Saturday, April 16, 2011

Deb Marlowe on Friends To Lovers

by Caren Crane

My darling Banditas and Buddies, I am thrilled to welcome one of my very favorite people (and authors), Deb Marlowe, back to the Lair. Welcome, Deb!

Thank you for having me. You know I love you and the Banditas!

Believe me, the love is entirely mutual. I am very excited about your May 1 release, How To Marry a Rake. Tell us a bit about the hero and heroine of this new Regency delight.

Stephen Manning is one of the Fitzmanning Miscellany, the scandalous Regency family introduced in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor. He’s not the same rakish boy we saw growing up in the anthology. He’s had some hard knocks and has had to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him, as many young men do. He’s spent the last few years building a racetrack on his mother’s destitute estate, and he’s come to Newmarket determined to set his tenants’ lives back on course by bringing it to the attention of the racing world.

Mae Halford has spent the intervening years abroad, mending her heart and broadening her horizons after Stephen’s rejection broke her heart. She’s in Newmarket, too, where her father is determined to find a stud for both his brood mare and his daughter. Mae’s ready to launch her Marriage Campaign, an effort to have a say in what sort of husband she ends up with. The last man on earth she wishes to see is Stephen—which makes it a certainty that he is the first one she bumps into!

Deb, Mae and Stephen have a long history together before the book begins. Was it just a deeply hidden sadistic streak that had you fling Mae and Stephen together again?

Would you be surprised if the answer was yes? :-) I think all writers have to have a sadistic streak. We create characters we love and admire and in whom we see such great potential for growth—but unless we put them in difficult and uncomfortable situations, then there is no spur for growth and change—or for the chance at true love!

It seems that Mae and Stephen had a serious falling out before she left England. Will Stephen find Mae much changed after her European tour?

Yes! In many interesting and frustrating ways. Mae has grown up. She's the same in that she knows her own mind, but she's learned how to be subtle in going after it. Also, she truly feels that she's over her feelings for Stephen. And he, being typically male, doesn't want her to want him, but is taken aback when she doesn't.

So tell me, is the theme of friends becoming lovers one you have wanted to explore? It was one I found most intriguing when I was a teenager and I find myself, here in my dotage, interested in it still. It seems being friends could both aid and hinder the development of a romance.

Friends to lovers is one of my very favorite themes. It's a classic fantasy, isn't it? I think many of us have an old friend we might wonder about, or think about in terms of what if? But it's also a theme that lends itself to greater and more immediate intimacy and one which can make for a rich, emotional story. The stakes are higher when someone knows all the scoop and scandal, strengths and weaknesses of your past, but I think the payoff can be that much bigger.

Do you have a bit of How To Marry a Rake you would care to share?

Well, if you insist...

Stephen was happy. She felt his contentment flow into her, warming her blood, crawling into her very sinews and bones. It was beautiful. It made her feel beautiful, and whole.

Her eyes slid closed. For long minutes she lost herself to the glory of the music and the moment. Stephen gave in to it as well; she could feel his surrender in the grip of his hands, in the intimate press of her legs to hers, and in the graceful, floating ease with which he guided them about the dance floor.

And that was when she knew she’d come full circle. Her campaign was forgotten, her plans and strategies left behind. Here she was, right back where she’d started, two years ago, wanting Stephen Manning with all of her heart.

Yet, thankfully, not everything remained the same. There were new levels to their friendship, their partnership. So easily had he come to share his victory with her tonight. So naturally had he assumed she would take part in the next step. He was the one who gifted her with appreciation and acceptance and passion and all the things she’d vowed to have in a husband.

Perhaps she needed a new campaign, with new strategies designed to win his heart. Because she longed for it, and for his unfathomable blue eyes and his maddening imperious ways and his warm acceptance and his heated kisses.

But there was one other thing that was different now, too. She wasn’t that young girl anymore, happy to accept whatever part of himself Stephen was willing or able to give. She wanted all of him. And no campaign of hers was going to be successful in flushing it out. She sighed. He had to choose to give it.

