Ep #203


This week host Danielle continues our Friends to Lovers theme with special guest author D. Rose and discuss the prolific Black indie romance community


> DANIELLE (she/her) is the voice behind LoveReadListen.com where she writes about her adventures in reading romance, YA, and audiobooks. Danie has a passion for promoting Black Romance and can’t wait to share her favorites with you. When she’s not reading, Danie enjoys anime, cartoons, and hip-hop. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DanieReads


> D. ROSE (she/her) is a blogger and author based out of the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia area). She writes contemporary romance with African American heroes and heroines that are guaranteed to fill your heart. Since childhood, she has always had a passion for reading and writing. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family. You can also follow D on Twitter @authordrose and on Instagram @whoisdrose



NOTE: These notes include affiliate links to Bookshop.org and Amazon.com to support the RomBkPod transcript project

NOTE: This episode was recorded in mid-August during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020

> Title: The Sweetest Love (For Keeps #2)

Author: D. Rose

Relation to theme: Selimah & Malik, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3kzylDK

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50232555-the-sweetest-love

> Danielle mentions True Love for Christmas by D. Rose

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-danielle-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/32ulTz6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49942499-true-love-for-christmas

> Title: Cherie Amour

Author: D. Rose

Relation to theme: Jasmine & Jamaal, best friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: alcoholic parent

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-danielle-s-recs

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3c1yY5V

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44013459-cherie-amour

> We hope you’re familiar with the Stevie Wonder classic “My Cherie Amour” but if not, here’s a YouTube link

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjufjv4rH0s

> D mentions her book Because of Love (For Keeps #1)

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2RJH89U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45715894-because-of-love

> Title: A Good Luck F*ck

Author: Nicole Falls

Relation to theme: childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: beginning of the COVID pandemic, grandparent in nursing home (no deaths occur)

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3ivWKJU

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52511775-a-good-luck-f-ck

> Title: Go Deep (Unexpected Lovers #1)

Author: Rilzy Adams

Relation to theme: Navaya & Xander, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: cheating ex (past) 

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Rpwrcl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54290559-go-deep

> Title: The Winter Date (A Love for All Seasons #2)

Author: Tiye Love

Relation to theme: Winter & Chad, childhood friends

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: broken engagement, evil ex

Bookshop: not available

Kindle: https://amzn.to/35VGLRX

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49256017-the-winter-date

> Title: Noelle the First (Holliday Sisters #1)

Author: Nicole Falls

Relation to theme: Noelle & Jay, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: past parental death, evil/unfaithful ex

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2RpJ7jt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37616923-noelle-the-first

NOTE: We previously discussed this book in RBP ep #115

> D recommends the Love Always series by Jacinta Howard

>> Better Than Okay (Love Always #1)

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3khT7YA

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22061448-better-than-okay

>> More Than Always (Love Always #2)

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FjtLuz

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24933220-more-than-always

>> Less Than Forever (Love Always #3)

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FxD6i7

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25754148-less-than-forever

> Title: Blind Expectations

Author: Jacinta Howard

Relation to theme: Leah & Trevor, neighbors to friends to lovers to marriage

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: social Issues, abandonment 

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FxEam6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33553900-blind-expectations

> Title: In Tandem (Equilibrium #2)

Author: Christina C. Jones

Relation to theme: Friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3mD8pJr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52057044-in-tandem

> Title: Ready

Author: Bria Felicien

Relation to theme: Jade & Bryce, friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs, Sports Romance

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/32Sdi9s

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35400361-ready

> Title: Displacement (A Building 402 Novella)

Author: Alexandra Warren

Relation to theme: Monte & Nicole, friends to lovers, forced proximity

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/lists/host-danielle-s-recs/

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2ZUbD15

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43710188-displacement

> Title: Benefriends

Author: Chencia C. Higgins

Relation to theme: Aisha & Shad, childhood friends to lovers

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Bookshop: unavailable

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3cllodP

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43610387-benefriends

> Which favorite #BlackRomance friends to lovers reads did we miss? Tag us @RomBkPod or share with us in the comments

Happy Reading!


Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar

From the Free Music Archive

CC BY-SA 3.0



Danielle [00:00:00] Welcome to RomBkPod: Inclusively Yours. It’s Danie here with our September episode, and we’re discussing friends to lovers. I have D. Rose here, like, my, I’m her number one fan. If you say you’re her number one fan, I will fight you. I’m her number one fan. She’s the author of 17 books, and she’s just my favorite. Welcome, D. 

D. Rose [00:00:26] Thank you for having me, Danie. You might have to fight my mom for the number one spot, but… 

Danielle [00:00:32] Oh, where she live at? 

[00:00:33] <laughter> 

D. Rose [00:00:39] She’s just down the Beltway. We’re not too far, we’re not too far. 

Danielle [00:00:43] Because, like, to me your characters are like so well rounded. Like nothing like how I was at any of the ages of your characters, and I forget that you’re young. And you were talking about your dad, and I was like dang her father’s like a couple of years older than me. 

[00:01:05] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:01:05] Oh, like, man. I’m like, I’m all like. So, like this is like my, my little cousin. My little niece or whatever. Like, that’s, that’s that you…like your books are like so like, sometimes, like I know I was reading somebody before and I could tell the author was young because I just found it the, the things they did, they sounded young. 

D. Rose [00:01:27] Right. 

Danielle [00:01:27] What your character is, even though they range in ages. It’s not like they’re too old, but the maturity level of them and the way they approach things is just…like I said, I was not that way when I was that age. I really love how you how rich you write your characters that anybody can relate to. Like you say, like at my age, somebody younger could probably really. So, they’re just so well rounded. I just love that. 

D. Rose [00:01:56] Thank you. I try to, try to put myself in those situations but not so much that it’s not them. Because like you said, I’m in my 20s, so my characters, you know, they’re in their late 20s, early 30s. So, I’m like, “OK. How would they handle this?” You don’t want to do it too immature. And it’s like, OK, you don’t want to do too maturely. So, I try to think about how we’d handle it and some of my peers that range in those ages, you know, to make it authentic because you want the reader to enjoy the experience and have enjoyed the well-rounded characters. 

Danielle [00:02:26] Yeah. Yeah, today, like I said, we’re talking about friends to lovers. So, I’ve read Cherie Amour, that was friends to lovers. True Love for Christmas. 

D. Rose [00:02:38] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:02:38] That was so cute. And, I started The Sweetest Love. And I really like how it was different in a way, because in the beginning of the book, they’ve already crossed that line… 

D. Rose [00:02:55] Right. 

Danielle [00:02:56] To lovers from friends. 

D. Rose [00:02:56] Right. 

Danielle [00:02:57] So it’s like, how do we move forward from here? Do we start a relationship or do we continue to be friends? 

D. Rose [00:03:05] Right. 

Danielle [00:03:06] So what is it that draws you to write friends to lovers? What do you like about that trope? 

D. Rose [00:03:10] So, I just…I don’t know. I guess because I never experienced that, like, falling in love with your best friend. I always wonder how it will play out and just watching or reading how everything unfold, like, for example, with The Sweetest Love, like they’ve known each other since they were children, but they didn’t really cross that line until adulthood. So, it’s like, what was that moment where they were like, I like you or I love you or like, let’s cross this line and see where we can go. And it’s just always so sweet to see people who were like best friends become lovers. It is just really sweet watching it unfold. Even like the Lifetime or Hallmark movies, it’s just so sweet. So, like, I enjoy reading them like friends to lovers is my favorite trope to read also. But just writing and watching it unfold is just really…just make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So, yeah. 

Danielle [00:04:08] Yeah, I know a couple of times when I’ve read love triangle books… 

D. Rose [00:04:15] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:04:15] And one of the guys is the best friend. If I could see it her start leaning towards, he not gonna be the hero, I’ll just DNF it. Like, I don’t want to read this no more.

