Ah, it’s February and even though it’s cold outside, love is in the air. Or is that the smell of chocolate? Either way, sounds fabulous to me. I’m Karen and this is my first time guest blogging at Coffeetime, so what do you say? Shall we get this show on the road?

I want to talk today about friendship. How important is it in a romantic relationship? I’d like to think it’s pretty damn important. After all, the desire to jump into bed every five minutes will eventually wane and then you have to actually talk to each other. But that’s real life. What about friendship in a fictional love story? A romance? A pie-in-the-sky dream scenario? I still think friendship is like oxygen or the aforementioned chocolate. You have to have it.

In my new book, Bring Me Back, Claire Abby is a music writer who lands a career-defining interview with the British rock star crush of her youth, Christopher Penman. On the surface, you might think their love story would revolve around 22 years of pent-up desire on Claire’s part. Although some of that is true, the friendship plays an important role.

Claire and Christopher spend weeks talking on the phone and texting before anything happens between them. Sure, there’s a lot of flirting, but they are building a real friendship along the way. Say what you will about technology—it can bring us together and it can keep us apart, but maybe it’s not such a bad thing to be apart at the beginning. Certainly the appeal of anticipation can’t be underestimated and if you’re forced to do nothing more than communicate, it can’t be a bad thing.

When Claire and Christopher eventually get together, it really hits Christopher how strong his friendship with Claire is, how much they enjoy just being together. It’s a big deal for him—every minute of his romantic life has been spent with women who wanted him for what he was, not who he was. His willingness to talk about this only brings them closer and sends Claire into a tizzy of head-over-heels-ness. It also gives us a real taste of the deeply emotional Christopher we see later in the book. (But I am NOT a spoiler, so I’ll stop myself there.)

Here’s a peek at the story:

BMB_KBooth_MDBring Me Back

Music critic Claire Abby is a single mom dreading her daughter’s departure for college and worried that turning forty will leave her career running on fumes. She’s floored when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story on 80s British rock legend Christopher Penman. She spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend.

In person, Christopher is everything Claire feared he’d be—charming, witty and unwilling to address the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. Still, she contains her adolescent fantasies and manages to earn his trust, unearthing the truth and the devastating secret behind it.  His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling and flirting. She knows she should maintain a professional distance. She knows she should focus on the story. She knows it would be best to simply walk away. But how can she say “no” to the man she could never forget?

“Fast-paced, sexy and altogether irresistible, Bring Me Back is made all the more appealing by Karen Booth’s inside knowledge of the music industry. A flat-out fabulous read!”–Celia Rivenbark, NYT Bestselling author

How essential is friendship in romance? Absolutely?  Very?  Not at all? Anyone have a real-life friends-to-lovers story they’d like to share now that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching?




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