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Breaking the Rules

By: Marie Force

One of the things I wanted to do with Love at First Flight was to give the expected romance formula a gentle shake. In the early chapters, you will see my hero and heroine with *gasp* other people. When I say with, I mean with. Are you with me? Good. ;-)

When Michael and Juliana meet in the airport on their way to a weekend in Florida, he's engaged to Paige, and Juliana has been living with Jeremy for four of the ten years they've been together. Michael and Juliana are in committed relationships that they expect will go the distance. Neither can imagine on that Friday night how dramatically their lives are about to change. Over the course of the weekend, both relationships hit major speed bumps. So when Michael and Juliana meet up again on the flight back to Baltimore on Sunday evening, both are reeling and trying to process what's happened.

As I was writing the book, I thought it was important that the two existing relationships end not because Michael and Juliana had met each other, but because they had run their course. That's an important distinction. I don't think I would've liked Michael as much if, after he met Juliana and had an immediate reaction to her, he went to Paige and said, "I can't marry you." It doesn't happen like that at all. In fact, what does happen is so explosive and so devastating to him that Michael is forced to make a very big decision at a very bad time...

Likewise, that which drives a rift between Jeremy and Juliana is not something even I saw coming until it actually happened (one of the very BEST parts of being a pantser). It would've been far too easy for her to discover he'd been cheating on her during their long separation. What does happen might actually make you feel some empathy for Jeremy. He tries to be honest with Juliana, and it blows up in his face. Big time.

So, readers of Love at First Flight are in for something a little different. Expect three romances, a hero and heroine who are heavily involved with other people when they meet, and a new love that grows from a friendship that begins under the most unusual of circumstances. Toss in a murder trial that descends into mayhem, and you'll be taken on a wild flight that culminates in one of the most romantic chapters I've ever written.

Love at First Flight is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Yesterday, I saw an advance review copy, which looks just like the real book. I was skipping all around, so delighted to finally hold in my hands a book I finished nearly three years ago. And I can now attest that it's every bit as exciting the second time around as it was the first.

Let me ask you, what do you think about a romance in which you see your hero and heroine with other people before they get together? Have you ever had to make a choice between the one you've been with forever and the one who makes your heart race? If so, which one did you choose and why?


  1. I'm ready to read it, Marie! Bring it on!

  2. What a captivating blog post, Marie! I have a few other Casa ARCs to get through before yours, but yeesh--this makes me want to blow off work and read all day! That's kind of work, right?

    I've never been in a situation where I've had to choose between two people, but I know a lot of people who have--and sometimes, there's no one at fault (unless you count yourself and your feelings). It's just the time, the circumstances and what feels right. I'm so excited for this one!

    (Also, so is Mama Jackson--as I slipped up and let her know your book was in... We'll see how long I get to keep it!)

  3. Geez, Marie, you really put your characters through hell - with amazingly and wonderfully satisfying results for the reader! I've told you how much I loved Line of Scrimmage and I can't wait to read this one!

  4. Wow, Marie. That sounds like one GOOD book--the kind of meaty, character-driven love story I like best.

    To answer your question, no. I've never had to make that choice--or at least, not when it was a hard choice.

  5. Great post, Marie!!! Uhm, does ending up with the wrong guy count? :)

  6. Well, you didn't need to write anything to convince me to read your book, Marie; but if I HAD been on the fence, this post would have toppled me right over into the BUY IT NOW field! I can't wait. I love the entire premise and have no doubt that you will execute it brilliantly.

    As for your question, yes, I have been in such a situation. It was a veerrryyy looonngg time ago, and neither guy ended up being Mr. Right - that would be my sweet hubby of 23 years :) I do remember how agonizing it was at the time, though.

  7. Morning everyone! Glad the posting has captured your attention. This book was a lot of fun to write and I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    As for the road not traveled, I did have to make "the choice." I chose the one I was engaged to (even when the other was calling four days before the wedding to ask me not to go through with it...) I've never regretted my decision, but you do wonder sometimes. What if? Goes to show how important every decision we make can be in determining how the rest of our lives unfold.

  8. I'm ready to read it also
    I haven't had to make the choice

  9. Great post, Marie!

    If you think about it you see that in movies and real life.

    Choosing between two people isn't easy, but that's where a person follows their heart.


  10. Yes, I totally agree! Shaking things up is a good thing for both reader and writer. I know certain authors have a sort of "formula" or "pattern" if you will, such as SEP who is beloved, but I also like that a romance can have unexpected twists and turns and keep the reader guessing.
    great post

  11. Hi Marie! This really is a different twist to the usual way boy meets girl in a romance...and I like it!

    I think I fell in love every two weeks back when I was a teenager, LOL, but no life-changing decisions there. I did, however, have to choose between the sweetie who became my husband and this utter jerk I couldn't seem to stay away from. I had a plane ticket to see the jerk, and a bus ticket to see Mr. New and Wonderful. I'm glad to say he was worth the bus ride.

  12. HI again,
    Sorry to be spotty on the commenting today. Got the kids home on vacation and my life is not my own! Thanks for checking in today and for all the excitement about LaFF. I'm reading the galleys right now, and I can't wait to get it out in stores!

  13. Marie,
    Count me as one of those in the "can't wait to read it" line! LaFF sounds GREAT!

    As for your question, as a matter of fact, I have. A friend had fixed me up with one of her co-workers and we'd gone out a few times when I met my DH. Mr. Wrong wanted to date the world and I wasn't into competitive sports, so after he stood me up for a date, I went out with DH and never looked back!

    Three months later, Mr. Wrong called me and carried on about how he should have never let me go and could we see each other again. HUH?!?! I told him, "sorry, I've met someone very special." He persisted and finally said, "If you break it off with him, will you call me?" I said sure.

    Well, DH and I will be together 20 years in May. I do hope Mr. Wrong isn't still waiting for my call! ;-)


  14. Great story, Cindy! I love the idea of Mr. Wrong still waiting for your call!

  15. Marie~

    Sorry I'm a day late and a dollar short...

    But I just had to say what a fabulous post this was.

    I can't wait to read LAFF.

    I did choose between two people, unfortunately they were both Mr. Wrongs, although the one I chose was Mr. Less Wrong so it was probably an improvement.

    Robin :)

  16. Thanks for coming by, Robin. We all know you picked Mr. Right in the end!


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