[00:04:21] <laughter>

Danielle [00:04:25] Like I don’t care about the other guy. Like the best friend, he’s been holding it down and you just gonna go with this…never mind. DNF. I don’t even want to know. 

D. Rose [00:04:37] He knows you. You know him. You guys know everything there is to know about each other like, it’s just…just, just reading it and watching it just give me all the feels. 

Danielle [00:04:47] So, um, when I was…like sometimes with me… 

D. Rose [00:04:51] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:04:51] My mind will go here and there. So I’m thinking about the trope and I’m like, I like it!  And then, I was like, sometimes it can be cliche. And then I was like, well, really not. I just work things out with my mind. And so, I’m just…there’s really like a whole lot of ways you can approach it. 

D. Rose [00:05:07] Right. 

Danielle [00:05:07] And I was thinking about how with your book, you approached it differently. So, like with Cherie Amour, they became friends as adults. 

D. Rose [00:05:18] Right. 

Danielle [00:05:18] And they just hit it off. And they were both at a point where they were like, “fuck relationships.” You know, “we’d just go be out for ourselves.” And that’s what made them click together. And then, like you said, with The Sweetest Love, it was they had grew up together. 

D. Rose [00:05:37] Right. 

Danielle [00:05:37] And then they crossed the line as adults. And then with your one True Love for Christmas, they were college friends and then they separated. 

D. Rose [00:05:45] Right. 

Danielle [00:05:45] But they always had their friendship and came back together. 

D. Rose [00:05:49] Yes. 

Danielle [00:05:49] And I was just thinking, like, it’s so many different ways you can approach this trope. And each way you’ve done it, you’ve brought a freshness to it to me where it didn’t…because sometimes I’ve read it and I have felt like when I really thought about it, I’m like, it’s not that the trope is cliche, it’s just that the stories that were read and weren’t given it a new twist to it. So, like, I feel like every time I’ve read yours, it gave me something different. And you could probably write the same kind twice, but it’s still hitting me with something different. You’re just good like that. I don’t want to keep bigging your head up, but I really need to big your head up, like… 

[00:06:26] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:06:26] Because it’s just like, I’ve never read anything from you that I didn’t like, like not even something that was just like, oh, just OK. Like, I really like everything you do. So it’s just, I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It’s just good. But do you think you can be friends with someone you’re attracted to? I just was thinking about that when I was reading books like…do you think if you can be friends with someone you’re attracted to? 

D. Rose [00:06:56] I think that you could be friends with someone you’re attracted to. I don’t think you always have to act out on that attraction. And sometimes the attraction can just it can be something that withers away, eventually. It doesn’t, I don’t think I always have to be like physical attraction. It can be an emotional attraction like they were with you when something happened and it just made you feel something about them. But I do think you can be friends of someone you’re attracted to. You don’t always have to act out on that attraction or explore that attraction. It could just be, “I like this person because of this, but we still just gonna stay in this friend lane.” 

Danielle [00:07:32] Right. Right. So, let’s talk about your books. 

D. Rose [00:07:37] Oh. 

Danielle [00:07:37] When you wrote Cherie Amour, what did you start with, you know, “I want to write a friends to lovers,” or how did you approach that book? 

D. Rose [00:07:47] When I wrote Cherie Amour, I was like, I guess I’d say I was at a crossroad. I don’t really know if I wanted to continue writing or I guess I was trying to figure out if this was really for me. So when I wrote Cherie Amour, I really had no real goals or like intentions. I don’t know where the story was going. I just started writing and it was my first book in third person. And so, I’m like, OK, so now you’re doing a lot: you’re writing a friends to lovers for the first time, you’re, you’re writing in third person, you know, you started this book and you haven’t outlined a chapter. I started outlining them eventually just to keep up with, you know, some of the details. But when I wrote Cherie Amour, it was more of like a something to prove to myself, you know, like, “You can do this. You have it in you.” And it’s really like one of those books I got all… like people ask me my favorite books, and I always, you know, I’m always yelling out Because of Love. But Cherie Amour really reminded me, you know, “you’re a great writer. You can do this. You can write in first person, third person, you know, friends to lovers.” And Jasmine was one of my–I don’t want to say difficult because that’s not how I view her–but she was one of those heroines really had a lot of layers to her. 

