Beyond the Book: The Real Reason Charlie Wasn’t Pregnant

 

I love that new readers are finding the Second Chance series, probably because I absolutely adored writing those books! Now that people are reading and rereading them, I’m starting to see a whole new round of questions about everyone’s favorite Bad Boy, Evan Downey and the lovely Charlotte (Charlie/Ace) Harris. I’ve been asked how they’re doing, if there will be an epilogue written, but they all have a similar thread running through them and it’s this:

What about Charlie's (aka, Ace) issue with getting pregnant?


Answer:

I have received this question (or a version of it) so many times over the years and to be totally honest, the blowback still startles me!

Somehow at the end of Return of the Bad Boy, I inadvertently left a whopper of a cliffhanger, even though that wasn’t my intention. MANY of you felt Charlie's trouble getting pregnant left the story incomplete, and upon reflection I can see how you’d feel that way.

I'll do my best to explain why I wrote Charlie's story like I did…


1) Word and page count is a factor. If you've read RETURN, you may have noticed there are a lot of scenes with friends. Like, a lot. As a series wrap-up, it's nice to visit with old friends, so I absolutely loved giving those glimpses at where they are by the time we arrive at Gloria & Asher’s book.

BUT. Keep in mind that I owe a love story to Asher and Gloria. BIG TIME. As much as I would've loved to follow a pregnant Sofie and Faith to their doctors' appointments, or hang out with Charlie and Evan and discuss how they feel about starting a family... I didn’t have enough time to tell every nuance of every story. In a book where Glo & Ash have their own issues to work out, there's only so many scenes I have the luxury of including.

2) I never intended on resolving it. I meant it when I said I was shocked to get questions about Charlie. The first time someone said "What about Ace?!" I blinked and typed back, "What do you mean?" The way I left her story in the book, she and Faith were chatting at the wedding. Charlie tells Faith she's not trying to get pregnant at the moment, and that she's "practicing" and then there's a lovely part where Lyon is all, "Mom!" and Charlie responds, "Yes, my son."

That scene makes me smile whenever I read it. Charlie and Lyon and Evan are a unit. The three of them are resilient and strong, beautifully so. And while some people feel I ended Charlie's story on an ellipsis, I have to say, I preferred leaving her future open rather than tying it into a neat little bow. 

3) I struggled with having children and things didn’t work out.
I rarely talk about this, but I have had two miscarriages. As a result, I have also had many discussions with my husband (and myself!) over the years about our attempt to have children, about whether or not we were meant to have them, and about how we wanted our lives and future to look.

Big, hairy-scary questions, guys!

At the end of the day, John and I decided that having babies wasn’t for us. We felt as if our paths were meant to go in a different direction, and while this took years to come to terms with (and a lot of prayer and soul searching), at the time I wrote Bringing Home the Bad Boy, I’m sure those sorts of thoughts leaked onto the pages.

For those of us who need to hear it, I’ll say this: Charlie is complete and happy even without a baby. I want women who have had their own struggles to take solace in that.

 

In direct answer to the question of an epilogue on their story, I think it’s safe to say that it isn't going to happen.

BUT.

(There’s always a but!)

I do dream of returning to Evergreen Cove and I do have moments where I think I might return to that town and see how everyone is doing … Maybe when I write that Evergreen Cove book you’ll see a tattooed bad boy and his blond wife pushing a stroller… or maybe not.

As you learned when you read BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY, life unfolds exactly as it's supposed to, and not always the way we plan. (Right, Rae?)


Thank you for reading the books and letting me share.

I love that you love Second Chance and I hope you return to that town again and again.

xo, Jessica


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The Real Reason Charlie from Bringing Home the Bad Boy Didn't Get Pregnant