Sunday, July 24, 2016

When the Wrong Guy is Actually the Right Guy

Congratulations to "Dee", the winner in Amanda's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Have you ever dated the wrong guy for the right reasons? That’s my heroine Samantha Rushford’s problem in my newest lighthearted, sexy small town romance This Loving Feeling. She craves stability, and all she wants is the white-picket-fence dream of a normal home and family life. She’s dating a man who seems to be “Mr. Right”:  he’s ivy-league educated, from an old New England family, has ambitious political aspirations…

The thing I had the most fun with when I wrote This Loving Feeling was toying with that notion—that the perfect-on-paper guy isn’t at all, and the across-the-tracks, biker, tatted-up auto mechanic who got shuffled from one foster home to another for years is actually the Hero with the Heart of Gold.

Here’s why I think Lukas Spikonos (rhymes with the island Mykonos), the “wrong” guy, is really the rightest guy of all for Sam (and I hope you’ll think so too): 

--He’ll do anything for her, including embarrass himself by singing her a song in front of the entire town, even though for years he believed staying away from her was the best thing.

--He has no clue how to be a good father, but he does his best with his adorable little nephew Stavros (Stevie).

--He’s hot. He’s Greek! Enough said J. Unlike the guy on my recent Entangled cover with the dragon tattoo, Lukas has a snake wrapped around one bicep. And a sleeve tattoo. I guess I’ve been thinking about tattoos a lot lately…

--He lets high school kids wash his tour bus for their fundraiser.

--He can clown around for a kids’ birthday party. He also clowns around with Samantha, but she dishes it right back, as seen in this excerpt: 


      How could Samantha get turned on by a guy in full clown makeup? Was that unnatural? She’d never flirted with a clown before. Come to think of it, she never wanted to again. Because it was kind of creepy.

“Okay, kids. Gather round,” Lukas said, honking his clown horn. For right now, they were a rapt audience. And they would be, for as long as their attention spans held. Which, in her experience, was about ten seconds.

“Okay, hot assistant, get ready,” he said in a low voice.

She shot him the stink eye.

“For this next part, my brainy assistant will lie down on this bench,” he said out loud to the kids. He dragged a wooden picnic bench over from Meg and Ben’s lawn table.

She cocked a brow. “Are you going to saw me in half?”

“Sweetheart,” he said, his face very near, his voice rumbly and soft, “there’s a lot of things I could think of doing with you all stretched out in front of me, but sawing you in half isn’t one of them.” He reached out a hand to help her into position. She lay down on the bench, her feet hanging over the edge, making sure her dress was tucked in.

“How are you feeling today, Samantha?” He bent over and stuck his big clown nose close to her face. She squeezed it. The kids laughed.

 “I feel great,” she said warily. “And I’d like to stay that way.”

“Open your mouth.”

“You aren’t going to try something, are you?”

“Oh, please,” he said in a low voice. “If I try something, it isn’t going to be in front of a yard of screaming five year olds.”

He reached down near her ear and began to pull ribbon out of somewhere—multicolored, red, green, yellow, blue, on and on it flowed.

“What did you eat for breakfast?” he exclaimed loudly.

The kids thought that was hysterical.

“Um, a rainbow?” she answered. The kids roared. Apparently that was also funny. Score one for the brainy assistant.

He helped her up until she stood next to him.

“Thank you for being so clever, Vanna White.”

“Go to hell,” she said between her teeth, still smiling.

“Close your eyes.”

“Bite me.”

“I should have cut you in half,” he mumbled.


Samantha Rushford’s future looks bright: the high school art teacher is getting ready to leave Mirror Lake and move to Boston with her ambitious boyfriend, and she hopes a diamond ring is just around the corner. But her past still has a hold on her—especially the bittersweet memory of her rebellious ex, who kissed her passionately before he left town without a word.

Since then, Lukas Spikonos has parlayed his rebel ways into life as an up-and-coming recording artist. When he shows up for a surprise gig at the high school prom, Sam is more dumbstruck than starstruck—he used the words of a poem she wrote about their breakup to create a number one hit. But Lukas hasn’t returned just to impress students; he’s facing some real-life responsibilities and needs Sam’s help. But she has her own unresolved issues about the life she wants to lead. Will the music—and the pull of true love and family—put their hearts back in harmony?

One e-copy of This Loving Feeling to a commenter who answers the question, did you ever date a “wrong” guy who turned out to be the right guy? Or do you think that that’s usually a bad idea?

Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She’s a former Golden Heart winner who writes series romance for Entangled Publishing and lighthearted contemporary romance for Montlake Publishing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.

