Monday, September 21, 2015

Let’s be frenemies

Congratulations to "Colleen C.", the winner in Maggie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I love a friends-to-lovers story. I particularly love a friends-to-lovers story that has a bit of an edge to it. When I started writing Brian and Brooke’s story in Going Deep, that’s what I thought I was doing. Then they threw me for a bit of a loop. Once I let them at each other, I discovered that, though they’d known one another most all their lives, they weren’t exactly the best of friends. They were more like sometimes-friendly-competitors-and-sorta-but-not-really-enemies. 

In other words, frenemies.

Now, I freely admit that I love a little competition between my hero and heroine. It creeps into most every story I write. I love the tension it builds between them. Most of the time, I try to soften the edges with a little bit of banter, but the smack talk always seems to come through. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“I cooked a pizza using solar power. You have to admit, it was pretty darn cool.” She cocked her head. “I remember you telling me it would be cool the day we turned in our project ideas, but I guess you were being nice because you were sure you’d win.”

“I wasn’t…I didn’t….” He stammered to a stop when she hit him with a razor-sharp stare. She was right. He was sure he’d win. He didn’t think her project had a snowball’s chance in hell of beating his. “Yeah, you’re right.”

Brooke smiled. “Sorry I kicked your ass, Brian.” She nodded to his neglected sandwich. “You gonna eat that?”

He narrowed his eyes. “No one likes a know-it-all.”

“Losers don’t like a winner.” She grinned as she plucked the sandwich from his hand and took a huge bite. “My mama taught me the rules,” she said through stuffed cheeks. “In first grade, I beat Laney in the Miss Ice Cream Social pageant and she kicked dirt on my white patent leather shoes.”

“So you’ve been friends ever since?”

“Mama also taught me to keep my friends close and my enemies closer.”

He must have looked shocked because she blessed him with a smile so angelically radiant he had to fight the urge to genuflect.

“Apparently, Emmaline Hastings is the Sun Tzu of Mobile Bay area.” She toasted him with the remnants of the sandwich. “Who knew?”

“And me?”

“What about you?”

“Am I friend or foe?” He ran his fingers through her hair. Not to hold her or stroke her, but for no other reason than it gave him pleasure to touch those tempting strands of spun gold at will. With one tangled wave trapped between his thumb and forefinger, he tested the texture and tensile strength of the lock before twirling it around his finger as she used to do when lost in thought. “You know, in a weird way, you were my best friend.”

How about you? Do you enjoy a friends-to-lovers story? Frenemies-to-lovers? Secret baby? Mistaken identity? Comment on this post with your favorite romance trope, and I’ll give one winner their choice of e-book from my digital backlist.

Author Bio: 
By day, Maggie Wells is buried in spreadsheets. At night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, you only have to scratch the surface of this mild-mannered married lady to find a naughty streak a mile wide.



Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

 All Romance ~ Amazon ~  Apple ~  B&N ~  Google ~  Kensington ~  Kobo

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


  1. I love anything with a baby in it especially if it's the man with the baby. So the wife dies in child birth or shortly after the baby is born leaving the man to raise the baby on his own. In walks a woman who doesn't have children but always wanted them (she's divorced) and there is instant attraction. If it's a western it would be perfect. Ooops! I just told the story about so many already out there but that's what I like.


    1. Ooh! Boys and babies! My next project is a series featuring single dads. I married a custodial single dad, so I have a weakness for guys who take pride in being a good father!

  2. Oh I love a variety of tropes... some of my favs are secret baby, mistaken identity, fairytale types, friends to lovers, enemy to lovers, etc.... :)

    1. Love a good mistaken identity story too! Thanks for coming by!

  3. Frenemies

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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