I’m currently in the middle of one of the most exciting parts of writing—getting to know my new hero and heroine before I start writing my new book. Because at Harlequin Love Inspired I sell six book series at a time, I already have a brief blurb about the story and the names of my characters to start with. All six Winslow siblings have appeared in previous books, so I have at least been introduced to my heroine Felicity Winslow, but hero Stone Keller is brand new to me.
The first time the hero and heroine meet in a romance novel (and often in romance movies) is often called a Meet Cute—a clever way the two encounter each other for the first time or sometimes again after years apart. In my case Stone was the boy next door, but he’s six years older than Felicity, and while he’s best friends with Felicity’s brother Sharpe, he wasn’t even aware of her middle school existence back in high school. Felicity knew Stone, however. He was her middle school crush. (I’ll bet you were counting tropes on two hands!)
I’ve decided they’ll meet at the town pizza parlor during Friday Night Bible Trivia. Stone hasn’t been home for years and his first interaction with Felicity will definitely be a meet cute when he barges in calling out answers to the trivia questions when he’s not even supposed to be playing.
In real life, I also had a Meet Cute with my husband (now of 34 years). We were set up by mutual friends who bragged that everyone they’d set up got married. I teasingly agreed to be set up and soon found myself at the couple’s house baking a peach cobbler for dessert (which was a huge thing…I’ve never liked baking) and anxiously waiting for my blind date to arrive.
The first man who walked through the door was a friend of the couple, but he was thankfully NOT Joe. Not my type at all! I thought the couple had made a horrible mistake. Let’s just say I breathed a major sigh of relief when Joe did finally show up—late, as usual—and flashed his huge baby blues at me. Now HE was my type—dark hair, blue eyes and a killer smile.
We had a lovely dinner up until the point where my nice warm homemade peach cobbler was presented. Joe took one look and said, “I don’t really like warm fruit.” At which point his friend kicked him in the shin hard enough to make him jump. He scrambled to repair the damage. I just thought it was funny.
And then as he walked me out to my car with my heart hammering, he asked if he could call me the next day. I agreed and reached for my purse to find a scrap of paper. He assured me there was no need—he’d already gotten my number from his friend. Confident much?
I left that blind date flying high, and when my friend called me that night to see how it had gone, I told her I hoped Deb Kastner sounded good because I’d just met my future husband.
Six months to the day later we were wed and though there have been ups and downs as there are in any relationship, I wouldn’t trade these 34 years for the world.
So, what about you? Do you have a real life Meet Cute story to share?