Please join us in welcoming Elisabeth Staab to TNA today, on the tour for her latest novel, By the Rules. Elisabeth chats about one of my favorite romantic tropes–Enemies to lovers–and there’s a tour wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card! For a chance to win just fill out the giveaway form below!
The Beauty of Enemies to Lovers
I love enemies to lovers stories. I think if you held a gun to my head and forced me to choose a favorite romance trope (which would hands down be the strangest mugging ever, but anyway…) it would definitely be that one.
In my opinion, the added tension is exquisite. The dislike that makes two people resist their attraction only adds fuel to the fire. When they finally admit they’re meant to be, it’s that much more gratifying. The couple, generally speaking, has to work for it in a way they don’t when they like each other at the outset.
My heroes in By the Rules, AJ and Hayden, they don’t get off to a good start. Not good at all:
Excerpt: “It’s called hyperbole, jerk. You know, an exaggeration used to make a point? Since you seem to be missing it, why don’t you step on out of my way so we can both move on with our lives?”
He shakes his head and makes a noise in his throat. Dude probably couldn’t be more disgusted with me if I’d taken a leak on his shoes.
The best thing ever is to have someone meet the last person they’d want, and have that someone be their perfect other half. In By the Rules, we learn AJ’s spent some rough time as a male escort before settling in the small town of Evergreen Grover to live in a motel and work as a handyman. Hayden, he left Evergreen Grove in search of more money and power than he could find in a small town, only to realize he didn’t like his life. It takes Hayden returning home after his mother’s been hospitalized to change the trajectory of both their lives.
In a small town like Evergreen Grove, it’s hard to avoid someone. Running into each other over and over causes Hayden and AJ to push and pull and fight (sometimes physically) until AJ and Hayden are forced to come to terms with their differences and acknowledge there’s something more. They’re both good guys deep down. In spite of their antipathy toward each other, they make an effort to be decent for the good of others in their lives. They’re stubborn, but little by little they start to see that there’s more to the tension between them. Maybe even something beyond some smokin’ sexual chemistry.
Turns out they were perfect together the entire time, they just didn’t know.
Hayden, the son of a wealthy CEO, needed someone who didn’t take his money or his stodgy suits so seriously. AJ needed someone who wanted him for more than sex and didn’t care about his rocky past. It takes a lot of road blocks and a lot of patience, but they manage to make it.
Fuck. If this guy asked me, I’d be his. All his.
Blurb: He thinks I want him because of the rumors around town. Because I think he’s easy. I want AJ, because he’s AJ.
No liars. No suits. Absolutely no straight guys…
AJ Fabin’s list of rules keeps him safe. Since getting kicked out of his parents’ home and attacked by a former escorting client, his rules and his life in the tiny town of Evergreen Grove provide a quiet haven. He may be lonely, and he may stick out like a sore thumb, but the folks like him well enough. When he’s not dodging his old pimp, things are peaceful.
Hayden Price is having a quarter-life crisis. Engaged to a woman he can’t connect to and working a job he secretly hates, he comes to Evergreen Grove to help his mother through a health scare. Returning to his childhood home makes Hayden reevaluate a lot of things, including himself. When he meets AJ and finds he can’t stand the mouthy jerk—almost as much as he can’t stop thinking about him—he has a lot more to change than his career.
To be together, they’ll both have to break all of their rules.
By the Rules is book 3 in the Evergreen Grove series, but reads as a standalone.
About the Author: Elisabeth Staab started hunting mutant hedgehogs back in 1842… Oops, wrong bio… Elisabeth Staab digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry.
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