Ingredients to a Love Story
by Sydney Somers
First off, thanks so much for having me, Stella!
Busted (the third book in the Promise Harbor Wedding Series) now available, I’ve been taking part in different blog tours and chatting about the books to anyone I can tie down long enough to listen to me. :-) I recently answered an interview question about what ingredients make a great love story, and it really got me thinking about Busted in particular and what makes it such a fun romance. Not that I’m bias or anything :-)
So I thought I’d break down my recipe for a great love story step by step with examples from Busted.
1. Take one sinfully hot hero:
From the altar’s steps, Jackson continued to stare at her. One corner of his full mouth tipped up, making him look far more innocent than they both knew he was.
As if reading her thoughts, he winked.
2. Add one quick-witted heroine:
Jackson reached the door first, but didn’t push the glass open. “You never said when I could make things up to you.”
“Are we still talking about the truck thing? That’s not necessary. Just water under the bridge, right?” She inclined her head toward his arm. “Are you actually going to open the door or are you waiting for a ref to blow a whistle first?”
3. Mix well and watch the sparks fly:
Oh sh*t. She wasn’t the one he’d taken to Sunset Bluff at all.
“Hayley,” he managed, the croaked name rising to the tip of his tongue out of nowhere.
She nodded and lowered her voice. “Though I usually go by Detective Stone these days.” Without a word she waved at the two tables across the room and headed for the door.
4. Introduce some conflict:
“You arrested the Jackson Knight?”
Hayley rolled her eyes at the exaggerated disbelief in her partner’s voice, not bothering to ask him to lower his voice. By now most of Promise Harbor had heard about last night, and all the Knight fans she worked with at the station had already given her hell.
5. Make things interesting:
“We could do that without being each other’s date.” The word nearly caught in her throat.
He shook his head. “Makes it more authentic if we go together, and it will keep the wolves at bay.”
“Wolves? Is that what you’re calling the puck bunnies who want you to autograph their breasts?”
6. Build the attraction:
Jackson returned her grin, and the slow curve of his lips was far more potent when unleashed in person. Ignoring the warming sensation in her stomach that made her think long and hard about taking a step closer to him, she rounded her truck to the driver’s side. Jackson followed.
7. Stir in some trouble:
“How good are you at climbing trees?”
Jackson cringed. “Horrible. Broke my arm after I fell out of one when I was twelve.”
“Never mind. I think…I’ve almost got it…” Another frustrated curse was followed by, “Either embrace your inner twelve-year-old or you’ll have to head to the wedding without me.”
Damn, she was serious.
Jackson looked up and down the street, searching for another option—any other option—and not finding anything.
8. Really stir in some trouble:
“I have no idea,” she answered honestly, but clearly Gavin hadn’t been able to sit back and let Allie marry someone else after all.
“Did you know he was going to do this? Aren’t you his best friend?”
“He apparently forgot to text me that he planned to storm the church.”
“You could try not sounding half-impressed by that.”
9. Throw in a twist:
Something tugged at his memory, something to do with the stupid braces...
Maybe it was just nerves left over from the failed cigarette attempt that made Hayley almost squirm in place when he looked her way. Or maybe it was something else…something…
“It was you.”
“Me?” Her neutral expression didn’t slip even a little.
“Yes, you. You in the bear suit that night.”
10. Heat things up:
“I’m not ready to rule them out entirely.”
She planted her hands on his chest but didn’t push him away. “I’m going to get you wet.”
“Christ, I hope so.”
Hayley sucked in a breath, the catch in her voice dragging his attention right to her mouth.
Tracing her bottom lip with his thumb, he gave himself a second to absorb the charged current drawing them closer, his mouth a whisper from sweeping across hers. And then he kissed her, slowly.
11. Raise the stakes:
On her way out, Gramps stopped her. “Are you in love with him?”
“Jackson?” she asked, realizing a second too late who he meant.
He arched a bushy brow. “Are you dating any other hockey players I don’t know about?”
Laughing, she shook her head. “No to both questions. We haven’t been…together long enough,” she settled on, ignoring the guilt greasing her stomach.
“Are you sure? Could have sworn you were in love with him years ago with the way you were hanging around the rink all the time.”
12. Don’t forget the HEA:
You guys didn’t think I was gonna give that away, did ya? ;-)
Busted by Sydney Somers
Book #3 in the Promise Harbor Wedding series
His game... her rules.
Hockey star Jackson Knight has a hundred reasons not to return to Promise Harbor, but none of them are good enough to get him out of attending his best friend’s wedding. Even with a career-ending knee injury, every puck-bunny in town will be gunning for him.
Worse, getting a pair of cuffs slapped on him at the bachelor party could ruin any chance of getting back in the game, even as a coach. Unless he can convince the arresting officer to smooth things over—by going to the wedding as his date.
Hayley Stone figures posing as Jackson’s girlfriend is the least she can do to salvage his reputation. Plus, having a man with a toe-curling smile on her arm will keep her ex off her back.
What starts as a simple plan to deflect small-town pot-shots unexpectedly becomes a sizzling night that hits Jackson like a full-body-check to the heart. Now he’s determined to prove that she’s the best of reason of all to come home—for good.
Warning: Contains a fiery powerplay both on and off the ice, skin-tingling forced intimacy, interfering grandparents, bear costume hijinks, a haunted house and the kind of game-changing chemistry worth fighting for.
Twenty-five novels and novellas later, Sydney is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing or curled up with a good book, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime at:
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What is the most important ingredient in a story or romance that you find indispensable?