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.


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.

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