Character Interview: Shannon Wurther from Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke


Hello everyone! We are super excited to welcome Shannon Wurther, police detective – and protagonist in Taylor Brooke’s Fortitude Smashed – on From Top to Bottom Reviews.If you follow us on here you might have read Annie’s review or you might have seen us gushing about this book on twitter and facebook! Because we love it so much we asked Taylor, if Aiden and Shannon might agree to an interview. 😉 Luckily they did! Part two – the interview with Aiden – will be posted on wednesday.

We had a lot of fun preparing this and coming up with questions, though the most fun was reading their answers! (Also a big thank you to Taylor, who kindly agreed to this!) We hope you enjoy it too!



After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. 

Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.

Goodreads | Interlude Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


And now to the best part: the interview!

Hi Shannon! Welcome to From Top to Bottom Reviews!

Art is something you both have in common, so of course we got to ask about your favourite artist or paintings/sculptures you particularly like. And would you consider yourself to be artistic?

I like art, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t follow artists like Aiden does. I’m more of a cinematic person. I like the artistic use of cinematography in movies and how it affects the characters and plot. Pans Labyrinth is amazing, one of Karman’s favorites, and I really loved Across The Universe. I’m not artistic, but I appreciate art.

What is something about Aiden, or a thing he does, that makes you weak every time? 

When he’s quiet, I think. That always gets me. In the morning, when he’s just waking up. He’s slow moving and soft. His guard is down. I can’t explain it very well, but Aiden is more himself when he hasn’t had time to build up his bravado. I like that I get to see him when he’s willingly vulnerable, that he lets me have that.

I also like catching him behind his camera. When he’s transfixed on something and wants to get the right angle. His concentration, the way he moves, how he’ll smile if he knows he got something good.

Tying in to the last question, what does he do that annoys you a bit? (You know, like leaving the cap off the toothpaste, leaving dirty dishes around the house..) And what is something he would be embarrassed if the world knew? (You can totally tell, it’s just us – totally confidential :P) 

Everything. I’m kidding. He definitely makes a point to annoy me as much as humanly possible, but I’d have to say that the most irritating thing he does is steal my shit. Shirts? Gone. Socks? I buy a new pack weekly now. Not to say that I haven’t stolen a sweatshirt out of his closet once or twice, but he’s terrible about it.

Something he’d be embarrassed about? That’s hard since he barely has any shame. Let’s see… Hmm… Well, he talks in his sleep sometimes. It’s adorable. He sings in the shower too. Also adorable.

What’s the most unexpectedly sexy thing about your partner?

I’ve never been with someone who actively enjoys being marked up. That’s… a little weird to start with, but Aiden likes hickeys. He likes leaving them on me and he likes me leaving them on him. It’s not a possession thing – maybe it is a little bit, but it’s more of a permission thing. Aiden lets me… god, this sounds shitty, but Aiden lets me claim him. I know it makes me sound like an asshole, but it’s really sexy.

This might be a bit personal, but whatever I figured we’re here to get a bit personal. 😉 Before you timed out, what did you think would your Rose Road be like? What were you afraid of?

I probably shouldn’t say this, because she’d kill me if she knew, but my biggest fear was Chelsea showing up and us timing out together. It would’ve been the safest thing, the most predictable, but I didn’t want safe. I’m not saying that Chelsea isn’t fantastic, she is. She’s one of my best friends and she’s brilliant and beautiful and strong, but she deserves more than settling, you know? We both do.

I mean… It’s hard, because I really didn’t know a damn thing about what I wanted, honestly. I wanted everything I’d never had, someone who would challenge and surprise me, but I didn’t know what those things were or how they’d arrange themselves in a person. Then Aiden showed up and he sure as hell surprised me. As soon as Aiden kissed me, it was over. I knew, right then, that I didn’t know what I wanted, because I hadn’t met him yet.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? (Is there a wedding in your future? Kids?)

Oh, good lord, if you ask my mama, she’ll tell you we’re gettin’ married and havin’ three kids by Christmas, but truthfully, we don’t know yet. It’s still new. Marriage isn’t a necessity anymore with the Camellia Clock and all, but I’m… I don’t know. I’d marry Aiden tomorrow. I’d marry him right now. Maybe we’ll talk about it sometime soon.

How would you complete this sentence. “Aiden is a natural born ___.”

Aiden is a natural born fighter.

Shannon, you left everything behind to start a new life in Orange County, would you do it again? Was it harder than you thought it would be?

The hardest part was leaving Chelsea. I knew she wouldn’t come with me… I’d asked her and asked her and she just wouldn’t budge. But my dad got hurt and I had to get away, I think. I had to start over somewhere. I always wanted to get to the West Coast, to California specifically. I mean, who doesn’t wanna move to California? But all in all, it was harder than I thought. I had a lot to adjust to, had to make new friends and be braver than I’d ever been before. I’d do it again in a heartbeat though, especially now that I know who was waiting for me here.

And now a couple of quick questions, between you and Aiden…:

  • Who’s the cuddler?
    He’ll probably say I am, but we both are.
  • Who’s the big spoon?
    Depends on the night or the nap.
  • Who has the bigger sweet tooth?
    Me. It’s a bad habit.
  • Who comes home drunk at 3am?
    Do I even have to answer this? Aiden, of course.
  • Who kills the spider?
    Thanks to Daisy, Aiden has a soft spot for insects. So we try to put them back outside.
  • Who falls asleep first?
    I do.
  • Who is the biggest baby when they’re sick?
    He is, oh my god. He’s the biggest fucking baby, and he won’t listen to anything I say. Soup? No, he wants whiskey. Hot bath? No, he’s fine. Doctor? Nope. He’s impossible.
  • Who steals the blanket in the night?
    He does. Wraps it around himself like a damn cocoon.
  • Who cooks better?
    He does. I can’t cook for the life of me, but Aiden can at least make a few things.
  • Who dances better?
    Hmmm… He’ll tell you he does, but we’re pretty evenly matched.
  • Who is more likely to surprise the other with a home cooked dinner?
    Probably Aiden.
  • Who holds their liquor better?
    Hmmmm… We hold our liquor differently. We both tend to throw our inhibitions out the window, though. Aiden gets loud and more… honest? He’s always honest, but I mean, he just doesn’t mind asking for things he wouldn’t normally ask for. I guess I’m the same. Alcohol is liquid courage, right?

And that’s it! Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to have you here with us!


Curved Horizon, the second book in the Camellia Clock Cycle, which will feature Chelsea Cavanaugh and Daisy Yuen, will be out March 2018! You can add it on Goodreads.

In the sequel to Fortitude Smashed, navigating the ins and outs of love is hard enough as strangers, but now Daisy and Chelsea must find a way to transform their friendship into something more. Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden’s year-long relationship is put to the test when a horrific accident puts Shannon’s life at risk.


After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup professional, Taylor turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of tea, planning her next adventure, and fawning over baby animals.

Website |Twitter | Facebook

We hope you enjoyed this. And don’t forget: the interview with Shannon’s Rose Road, Aiden Maar, will be posted on wednesday. 🙂

Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Pansexual Pairing: M/M Publisher: Interlude Press Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Illness / Injury Tag: Interview Tag: Own-Voices Tag: Part of a series Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

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