Oh, my! It sounds like Stephen won't stand a chance against the woman Mae has become. I do believe Mae will get her man! I hope everyone will run out and snap up a copy of How To Marry a Rake. Many of us have been waiting for the 'sibling' books to the The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor for ages! Deb, thank you so much for giving us the inside scoop on Stephen and Mae's book. (And here, for your delectation, is a dude Deb thinks should totally play Stephen in a movie version of How To Marry a Rake!)

Now, do you have a question you would like to pose to our Banditas and Buddies today?


But of course I do!

Do you guys have someone in your past who makes you go What If? Do you like friends-to-lovers-themed romances? Can you name a favorite "Friends to Lovers" couple? A randomly selected commenter will win a copy of How To Marry a Rake!

Ooh, we do love a giveaway! Deb, thank you so much for being with us today. I'm off to search my memory banks for my very favorite pair of Friends Who Discovered Benefits!

105 comments:

Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Well he coming to a cool rainy day here in Sydney just the day for curling up with a good book!

Hi Deb and Caren

Oh I love the sound of this book I am very fond of friends to lovers stories there is something about them knowing so much about each other and when they realise they love each other the fireworks are usually fantastic.

I don't really have anyone in my past that I would say what if although I did know my Hubby for about 1 year before we started going out together and we hung around in a group together and were friends and have now been married for 34 years and together for nearly 39 years LOL.

I know I have read friends to lovers stories before but do you think my brain is working at the moment no I will have to think on some titles.

Congrats on the release Deb
Have Fun
Helen

flchen1 said...

Woohooo, Helen! Have fun with that pesky bird!

Deb, I adore friends-to-lovers stories--one of my very favorite tropes! A contemporary fave is Sarah Mayberry's Anything for You. And Julia Quinn's Romancing Mister Bridgerton is a historical favorite. Ah... How to Marry a Rake sounds just lovely!

barb said...

thanks for dodging the flowers and bringing him down for a cuppa

Hi Deb

This sounds just the book I would love to read... I loved the Bridgerton books too Fedora... congratulation on the release

barb said...

should be showers not flowers LOL

Slush said...

Welcome Deb!!! I love Regency, as most of the other Banditas know. The friends to lovers trope is not my favorite, I am more for the estranged wife and husband theme or tortured hero. But I will wrap my little fingers around just about anything.

As to 'what ifs' I have had a few, but to trade everything I currently possess, a considerate and tantilizing man and 2 gorgeous children, for something else I just don't know.

I'm with Helen (congrats on the chook) on not being able to think of a single title with a friends to lovers theme at the moment. Movies on the other hand 'Someone Like You' comes to mind. Aw, Hugh! *sigh*

Deb said...

Helen, have GR save a TimTam or two for me.

Congrats on the release, Deb. Thanks for the excerpt; I enjoyed reading it.

I like the friends-to-lovers stories as well as the girl-boy-next door stories. My all-time fave couple is Colin and Penelope from Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.

I like how Mae realizes that Stephen has to willing give his heart and not be pushed into doing so. I look forward to reading their story.

Deb Marlowe said...

Good morning Banditas--or evening to all the Buddies in Oz!

Hi Helen! So glad you got the chook--I'll bet he loves to play with all the Grandbabies!

I love that you have your own Friends to Lovers story, Helen! Were you more relaxed when you began dating because you'd known your husband so well? Or did it make you nervous that he already knew so much about you?

And many congrats on 39 years!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi flchen1!

Ah, yes--Colin's book! A favorite of mine too! Love those Bridgertons! Thank you for the contemporary recommendation, too! I just checked it out and it sounds fab! This is why I love my Nook! :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi barb--thank you! Keep dry!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Slush!

Ooh, I'm with you on the tortured heroes. Cannot get enough of them!

I totally agree with you on the not wanting to trade the wonderfulness of what I have--but a little what-if daydreaming doesn't hurt. :-) And it's not just with old boyfriends, sometimes I think about the big decisions I've made and how incredibly different my life might have been. Not that I would change anything, but just the idea of a small tweak changing so much is so interesting!

Maybe it's just the writer in me!

Deb Marlowe said...

