The Best of Enemies – Janet Dean

I love spending time here at Petticoats and Pistols with the fillies and all their fantastic fans! I’m grateful to have my fifth book, An Inconvenient Match, Love Inspired Historical, on the shelves this month. The release of a new book is always exciting!

In past visits I’ve shared tidbits of history I discovered while researching such topics as orphan trains, medicinal herbs and Victorian houses. Today I want to chat about romance. First let me give you a peek at my story.

THE BEST OF ENEMIES

His family destroyed hers. But Matthew Cummings’s job offer—to care for his recuperating father—is impossible to decline.

Schoolteacher Abigail Wilson can swallow her pride for the sake of a summer paycheck that will help her sister. And when Abigail’s employment ends, old loyalties will separate the feuding families once more.

If there’s anyone in town stubborn enough to deal with Matthew’s cantankerous father, it’s Abigail. It’s just a business arrangement—and a temporary one, at that. Her good opinion shouldn’t matter a lick to Matt. Yet their different backgrounds belie a surprising kinship. Perhaps unexpected love will be their reward for the summer’s inconvenient match.

As the story unfolds, the hero and heroine struggle to reconcile loyalty to family with their growing romantic feelings for one
another. To see if they overcome the obstacles between them is one reason I love to read romance novels. Another reason is  romance novels guarantee a happy ending. Still, getting to the “happily ever after” isn’t easy. Bottom line, conflict is story. No conflict, no story.

So expect trouble. 🙂

Abby and Wade have plenty. The feud between the Wilsons and Cummings isn’t their only problem. Wade hurt Abby when they
were courting in high school. She’s not forgiven him. Ah, the heartache of young romance.

Anyone relate? I do.

My first boyfriend dumped me. That hurt. Not that I was in love, but I liked him. I was fifteen. He was sixteen, tall, dark,  handsome and a driver. 🙂 We met at 4-H camp and dated that summer. He was the first boy I kissed. Unless you count the silly kiss that followed the spin of a milk bottle. Toward summer’s end we had plans to attend the county fair. He never showed up. Even then I had a creative imagination and visualized an accident or at the very least, car trouble. Surely he was hurt or stranded somewhere. I called his house. First dumb move. His mother answered and said he’d gone to the fair with friends. Friends? I’d been stood up. I’m sure he had a lot in common with Danny, John Travolta’s character in “Grease.” Danny dumped Sandy, Olivia Newton-John’s character, no doubt running from a summer romance that wouldn’t make him look cool to the guys in school. Sadly, I was not cool. I went from hurt to mad. What a coward he’d been not to tell me face to face. When school started, I never spoke to him again. Second dumb move. We were both pretty childish. But, the experience proved to me that Abby’s refusal to talk or eat with Wade could happen.

I dated a few more nice guys before I went steady in my junior year. That boy broke up with me. See a pattern here? He had the
guts to do it in person, probably because he wanted his class ring back. What a waste of angora and pillows of tape painted with different colors of nail polish to match my skirts and sweaters. Does anyone remember the creative ways to make a boy’s ring fit your finger?

I persevered in the romance department until I met my husband in college. I’m grateful I waited for Mr. Right and got my happily ever after. But wait, I’m ignoring poor Abby and Wade. The feud and heartache over the breakup wasn’t all that stood between them. They clashed over a student of Abby’s. Like most of us, they saw the situation from the bias of their past experiences. Thankfully, they matured and changed. Thanks to me. 🙂  Yes, romance isn’t easy. But, Wade and Abby got their happy ending.

Can anyone relate to romance woes? Have a breakup story to share? Are you grateful you broke up? Does it hurt still? No full names, please.

For a chance to win a signed copy of An Inconvenient Match, please leave a comment.

Visit Janet online at: www.janetdean.net, www.janetdean.blogspot.com and at her group blog www.seekerville.net

Guest Blogger

46 Comments

  1. I had a crush on an older classman. He finally noticed me and we dated throughout the summer. When school restarted in the Fall, he never had the guts to tell me that it was over. He just started dating a Freshman girl. I’m glad that it didn’t work out because anyone who doesn’t have the guts to tell you honestly to your face that it’s over, isn’t worth thinking about.

  2. Good morning, Laurie. I couldn’t agree more. That’s why my heroine, Abigail, in An Inconvenient Match struggled with forgiveness. Of course, Wade had his reasons. Thanks for stopping by!