Danielle [00:09:08] Yes. 

D. Rose [00:09:09] Yeah. She had a lot of layers. So, delving into the layers of Jasmine was interesting to do. And I really took my time. I wrote that book. I started in December and I finished at the end of January. So, I took my time with that book. I wrote it like a little over a month. But yeah, that was my process with Cherie Amour and I was listening to Stevie Wonder a lot during that time. Well, I listen to Stevie Wonder all the time, but he was like the artist. Like, I was listening to every album while writing that. And that’s where I got the title of the book from and it’s also the nickname that Jamaal had given her. 

Danielle [00:09:48] Right. Yes. One thing I liked about that book is how it showed, like, the difference in friendship between her and Jamal because, like, you have best friends, like I have best friends, but if you’re knocking on my door at one o’clock in the morning, I’ll be like, “hold up.” You know, like it…”ain’t nobody been murdered or something. Like, girl, what is wrong with you!” You know, so like…and it they came to a point in the story where her other friends, Isha, and can’t remember the other girls. But they will like our relationship like we’re your best friends, but you and Jamaal your relationship is different. 

D. Rose [00:10:29] Right. 

Danielle [00:10:29] Like you know, it’s not the same. 

D. Rose [00:10:31] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:10:31] When she needed him, he dropped everything and booked a flight to D.C. 

D. Rose [00:10:37] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:10:38] Like from Miami to D.C., like, “OK, no matter what the cost is, she meet me right now I’m there.” Me? I’d be like, “girl, can’t you call your grandmother?” Like, I mean I love my friends but I’m not spending my money on you like that. 

D. Rose [00:10:52] Yeah. That her friends called that out pretty early. They’re like, “y’all are friends…but you aren’t friends like how we’re friends.”. 

Danielle [00:11:00] Right, right. 

D. Rose [00:11:00] It’s a little a little bit more than that. But yeah, it was funny that he dropped everything, came to her. 

Danielle [00:11:09] Oh, and one thing I usually hate… 

Danielle [00:11:13] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:11:13] In books is like meddle, meddling friends. 

D. Rose [00:11:16] Right. 

Danielle [00:11:16] But in friends to lovers I love meddling friends in friends to lovers, ’cause it’s like, “Girl, you know. Girl, you know that’s your man. Like, stop playing with us.” Like, I love it in those books, but I usually hate it in any other books. Like I don’t like friends who meddle, but in friends to lovers when they’re like, “Girl, you know that’s your man. If I try to push up on him, you will fight me.”

D. Rose [00:11:39] Right. Exactly.

Danielle [00:11:40] So, what I usually do is talk about some books that follow the theme that I like. 

D. Rose [00:11:48] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:11:48] I know you…you’re familiar with Nicole Falls? You know her?

D. Rose [00:11:53] Yes. 

[00:11:54] <laughter> 

D. Rose [00:11:58] I know her. 

Danielle [00:11:58] No, she not really known around…she really not known about these parts, you know. And I’ve read A Good Luck F*ck. That was her little, her little um…what was that. 

D. Rose [00:12:11] St. Patrick’s Day. 

Danielle [00:12:11] It’s in my head. Yeah! St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know why…and I had a picture of the cover, the cover in my hear. And I’m like, what day is that? Like…her St. Patrick’s Day novella. And I forget. It don’t matter, yeah. So, A Good Luck F*ck by Nicole Falls, and that was like a really short one, but that was also one of the books where it’s like, they’ve grown up together. They grew up in a neighborhood together. And so, they’ve always been friends. And I like that the heroine’s grandfather character in the book because he was basically like, you know, “You love my granddaughter, you know?” And he’s like, “No, we’re just friends.” And the grandpa was just like, “Mm-hm. you know you lover her.” Like, another meddling parent. Right. Like, I love the meddling parents. Like, you know, y’all in love. So another one that I read that I really liked was Go Deep by Rilzy… 

D. Rose [00:13:17] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:13:17] Adams. I think that’s…it was another set of friends that grew up together and the heroine, her name, was Navaya and I can remember what that man name was, but they were also friends that grew up together, but they never saw each other like as anything more than just friends. 