So glad to see you, Deb! Great idea with the Tim Tams--as long as the GR is bringing some back....

Another Colin fan! Thank you--and I hope you will love HTMAR!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Deb! Welcome to the Lair, & thanks for bringing the Friends to Lovers theme with you! It's one of my very favorites.

I'm probably dating myself here but I'm a huge fan of the movie Pretty in Pink. It wasn't a friends to lovers movie, but it totally should have been. If any high school friend of mine put on a passion lip sync to Otis Redding in the middle of a record shop for me, I'd have been his, no questions asked. I don't know what Molly Ringwald was thinking picking Blaine. ("Blaine? His name is Blaine? That's a major appliance, that's not a name!" Hee. Duckie. Loved him.)

Anyway, I'll keep my eyes open for your latest. Clearly I have friends to lovers needs that have never been met & could use a good fix. :-)

Sabrina said...

That pic is Stephen to a T, Deb! Who is that?

I LOVE friends to lovers themes! I can't think of anybody off the top of my head that I would wonder about now, but that's because I'm older and can't imagine still feeling the same way about someone I knew so many years ago.

As for favorite friends to lovers couples ... I like Stephen and Mae! They're so great together. Dare I admit that I already read the book and loved it? Yes, I'm a tease, but really, it's great!

Sabrina said...

Slush, I love that movie, too!

Margay said...

I do like the friends to lovers theme because sometimes, friends make the best lovers because they already care about you. Is there someone from my past that would make me go What if? Maybe...Favorite friends to lovers story has got to be When Harry Met Sally - and the book variation When Harry Met Molly is good, too!

Deb Marlowe said...

Morning Susan! I guess you are dating both of us! Gotta love Duckie!

Do you know--I always heard that the original ending of Pretty in Pink had Molly R ending up with Duckie--but that the test screenings were so badly received that they re-shot the ending. Wonder if that is true?

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Sabrina! Thank you for being so sweet. I love Stephen and Mae too. :-) I have since she first showed up in Diamonds and started pestering him!

Is that not a lovely picture? It's an actor--Paul Walker. I've seen him before, but when I saw that pic I went "OMG--that's Stephen!"

Deb Marlowe said...

Ooh, oooh! I just thought of another Friends to Lovers movie.

The Wedding Singer. Love that one.

"I wanna grow old with you..."

Deb Marlowe said...

Margay, so nice to see you!

Yes--When Harry Met Sally is the classic movie example, isn't it? Perfect showing of how scary it can be to take a comfortable relationship to a new level, too. But you really believed that they would be happy together in the end.

As for the What if question--I think a lot of people have a little what if niggling in their heads. I know 2 widowers who, after their wife's death, ended up with an old flame. One was his prom date! Didn't affect the state of their very happy marriages, but it made me wonder if that question had been hanging around...

Kirsten said...

I liked Karina Bliss' story Here Comes The Groom. It's a friends to lovers tale about Jocelyn & Dan who are best friends. Then Dan comes up with this plan that they should marry... Very fun to read.

Caren Crane said...

Helen, that was a brilliant nabbing of the GR! I hope you are giving him chores today. He's become quite indolent!

Maureen said...

The new books sounds like a great story. I have read friends to lovers stories before, there is one by Donna Kauffman that I enjoyed but don't remember the name.

Caren Crane said...

Helen, it's rather cool and rainy here in North Carolina today, too! It was gorgeous the past two days when I had to work (mid-70s and sunny) and now that I have a day off, it's rainy and cooler. I suppose that means no yard work for me! :)

I think it's great you and your DH got to know each other as friends before you started dating. That happened with me and my husband as well. We were part of a group that hung around in our engineering classes and realized after a couple of semesters that we wanted to be more than friends. It was kind of awkward for the group dynamics, especially since the guys outnumbered the girls about 7 to 1. Oh, well, it worked out for us!

I'm glad you and your hubby have had such a long, wonderful life together. Here's to many more years! *raises a coffee mug*

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I'm glad you love friends to lovers, too. I haven't read the Sarah Mayberry, but will def pick it up! I loved all the Bridgerton books, but Romancing Mr. Bridgerton was the best. I may have to pull that one down to re-read today!

