I do like a flawed hero. Perfection in men is overrated and often boring. That's not to say I like them unwashed and brutal. But a bit of swagger and a touch of bad boy are not awful things. Oh, I know, the words flawed hero may conjure the picture of a one-armed recluse (who, of course, looks like Hugh Jackman) with a dark and tortured soul. And I could probably write quite a tale starring Hugh the Recluse. But The Shagmeister (aka Troy Battle) is not that kind of flawed hero. He's a simple guy who lives in a real house, not a drafty Scottish castle or a hut on the moor, not even a rundown ranch house far out on the prairie. But like old Hugh the Recluse wallowing in his misery, resplendent in his kilt, or his chaps, or his...whatever they wear on the moors..., Troy has issues. But he also has both arms, his sanity and four children that he is trying to raise on his own.
Once upon a time Troy was hot stuff, big man on campus--all that, as today's kids would say. But that was fifteen years ago and things have changed a good bit since then. Young Troy tempted Fate once too often and ended up married to someone he didn't want to be married to, and who most definitely returned that sentiment But, alas, they must have had their tender moments from time to time because the babies kept arriving. So they stayed married and made what they could of their difficult marriage for a dozen or so years until his wife died suddenly (no, Troy wasn't flawed enough to kill her—she died in a car wreck).
Troy is my favorite kind of hero. He's witty, self-deprecating at times, charming when he wants to be, and a little too impressed with himself. So where is the flaw in this flawed hero, you ask? Troy has no idea how to love a woman. Not emotionally. He's quite good at loving them physically, but the man has never truly been in love. He was hot stuff while he was in school, then he graduated and a few days later—literally—he found himself married to a shrew whom he knew far better in the Biblical sense than on any sort of personal level.
But love has not forsaken Troy. It is out there waiting for him, an unforeseen love, at a time when he has given up on such foolishness. He must work for it, prove he is worthy of it, and let this most special lady—and everyone else—know that while no one was paying attention, he grew up and became a man.
There are, of course other characters in Remember the Shagmeister. There is the heroine, Katie Forrester (who prefers to be called Katherine, but to Troy she will always be Katie). The story is really her story more than Troy's. But the name of the book is Remember the Shagmeister, and Troy is indeed the Shagmeister and has been since that day years ago when he won a silly shag contest at the beach. In the hearts of the characters in this story he always will be the Shagmeister—perhaps in your heart too, after you read the story.
You will also meet Bobby Beauchamp and his wife Rachel. Their stories are so completely intertwined with Troy and Katie's, like creeping vines of kudzu, that without each of them, there could be no story.
I hope you will join these four former friends as they reunite for an unforgettable week that changes everything—forever.