Liliana Hart is a hopeless romantic—and a fearless traveler. She took off on a wild ride with her husband and met a couple that may well prove to be inspiration for her next book. Read on for the couple’s adorable story, and don’t forget to pick up SAY NO MORE, Liliana’s final Gravediggers installment, out today!

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return…

I heard the song Nature Boy the other day, and like always, it made the romantic in me sigh and my heart swell in my chest. I don’t like to admit it, but I am a romantic at heart and look for happily-ever-afters everywhere. It’s why I love writing romance.

Being a romantic isn’t really an advantageous quality in the business world, and my husband isn’t the hearts and flowers type of romantic. So I try to temper my heart sighs for special occasions. I truly believe that loving and being loved in return is one of the greatest things we can experience as human beings. And it’s that thought that goes through my mind when I sit down to write a series like The Gravediggers.

Love is the ultimate goal. And my characters somehow have to get there while I throw as many obstacles in their paths as I can think of. True story: I actually love putting obstacles in their paths. I frequently laugh with glee as I throw their lives into an upheaval.

My husband and I recently took our first vacation in years. We earmarked three weeks to travel 6,000 miles across the country on a motorcycle. It was truly a life-changing experience. Not only because of the majestic mountains, crystal clear waterfalls, or desert plains, but because almost every day, we got to see examples of real life happily-ever-afters.

There was one couple in particular that stuck with me. I could have sat and talked to them for hours. They were well into their eighties, probably closer to ninety, but back in the day the husband had ridden motorcycles. He was drawn to us because of ours, and he told us he and his first wife had ridden all over the country together. They’d spent sixty-three years together before she’d died of cancer a few years before.

I looked at the woman beside me and smiled, wondering what the story was. And it wasn’t long before she started talking. She said, “I’m his second wife. But we were high school sweethearts.”

Well, you can imagine how that spurred my writer’s brain into a story. I had a million questions I wanted to ask, but I didn’t want to scare them off. I’m sure the glee in my eyes was enough to give them pause.

It turns out there was a year between them in age, and after he graduated, his job had him traveling all over the world. She was still in high school, and because of his work and travel, some of which was classified, it was impossible for them to keep in touch and keep their romance going.

Life continued. He married another woman, and she married another man. But he always kept up with what she was doing through the years—even though she never knew. And more than sixty-five years later, with grown children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, they were reconnected and married.

“We’ve been married a year and a half,” she said with a smile. “We’re newlyweds.”

And just like that, my heart sighed, and a story was born.

A hero with top security clearance…
A heroine with a lust for life and laughter…
And a love that lasts a lifetime.