Caren Crane said...

Barb, I wondered about the flowers. It sounded quite like we were leaving a church after a wedding service! *g* It's definitely feeling like a good day to read here. I wish I already had my copy of How To Marry a Rake! Deb's books are always insanely romantic with BIG emotional payoff!

Caren Crane said...

Slush, I do love Someone Like You. I tell you, Hugh is simply PERFECTION! I wonder if that's on Netflix Instant View? Hm...Oh, it is! Now it's in my Instant View queue. I know what I'm doing this afternoon!

Caren Crane said...

Susan, my soul sister! I keep thinking of Pretty In Pink too!! I saw it 3 weeks ago and I, too, was struck anew with a major on Duckie. Blane was bland, weasely and NOT WORTHY of Sam!

You know, of course, that the original ending had Sam and Duckie ending up together. It apparently did not test well with audiences, so they reshot it and she ended up with Bland - I mean, Blane. She should have been with Duckie!!

I did, however, think that James Spader could not have been more wonderfully detestable as Steff. It was a blueprint for many James Spader roles to come. I love to hate him!

Caren Crane said...

Sabrina, I am pouting, because I have not yet read the book. :(

Caren Crane said...

Margay, I have never heard anyone mention that When Harry Met Sally was based on a book! Now I'm immensely curious and want to find it.

Deb Marlowe said...

Kirsten, that sounds like a good one! It reminds me of that movie, Made of Honor--when Patrick Dempsey's best friend finds a genuine Scottish lord to marry and it makes him realise that he's loved her all along..

We're rolling now--with lots of good examples!

Kat said...

Firstly, I loved the Diamonds Of Welbourne Manor and look forward to Stephen and Mae’s book. I must agree that Julia Quinn’s Colin and Penelope is a great “friend to romance” story. I also like Heyer’s The Grand Sophy where Charles finally realizes Sophy is perfect for him.

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I think those 'tweaks' in our decisions are fascinating to writers. I think of the movie Sliding Doors, which is one of my favorites. The thought of a second or two changing your whole life is the stuff writer's live for!

Caren Crane said...

Okay, Deb. I think my girls watched Made of Honor without me one day. I may have to spend lots of time with the Roku today...

Gannon Carr said...

Hey, Deb! So glad you're here today.

I'm a huge fan of "friends to lovers"! In fact, you could say that fits my hubby and me. I had a mad crush on him in high school (he was 2 years older), but we really were friends for several years. We didn't seriously date until I was a sophomore in college. :-) We'll celebrate our 23rd anniversary this July, so I guess that friends to lovers deal works really well. *g*

I love Romancing Mr. Bridgerton---one of my favorites!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Deb, welcome back to the Lair.

Lucky you, Helen! Sounds like you'll have to give the chook one of Deb's books to curl up with!

Great excerpt, Deb. I love a good friends to lovers story; it's one of my favorite themes. And of course my fave movie is WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. I could watch that a million times, probaby have LOL.

flchen1 said...

Oh, Deb and Caren--you are in for a treat with any of Sarah's books. Seriously. I'm a major fan girl--do let me know what you think when you finish :)

And LOL, Susan, you date us all--ah... Duckie ;)

LilMissMolly said...

Tough question! I like almost all historical fiction. The stories I don't like are when the heroines fall for those who once raped them. YUCK! I also don't really like the May-December romances. There was one Catherine Coulter story that was part of the Sherbrooke series that was a childhood friend (younger sister actually) that I really enjoyed. And, more recently, although YA, Sarah Maclean's The Season was similar and very enjoyble!

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, I thought Jon Cryer was the cutest thing ever! It does date us all that we adore Duckie so, but Susan was right on about that Otis Redding lip synch. *sigh*

June M. said...

I do like friends to lovers, and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is a great example. However, I also really love the enemies to lovers theme. They usually smart off to each other, and fight falling in love. So much drama and humor!

Your book sounds great and I really look forward to it.

Caren Crane said...

Molly, I never got the May-December romance thing, myself. I've seen it done well, but I always thought it was hard to believe. It seems like a man's fantasy for the most part, rather than a woman's.