Author Email:
Author Website:

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 24th. 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 loved the wrong guy turned to be the right guy in a story, though I never personally experienced one. ;-)
    But this trope do promise some good moments (from what books I've read or movies I've watched of them so far!).
    puspitorinid (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. Hi Dee,
      I love it in a story, too. But my heroes are always men of quality, you know? I wouldn't want my heroines to have anything but! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Oh, it's a Kindle Love Stories book. It caught my attention after the video I watched on YouTube. As for the question, I haven't dated a bad guy turned good, but it's a great premise for a book. Can't wait to read it!

    natalija dot shkomare at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Natalija!
      Yes, that hot guy is talking about my book! He did say my name a bit incorrectly (should be LY'-a-son), but frankly, I was so busy wiping the drool off my chin, I barely noticed :)

      Hope you enjoy! Thanks for stopping.

  3. Hi Everybody! Maureen, thanks for having me today on your wonderful blog! You are awesome.

    Chat away, everyone, for a chance to win an e-copy. I hope the discussion is as interesting as the one about my hero's tattoo that took place in June with my Entangled release, lol.

    As for bad boys...I am the first to warn my daughters against them! It's all about the way we get treated by our boys, isn't it, ladies? A bad boy in my mind is one who isn't faithful, upstanding, or loyal (gee, I made that sound like a pet, didn't I?!) Like, if you're dating a guy and you find out he's having sex with another woman...dump him, immediately. Okay?

    Seriously, Lukas is a man of quality. He just needs to figure a few things out, and to be fair, Samantha, my heroine, does too...she'd dating a guy she thinks is perfect...and he is, on paper. I had so much fun twisting the concept that the guy who seems just right is not right at all, and the underdog guy who seems totally wrong is really the hero with the heart of gold.

    Now, can we talk tattoos?! Lukas is a pop star--kind of a John Mayer type...(I don't want to say "rock star" because the romance IS sexy but doesn't fall under the typical gritty "rock star romance" trope.) Anyway, Lukas has got a snake wound around one bicep and he's got an intricate sleeve tattoo on the other arm. I mean, he HAD to have tattoos! What can I say, he's hot :)

    Happy Sunday, all! Stay out of the heat...curl up in the AC with a good book :)

  4. I can't say I've ever dated a "wrong guy", but I would! And I love that whole bad boy who's really a fluffy marshmallow trope :) I think tattoos are getting to be a lot more mainstream now so that alone isn't quite the taboo it used to be. Lots of corporate, looks good on paper guys are hiding some pretty impressive designs under their suits!
    Thanks for the chance! Goldgirl149 at hotmail dot com

  5. Lol, I love the fluffy marshmallow part, it's totally true. (But I don't think I should call Lukas a fluffy marshmallow in public, lol.)

    You know what? I have to agree with you. Tattoos have become very mainstream! I think (some) older people still have a hard time with them. I think I'm in that borderline age myself...but even I have my limits.

  6. Lol! I dated a "wrong guy" but he turned out to be a continued wrong guy and I'm grateful for that one who got away. The man I married didn't feel like the right guy at the time, not necessarily wrong, but I was very resistant. Turns out he really was the right guy but it took me a while to realize that.

    Love the premise of your story!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

    1. Jonetta, I love your story!

      I have a dear friend who tells this story: she kept going back to the wrong guy, a guy full of charisma and charm but underneath it all, a bit of a skunk. Well, she finally managed to break up with him. One day shortly after, she was pulling her car up to her apartment and there he was, looking sheepish and wanting to make up with her for the hundredth time.

      She was so afraid she would have no resistance and take him back again. So she said a prayer to her deceased father! She said, give me the strength to tell this guy goodbye for good. Just then, at that exact time, a woman pulled up whom she suspected the guy been fooling around with...right then she left, never made up with him, and eventually met a super guy. But she always said her dad was looking out for her that day!

      Sometimes the wrong guy can be difficult to get away from!

    2. Oh, unfortunately I identify with your friend. It took me SO long to finally break with this guy. It happened when he gave me an ultimatum...commit or break up. Before I had a chance to even think about it, I chose the latter. He spent the next three days trying to get me back but by then, my friends (male and female) circled the wagons and helped me stand firm. Best and worst three days of my life as I got to see who my true friends were. I've never forgotten that moment.

  7. Jonetta, have you heard a saying that goes something like, if all your friends and your family are trying to tell you they don't like your boyfriend, LISTEN! Sounds like your friends had your back!

    I feel like my heroine, Samantha, has difficulty letting go of her long-time boyfriend because of the things she craves (as a result of her past) that he fulfills for her: stability, steadiness, and that he checks a lot of her family's boxes about being the right guy. Plus Lukas has hurt her in the past because of his own issues. I feel that both of these two had to grow and change a lot to get to their HEA!

  8. no

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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