Tara Bender: A San Francisco vet who teaches at UC, Davis and is a pet blogger for various media outlets. In her spare time Tara supports various animal welfare causes and is a commissioned Vet for the SFPD. She is especially protective towards German Shepherds and hosts an Annual fundraiser for various breed rescues in California. Tara runs a successful vet clinic in Pacific Heights and has a tenacious, never say die attitude. She also has a strong creative streak and practices Kundalini Yoga to break down her ego. Tara attends a Religious Science Church in the city and runs a book club with her sister-in-law Natasha based on “May Cause Miracles” by author Gabrielle Bernstein. As she goes through the six weeks of lessons in the book, Tara begins to realize that her fears are causing her to experience the world in a negative way and influence behaviors that make for bad relationships. Her life begins to look brighter when she meets Cameron Paisley, an exiting British Polo player and Philanthropist. Not only does her relationship with Cameron cause Tara to reconsider her plans to have a baby through a sperm donor, it inspires her to retrain her brother’s retired police dog, K-9 Ruby, into a certified therapy pet.
Ronan Kiernan: On the surface he looks like Colin Farrell’s secret twin brother but his personality is all his own. A determined worker bee, intelligent, clever, and stick-to-it kind of guy, who is genuinely shocked to discover that Tara has decided to become a single mother through a sperm donor. Ronan is also stunned to learn that Tara has become involved with Cameron Paisley, a man who is the subject of his recent Federal case. As his investigation into Cameron’s activities grows deeper, Ronan is dumbfounded by the strong and sudden feelings of protectiveness he feels towards Tara, so he decides to convince her of Cameron’s true guilt. In order to do so Ronan enlists his best friend Anthony to help him. When Anthony’s fiance Caprice assigns Ronan the task of duty dating to practice getting comfortable with relationships again, he learns how much he is hurting himself and making things worse for his love life by staying stuck on the past and his failed marriage. The only problem is that Ronan takes a detour with a Tantra teacher named Nicolette who is typical of the women he has known before and after his marriage rather than taking a leap of faith with the utterly compatible Tara.
Anthony Harmon: Ronan’s best friend since College and his former partner when they were both officers who specialized as Man Trackers. Anthony has since been promoted to a Section Chief and is the more sensible and matter-of-fact person between the two. He is glad to be working with Ronan again to build a case against Cameron. Anthony also agrees to Ronan’s request to anonymously help Tara find her biological father by sending reports to her vet clinic. He thinks Ronan is more afraid than unsure when it comes to how he feels towards Tara. Instead of just telling Ronan to confront Tara directly, Anthony decides to let his best friend figure it out on his own, but agrees to keep an eye on Tara. Anthony is engaged to Caprice, an Occupational Therapist who is attends Natasha’s Pilates studio.
Natasha Erikssen: Married to Tara’s older half-brother Jacob, Natasha is full of natural self confidence, discipline, and knows her worth and what she offers the world. A popular Pilates teacher, Natasha is also a Special Contributing Editor for a major San Francisco daily newspaper and a dance therapist with a growing following. Her husband is her biggest fan and their relationship is the kind that Tara aspires to have herself. Jacob’s encouragement and guidance adds fuel to Natasha’s ambition to become a leading expert in the field of mind-body health like Jillian Michaels. To avoid burnout, Natasha starts to realize that her struggle with energy is not physical but more spiritual, she needs to dance professionally again. With support from the likes of Tara, Caprice and Samantha, Natasha she miraculously becomes a professional dancer again.
Cameron Paisley: A Michael Fassbender doppelganger who shares with Tara a love of animals, particularly horses. Cameron is confident in his looks and talents and knows how to be charming without seeming insincere. His family are very close and live nearby in Marin County. Born in Florida and raised in England, Cameron is a professional Polo player, whose aristocratic family lost their fortune in the early 20th century when his grandfather’s father squandered it on his mistress. Cameron’s mission in life is to restore the family name and fortune. Unfortunately, Cameron’s greed is just like his great grandfather’s and he resorts to less than respectable business practices to keep up with appearances.
Samantha Heather: A clinical psychologist and the granddaughter of Perry, the famous San Francisco psychic who predicted to Tara on her 16th birthday that her true love would be “an American James Bond” whom Samantha nicknamed “Captain America”. Samantha is also a BodyTalk practitioner who works with women struggling with an eating disorder. Samantha is the only one who is adamant that Captain America does exist and that Tara is a fool to convince herself he was never real by becoming involved with Cameron. Samantha is also the only one other than Ronan and Anthony who isn’t fooled by Cameron’s charm. Samantha begins to realize that she is not here to save others and must balance being a healer with her unique writer’s voice. During her BodyTalk sessions with Tara, Samantha decides to finish her passion project: A folk album and a musical tour with her sister and fiance Scott for the summer.
Opal Brandt: Tara’s Tantra teacher from a rare lineage of Tibetan Tantrikas and Samantha’s old roommate when she lived in Hawaii for a summer. Opal returns to her native San Francisco just in time for her divine assignment to guide Tara back to her feminine side. Opal emphasizes a balance of yin and yang while stressing to her students the value of being their best inner lover to attract the same in another. Far from manipulation, Opal’s style of Tantra is first and foremost about healing and reaching union within the self. Between yoga intensive, Buddhist bowl chanting, and good old fashion pole dancing, Opal helps Tara heal from her old wounds of being the Ugly Duckling, perpetually “Friend Zoned”, and alleviates her once and for all from a lifelong “Elektra Complex“. On the lighter side, Opal gets Tara to let her guard down more often and dance again in time for Natasha’s second debut as a professional dancer.
Caprice Desmond: Anthony’s fiancee who ends up being Ronan’s unofficial dating coach and first leads him to Tara. She finds Ronan’s request of Anthony to keep track of Tara to be beyond strange but her romantic side thinks its oddly … romantic. Caprice encourages Natasha to dance again and becomes instrumental in helping her body recover to handle the physical demands of professional dancing again through her unique brand of Pilates and BodyTalk. Caprice is also Samantha’s BodyTalk mentor who is instrumental in being her lyrical mid-wife as she writes original songs for her debut album.
Nicolette Lane: Ronan’s live-in girlfriend who works as a Buyer for Barneys and an avid Tantra teacher after taking a series of weekend intensive from a former Hippie who backpacked across India. Unlike Opal, Nicolette’s lineage is a hodge podge of post-1960’s flower children inspired yoga aimed at manipulating the masculine. Her master seduction techniques keeps Ronan hooked until he learns about Tara’s baby plans, and starts noticing how empty the relationship with Nicolette makes him feel. Unaware that Ronan is having Tara tracked by his best friend for personal reasons he disguises as professional, Nicolette starts to feel neglected by his long hours at work. Eventually she begins a secret affair with a stockbroker at her gym.
©2013 Jackie Morrison, excerpt from “Capturing Captain America“