D. Rose [00:13:42] Right. 

Danielle [00:13:42] You know, their moms were best friends and they always came up as friends. But it never was a situation like, you know, “she is cute” or “he’s cute.” And she’s a romance writer, and I was like, “Rilzy really got in her bag on this one because she, um, when she was saying like…so like in the beginning Navaya had like really bad reviews for her latest book. And like I said, “Oh, she must drew from inspiration could they, the reviews kind of hurt my feelings and I ain’t even read the book. It’s a fictional person,” and I’m like, they really… I said, she must have went on GoodReads like, “Let me look at these reviews see what, see what people say about other people books.”

D. Rose [00:14:27] Right. 

Danielle [00:14:27] But she was really upset about these reviews and she had been celibate for like a year and a half because our last boyfriend had cheated on her. 

D. Rose [00:14:37] Oh, no. 

Danielle [00:14:38] So she calls her best friend up crying. You know, “I need you here. I need your help.” And so, she has this suggestion like, “Well, why don’t you be my mentor dick?” Like, that was her words: mentor dick, like, “Help me find my mojo back. You know, teach me, teach me the ways of the penis, sir.”

D. Rose [00:15:03] Oh man… 

Danielle [00:15:03] Yeah. It really good. So that was like the point where they would changing from friends to lovers. Like I think that’s one of the things I really like because it’s always like, how do you get to this point? Because, like, he was like he always thought of her as, you know, objectively, yeah, she was attractive, but he was like, I’m not attracted to her. And then and like when he just looked at her, then all the sudden he started looking at her in a different light. And I think that’s, that’s one of the things I like about this trope, is that is, is like this turning point where you see like we’re like all of a sudden a light bulb comes on because it’s like, “Oh, well, I wouldn’t mind dating that person,” you know?

D. Rose [00:15:47] It wouldn’t be that bad, you know. 

Danielle [00:15:53] Right. Right. 

D. Rose [00:15:53] He is kinda cute, you know.

Danielle [00:15:54] Yeah. And the big if is like, it’s always, “How is this going to affect the friendship?” You know? 

D. Rose [00:16:02] Right. 

Danielle [00:16:03] That’s like the big…so like in your book in The Sweetest Love. Like it’s already put the strain on their friendship that they cross that line. So, like…do we keep going forward or like what do we do from here? Like…what does your hero’s name? I want to call him Malik, yeah I want to call him Carter. That’s the friend. 

[00:16:29] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:16:33] But he was like, you know, he’s like, “I love her, and I can’t not be like…this separation,” because they were apart for like, what was it this summer? 

D. Rose [00:16:45] Yes. 

Danielle [00:16:45] He’s like, “This separation was just too much on me.”. 

[00:16:49] Right. 

Danielle [00:16:49] “Like, I cannot not talk to you anymore.” And she that the point where she’s like, “This is not going to work a relationship with us, ’cause you a hoe…” 

[00:16:57] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:16:57] “And I’m a housewife.”

[00:16:57] <laughter>

Danielle [00:17:00] He the hoe and she the housewife. She like, “I can’t make you settle down, like for we just need to go back to being friends because this thing is not will work.” Like she not about the drama so she just can’t do it. And he’s like, “Well, if that’s what I gotta do to keep you in my life then…” And, and, like I told you, I haven’t finished it, but I know he’s like, “If this is what I gotta, I gotta do. But I will get you back.” Like, I already know [inaudible], like, he’s like, “I’ll do this if this is what you need me to do.” But they really love each other but it’s just too much other things interfering in a relationship that she just feels like…he’s not ready. And she’s ready and doesn’t want to put her heart all in and not get it, get what she needs back. And I think that’s like one of the biggest things with this trope. It’s like, you have their friendship, but if it doesn’t work out, where do you go from there? 