Now, I do enjoy an older heroine and slightly younger man. That is completely different and very much a woman's fantasy! :)

I'll have to check out the Sarah Maclean. I think you'll love Deb's book. She does a great friends-to-lovers and there are no old guys! ;)

Caren Crane said...

Gannon, you and your husband have such a great story! Of course, my mad high school crushes all remained crushes. I never dated any of them!

Then again, I dated a lot in college, so maybe I dated other peoples' high school crushes? Hard to know.

gamistress66 said...

Congrats on the release :) Someone in my past that is "what if" -- I had one from high school, what if came to be, didn't work (though I did end up with my puppy girl who was wonderful and I loved dearly so some good came out of it ;D) The "what if" from college, ahhh yes him, still a big what if ;) that occasionally still comes to mind despite the xx(ahem, cough) years ;)

Dtchycat said...

No, I don't play the what-if game, I guess is someone is in my past there probably is a fairly good reason they are there in the first place...I do like the friends to lovers theme - as someone mentioned, Romancing Mr Bridgerton's Colin and Penelope immediately springs to mind (of course, it is my all time favorite book). While I love historical romance, I do like the ones that just 'seem' to happen sort of stories, friends to lovers, my best friend's sister is all grown up kind of stories.

Minna said...

Do you guys have someone in your past who makes you go What If? Yeah.
Do you like friends-to-lovers-themed romances? Yes!
Can you name a favorite "Friends to Lovers" couple? It was a Desire book, but I can only remember picture on the cover, not the title or the author.

king1david12 said...

Thank you Kat! I'm so glad you enjoyed the Diamonds! Diane and Amanda and I had a great time dreaming up those scandalous Fitzmannings.

Oh, yes. I adore The Grand Sophy. I love how she exasperates Charles, but he can't live without it! There's a lot of that dynamic between Stephen and Mae too.

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, heavens, that was me talking to Kat. While I was off getting my hair cut, my Teenager signed in onto You Tube.
Sorry!

:-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Gannon! I'm so glad to hear your friends to lovers story. It seems as if it's a theme that works well even in real life. There are probably some romance tropes that don't translate as well. Many congrats on 23 years!

Deb Marlowe said...

Thank you, Jo and all the Banditas for having me back! --I love the Lair!

Nancy said...

Helen, congrats on the bird! It's cool and rainy today here, too.

Deb, welcome back! That's a fabulous excerpt. I have a weakness for friends to lovers stories. Giles and Minerva in Sabrina Jeffries' latest release, How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, have a great friends (sort of) to lovers arc.

Frederica and Alverstoke in Frederica are one of my favorite couples.

Ian and Scotia in Gerri Russell's debut, The Warrior Trainer, go from being comrades in arms to being lovers.

Nancy said...

Helen, what a great friends to lovers story!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi LilMissMolly!

Thanks for the recommendation of The Season. I hadn't heard of that one. Just checked it out and it looks fab!

Nancy said...

Caren, I thought Sliding Doors was a terrific movie.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey June! Oh, yes. Love enemies to lovers too--that gradual thawing until they are completely turned around--huge fun!

Nancy said...

Gannon, what a cool story! None of my high school crushes inspire a "what if" now.

Nancy said...

Deb, I forgot the "guy from your past" question.


There was a guy I knew in college and liked a lot, but he had a girlfriend at another school. I guess he's the closest I have to a "what if" guy.

I dated a good friend for a while, but we weren't destined for HEA, though we did stay friends.

Deb Marlowe said...

Caren, James Spader rocks. He is easy to hate in certain roles, but did you see him in Boston Legal? He was great.

Oh, and Sliding Doors--Yes--that! Great movie.

Lydia Dare said...

Oh, I'm so excited to finally get my hands on How To Marry a Rake!

I think my favorite Friends to Lovers example is from When Harry Met Sally. I know, I just dated myself. But I can still get caught up in that movie, watching their friendship become something else entirely.

As for real life...? Well, that's better left unsaid. ;)

Deb Marlowe said...

gamesmistress--I love that you were brave enough to go for it with your What if guys!