    Janet

  3. It’s so nice to see you here Janet. I love the Love Inspired Historicals line. As for romance woes, I never had a steady boyfriend. I didn’t get married until I was 29, but it was so worth the wait because my husband is the best!

  4. One of the worst dates (there were many!!) I ever had was this nice-looking guy I met at a dance place. I was sitting on a stool on one side of this bar-like partition, and he was sitting on the other. We struck up a conversation and he was nice, so I said yes to a movie date. Right at that moment, my friends dragged me out of the dance place to go somewhere else, so I said good-bye, hopped off the stool and left. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door for our date and my line of vision dropped two feet. Yep, the poor guy was all of five foot to my 5’5″ in heels, and I was mortified. But the real kicker was when we were in the foyer after the movie, he asked me to take my glases off (I wore glasses to watch movies only and had forgotten to take them off). “I want you to meet my parents over there,” he said with a squint, “and you look better without glasses.” Yeah, right, I thought, and you’d look better with another foot of height, but you don’t see me complaining, do you??

    Fun post, Janet, and I JUST finished An Inconvenient Match and at the risk of repeating myself — it’s your very best yet, seriously. LOVED it and will write a review today, hopefully.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  5. Hi Lori D! I’m delighted you love the lIH line! I do, too, as a reader and a writer.

    A great husband is worth the wait and all those frogs who didn’t turn out to be princes. 😉

    Janet

  6. I’m chuckling, Julie, at your story. Not fun to tower over your date, but worse to realize he’s a dork. LOL

    Never fret about repeating yourself when it comes to praise for my book. LOL Guess we are a mutual admiration society. Your books are fabulous!!

    Hugs,
    Janet

  7. I think I can relate to the dumping thing…and the calling. (I look back and cringe at how pathetic that was) I tell my daughter now that she is to never call a boy…EVER. And if he shows up on the date with no money, she’s to call me. (The things I put up with back then boggle my mind) Although, I’m happy to see I have a backbone now. And once I got one, I found the right man. 🙂

    Katylee(at)katyleebooks.com

  8. Hi Katy Lee, great advice to your daughter! I suspect guys respect a girl who stands up for herself. Glad you found your backbone and your man.

    Janet

  9. Since I got married at 30, I definitely have some stories to tell, most of them bad. 🙁 With one guy in college, we kind of hung with a group, although he and I were paired off. After he behaved horribly at one group event, I think we kind of came to an unspoken agreement that it was over and we never saw one another again. Low and behold, at least a year after we all graduated and we had all dispersed (?) to various cities, he hunts down my parents’ phone number on the farm and finagles my Dad into giving him my phone number, saying he’s an “old friend.” His phone call apologizing for his behavior and then asking to get together had to be the shortest conversation on record. My response: “Uh, no.” It was a blessing that I was expecting the call!
    The only thing I was ever smart on with dating was, when I was done, I was DONE.

    Absolutely loved “An Inconvenient Match,” Janet! I have wanted to loan it to others, but can’t part with it. If I win a copy, I will pass it on. I guess I really don’t need two….love that book, though. I thought about mailing it to someone in the movie industry. I’m serious! 🙂

  10. Good morning and welcome to the Junction, Janet! We’re so glad you stopped by for a visit.

    Dating woes weren’t too much of an issue for me—I hardly dated. Then in college I saw my future hubby and fell like a rock. Definitely worth the wait.

  11. The things we put up when we’re naive. You can’t change a frog into a prince.

  12. Fun post Janet! So good to see you at Petticoats & Pistols!

    I don’t really have a somebody did somebody wrong story. In graduate school, I met the man I was sure I’d end up with, probably would have married him at any time if he asked. And he was a good man, as far as I know still is. Things just didn’t work out, and I was heartbroken for a couple years. But as time went on, I realized if things had worked out I wouldn’t have become the person I am, or had the experiences I’ve been blessed with. And I’m so thankful everything turned out the way it did.

    Funny thing was I think my grandmother was more upset than I was. He was studying to be a chiropractor and she had visions of free adjustments for years to come. :o)

    Can’t wait to read AN INCONVENIENT MATCH! I’m already looking forward to meeting Wade and Abby.

