Kristin Billerbeck delights in creating a heroine she can love and enjoys the research it requires to create her. She found the perfect combination in the heroine of her latest contemporary romance, The Scent of Rain (Thomas Nelson).

Daphne Sweeten is a perfumer or professional nose. She’s given up her dream job for love and wound up in Dayton, Ohio, rather than Paris, France. “I love when art and science are combined, because it’s two different parts of the brain,” says Kristin. “Daphne allowed me to have the nerdy side of a heroine (chemistry major) combined with the art of creation.” After reading several articles about perfumers, Kristin became fascinated at how many avenues lead to the life of a nose, and Daphne and The Scent of Rain was born.

Unfortunately for Daphne, her fiancé fails to show on their wedding day; so she must face her future without Paris, without her dream job and without love. Fortunately for readers, Kristin believes there are some essential elements to any great love story—“Loyalty, a hero who is willing to fight for his heroine and the indescribable connection between two people.” Jesse Lightner is Daphne’s new employer and may just be the hero for whom Daphne is looking. “Jesse’s strengths are stability and steadfastness,” shares Kristin, “but his weakness is probably thinking more highly than he ought to of other people.” Kristin takes Daphne on a journey that may require her to redefine her definition of love for any new relationship to flourish.

As with all Kristin’s novels, the underlying spiritual theme is as important as the romantic relationship. The subject matter in The Scent of Rain allowed it to flow naturally into the story, “I love the idea of perfume, or scent, being like faith. It’s invisible, yet an important element to our senses.”

Any great romance novel needs a hero, and Jesse Lightner may just fit the bill.

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2012 issue of FamilyFiction digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!

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About The Author

Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants.A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in northern California.