These are themes that I find myself constantly drawn to as a writer: from friends to lovers, best friend’s older brothers, and from enemies to lovers. And in Bad News Cowboy (HQN, 2015), I think I found a way to mix all three.
He’s a family friend, he’s older—and she’s kind of starting to hate him. Because of what he makes her feel these days.
I think I gravitate to these themes because they’re reflective of my real life romance. My husband was my boss and friend prior to us getting involved romantically and I’ve lived the experience of suddenly seeing someone differently than you have before.
I like writing that. The realization that what you’ve been searching for has been in front of you all along.
Just like Kate, my heroine, I’ve been there. You have a guy you feel really close to, but then—before you’re ready—things start to change.
In my case, it was because of The Other Woman. She appears a lot in romance novels and made an appearance in my real life, as well.
She called up the man who is now my husband, but who—at the time—was just a friend, to tell him she had just been proposed to by her boyfriend but she’d spent YEARS being in love with him and if anything could happen between the two of them she would turn down the proposal.
That…did not go over well with me. I had a lot of justifications for why it bothered me. None of which included the fact that maybe I wanted to date him. Because of course I didn’t! He was just a friend. And he was older than I was. And most definitely more of a brother to me.
But the intense jealousy that surfaced over that phone call forced me to confront the fact that I had some deeper feelings. Feelings I didn’t necessarily want to confront because of the risk it involved. He was my best friend and I didn’t want to lose that.
Well, obviously, I didn’t lose it. He was struggling with how to respond to the woman who’d called him out of the blue and I said: “I know you don’t want to hurt anyone, but the fact is, whatever answer you give will hurt someone.”
That was all the hint he needed. Ten years and three kids later, he’s still my best friend and my ultimate hero.
So you can see why I connect with stories like this, and with the upheaval it sets off emotionally for the heroine. The risk involved in laying your existing relationship on the line to pursue one that might end badly.
It was fun to take my own experience and use it when I wrote Bad News Cowboy to show the struggle Kate goes through when she starts seeing Jack as MUCH more than just her older brother’s friend.
It was a fun book for me to write, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!
MAISEY YATES is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. In 2009, at the age of 23 Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.