  13. Oh this looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.

    agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. Um, Janet…I’m having trouble imagining you at 4-H camp!!!

    Sorry about your dating disappointments, but I think you held out for a really cute and fun guy!

    As for me? Total wallflower. Before meeting my hubby, the few dates I had (count ’em on one hand!) never called back after numero uno. Obviously, I had to wait for my own “Mr. Right” to enter the picture, and we will celebrate 40 years this spring!

  15. Cathy, thanks for sharing your guy story. Done is sometimes the best option.

    I’m grateful you enjoyed An Inconvenient Match so much you want to see it in movie form. Wow, what an idea! You have my permission to send. 🙂 Maybe you’ll win another copy.

    Janet

  16. Tracy, thanks for the lovely welcome! Loved your description of falling for your husband like a rock. Now that’s falling hard.

    I was intrigued when I met my husband for the first time. Very.

    Janet

  17. Hi Anon1001, so true, but thankfully there’s a lot of great guys out there, not just in our stories.

    Janet

  18. Oh, Kirsten, your comment about your grandmother has been laughing!! Often hindsight is 20-20, but heartache is hard to go through at the time.

    Janet

  19. Rebecca, thanks for your interest in my book!

    Janet

  20. Hi Myra. Yeah, I’m not much of the camper type but this wasn’t really roughing it. And their were guys around the campfire, no doubt a huge draw. LOL

    Lots of us were shy. I didn’t go to sock hops because I was afraid I wouldn’t be asked to dance and even more worried I would. These days I love to dance. Most floors are crowded so who can tell if we’re any good at it.

    Janet

  21. Janet thanks for sharing a bit about your book and life with us today. I am looking forward to seeing how your characters interact with each other and finally get their HEA!

  22. I can tell you about a blind date as an adult, who wanted to inspect. Not look at, but inspect my manicure. (I don’t manicure). I can tell you it was over before it started.

  23. Janet, so sorry to be late getting here! Hope your book signing went well. I so appreciated getting to know you better today in Wildflowers Junction. Your cover and hook sound wonderful. I love romance because of the HEA…but I know in real life it isn’t always that way. Boo.

    Did I ever have a bad break up? Not a bad one, exactly, and we weren’t exclusive, and he lived hundreds of miles away…but the little letter while I was off student teaching that he’d met another girl in grad school and “told her all about you” didn’t go down very well LOL. But like any rejection thereafter, I gnash my teeth for one day, then get one with things.
    And truly…when he touched base thirty years later during a reunion and told me he’d “crossed over to the other side”, he didn’t mean vampire…he’d realized he was gay. We still email once in a while.
    Best wishes always!

  24. I was only stood up once and it was the best thing that ever happened to me, even tho at 16, it didn’t feel so great at the time. As a friend and I sat on the front steps where she was consoling me, two guys stopped and 2 years later I married one of them. We have been married 48 years.

  25. Hi Colleen! Thanks!!! I love that we can trust romance novels to give us readers a HEA. The fun is seeing how they get there. Trust me, Wade and Abby earned theirs!

    Janet

  26. Tina, talk about audacity! You needed a “The End” stamp for his forehead. Then he’d had something to inspect that mattered. 🙂

    Janet

  27. Hi Tanya, my book signing was great! Loved every minute chatting with readers/friends.

    Nice that you were able to remain friendly. I would like to see the guy who stood me up, just to laugh about what happened.

    Janet

  28. Wow, Connie, talk about a man showing up just when you needed him. I’d call him a hero. Congratulations on the 48 years!!!

    Janet

  29. I married my high school sweetheart so didn’t go through the break-up stage much. A couple of those when in early years of high school.
    Your books sounds great.

  30. Hi Joye, high school sweethearts sounds romantic! I met my husband when I was 18. Young, but not in high school.

    Thanks for your interest in An Inconvenient Match!

    Janet

  31. Hi Janet,

    Your cover is just beautiful…I would have to say that there were breakups that hurt me but then I met my soul mate and he was the love of my life…I lost him this Oct unexpectedly and it has been so hard…We went to the prom together and to make it even sweeter he was not from the area so I had to get permission for him to take to my prom…We were both 17 and we got married when we were 18….He is the love my life….Thanks for sharing this post..

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  32. Ahh, 4-H Camp and County Fair romances. My sisters and I had the disadvantage of being the only ones from our school at the fair and so romances didn’t last much longer than a week or two until we were all old enough to drive.

