I LOVE hate-to-love, enemies-to-lovers, whatever you prefer to call the trope. For me, it comes second only to friends-to-more as my favorite! There’s something about the fury, the chemistry, the potential for so much emotional entanglement.
It’s funny, since I’m not a huge fan of drama. Those books where a misconception and/or refusal to talk makes you want to throttle them both… yeah, not my favorite. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind a little confrontation. I’m a firm believer in airing your grievances (with love and grace and tempering that tongue) and not leaving things unsaid for too long because then they fester. But I LOVE me some infuriated characters who get annoyed easily or drive each other nuts—especially if one of the characters gets a kick out of poking the bear. Maybe I’m a little twisted… LOL!
It can be a tough trope, though. In fact, we talked about it in detail on an episode of the StoryChats @InspyRomance Podcast a while back. It’s worth a listen if you love or hate this trope!
After writing two more emotionally intense stories in my Sinclair Sisters trilogy, I knew Cindy’s story was going to be a lot more fun and less dramatic for my newest book, Not Another Christmas. Which is HILARIOUSLY ironic, considering she is by far the most dramatic of the three sisters. I knew right away that she lived apart from her Christmas-obsessed family, and that in her past she was enemies with her love interest. That was about it for the longest time.
Cindy Lou Sinclair, so named by her fanatical parents for that adorable little Who, has grown into a highly organized, independent young woman who’s worked her way up to hotel concierge and has her sights set on being top dog at the Coconut Springs Hotel in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL. Her plans are thwarted by the arrival of the hotel owner’s nephew, who just happens to be an all too familiar (and dang it, handsome) face. The boy-next-door; her teenage nemesis, constant competitor, and irritating prankster.
Now that Nick Hoover has gained some experience to go with his degree, he’s ready to return to the place he grew up and reconnect with his Florida family after his workaholic father moved him across the country from them fifteen years ago. The last person he expects to see in Florida is the New Mexico girl he loved to infuriate most, but he’s not complaining.
Tension, irritation, and attraction unfold, and soon they fall into familiar old patterns (read: PRANK WARS) until her fury evolves into friendship, which gives way to feelings. It was such a BLAST writing their pranks, both in their history and in the present. I did a TON of research and had so many laughs reading blogs, anecdotes, and my own family’s devious ideas. Pranks have never come naturally to me, so being able step into Nick and Cindy’s shoes for a bit was a hoot.
What do you think about books with the enemies-to-more or hate-to-love trope? How about pranks? Tell me WHY or WHY NOT below in the comments!
I’ve collected quite a list of reader-recommended titles featuring pranks, so if, like me, you find these books to be a perfect escape for an afternoon of laughs, here you are:
(Disclaimer: I have not read all of the titles in this list, but the authors are known for writing clean books.)
- The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson (CCR)
- Pranktically in Love on Nantucket by Taryn Daniels (sweet and clean)
- That Fine Line by Cindy Steel (clean rom-com and ADORABLE)
- The Valentine Proposal by Beth Pugh (inspirational)
- Love in Bloom by Jenny Proctor (clean rom-com)
- Kiss and Tell by Melanie Jacobson (clean rom-com)
- A Side of Love by Krista Phillips (love this CCR series too!)
- The Random Acts of Cupid by Amanda Tru (CCR)
I would LOVE more recommendations on CONTEMPORARY titles with pranksters and jokesters, especially if you can find Christian and/or inspirational titles! I’ll even go for enemies-to-more or hate-to-love. Anyone who comments with their remarks on the tropes, what you think about Cindy and Nick’s book, and/or title recommendations will be entered into a giveaway for a FREE EBOOK of Destination Christmas, out now on Amazon (which you could buy instead for 99¢ or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited)! Void where prohibited.
*I may receive a tiny commission from purchases made via provided links.
Until next month, my friends!