D. Rose [00:18:15] Right. You can lose your friend. 

Danielle [00:18:17] I think yeah. And I think the biggest one where the risk is kind of bigger are the ones where you grew up with that person or like where your moms are friends or dads are friends because it’s like…you’re still going to see that person. Like still with like even this bigger thing, because I’m the type of person, like if I break up with you don’t talk then to nobody in my family, like the whole family off limits, like… 

D. Rose [00:18:47] [Inaudible] 

Danielle [00:18:51] Right! The last guy I dated, my brother was like, “Did you see what he put on Facebook?” I’m like, “Why are y’all Facebook friends?” He like, “What you mean?” I said, “When we broke up, y’all broke up. Y’all ainn’t supposed to be Facebook friends.” I’m like, “Delete him off the Facebook.” Like, I take the family with me. But when you grow up with somebody, you can’t tell your mom like, “Oh, no, stop being Miss Wanda friend. You can’t be her friend no more,” like… 

D. Rose [00:19:19] Their parents weren’t, Selimah and Malik’s parents weren’t going to do that. They were, they weren’t gonna not talk to each other and…

Danielle [00:19:26] Right. 

D. Rose [00:19:28] Yeah. They’d been friends if they were children. So now their families are intertwined. And Malik…I think, though and Because of Love, the book that comes before that, I drop in my little hints that they’re kind of messing around and then something happens where Selimah was just like, “This is it. This is too much.” But another thing in friends to lovers that I like is when they, when they miss each other like Selimah was ready and he was still being a hoe. And then when Malik was ready, she’s like, “No, because you’re playing games and I’m not doing this. And I’m going to go live my life and maybe we can be friends. We’ll just talk here and there.” And Malik was very sensitive. He was he was tore up about Selimah, like putting distance between them. It was it was their stories was so interesting. 

Danielle [00:20:18] Yes. 

D. Rose [00:20:19] Yeah. Because they’ve been childhood friends. So, it’s like they know everything. And I think Selimah, knowing everything about Malik, like, knowing all the girls that he’s been with before, knowing his ex-girlfriend, like knowing all of that, she’s like, “OK, I’m his best friend. But he could still do that to me. Like, there’s a chance that he could…”. 

Danielle [00:20:35] Right. Right. 

D. Rose [00:20:36] Even though Malik’s like, “I would never do that,” it’s like, but your actions are saying otherwise. 

Danielle [00:20:42] Right. Right. 

D. Rose [00:20:43] Yeah. So, it was, it’s just so many different facets to their relationship, their friendship first. Like she was going to all his home games, she would be in the skybox with his family. It’s just, so many different things. I really enjoyed this story because my friends to lovers, people say that it should be an easy transition, but it’s not. You know… 

Danielle [00:21:06] Right. 

Danielle [00:21:06] Like you said, there’s the risk that I could lose my friend, my best friend, not just, you know, a regular friend or someone, an associate, like this is my best friend. And I could lose them. And is it worth it, I guess that’s always the, the biggest question, is it gonna be worth it? I mean, in, in a romance, of course, it has to be happily ever after, so it is worth it. But just watching that unfold is always interesting for me. 

Danielle [00:21:35] Yes. Because this like, it’s that like, it’s the extra layer of vulnerability because it’s like like you said, especially someone you who you’ve known since you, they know everything about you. They know, you know, because even friends, other friends you can kind of limit how much do you know about somebody like. But when you have someone you’ve grown up with, they know everything about you, especially if they’ve been around your family because, you know, they always have the family tell them the stories and stuff. Boy, if your moms are friends because your mom is going to tell their mom and their mom, you go over here. So, it’s like this extra layer. And like sometimes, ’cause I’m like the type of person, I like spoilers. 

D. Rose [00:22:22] Right. 

Danielle [00:22:22] Like, to me a spoiler doesn’t spoil the story for me because like in a romance, I know there’s an HEA, I know they’re gonna be together at the end. 

[00:22:32] Right. 

[00:22:32] So, but it’s like they know how they get there. That’s the part that’s like exciting to me. It’s like, oh, so what’s gonna happen next? Oh, if somebody gonna do this? Or like, is somebody gonna try to interfere? Or like what’s going to happen next? And it’s like, I’m not an angsty person. 

D. Rose [00:22:50] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:22:50] But friends to lovers gives me just enough angst where I’m not like being neurotic and like, “Oh my god, oh my god!” But if it’s like just enough, ’cause it’s still you get that, will they won’t they. Or if they do, like, I think with friends to lovers, if someone does do something bad you might be more easier to forgive them because of that history. 

D. Rose [00:23:17] Right. 

Danielle [00:23:17] So like, because, like, she felt like he was playing her, but she still wanted to have that friendship. 

D. Rose [00:23:25] Right. 

Danielle [00:23:26] Because it meant so much to her. So, she wasn’t just gonna throw everything away. But then, like I said, after you’ve crossed that line. It’s like how do you continue to move forward? And it’s just, I just love the…what’s the word I’m thinking of? How it all unfolds. 

D. Rose [00:23:44] Right. 

Danielle [00:23:44] I just love that. And, and I’m thinking about when, so a couple books I have on my list that I like, it’s like one of these things that I like it that they do a lot with friends to lovers, where it’s like, “Oh I need a date, ’cause I’m not going to be there by myself,” so then a friend’s like, “Of course I’ll be your date,” it then it’s like, uh-oh, now it’s gonna change because you’re just all of a sudden seeing that person in a different light. And a lot of times I think too it’s like, when someone puts it in your head and their like, “Oh, you’re like a cute couple!” and you’re like, “No, we’re just friends,” but then you’re like, “Wait a minute. We do make a cute couple. Maybe we’re not just friends?”

D. Rose [00:24:29] Right.  

Danielle [00:24:31] And I hesitate and talk about this because I’m just the type of person I don’t like talking about Christmas books out of season. 

D. Rose [00:24:39] Oh… 

[00:24:39] <laughter>

Danielle [00:24:39] I just don’t. And right now, at time of recording, it’s still August. 

D. Rose [00:24:47] Right. 

Danielle [00:24:47] But, I just don’t like talking about Christmas ’cause I have other things to think about. But, this one is called The Winter Date by Tiye Love. And this was a situation where she needed a date to a, um, I believe it was like a class reunion. 

D. Rose [00:25:10] Mm-hm. 

Danielle [00:25:10] She needed a date to a class reunion, ’cause her ex-fiance was gonna be there. 

D. Rose [00:25:16] Oooh. 

Danielle [00:25:16] Right. That’s like, oooh, like, especially a class reunion, like, I gotta show out and if my best friend is fine, of course I’m gonna say, “That’s my man!” She needed a date to the reunion, and she was like, really sour on love because of her ex. 

D. Rose [00:25:37] Right. 

Danielle [00:25:37] And so, her friend is like, and you know it, now that I’m thinking about it, it kinda reminds me of True Love for Christmas because it’s like helping that person get their Christmas spirit back, but also showing them another side of this friend, you know. Because in True Love for Christmas, she was, she was kind of like bummed out about the holiday. 

D. Rose [00:26:03] Yeah, she was. I think it was because she got engaged last Christmas, I think? Is that…? 

Danielle [00:26:09] Yeah! Yeah, that’s what happened. And yeah, yeah. That’s what happened. Is she, oh and that dude was a dudd. I don’t know, sometimes I want to fight these people and I wanted to fight him. I don’t know what to do about Christmas books, but people be writing the worst exes in these Christmas books. And I’m trying to get in the holiday spirit and y’all be making me wanna will fight these people. ‘Cause I’m like, I wanna fight this dude. 

[00:26:38] <laughter>

D. Rose [00:26:39] Yeah, he was like… 

Danielle [00:26:42] You gonna ruin the holiday. That’s what, you’re not supposed to propose on holidays, you ruin holidays for people. Yeah. So, do you have any friends or lovers books you want to recommend? 

