There are two romance tropes that will make me pick up a book every time, the enemies-to-lovers story and the slow burn romance. Seeing the searing passion of rage turn to passionate love is amazing. But a slow burning romance? The story that starts with strangers who cautiously learn to work as partners until they finally realize they love each other? That’s pure seduction in my book.
Eyes meeting across a crowded room never did it for me. Insta-love always leaves me just a bit suspicious. I’m just too stubbornly rational to accept that anyone could jump into a relationship without having a nice long talk about the serious things in life: how is the rent getting paid, who is taking the puppy to the vet, is there a TV in the bedroom or not? Communication is key to a healthy relationship and too often it seems an insta-lust romance sets characters up for a future visit to divorce court instead of the Happily Ever After we want for them.
Don’t judge me too harshly for that assessment. As some of you know my first published work was based on insta-love. Even Villains Fall in LoveÂ had a protagonist (he really isn’t a hero) who fell in love with his arch-enemy. It was love at first sight, and it all went wrong. For those who haven’t read my Heroes and Villains series yet, I won’t spoil it for youâ€¦ just know that they have to work for HEA.
The Day BeforeÂ is a departure from my romance roots. More sci-fi, a higher body count, and a much slower romance. The hero of the series, Samantha Rose, is married to her work. She’s too busy fighting to save her career to notice that her partner is more than a pill-addicted freak.
It so much fun writing a slow romance!
All my previous books had romantic plotlines that had to be wrapped up by the last page. THE DAY BEFORE was sold to the publisher as Book 1 of 3. That means I get to play a lot more with the doubts and fears of romance. And there’s always fear. True romance isn’t free of doubts, it is hope for a better life overcoming the doubts.
The slow burn romance means the characters can flirt with the idea of love before ever admitting they are in love. It gives them a chance to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, it gives the readers a chance to see the couple through the good days and the bad so that when the characters finally reach Happily Ever After there is no doubt that they will really have forever together.
Tell me, what’s your favorite romance trope?
Liana Brooks once read the book GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and noted that both their biographies invited readers to send money (or banana daiquiris). That seems to have worked well for them. Liana prefers strawberry daiquiris (virgin!) and will never say no to large amounts of cash in unmarked bills.
Her books are sweet and humorous with just enough edge to keep you reading past your bedtime.
Liana was born in San Diego after bouncing around the country she’s settled (temporarily) in the great wilderness of Alaska. She can be found on Twitter (@LianaBrooks), on FaceBook, and on the web at www.lianabrooks.com.
Is it a human corpse â€¦ or is it just a piece of discarded property?
Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a breakâ€”a murderâ€”that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.
The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems â€¦ and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either.
This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.
A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and questioning what it means to be human.
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Friday May 17th, 2069
Alabama District 3
Commonwealth of North America
With an asthmatic wheeze the engine died. It figured. Stuck in a manâ€™s craw, it did. This truck had been his daddyâ€™s and his pappyâ€™s, and before the Commonwealth government forced him to replace the diesel engine with the newfangled water doohickey, he was certain heâ€™d pass the truck onto his son.
Heâ€™d been playing under the hood of trucks since he was six and now he was stranded. Embarrassing, thatâ€™s what it was. He climbed out of the cab to check the engine out of habit. The ice blue block of modern fuel efficiency stared back. Three hundred bucks itâ€™d cost him, straight from his pocket.
Oh, there was a government subsidy, all right. A priority list. Major Population Centers, they said. Unite the countries of the Commonwealth on a timeline, they said. And what did all that mean?
It meant the damn Yankees got upgraded cities and free cars before the ink was dry on the Constitution and what about the little man? Nobody thought about the working class. No one cared about a man covered in oil and grease anymore.
He thumbed his cellphone on. No reception. Figured.
So much for the era of new prosperity. Heâ€™d hoof it. There was a little town about five miles down the road where he could call Ricky to bring a tow truck. It would have been cheaper to pay the diesel fines than get all this fixed.
Off schedule. Over budget. Son of a â€“
He stared at the distant trees. Well, it wasnâ€™t going to get any cooler.
He grabbed his wallet and keys from the cab of his truck. The tree line looked like a good spot to answer a call from nature, then heâ€™d see if there werenâ€™t a shortcut through to town. A meadowlark sang. Not a bad day for a hike. Wouldâ€™ve been better if it werenâ€™t so dammed hot, but at least the humidity was low. He wouldnâ€™t like to walk in a summer monsoon, not at his age with arthritis playing up.
Under a sprawling oak he unzipped his pants. As an afterthought, he glanced down to make sure he wouldnâ€™t stir up a hill of fire ants.
A hand lay next to his boots.
He blinked, zipped his pants slowly, and turned around. “Hello?”
Cicadas chirped in answer.
“Are you drunk?” The quiet field that looked so peaceful only moments before was now eerily sinister. He nudged the hand with his foot. It was swollen and pale and crusted with blood, just like a prop out of a horror movie.
Maybe it was a good idea to run to the next town.