Deb Marlowe said...

Dtchycat--There is something to be said for Fate getting it right the first time!

I wouldn't change a thing if I had a choice. It's just interesting to contemplate..it makes me think of the theory of all of those parallel universes!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Minna! Glad to see you here!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey you guys, our power is blinking...if I disappear for a bit, I'll be back when the power returns.

That big storm system is making its way here...

Barbara E. said...

I did have a man who was a friend of my husband and brother-in-law's, and when I divorced we got friendlier and then became a couple. He was always the "what if" in my mind before that, so it was great for that "what if" to come true.
I do enjoy the friends-to-lovers theme in romance, it's always fun to see that awareness come into being.
My favorite couple in that theme would be Henrietta Watson and Lord Kessley in Susanna Ives' Rakes & Radishes. A very cute story about a girl who doesn't see the fabulous man right in front of her because she grew up with him and thinks she wants a dashing poet who'll sweep her off her feet.

Caren Crane said...

Dtchycat, that is a GREAT point about there being a reason guys in your past ARE in the past. :) There are a couple, though, that I think were just bad timing. Wrong time, wrong place. Then again, maybe there was a good reason they were there at the wrong time. Hm...

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Nancy! Giles and Minvera--weren't they awesome? Loved that story!

Ooh, that's one of Gerri's that I haven't read. I'm getting so many good recs today! Thanks guys!

Caren Crane said...

Kat, you are reminding me that I REALLY need to read some Heyer. Yes, I know, I'm a complete Philistine, but I have not read Heyer. I can't believe Deb hasn't presented me with a pile of them and stern orders to read them, but it's true!

Caren Crane said...

Okay, I just finished watching Someone Like You and realized it really is sort of an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story. A great one, too!

Deb Marlowe said...

Glad to see you here, Lydia! Thank you for the kind words. I've so many good recommendations today, but they are going to have to wait--It Happened One Bite has been waiting on my Nook!

Caren Crane said...

Gamistress, I'm so glad you got your darling puppy. So much better than the man sometimes! Our darling animals are always a comfort when our hearts are broken and they are no matter what!

Caren Crane said...

Deb, is your power going on and off too? I thought it was just in my neighborhood, but it must be the whole area. We may both get knocked off here soon!

Caren Crane said...

Jo and Lydia, I am a huge When Harry Met Sally fan! I have it on VHS and DVD. Both versions have had many, many viewings. I saw it's on Instant View on Netflix now, too. I just love Instant View! Best cure for a rainy afternoon...

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for sharing another real life friends to lovers story, BarbaraE!

You know, I think I judged that S. Ives title in a contest-I didn't know it had been published!

Caren Crane said...

Barbara, I'm so happy your "what if" became a reality - and a good one! I haven't read Rakes and Radishes. It sounds wonderful!

Deb Marlowe said...

You're on, Caren! I have a pile of Heyer's with your name on them!

Helen said...

Deb

Yes I think I was more releaxed because I knew him and we had already spent time over the year "getting to know each other" and it was a very natural progression to start dating and I knew he would be the one I was going to marry even though I was only 15 and him 17 at the time LOL.

Pesky rooster has eaten all of my Tim Tams LOL

Still trying to think of some friends to lovers stories some great ones have been mentioned there is of course Kieran Kramer's When Harry met Molly this is a great book they had known each other since childhood and although they were not quite friends at the start they had been.


Have Fun
Helen

Slush said...

Sabrina, I know. You defintely find yourself wondering if you will ever be an 'Old Cow'. Lol!

Helen, I though of Kieran Kramer's WHEN HARRY MET SALLY too and though the same as you did. Another one may be a side arc with Freddie the fiance cast aside in Sherry Thomas' PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS and his childhood friend (which of course I cannot summon her name right now and my step-mother is borrowing my book, urgh!)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, Tim Tams for the chook!

