Friends to lovers stories always touch my heart, and my holiday offering, Second Chance Christmas, is an example of this trope. I’ll let you in on a little secret, these characters, Zach and Naomi, were the first romance couple that I ever created. Their story was a mess, (and I knew it in retrospect) and was my first rejection.
When I read that first rejection email, my face got hot. It was two days before I could tell my husband that the story I had worked on for the last month had been rejected. He, of course, was supportive, compassionate, and insistent that I get right back on that writing horse and keep going. I set their story aside, but eventually discovered that they had come so alive in my head that they had to have a story, even just a short story, of their own.
And thus, the story was born. My heroine, Naomi, is rich, privileged, pretty and rather unhappy at the beginning of the story. Though she gives the appearance of having it all, hot boyfriend included, it’s not all that she bargained for. Eventually things reach a crisis level for her emotionally.
Eleven months later, we see a calm, more mature Naomi, who still bears the physical scars of her personal crisis and is making progress healing emotionally. Still, the shame of what she’s done clings to her and she avoids her old friends, preferring to exist in near-solitude, filling the void in other people’s vacated houses over holidays and long weekends.
Computer tricks bring an old friend to her door and his mild, but firm insistence on helping her face her past gives her new hope and a new companion for the future.
Oh, and yes, they do have hot friends-to-lovers sex. 😉
As I said, don’t tell my other characters, but Naomi and Zach are near and dear to my heart. I certainly hope that you enjoy their story and I thank Amira Press for giving them a lovely home.