to call me? Despite everything, didn’t you think I’d have wanted to know you were at least okay?”

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mitch. He had a lot to overcome. I loved showing the changes in him as the book progressed. To me, his character is filled with hope. He has a lot thrust upon him when he returns home, but he’s willing to do what is best for his family, even if it’s not the best for him personally.

Tell us one thing you learned during research

I had to do research on traumatic brain injuries. There was so much to learn. Symptoms. Severity.  Treatment. And mostly, how does a patient manage pain and living with this diagnosis? I hoped I portrayed Mitch’s condition properly, both in what he experienced and how he dealt with the issues that come from the injury.

This is your 6th book. Exactly what does that mean to you?

I love writing books for Heartwarming. To have six in a series has allowed me to share stories I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve loved every minute of it!

What do you plan to work on next?

I’m working on a new series, Meet Me at the Altar, for Heartwarming. The first book, The Lawman’s Secret Vow will be released in August.

To celebrate the release of this book,  join me for His One and Only Bride Prism Book Tour January 22-27. 

Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels. Family values, a bit of mystery and, of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her next Harlequin Heartwarming romance, THE LAWMAN’S SECRET VOW, available August 2018.  Visit Tara at Like her on Facebook at Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.


  1. What a great scene, Tara! Congratulations on your latest release. This is such a wonderful series!

    1. Thanks Jill. I especially love this book so I'm excited!

  2. I really enjoyed this book. All the emotions of a couple reuniting with the disappearance on top of that, plus that mysterious element of hidden danger running through the story made it hard to put down.

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  3. I've taught students who've suffered traumatic brain injuries and am looking forward to your book.

    1. It was an interesting subject to research, especially due to so many sports injuries bringing this to the limelight. Thanks for stopping by Pamela.

  4. Tara, I loved this book. Kept me riveted.

  5. This excerpt is so good! I can't wait to read this. My son's best friend suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident and watching his recovery over the last few years has been enlightening.

    1. I'm sure watching his recovery is tough. Hope he's going better. Thanks LeAnne!

  6. I look forward to seeing this when it's released. Congratulations on your book!

  7. Great excerpt! Such a compelling premise, too. Congratulations on all your Heartwarming books.

  8. I love how Mitch is both steady and vulnerable with her. Congratualtions, Tara, on a great story!

    1. I have to admit, Mitch has a special place in this author's heart. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Replies
    1. I so enjoyed writing this book, romance intrigue and all! Thanks T.R.

  10. Tara, I love your books and this one looks like another winner! Congratulations! Excellent teaser for us, by the way!

    1. Thanks so much, Catherine. I love posting teasers so I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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