Best Contemporary Romance Novels

What Are Friends For? by Patricia McLinn

Best friends always, lovers once … and now?

In rural Drago, Illinois, Zeke came by his “the Geek” nickname honest, more comfortable in the world of algebra and algorithms than high school’s social hallways. Though that didn’t keep him from longing for the unattainable prom queen, Jennifer. The one person who did understand his out-of-the-box brain was Darcie, his best friend. After their high school graduation, Zeke and Darcie for one night jolted from friends to lovers. And then he left town, and she knew he couldn’t look back. What he didn’t know was the depth of Darcie’s feelings for him. Now it’s 17 years later, and Zeke’s a self-made billionaire founder of a tech security firm, Darcie’s a local cop and Jennifer’s a divorced mom of a tween girl. And their little town is flagging. At Darcie’s urging, Zeke returns to Drago to boost its economy. Will his new wealth attract the still-beautiful Jennifer? Or will Darcie, the one girl who always made him feel at ease, show him that true love knows no boundaries? The author’s writing advice:

“[M]y biggest writing advice is, all writing advice is a buffet. It’s not a fixed menu. Pick and choose and try it. And if it works for you, great. You want to go back and get more, terrific. You want to not try it ever again, that’s terrific too. You can, you know, a year later, you can go back and go, “Oh, you know, that person said this and this and maybe I will try that.” Just—but recognize that it’s not a one shot, I have to do everything right, right now, or I’m never going to have a career. That’s not true. I’ve done so many things wrong… And I look back at those books that I wrote then, and they became the core for my indie start, the start of my indie career. So I thought it was a mistake. I kicked myself a lot for it. And then it turned out being really good.”
Patricia McLinn