Guest blog by Marilyn Kelly, author of All the Boys I Ever Kissed: A Choose Your Own Ending Novel being released on Amazon on April 22.
Do you ever wonder about your old boyfriends? I married my college sweetheart, so it’s been a long time since I kissed another man, but I have some sweet memories. My latest novel is a contemporary women’s fiction called All the Boys I Ever Kissed (A Choose Your Ending Novel), about a widowed travel writer who looks to past boyfriends to find her future. There are three amazing men - a DC firefighter/paramedic, an athletic Argentine millionaire, and a British baron. Which one will win the heroine’s heart? You choose your favorite!
I made this a Choose Your Own Ending Novel because there are three men the heroine falls in love with, and I fell in love with them all while writing the book. It pained me to choose one, so I wrote three different endings thinking I would find a hero I preferred. I didn’t. All three of these men have their flaws and their strengths, and I decided the reader should get to choose their favorite. What do you think of that concept? I also wrote The Man Tell All Q&A because I missed having the men’s point of view in this first-person novel. I broke a lot of rules of the romance genre, but sometimes the writing process won’t follow directions.
We all know dating is hard, and some relationships that didn’t work out in the past might be worth a second look. Of course, abusive relationships are best left behind, but there might be someone who still puts a smile on your face. If you are looking for a new relationship, consider making a list of all the boys you ever kissed. If one of them still floats your boat, find out if they’re available, and reach out to them. Who knows, it might be the start to your happy ending.
I was inspired by a recent guest blog on Why It Didn’t Work Out by Torie James to write the Top 10 Reasons Why Old Relationships Are Worth Revisiting.
- You were attracted to each other at one point. As we get older, it seems harder to find people who are physically compatible. Never underestimate the value of physical attraction. It’s a wonderful basis for a loving relationship.
- You may have grown because of the breakup. Sometimes people say the most terrible things to each other during an argument, but afterward realize there was more than a grain of truth to the accusations. Maybe leaving your makeup spread out over the bathroom counter drove him crazy. You didn’t do it with the next boyfriend and it wasn’t so hard. Hopefully, you can laugh about it in retrospect.
- You will remember each other younger and possibly thinner. Most of us have a flashback when we see people we’ve known for a long time. In our mind’s eye, we recall them with fewer wrinkles. There are times when I look at my husband and tears come to my eyes because he looks just like he did when we met in college. And our children have now graduated. He says the same thing about me, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
- You know each other’s faults. There are no unexpected surprises three months into the relationship when so many people reveal their true colors. Even if he hasn’t changed his slovenly ways, you’ve realized there are worse faults. Like cheating on you or yelling at you. At least he brings you flowers.
- You miss each other. Sometimes you think about him, and vice versa. Unless you had a truly ugly breakup, there are good memories there if you bring them to light.
- You have friends in common who would cheer you on. Most breakups divide friendships along with the other belongings. There’s probably someone you miss among his friends. Besides, if it doesn’t work out your ex, maybe one of his friends will be a fit.
- If you have children or pets in common, that’s an even better reason to give love a second chance. I have a hard time with couples who claim to still be best friends but split up anyway. Monogamy is hard, but the shared memories and comfort are worth the trouble. Especially if there are children involved, special effort should be made to work through the problems. Nobody’s perfect, but if there isn’t abuse, find a counselor you both like and learn to forgive.
- You have equal power going back into the relationship. This is especially important if you broke up because of a power struggle, but everyone can benefit. An honest discussion can be had right from the start about how chores are going to be divided or other sticky subjects that drove you apart. Just be sure to maintain your sense of humor, and you could have your cake and eat it too.
- You understand each other’s lives and are more accepting of the sacrifices. Maybe it used to drive you crazy that he worked such late hours, but now you would appreciate the extra money. Maybe he never understood why you called your mother so much, but now his mother is gone and he wishes he’d called her more. Maybe you’d both be more willing to compromise the second time around.
- You loved each other. There was a time when you couldn’t think of anything but making him happy, and vice versa. Unless you now hate him, that spark might still be alive. I don’t believe there’s only one person for each of us, but passionate love doesn’t come easily. Second time around, be sure to nurture each other and maybe the love will last forever this time.
Have any of you reunited with old boyfriends? How did that work out for you?
All the Boys I Ever Kissed – A Choose Your Own Ending Novel blurb.
Lana Patterson wants a husband, but she's striking out online and with blind dates. Her sister suggests she look to her past to find her future, and Lana starts contacting old boyfriends. She's been practically housebound since her husband died, so she starts local, in Washington DC.
Captain CPR is Chippendale firefighter hot, but other than his incredible body and compatible sense of humor, Lana doesn't find him the ideal bedmate or potential husband. Pierce Abrams runs into burning buildings for a living, and she wants a husband who will be there to walk her daughter down the aisle.
Lana grew up as a Foreign Service child and is now a travel writer. Her sister and daughter insist she hit the road, so Argentina and England are her next stops. The first boy she ever kissed is athletic, adventurous, intelligent, wealthy, and the most amazing Latin lover. Unfortunately, Sergio Salazar has a closet full of girlfriends that he claims he's willing to give up. Lana has her doubts.
Her high school boyfriend has more potential, since his current girlfriend is on the wane. Duncan Claymore is a baron with a castle, and oh so tempting, even introducing Lana and family to the Duchess of Cambridge. It would be a fantasy life, but his conniving sister threatens to derail their renewed love affair.
Three amazing men are all having adventures of their own. Which one will capture Lana's heart? The reader gets to choose!
Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed
All the Boys I Ever Kissed, A Choose Your Own Ending NovelExcerpt:
“What was the best kiss you ever had?” My older sister Marie propped her elbows on my batik tablecloth and adopted her “tell me everything” look, usually as effective as a Jedi mind trick. “Before Jude, of course.”
Best kiss before my soul mate? It had been ages. “I honestly don’t remember.” I glanced through the porch door to the kitchen, where my adorable daughter, Ashley, stood in her soccer uniform arranging cupcakes on a plate. I wasn’t about to discuss my past boyfriends in front of a twelve-year-old tomboy. “I don’t see how that’s relevant to me finding a new husband.”
Marie sat back with a huff, her short black curls a shadowy halo in the fading light. “You haven’t had much luck finding a man, Lana. I’m racking my brain for ideas.”
“I appreciate that, but you can’t hurry love.” What I didn’t appreciate was my dating failures on review, again, no matter how good the intention.
Ashley set dessert on the table and took her seat beside me, her toothy smile a constant reminder of her father. "Mom, don't you want to remarry?” She and Marie shared a conspiratorial glance. They were clearly on a mission together. “You told me once that snuggling with Dad was your favorite thing in the world. Don't you miss that?"
Did I ever. Jude had dubbed me the perfect bedmate, always warm and willing. Waking up alone was still tough after two years. "Of course, I do." I refilled my glass of homemade lemonade, wishing I'd spiked it with some tequila to fortify me for this intervention.
Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed
Marilyn Kelly’s Bio:
My Wanton Widows series, published by Ellora's Cave, is about three accomplished women in Victorian England who are all searching for love, respect, and passion. The first in the series is Sounds of Love about a matchmaking novelist, a scholarly widow and an arrogant earl.
All the Boys I Ever Kissed (A Choose Your Ending Novel) is my first contemporary romantic women’s fiction. If you like The Bachelorette or Mamma Mia, I hope you'll love this book!
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Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed