Friends to Lovers: I’m Not Your “Sister” Anymore

by Guest Blogger on April 3, 2012 · 41 comments

in Contests, D-F, Dukes and Earls, Friends, Guest Blogger, Regency, Secret Agent, Suspense/Thriller

Guest Blog by Tracey Devlyn, author of A Lady’s Revenge

Have you ever fallen in love with the wrong man? More specifically, your brother’s best friend?

You’ve known him since you were a little girl. He’s a constant in your household and joins forces with your older brother in tweaking your nose. He’s pesky, obnoxious, and slightly more tolerant to having you tagalong than your sibling.

Then when you edge toward womanhood, your awareness of your childhood friend shifts, throwing you off-kilter in unexpected and terrifying ways. His eyes are more striking, his smile more sexy, and his bum…well, it exists now.

This is what happened to novice secret service agent Cora deBeau on the eve of her first mission to France. The summer before she set sail across the Channel, Guy Trevelyan, the soon-to-be Earl of Helsford, transformed from a brotherlike figure into a handsome and distracting man. When she started imagining all her days spent with Guy and her lifelong quest to avenge her parents’ murders began to fade, that’s when she knew it was time to flee, er, leave. Time and distance, that’s all she needed to dispel Guy’s hold on her.

For the next three years, she would catch a glimpse of an ebony-haired man or a whiff of spicy sandalwood and her memories of Guy would all come back. Then a storm of questions would flood her mind. Where was he? What was he doing? Did he ever think of her? Yearn for her with the same heart-twisting intensity she ached for him?

Not until she saw Guy’s beloved face emerge from the shadows of Valère’s dungeon did she truly understand that she could never, ever flee their love.

Excerpt from A Lady’s Revenge

(Setup: The year is 1804, England. Cora and Guy just finished a Tai Chi session in a meadow near the woods. Up to this point, Cora has resisted touching Guy because of the atrocities she had endured in a French dungeon. This scene is a major turning point in their relationship.)

Guy grasped her hand and led her to a large, fallen tree. Atop the lichen-crusted trunk sat her red leather slippers. “Do you wear these so you can find them in the woods?”

She sat next to them, slanting him a cross look. “Noooo. I wear them because they make me happy.” As you do. At that moment, she wished she had worn a pretty dress rather than her pai jamahs.

He knelt beside her and patted his knee, a request for her foot.

“I’m not so fragile, Guy. I can manage my own shoes.”

“I know. Now give me your foot.”

Reminiscent of his demand in the library, she knew he wouldn’t budge until she complied. “Stubborn man.” She extended her leg and couldn’t help but smile when he dusted dirt and debris from her bare soles like a father would a recalcitrant child.

“We make a good pair.”

Did they? She had always felt a connection to him. Something deeper than a mere friendship, something that had unfolded petal by fragile petal over the years.

A realization made all the more acute when her young girl’s admiration had transformed into a woman’s awakening. Her discernment of his masculine charms had gradually surfaced. She had noticed small things, like the magnificent length of his ebony eyelashes, the adorable dimple in his right cheek, and the fine hairs that peppered the backs of his hands.

She had felt awkward and guilty, especially once her focus shifted to admiring the breadth of his shoulders, the musculature of his thighs, and the beauty of his angular face. This was Guy, for goodness sake—practically her brother. Her thoughts had seemed immoral, wrong somehow, or at least that’s how she had felt at the time.

Her preoccupation with her friend grew to a degree that had kept her insides in a quivering knot any time he drew near, and her normally easy quips would lodge in her throat with just one of his teasing winks.

When she began imagining all her days spent in his company and her lifelong quest to avenge her parents’ murders began to fade, she started avoiding his company and eventually set off for France. She had hoped distance and the distraction of her mission would rid her of the unbearable longing he had stirred in her young heart.

She hoped in vain.

She stared down at his bent head. Sunlight sheened off his black hair, creating an illusion of moonlight dancing over dark waters. Long waves cradled his massive shoulders while he guided her foot into an awaiting red slipper. Without thought, she combed her fingers through his thick strands, taming their wild disarray, and wishing—no, longing—for the courage to bury her nose amidst all that luxury.

He stilled, as if fearing any movement would make her stop. He worried for naught. She loved feeling the silky texture of his midnight locks against her skin. Had dreamt of running her fingers through their length for days. Years.

He sat back on his heels and met her gaze, his internal struggle obvious. He, no doubt, wanted to give her some time to absorb the intimacy they had shared, but the demands of his body were at war with his strong mind. A situation she knew all too well.

In a near whisper, she said, “Turn around, if you please.”

His gaze sharpened, fired hot like a glowing cauldron. But he said nothing, simply maneuvered his body around until he faced the opposite direction, spine erect, senses alert.

She glanced down at the leather thong still wrapped around her middle finger. Its worn appearance was a testament to the many hours spent taming his gorgeous mane. She clamped the tie between her teeth while her hands smoothed over his hair.

“’Tis beautiful.”

He tilted his head back, his eyes closed. “Nonsense. Men don’t have beautiful hair.”

Leaning forward, she swept the tail she had created over her face, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood mixed with the fresh country air. “You do.”

* * *

Friends to lovers—has this ever happened to you or someone you know?

GIVEAWAY: Please leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of A Lady’s Revenge. (U.S. and Canada only, please.) Last day to enter: April 6, 2012.

Thank you Love Romance Passion for having me here today!

* * *

LadyRevenge

BRIEF SUMMARY OF A LADY’S REVENGE:

A British agent flees her French captor’s torturous dungeon and falls in love with the decoder responsible for her imprisonment.

NOTHING GETS BETWEEN A LADY AND HER VENGEANCE

In a daring rescue, beautiful and wily secret operative Cora deBeau is reunited with her childhood friend Guy Trevelyan, who wants so much more from her now than friendship…

HE’LL STOKE THE FIRE UNTIL THEY BOTH GO UP IN FLAMES

But Cora’s mission against the French has become personal, and even the fire between her and Guy won’t deter her. When it comes to getting sweet, cruel revenge, nothing will stand in a lady’s way…

Buy: A Lady’s Revenge

* * *

Tracey Devlyn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at:

TraceyDevlyn.com | Twitter.com/TraceyDevlyn | Facebook.com/AuthorTraceyDevlyn

LadyJanesSalonNaperville.com

Leave a Comment

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carol L. April 3, 2012 at 6:03 AM

I absolutely love the excerpt. A Lady’s Revenge is on my TRL. Thanks for the opportunity. hen I was a young teen I was so hung up on my older brother’s best friend. He was 171 and of course I was just his BF’s kid sister. They had been friends for years and continued to be. When I was 18 and had come home after living in Florida with my Father for a couple of years for school he actually saw me and couldn’t believe I was the kid who moved to Florida. lol He ended up asking me out but as young girls will do I was into someone else. lol
Carol L.
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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2 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Oops, please see my comment below!

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3 Renee Brown April 3, 2012 at 6:34 AM

While I’ve never had this happen to me, I had a friend in high school who wound up married to her arch nemesis. Does that count? I do think it is a common occurance. Whether it lasts a while or not, I couldn’t say.

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4 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Hi Renee,
You bet it counts! This scenario happens quite often in romance novels. I hope your friend’s arrangement lasts a lifetime. Thanks!

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5 Susan S. April 3, 2012 at 7:01 AM

It’s funny because my sister went on to marry her high school friend and I married my college friend. It was nice taking courses together. A shared commonality.
Thank you for sharing the excerpt. Loved it!

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6 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Hey Susan,
Awesome that you and your married your school sweethearts. And yes, it’s wonderful to have someone by your side who shares your interests. Thanks for dropping by!

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7 May Pau April 3, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Sounds like a terrific book! Must put it in my TBR pile for reading!

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8 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Thanks, May! Glad you could stop in.

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9 erinf1 April 3, 2012 at 7:50 AM

OOOOHHHH.. Thanks for a great post and excerpt! This book sounds awesome!!!! I’ve never had that happen… My brother’s friends weren’t anywhere near my type and seeing them later in life never sparked anything :)

Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on the new release!!!

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10 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:50 AM

LOL – then you were spared the longing looks and sighs of unrequited love, Erin! Thanks for the well wishes and for joining me here today.

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11 Maureen April 3, 2012 at 7:55 AM

I have known a couple of people who started out as friends and I do enjoy the stories in romances.

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12 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Hi Maureen,
Starting out as friends is a great way to get to know someone without all the awkwardness. That’s how my husband and I got together–friends to lovers. Glad you could stop by!

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13 Joanne B April 3, 2012 at 8:09 AM

This went on the top of my TBR pile. Can’t wait. Sounds like a great book. Sorry to say, that has never happened to me or anyone I know.

