This story started nearly a year ago, on a Twitter conversation about, you guessed it, second chances. My editor, the fabulous Mackenzie Walton, and I went back and forth about the possibility of me writing a second-chance romance she could believe in, and my brain started to churn.
This story was specifically written for Carina Adores, which is Carina’s category romance line. So I wanted it to be tropey, but stay true to what I do: Black people, falling in love, probably in DC (I have zero creativity as it relates to setting y’all). Second chances was obviously one trope. I picked a fake relationship as another one, and then celebrity-normal to round it off.
Here’s the thing about writing second chances for me: neither of the characters can be jerks. Sure, some authors can do revenge love well, and boy do I love them for it. Me? I’d want to drop-kick my character into the nearest dumpster, so it was important for me that the break-up be because they grew apart, not because either one necessarily did anything wrong. But those hurts linger, and that’s what really forms the core of what DeShawn and Malik are navigating in this relationship.
Because I’m a lawyer in my day job, chances are pretty high you’re going to get some legal issue thrown in there (I go hard for the “write what you know” elements). I’m not going to pretend they’re always accurate, because fiction! But if you’ve read some of my earlier work, you’ve seen a law firm or legal situation pop up in Jeremiah and pretty heavily in Learned Reactions. If You Love Something is no exception, but I promise it won’t overwhelm the story.
Last, but certainly not least, for those who aren’t aware, If You Love Something is going to be my first print book! There’s little I’m more looking forward to than going to the store and seeing my baby on a shelf (insert excited squee). So please please feel free to take pictures if you see my book out in the wild. With your permission, I’d love to make a collage!