Love Triangles by Brooke Blaine + Excerpt + Giveaway
Love triangles. They get a bad rap. Between the bottles of Tums we consume to help simmer the angsty fire in our guts to the pissed off feelings of rage while screaming “Just pick one already!”—it’s enough to send you running for the hills when you see the mere mention of it in a blurb.
Hey, come back! See? I’ve lost half of you already. But let’s be honest—some of you reading this live for that stuff, amIright or amIright?
I think the problem people have with most love triangles is that it usually features a whiny heroine going back and forth between two guys, leading them both on, and making you want to stab her in the face with your stiletto. I get it. Really, I do.
In my new romantic comedy, Licked, Ryleigh is faced with two delicious men, and when I sat down to write it, I knew there were several fine lines I had to walk. What’s usually the reason for all the triangle hate?
1. Cheating. You either go all out and own it or you avoid it like anchovies on a pizza. In the case of Licked, I didn’t want cheating to be a factor at all, but it can be super tricky to avoid veering into the dreaded Tums territory (looking at you Kellan-Kiera-Denny).
2. The cliché best friend versus new guy triangle. Because we all know who wins those. #TeamEdward
3. The man on man hate. I don’t mean in a sexual way (though that would be a fun twist), but the most common thing to see in love triangles are guys who are enemies. In Licked? They’re best friends and practically brothers. Yes, bff’s fighting over the same woman could cause a Yoko Ono sized split, but what if the strength of their bond was explored instead? And what if the choice for the MC isn’t actually a choice between two gorgeous guys at all? What if it was—shocker—more about the MC being true to themselves?
An example of the latter is the love triangle in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series that was executed to perfection. The relationship between the two male leads was just as important, if not more so, than the romantic relationships. That trio had all the feels. All the tears. They loved and respected each other so fiercely I thought my heart would burst. But isn’t that an amazing feeling?
In a romantic comedy, when you’re playing for laughs, the tension can’t overwhelm the happy, fun vibe, or you’ll get a DNF so fast it’ll make your head spin. Look at Bridget Jones’s Diary. Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver duking it out over our every day heroine was hysterical, and it wasn’t actually about Bridget at all, but about their own complex relationship. We weren’t so quick to hate on that threesome, were we?
I think the most important thing to remember before diving into a book that’s not strictly monogamous is that…well, love is messy. It’s complicated. We’re only human, and we make some pretty screwy decisions sometimes when we listen to our head over our heart. Or vice versa.
How does the love triangle in Licked play out? Guess you’ll just have to jump in and #GetLicked to find out!
November 11, 2015
As the owner of Licked, an eclectic ice creamery and bar, Ryleigh Phillips doesn't have time for that love stuff. Serving up Nibble My Nuts sundaes and Drunken Sailor boozy shakes are as close to an orgasmic affair as she's had in months thanks to her expanding empire—until the night of her ten-year high school reunion.
When Ryleigh's crush, gorgeous ex-football god Cameron Mathis, comes streaking into her life (literally—streaking), she begins to wonder if she really can have it all.
Wouldn't it just figure that the moment you think life is perfect is when it falls spectacularly apart?
Enter Hunter Morgan, the contractor in charge of Licked's renovations. Devastatingly handsome, and a smartass to boot, he's got his eyes on Ryleigh from the moment he finds her passed out on his couch (yeah, that's a long story). There's just one tiny complication—he happens to be Cameron's best friend.
When the lines between relationships and friendships blur, and it's impossible to choose between two delicious flavors, what's a girl to do? Taste a sample of each? Or go out and get LICKED?
I tugged at the edge of my apron in an attempt to avoid the three pairs of eyes staring bug-eyed at me. “And then he walked me to my car.”
“And then you…?” Shayne asked.
“Went home,” I said.
“Wait a minute, can we talk about the fact that he made you sleep on his couch?” Paige’s eyebrows were raised up to practically her hairline. “I’m sorry, but in what fucking universe is that acceptable? Why didn’t you call Quinn to pick you up?”
“He didn’t make me, geez. He passed out and it was late, and I thought maybe…you know. Morning sex.”
Shayne cocked an eyebrow. “And did that happen?”
“Well, no. Hunter made me coffee, and then Cameron woke up and…that’s it.”
“Wait,” Quinn interrupted. “You slept in an apartment with two guys and both of them had you sleeping on the couch? Jesus, Ryleigh, it’s against man-code for that to happen. Did you wear a chastity belt last night or something?”
I groaned, my head falling into my hands. Of course the girls would give me a hard time. I’d been talking up tackling Cameron at the reunion for weeks, so my body wasn’t the only one feeling let down.
Still, I was seriously regretting inviting them over for a powwow at my shop during our off hours.
“I think I need another shot of vodka in my Feisty Ho-bag now.” Paige pushed her glass stemware toward me, and I grabbed a liquor bottle from behind the bar and tipped some into her glass.
Boozy shakes. They were the bread and butter of Licked during the brunch and evening hours, and the main reason for the expansion next door. I glanced at the black tarp hanging over the doorway that led to the space I’d bought a few months ago and sighed. Construction was running behind, and it was too late to hire another company if I wanted to keep the launch date set.
And I had to keep the date set.
“So are you seeing him again?” Shayne asked, dunking her cherry through the layers of baklava bits and whipped cream on top of her Nibble My Nuts shake. “I will totally get involved if I need to.”
No doubt she’d be successful. She basically ran one of the top matchmaking companies in the city, not that you’d know it from her degrading pay scale. Her boss was a fucking nightmare, but Shayne was convinced she had to pay her dues.
“I don’t need your expert skills this time, but thank you. He’s got my number, so…we’ll see.”
“You can’t just wait around for a guy to call,” she said.
“I’m not waiting. I’ve got all that”—I gestured to the ugly tarp that hid the mess behind it—“to deal with, so I’m actually quite busy at the moment.”
The three of them gave each other “the look.” You know, the one that said, We’ve got to help our poor little friend get laid so she doesn’t end up gorging on the ice cream and boozy shakes she makes and be relegated to spinsterhood.
“Guys,” I said, placing my hands on the counter as I stood in front of them. “I’m not on my way to spinsterhood. I just have priorities.”
“I’m sure you could squeeze Cameron Mathis in,” Quinn said with a wink. “Get it? Squeeze him in…”
“More like blow off the dust, grab a key, unlock that shit, and pray there are no bats,” Paige agreed.
Oh for fuck’s sake. “All right, no more booze for either of you.”
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You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her quiet time. Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas. Flash Point is Brooke's debut solo novel, and she is the co-author of the erotic serial, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released on November 11th, 2015. If you'd like to get in touch with her, she's easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that's dominated her cell phone for ten years.