Writing a frenemies to lovers romance is a lot of fun. I say frenemies because while Remy and his brother’s best friend, Jason, have perfected the art of antagonizing each other, love is always a component. They are like family, picking at each other but loyal to one another.
Still, their love/hate relationship allows for some fun snarky banter, explosive chemistry, and character growth as they both learn how come to grips with a holiday fling that just won’t stay tied up with that nice, tidy bow they wrapped around it.
The excerpt below comes early in their story. It’s something I like to call the “accidental groping incident,” and it serves as a bit of a catalyst for Jason to confess that he’s not as straight as Remy has always believed. Then, of course, the love/hate antics are quick to ensue. Jason is expecting Remy to be wearing some sexy red briefs he saw him pull out of his suitcase, and Remy -- annoyed with Jason’s comments about said briefs -- decides not to wear them, which leads to a bit of a shock for them both in this scene.
“I have absolutely zero problems with you, except maybe your crappy taste in men.”
Remy blinked. “Excuse me?”
“That guy in the picture,” Jason elaborated. “Your boyfriend. He looks all wrong for you.”
Remy crossed his arms over his chest. He was curious to see where this was going. “He does?”
“Yeah.” Jason started ticking off points on his fingers. “He’s arrogant—”
“Like someone else I know.”
“He’s immature and irresponsible.”
“You got this from a picture?”
“His hair is stupid. I mean, surfer bum is so nineties, and he lives in the fucking Midwest. Am I right?”
Remy laughed and shook his head. Jason wasn’t wrong. Trey’s look was a little dated, but he was the lead singer in a band, and he made the bleach blond surfer dude thing work for him. Sort of.
“I asked Derek about him while you were showering. No way is this guy good enough for you,” Jason said, and he looked so serious, it threw Remy off balance. “You’re serious and studious and reliable. You need someone with goals that mesh with yours, not some aimless douche who probably mooches off you and doesn’t respect your wishes.”
Remy didn’t bother arguing about Trey’s ambition or lack thereof. Being called serious and reliable brought all Trey’s parting insults to the forefront of his mind.
“Is that your way of saying I’m boring?” Remy pushed an index finger into Jason’s chest. “I’m not boring. Being smart and successful doesn’t equal stuffed shirt. I can be impulsive and spontaneous. I know how to have fun. I’ve had fun with all kinds of people. All kinds of men.”
“With that underwear?” Jason said almost breathlessly. “I totally believe it.”
“What underwear?” Remy challenged.
Jason grinned mischievously. “This under—”
Remy gasped, frozen in place as Jason pushed his hand under Remy’s waistband and skimmed bare skin.
“Uh, what the fuck?” Jason mumbled.
Instead of pulling back immediately, as Remy expected, Jason’s hand drifted over his ass, as if seeking out an edge of the briefs that must be there. When his fingers strayed too close to intimate territory, Remy’s paralysis snapped. He shoved Jason, causing him to stumble back into the opposite wall, his hand pulling free of Remy’s pants in the process.
He stared at Remy, his blue eyes wide and his mouth hanging open. Remy wasn’t sure he’d ever seen Jason speechless before.
“The only guys who get to put their hands down my pants are guys who actually want in my pants,” Remy said.
Length: 50,000 words approx.
Jason has always found Remy appealing. He didn't handle his attraction well when he was younger, but now Remy's a grown man and Jason's no longer afraid of his feelings. Some playful flirtation sounds like a great way to spend Thanksgiving break, but he's not prepared for Remy's newfound sex appeal or his decision to make Jason his rebound fling. Jason doesn't want to risk fallout with a family that's always been there for him, but he's not sure he can resist.
When the two part ways, they don't plan to stay in touch, but soon they're texting, trading sexy pictures and helping each other cope with family drama. Remy agrees to be his for the holiday, continuing their secret fling over Christmas, but Jason knows that won't be enough. He'll have to find the courage to be open and honest with his best friend -- and the whole Wells family -- if he wants a chance at love in the new year.
This approximately 50,000 word novel is a brother's best friend, enemies to lovers romance that comes with a satisfying HEA!
DJ Jamison is a contemporary M/M romance author with more than a dozen titles to her name. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. She grew up the literal embodiment of a red-headed stepchild in a working-class family in Kansas. Determined to build a successful career, she earned a degree in journalism and worked in newsrooms for more than ten years before pursuing her dream to write fiction. DJ is married with two sons, two glow-in-the-dark fish, and regrettably, one snake.
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