Hi! I am so excited today to be on one of my all-time favorite blogs as we count down to BURN ZONE (pubs 4/27), which is the first in my sexy new smoke jumper series set in Central Oregon amid the wildfire season. It centers around the forbidden attraction between a sunny newbie smoke jumper and an older, more jaded veteran. It’s also Older Brother’s Best Friend Trope, and oh how I love this trope. It’s all time favorite for me. I did it in AT ATTENTION as well, but here I wanted to take a deeper, more emotional look at everything that makes this trope so appealing to me and other readers.
What elements make brother’s best friend such a one-click for me?
- Loyalty versus Lust. Inherent in the brother’s best friend dynamic is that you have a strong friendship where the main character (MC) is intensely loyal to their friend and has very strong feelings about that friendship. But then they meet (or re-meet) the younger sibling, and they get hit with a bolt of LUST. They want. They need. They can’t have. And that delicious tension is why I keep reading!
- Pining and Longing. And that tension leads us to one my favorite things—the PINING. The MCs want each other. SO BAD. But they can’t have without risking the friendship or the familial relationship. So they pine. And long. And fantasize. THE YEARNING. They are pulled to each other even though they really, really need to resist.
- Explosive Chemistry. But then they give in to the longing. One night things just come to a head and a line gets crossed. There’s a kiss. Or more. Maybe much more. And it is electric. The first time after all the building tension is just the most satisfying thing to see. It’s emotion packed and so, so much more than physical. And then they have the new problem of they just can’t stop doing it because it feels so good!
- Spicy Secrets. And the keeping it going part inevitably leads to secrets, which we all have a love-hate relationship with. We know secrets are no good, but sometimes they are necessary, and they provide so much growing tension to a developing relationship. Will they get found out? What’s going to happen when they do? Will they get to be together? What will they lose? The stakes keep growing and growing, and the MCs see no way out of their web of secrets. But that pining and longing are also still building! They WANT a future together, but they doubt in it too.
- Extended Family Dynamics. They want that future, but the main source of doubts is not wanting to destroy their other relationships—namely the family and the friendship. The extended relationships at the heart of the book make for interesting secondary characters and tense interactions as we both want to see those relationships preserved and also want our MCs to be together in the end.
- Secure Happy Endings. And then they get that happy ending! They make the decision to fight for a future together, and it is GLORIOUS. And somehow I trust more in the happy ending with this trope because they have wanted it for so long. I trust that they will stay together and that their feelings are deep and true. I’m always so happy for them in the end!
All those elements together make for unforgettable reads for me as a reader, and as a writer, I just love putting them together in fresh ways to craft stories I love and can’t wait to share. Do you have a favorite Best friend’s sibling romance that you just love? Give me some recs in the comments! And why do you love it? Did I leave something off my list! Let me know!
About the Book
Burn Zone, Hotshots, #1, by Annabeth Albert
Introducing Annabeth Albert’s Hotshots series—the emotions and intensity of Chicago Fire with the raw, natural elements of Man vs. Wild.
Danger lurks everywhere for Central Oregon’s fire crews, but the biggest risk of all might be losing their hearts…
Smoke jumper Lincoln Reid is speechless to see Jacob Hartman among his squad’s new recruits. Linc had promised his late best friend he’d stay away from his little brother. And yet here Jacob is…and almost instantly, the same temptation Linc has always felt around him is causing way too many problems.
Jacob gets everyone’s concerns, but he’s waited years for his shot at joining the elite smoke jumping team, hoping to honor his brother’s memory. He’s ready to tackle any challenge Linc throws his way, and senses the chemistry between them—chemistry Linc insists on ignoring—is still alive and kicking. This time, Jacob’s determined to get what he wants.
Close quarters and high stakes make it difficult for Linc to keep his resolve, never mind do so while also making sure the rookie’s safe. But the closer they get, the more Linc’s plan to leave at the end of the season risks him breaking another promise: the one his heart wants to make to Jacob.
About Annabeth Albert
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
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