Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Appeal of the Friends-To-Lovers Trope

Congratulations to "Trude V.", the winner in Jacki's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!

What is your favorite romance trope? Secret baby? Marriage of convenience? Fish out of water? One of my favorites is friends-to-lovers. It’s one of the tropes that inspired the romance between Sophie Dean and Finn Jenkins in my new military romantic suspense, Mission: Impossible to Surrender (release date 2.21.19).

Sophie and Finn have been friends for years, but the rock-n-roll bad girl and the disciplined Navy SEAL seemed ill suited as a love match. Years later, Sophie’s still nursing a secret crush and Finn can no longer deny that he has feelings for her.

So what now? How does an author get her characters from friends to lovers?

You’ll have to read the book to find out how it happens for Sophie and Finn, but here were some of the strategies I used:

·      Give them a common cause
·      Add a little competition for the girl’s affections
·      Let the hero do what he does best and be himself
·      Put everything they value most at risk

I loved writing Sophie and Finn’s story and helping these two friends find true love and their happy ever after while battling threats and confronting danger. The greater the risk, the sweeter the rewards, especially when that reward is a sexy military hero!

Here’s an excerpt from Mission: Impossible to Surrender:

Finn Jenkins punched numbers into his cell phone as he walked away. Unlike the men Sophie hung with, Finn paid little attention to his appearance as evident by his disheveled hair, frayed jeans, faded black t-shirt, and scuffed boots. No designer jeans calculated to look worn and torn or expensive wind-blown tussled haircuts held in place by product. Why should Finn go to fashionable lengths when he had the confident, male swagger nailed down? He was a walking version of sex on a stick, and didn’t everyone woman know it? And Sophie had years of watching women pant and beg for that overloaded testosterone.

Familiar with the way he held himself, knowing every gesture of the wild boy she grew up with from the tilt of his head when he was concentrating, to the way his pale eyes lit up when he grinned after one of his practical jokes, or the way he ground his teeth when frustrated—she detected a change.

Something was off in his usual sexy saunter. He was leaning heavily to his left side. His alpha-assertive stride was gone. Had he been injured on his last mission? Knowing the pig-headed man, he’d never admit to being injured or anything that might resemble a weakness, never even admit to being human.

“You look upset, Sophie, what did he say to you?” Alex Hardy, a rock star who wasn’t used to being ignored, startled her out of her absorption with Finn. “I don’t take that kind of shit from my security. Remember, he works for your father. You don’t have to do what he says.”

By the way Finn clenched his phone and his jaw thrust forward, he was giving the IT guy a hard time. This was her fault. She wanted to make Finn laugh, find a way back to their close teasing relationship before her kidnapping, before Finn became tense, on the edge around her. “He didn’t say anything to upset me. He’s just doing his job. And he’s an old friend, so it’s different than your guys.”

“Friend? Are you kidding? The guy’s got the hots for you.”

Sophie jerked back. No way! Finn never showed interest in her. Sophie grew up watching the parade of women pursue Finn and had seen how he let the really blatant ones catch him.

Finn was the reason she went through her bad-boy phase. She always wanted to know what she was missing by the sensual promises in Finn’s seductive smile, the way his body angled toward the woman in his possessive, domineering way. She wanted to be the focus of all that hot male attention.

“No. Never.” Sophie shook her head. “If anything, Finn’s always been in love with my sister.” Finn had to be hurting with the loss of Jordan to another man, not just any other man, but a friend Finn had served with.

“Sophie, trust me. The territorial vibes were strong and clear. Finn doesn’t want me dating you.”

“No, he’s protective. Always been that way.” It had been tense between them after the abduction, but she thought it was her and her hyper-awareness of every little thing around her. Knowing how protective and how committed Finn was, he was trying to come to grips that he somehow failed her. And since Finn blamed himself for her abduction, he’s gone off the charts to Attila the Hun protector mode. Like the abduction was his fault. Like it was anyone’s fault but evil men.

Sophie looked back at Finn who was watching her and Hardy. She smiled, not sure what had just happened. Always ready for a quick comeback, all she could do was stare when Finn had told her in that low warm rumble that she didn’t know everything about him. His look, his eyes had been filled with promise, sensual promise of long nights…

She was making the whole episode weird. This was Finn, her childhood best friend.

Are you a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope? Comment and tell me why for a chance to win an advance reader copy of Mission: Impossible to Surrender.

Love military romantic suspense? Read Mission: Impossible to Resist, book 1 in my Impossible Mission series featuring Sophie’s older sister, Jordan, and Delta Operator Aiden Foster, who becomes her temporary bodyguard.


About Jacki Delecki

Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense writer. Delecki’s Grayce Walters Series, which chronicles the adventures of a Seattle animal acupuncturist, was an editor’s selection by USA Today. Delecki’s Romantic Regency The Code Breaker Series hit number one on Amazon. For more information, visit

To learn more about Jacki and her books and to be the first to hear about giveaways join her newsletter found on her website. Follow her on FB at Jacki Delecki; Twitter @jackidelecki.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST February 8th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 


  1. I like the friends to lovers's fun to watch the push pull as they try and fight their feelings.

  2. I do enjoy friends to lovers books... :)

  3. Its always a pleasure to be back at JRS. Thank you for hosting Mission:Impossible to Surrender.


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