Joanne B
e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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14 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Joanne, thanks so much!

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15 Joye April 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Falling in love with the wrong guy! I’ve got to read the rest of this one

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16 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

LOL – Merci, Joye!

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17 Doris April 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

sounds like an exciting read!

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18 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Thanks, Doris!

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19 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Hi Carol,
I love this! It’s so amazing how our perspectives change as we age. Guys, food, life…it’s all ever-shifting and exciting. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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20 Diane Sallans April 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Not that I’m aware of, but I think it’s a good thing and the couple has a better chance of maintaining a long term relationship if they have a solid friendship.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

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21 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I agree, Diane! Of course, I know some folks who got married after only a few months of courtship and are really happy–decades later. So romantic. :)

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22 Estella April 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Great excerpt!

This has not happened to me or anyone I know.

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23 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Estella, thanks for dropping by!

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24 StacieD April 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I haven’t been in a friends to lovers relationship. It is one of my favorite romance tropes though. I like to watch the hero or heroine see the other person with new eyes.

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25 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Hi StacieD! I’m with you. Love watching their slow awareness develop. You never know which way they’ll go–act upon it or avoid it. :)

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26 June April 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I love friends to lovers stories. It has not happened to me, mainly because I was always afraid of ruining the friendship. There was the chance twice, but bot times I was afraid of losing my friend. However, after a while, the friendships did fade and drift apart so I don’t know if I should have went for it or not.

Congrats on the release. A LADY”S REVENGE looks great!
June
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com
(it is a j after the _)

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27 catslady April 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I had a neighbor friend they we played together for years. At 16 he moved away but still went to the same school. He wanted us to date but I considered him more a brother than boyfriend and ended up with the new kid at school. I married the new kid lol.

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28 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

You go, Catslady! Thanks for sharing.

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29 Chelsea B. April 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

This book sounds wonderful!
I’ve never had a close guy friend, and my friends are much to guy-crazy to have just a guy friend, haha ;-) I say it with love! ;-)

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30 Tracey Devlyn April 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Thanks, Chelsea! Love this–thanks for the late night chuckle!!

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31 Na S. April 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

I know a couple of friends who have friends to lovers relationships. One lasted for a couple of years but they departed as friends. Another are still going strong. It’s a relationship that seems very comfortable and I think it’s wonderful to find someone who understands you well.

I’ve been eyeing your book, it sounds wonderful Tracey!

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32 bn100 April 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Very nice excerpt. This has happened to people I know.

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33 Diane D - Florida April 4, 2012 at 6:57 AM

I used to date my husband’s friend, and when we broke up, my husband and I became friends. For a couple of months, we just hung out together with other people, and then finally realized that we wanted to be together – just us, and nobody else. Here we are now, almost 42 years married, and still chugging along together. :-)

I loved this excerpt of your book, and love the front cover art. You’re a new Author to me, and I love finding new authors.

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34 Jen B. April 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM

No, I can thankfully say I never fell in love with my brother’s best friend. My brother is quite a bit younger than I am so Eeeee!! But I love books with that theme. The setup of the story sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway. jepebATverizonDOTnet

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35 Kristy April 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM

The friends to lovers thing hasn’t happened to me, but it has happened to my great aunt and uncle. They were childhood friends in the village that they used to live in. During his early teenage years, my great uncle’s family moved to the States. He and my great aunt still kept in touch through snail mail while he was away. After saving up enough money, he went back to his home country and married my great aunt and then brought her over to the US. They’ve been married for over 60 years now.

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36 Jane April 4, 2012 at 2:52 PM

It has never happened to me. It did happen with my friend. She ended up marrying her high school classmate/friend after meeting up again.

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37 Shannon April 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

This has never happened to me, and I honestly don’t believe it has happened to anyone I know in real life. But I like the concept and loved the excerpt! Can’t wait to read more.

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38 Chris Bails April 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I have had a few friends that turned to lovers. Before I was happily married, I was single and loving it. I had a couple of guy friends with benefits. It was great because if one of us was ever in need of someone, we were there for each other. I am no longer friends with these guys. My husband knows about them and decided it was not approiate. I agreed. That was about 18 years ago. Good times.

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39 Shannon April 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I was just checking in and wanted to let you know not to include me in the giveaway as I already have the book coming. Thanks for the post though!
bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

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40 Keira April 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

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