Deb, so sorry I'm late to the party. I'm playing hostess with the mostess this week so I've been flat out turning my usual squalor into sparkle-arkling beauty. ;-)

The new book sounds delicious. I love that you're using the Regency racing mania as a background too. Friends to lovers is one of my favorite themes although I'm yet to use it myself. Note to self - FTL in the future! One of my favorite authors of FTL is Sarah Mayberry, an Aussie who writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Blaze and SuperRomance. She really does that "should we/shouldn't we?" and "what happens if it doesn't work out?" thing to the point of the reader biting their nails and sitting on the edge of their seat. Great stuff!

Danielle Gorman said...

Friends to lovers is my absolute favorite trope. I can never tire of reading it. This books sounds especially good. It will definitely be going on my wishlist.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, just read the comments. I see you're a Sarah Mayberry fan too. Huzzah!

Kirsten, I've got Here Comes the Groom on my TBR pile. I picked it up at the ARRA convention a couple of weeks ago. I adored What the Librarian Did.

Caren Crane said...

Hooray! I knew if I whined enough, Deb would hook me up with some Heyer. You're the best, Deb!

Caren Crane said...

Helen, I'm glad you read and liked Kieran's book. She is someone I've known for years and is a lovely person (and has guested with us, too!).

It's good you and your husband were quite comfortable with each other. I think that helped me and my husband, too. We were friends in a group, then in a study group, then study partners and then...it got hard to study. ;)

Caren Crane said...

Anna, y'all have convinced me to check out Sarah Mayberry. I know the nail biting should we/shouldn't we thing all too well from my own experience! The problem is always that if things don't work out, it makes everything awkward for the two of you and all your mutual friends. Of course, these days we never see ANY of those old friends and we still have each other, so it worked out.

Thank you for second on Sarah Mayberry!

Caren Crane said...

Danielle, you will not be disappointed, I assure you! Of course, if you haven't read 'The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor', you may find yourself wanting to pick up that one, as well! Deb's story was my favorite of the three, but all were delightful. I definitely want to know the fates of all the Fitzmanning Miscellany!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi guys! I'm back--major tornado touchdown just a couple miles from here, right at the area of my kids schools. We had a doozy of a storm at our house, but all is intact. Whew!

Deb Marlowe said...

Slush--yes, I remember that subplot in Sherry Thomas's book. The female character was determined to turn them into lovers--I really enjoyed that book.

I haven't read the Kieran Kramer book, but it sounds fantastic!

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Anna! I hope you have a wonderful time with your guests--I'm sure you *are* the hostess with the mostest!

I had such fun with the Newmarket setting and the racing world. I hope readers will enjoy the different milieu.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Danielle--I hope you will enjoy this set of Friends to Lovers!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Deb - Love those blue eyes on your actor pic! Wow!

I remember there was one pre-med student that I pined over in college - at least until he asked my roommate out. That put the kabosh on my affections. And then there was that architect... but have to say that if the guy didn't recognize the gem that he had with me - than he's not worth my fantasizing over what could have been. Fortunately, my dh didn't make that mistake, so I'm content.
But as someone else mentioned - I do know a number of widows that hooked up with someone from their past. Makes you look at the husbands of friends a little differently (grin).

I suppose my favorite movie with that theme would have to be When Harry met Sally. Wasn't there another friends to lovers movie with Ashley Judd and
Hugh Jackman? Wasn't fond of the movie but I loved the hero (grin).

Sounds like another winner, Deb. Wishing you all the best with it.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Anna! Yes, love, LOVE Sarah M! You and she are two my top reasons I need to visit Down Under... :)

Nancy said...

Donna, there was a friends to lovers movie with Jackman and Judd. I think it was Someone Like You. I also thought someone mentioned the title today, but I'm not seeing it as I look over the comments.

Christine Wells said...

In the middle of moving house but just had to pop in and say YAY!!! Deb, my sister is in the lair!

Congratulations on another wonderful read. Can't wait!

Big hugs,
Christine

Jeanne M said...

I was so impressed by your interview with Deb that I had to "click" over and check out her website first!

Deb - I was wondering did you every visit somewhere and just had to write a story based on the area and if so where was it you visited and what inspired you?

Your new book sounds fanatastic and it's definately being added to my TBR list!

Louisa Cornell said...

Good on you, Helen! He loves Oz no matter what the weather!

I am late to the party as I spent the day at the Alabama Book Fair in Montgomery. Had a wonderful day with some of the girls from my RWA chapter!

DEB !!! Hello, Yankee Lady!!

I can't wait to read Stephen and Mae's story! You know how much I LOVE your books!

There is a guy from high school that everyone always THOUGHT we were more than friends. He gave me a ride to school every day during our freshman and sophomore years before I got my car. And even then we took turns driving. He was the quarterback of the football team and a straight A student. We went to junior high together and became friends and we remained friends throughout high school, but everyone thought there was something else going on. I must admit I had moments of "what if" where he was concerned, and even now I have a twinge now and then. He is happily married and his wife is just a darling lady.

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, come on down!

Caren, definitely check out Sarah. She's fabulous! She made me cry on the train with one of her recent books (Hot Island Nights). That's pretty extreme, isn't it?

Loving the friends to lovers stories!

Caren Crane said...

Donna, the Hugh Jackman/Ashley Judd movie was Someone Like You. I watched it today and really liked it! That friends to lovers thing is definitely a rich vein to mine for storylines, I tell you.

Caren Crane said...

Deb, I'm glad to hear you guys are okay. The sky got very black and Wizard of Oz-looking over here and the pine trees were bent over at an astonishing angle. We torrential rain and hail, too, but it was very small. We lost power quite a few times, but only for a second. I'm sure it was the high winds. I'm sure it was scary to have it touch down so close. I talked to my son earlier and he said a tornado (or similar storm) touched down around NC State (less than two miles from him) and there was lots of broken glass, downed trees, etc. Nothing at his place, though, which was good. Phew!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne M, Deb really is all that! I'm not just saying that because I adore her, either. She is the queen of the Big Romantic Ending and she can really torment a couple! You know, in a good way. ;)

Caren Crane said...

Louisa, I know you adore Deb as I do. Isn't she just dreamy? Maybe we can start a fan club! (Deb, are you cackling yet?)

How cool that you got to attend the Book Fair - and with chaptermates, too! That is the best fun ever, checking out books and critiquing everything you've ever read (or every movie you've ever watched) with fellow writers. What fun!

Maybe you can file your "what if" guy away for future reference. Life has a way of changing on you, as you know all too well, and he may just be available someday when you are! ;)

Caren Crane said...

Anna, crying on the train?? I definitely must check her out! I love books that make me cry. When I finally get my Kindle (sometime next month), I am going on a spree! (A small one, but still...)

Deb Marlowe said...

OMG, Donna--I'm cracking up. Now I'm off to mentally review all my friends husbands....

:-)

Deb Marlowe said...

A big hello to my sister Christine! I hope you'll send pics of the new house! Much luck with the move...what a slog moving is, but I'm sure it will be lovely when you are done!

Deb Marlowe said...

Nice to meet you Jeanne M!

Actually that scenario has happened to me several times. There is a spot with a stream behind the Bear Inn in Hungerford that spoke to me when I visited. I took pictures and eventually used that spot for a scene in Her Cinderella Season.

I've used rooms from certain historic houses. One memorable one was Mompesson House, there is a pic of the room on my website under Behind the Book.

Recently I saw a the oddest portrait, one of those random decorations that they use in restaurants and that person became a character in my latest book.

I'm always on the lookout for inspiration. :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Hello my lovely Louisa! The book fair sounds fab--what a great day.

Now see, your What If story is starting a bunch of ideas in my head. What if he had started to believe the whispers when you were kids? What if it started a small town scandal? Okay, I have to stop before I start plotting a whole book...

Deb Marlowe said...

Caren, there were some scary moments here, too. I sent the teenager into the most interior room of the house. He started collection electronic equipment to 'save' too. He took my laptop and Nook--I raised him right! :-)

Seriously, though, the small town right next to us was hit hard. We've seen a bit of the damage, and our road is covered with insulation and bits of debris that obviously travelled miles to get here.

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for the lovely day in the Lair, Banditas and buddies! I'm for bed now!

I don't think I'll be up early enough to catch that GR!