  33. I had a crush on a boy from school, but it never went anywhere. When I met up with him years later, I knew why, he was Gay and even though he admited to me that he would have pursed me, he knew in the end he would only hurt me. So he did me a favor.. That was the days long before you admitted such things in public. I later learned that he died of aids.. what a terrible waste.

    Thanks for the giveaway

  34. Hi, Janet. Wow, bad dates?
    I once had a boy friend that I broke up with pretty abruptly. I was young and a coward so I gave his class ring to a friend and said, “Tell him I’m breaking up with him.”

    We’d been dating for nine months and I swear we’d barely spoken. (yes, I mean that. Nine months of dates and we’d hardly had a conversation. We were young.)

    Then on a whim about two months later, I phoned him and asked him to go to some school event with me and he said yes. Then he got to the event, we arrived separately, and he never spoke to me or sat with me or had a thing to do with me the whole night and everyone knew we were supposed to be together.

    I was humiliated. And you know what, of all the things we’re left with from high school, all the emotional scars from slights and awkward stuff we do, for some reason, this one doesn’t really bother me. I think I had that coming. I hope he felt avenged. I deserved it.

    Except I was just a kid so I forgive myself, too. And btw, he ended up being a cheating jerk–I knew his first wife. I was well rid of him.

  35. I don’t think there is a person that hasn’t had a “bad breakup” is there? I am grateful for my most “hurtful” one though because then it paved the way for me to meet my husband of almost 27 years! Funny how that works! We only had 2 dates before we got engaged but we both just “knew” that it was right and obviously after all this time, it was!

    I love the cover of your book and the story sounds like it’s another great book from you!

  36. Melinda, my heart goes out to you in the loss of your dear husband. What precious memories you have of your life together. I am writing a sticky note and will pray for you.

    God bless you.
    Janet

  37. Hi Hilltop Farmer! Getting a driver’s license didn’t add much to my freedom since my family had one car. However a girlfriend’s family had a car and a truck so she provided our wheels. We’d circle a drive-in in town. Stop at McDonalds for food then park at this teen spot and order a drink. Hoping to be noticed by cute guys. We had a lot of fun pretty much doing nothing. Ah, sweet memories of my wild youth. 🙂

  38. Kathleen, a tragic end of a life.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Janet

  39. Hi Mary, we were all very young when we were having our hearts broken or, in your case, breaking hearts. High school was fun and hard. The desire to fit in is strong. Probably the reason I still see girlfriends from that time. We clung to each other during all the ups and downs of those years.

    Janet

  40. Valri, you and your husband were close to love at first sight! Did your family worry that you got engaged after only two dates?

    Janet

  41. Janet,

    Thank you for praying for me….It is appreciated from the bottom of my heart…I miss my Tommy so very much…..I love him for always….

    Melinda

  42. I don’t have any great stories. But a couple of times I was in a serious relationship, and I was the ONLY one who knew it…

  43. No heaartbreak here. I guess I was lucky. I dated a bit in high school, but never got really sserious about anyone. In college, I was enjoying school too much to be interested in serious dating. There was a guy I liked a lot, but he made it clear early on that religious differences precluded anything more than friendship. My husband and I were friends in high school and met again 7 years later. We never dated, so there wasn’t a risk of breakup. We got married and almosst 40 years later it is still working just fine. I realize just how lucky I am. I know so many woman who have been hurt badly by break-ups with someone they really cared for. Both my daughters suffered this. The bright spot is they are both married to really nice guys. Idf the earlier break-ups hadn’t happened, they never would have met their perfedct matches. I guess you have to look at it as a painful learning experience.

    THE BEST OF ENEMIES sounds like a good read. I will be looking for it. I hope the release goes well.

  44. Melinda, I’m privileged to pray for you, especially during this very difficult first year.

    Hugs,
    Janet

  45. Sherri! You’re hilarious!! Thanks for the chuckle. And for stopping by.

    Janet

  46. Hi Patricia! Actually I’m blessed too. I was never serious about any of these guys but still breakups hurt. Congratulations on your 40 years of marriage!

    The title of my book is An Inconvenient Match. Best of Enemies is part of the back cover blurb but has the ring of a title. Thanks for your interest in my book.

    Janet

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