By Beth Kery
The phrase says it all: one day, two people go on a journey that takes them from one relationship to another. Friends to lovers romances have similarities to a travel adventure, where characters begin one place and end up in another, experiencing obstacle after obstacle. On the daunting path, they are sure to experience dangerous precipices, wicked bad weather and nights where all seems lost. Sometimes they choose that journey. More often than not, the romantic hero and heroine don’t. Uncontrollable emotion, life-altering circumstances and loss force them onto a path they would have preferred not to take.
For me, that’s the appeal of the friends to lovers romance. It’s a risky adventure told in terms of a relationship versus a map. All the while, a little question always hovers in the reader’s mind. Will they make it? Or will their longing for that old, familiar territory of a secure friendship make them falter on their path?
Rill and Katie in Addicted to You, are two such travelers. Katie has known Rill for years as her brother’s best friend. As an Irishman, Rill is a stranger in a strange land when he first comes to the UCLA to attend film school. Katie’s family takes him in with open arms. A young Katie acquires a serious crush on the brilliant young man with the easy charm and raw sexuality. Years later, when Rill begins to court her college roommate, Eden, Katie’s chances of ever forging a romantic link to Rill diminish even farther. Katie is glad to accept friendship with Rill, however. Friendship is a wonderful thing, after all. It’s the fear of sacrificing friendship that makes couples hesitate and doubt the journey to romance.
For Rill, there’s a ton of reasons he always held himself back romantically from Katie. Because of a dysfunctional childhood, Rill strives for control above all else in the arena of love and sex. Katie is that which cannot be controlled all tied up into one package. She’s a gypsy in designer jeans, a whirlwind with a heart of gold who is loyal to the bone. When Eden dies and Rill learns a heart-wrenching secret about his wife, he begins to fall apart. He’d been one of the most talented and respected film directors and screenplay writers alive, but one day he forsook everything. He got off a plane in a strange city and holed up in tiny, quirky Vulture’s Canyon.
One day, Katie drives across the country with one mission in mind: to save Rill. Here’s where the altered circumstances, volatile emotions and unquestioning loyalty and love come into play. Here, we have all the ingredients for two friends to be thrown on that thrilling, dangerous path of friends to lovers.
Rill and Katie survive their journey, of course. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have to survive some terrible storms and intimidating emotional landscapes first. Like all travelers in a good adventure, however, they survive to see the rainbow at the end of the storm, the promised land.
Friendship really is the perfect foundation for passionate love. The appeal of the friends to lovers story is that the hero and heroine have to earn that truth to deserve it.
“A fabulous, sizzling hot friends-to-lovers story. You’ll be addicted from page one!”
Julie James, New York Best Selling author of Something About You!
All it takes is a moment for your life to change—one night of desire to make you feel alive…
Irish film director Rill Pierce fled to the tiny, backwoods town of Vulture ‘s Canyon, seeking sanctuary and solitude after a devastating tragedy. Once, his raw sex appeal and sultry Irish accent made women across the globe swoon. Now, he’s barely recognizable…
But Katie Hughes, his best friend’s sister, is not the type of woman to give up on a man like Rill. She blazes into Vulture’s Canyon determined to save him from himself. Instead, she finds herself unleashing years of pent-up passion. In a storm of hunger and need, Katie and Rill forget themselves and the world. But will Rill’s insatiable attraction to Katie heal his pain—or will it just feed the darkness within him?
She leaned back when he placed his hand at the side of her head. When she looked up at him, Katie abruptly became aware of how blue his eyes were, how thick his lashes were . . . how her belly pressed against the fullness between his thighs. Everett, Eden, Rill and Katie had been friends for years now. She’d hugged Rill countless times. She’d never had cause to feel ashamed hugging him before.
She stepped back now.
“It could have happened to anyone. Vulture’s Canyon becomes a dead man’s land at night. And Errol acts on impulse. He should have known better than to run in front of a moving car.”
Katie sighed. “Well, it’s done. I’ll have to pay for his hospital stay and his rehab. He doesn’t have any insurance. He doesn’t have a car, either. I’ll have to drive him to all his appointments,” she added, not realizing the truth of her words until that moment.
“I’ll be driving him.”
Katie glanced up in surprise at Rill’s resolute tone. “Don’t be ridiculous. You didn’t hit him.”
“That may be, but Errol will likely require rehab for weeks on end. There’s no way you’re staying in Vulture’s Canyon that whole time.”
Katie straightened to her full height. “Who says?”
“I do.” He seemed to reconsider his bluntness. “I can imagine Morgan and Watkins might have a say in the matter as well.”
“I’ve taken a vacation from Morgan and Watkins,” Katie said, referring to her former employer, a large law firm that did taxes for the rich and famous.
“You took a vacation and came to Vulture’s Canyon?” Rill asked incredulously.
“I told you I did.”
“That’s just stupid.”
Anger rose from her belly to her brain like mercury in a thermometer stuck in boiling water. “Don’t you call me stupid. I’d say what you’re doing these days is way off the idiocy scale, so I guess you can put up with me for what’s left of your miserable life.”
Katie paused when she saw how the color left his face, but she didn’t relent. Suddenly, the idea of this beautiful, talented man wasting his life felt like a personal affront, like a slap to the face. It surprised her a little to realize she shook with emotion. Or perhaps it was some culmination of the bizarre events of the past fifteen hours and a sleep-deprived brain that was finally getting to her.
“You’re not going to chase me off like you did Everett, Rill,” she said in a quiet, vibrating voice.
His lips flattened in irritation. “I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Katie. You haven’t seen how I live.”
She swallowed convulsively. There it was: proof positive that he definitely had been too drunk to recall her being at his house last night, let alone remember what they’d done. A feeling of mixed relief and sadness swooped through her.
She stepped toward him and tilted her chin up, meeting his glare. “You call what you’ve been doing the past eighteen months living? We both know you’re flirting with the opposite, Rill. It’s gonna stop here and now, too.”
“Oh, yeah?” he asked belligerently. “How do you know that?”
“Because Eden would be ashamed of you. I figure you just need someone to remind you of that.”
His eyes flashed in fury at the mention of Eden’s name; his jaw clamped tight. Katie recoiled slightly in her own skin, the evidence of his hurt paining her, as well. She stepped back.
“You can come up to my place and get rested up for your drive back to California. You’re not welcome here, though. I want you gone as soon as you’re rested,” he said stiffly.
She stalked past him toward the nurses’ station, wondering why having Rill say out loud what she already knew with perfect clarity could hurt so damn much.
ADDICTED TO YOU, Novel #1 in the One Night of Passion series available now