D. Rose [00:26:57] Do I? OK. Because this, this is my jam, so, I do have a list which I think if I can remember them off the top. So, well you don’t like talking about Christmas books out of season, but Noelle the First by Nicole Falls.

Danielle [00:27:14] Oh yeah! She was a Grinch, too. 

D. Rose [00:27:15] Yes, she was! That is a really cute friends to lovers. And then it’s like the first book in a series of the Holliday Sisters. So, that one. That’s one of my favorite friends to lovers. Jacinta Howard, her first series is three books, they’re all friends to lovers. The first two follows one couple. The last one follows a different couple. The series, I think is the Love Always series. 

Danielle [00:27:40] Yeah, yeah. 

D. Rose [00:27:40] That one. And then she has another book, Blind Expectations, and I really like that one because this might be a spoiler for some, but they get married and then the book goes through their marriage and there’s not a lot of books… 

Danielle [00:27:56] Ohhh. 

D. Rose [00:27:56] Yeah, so it explores like, you know, we’re friends who become lovers and now we’re married. So, I really like that aspect of it. Ready by Bria Felicien. 

Danielle [00:28:05] I had that on my list. 

D. Rose [00:28:08] Yeah, that was a really cute one. And it’s like, it’s just really cute. That was a really cute one. And I like In Tandem by Chistina C. Jones. That one has little angst to it, I like angsty, so I really enjoyed that one. And it takes place in everyone’s favorite fictional neighborhood, Mahogany Heights. What’s another one that I like? I’m looking at my bookshelf. Oh, Displacement by Alexandra Warren, with the friend, it’s like friends to lovers and close proximity. The heroine, I cannot remember her name, has to move in with her best friend ’cause something happened to her apartment. And within that time their relationship shifts and I thought that was really cute how that happened. So yeah, those are my recs for friends to lovers. 

Danielle [00:28:59] Oooh, that. I’m like, “Wait a minute. You got friends to lovers and close proximity?” I’m like, “How did I miss this? ‘Cause I think have this book.” Because you know, I always like, “Oh, let me get this book,” and then I’m like, “I have this book.” 

D. Rose [00:29:12] Oh, and another one. Benefriends by Chencia C. Higgins.

Danielle [00:29:17] Yeah. 

D. Rose [00:29:18] That’s another cute one. 

Danielle [00:29:19] I’ve read that too. That is super cute. And I like that he was like, um, he was like a like a music journalist because they went to a concert together. And I just, I don’t know, I like concerts in books, I don’t know why I just do. And that stood out to me. They was at a concert together. 

D. Rose [00:29:39] Yeah, I like that one, too. Like I said, friends to lovers. Like, if someone I’ll have to do is tweet or put on Instagram or whatever, I’m writing a friends to lovers and I’m locked in. I’m like waiting, I’m like, “OK, I’m ready. I’m ready. Where is it?” Because they’re just so cute. And when… 

Danielle [00:29:57] They are. 

D. Rose [00:29:57] When there are other elements to it, like with Noelle the First, it was a Christmas book and they’re friends to lovers. So, it’s holiday season now you are warm, fuzzy cause you’re thinking about Christmas. Displacement, they’re in close proximity. It’s like, “Oh, y’all in this one-bedroom apartment together. How’s this going to play out?” Like, she’s only going to be on the couch for so long. 

Danielle [00:30:22] Right. Right. That’s like, that’s like, two things with the friend to lovers. You know, it’s like, sure, we would have a sleepover since we was three. Get in this bed and then her butt, her butt brush up against him and he like, “Oooh!”

D. Rose [00:30:35] We like, we know where this is going. Give it to us. We ready. We’re Ready. 

Danielle [00:30:45] So it was so good talking to you. Like, I’m like so mad about…I mean like, it’s just life. But you had an event once and now wanted to go and I wasn’t able to. And I was like, “OK. I was like, I’m gonna see her sometime this year. I was like, sometime this year I’m gonna see her.” And then all this happen. 

D. Rose [00:31:07] Yes. 

Danielle [00:31:10] I mean, that’s life. 

D. Rose [00:31:10] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:31:10] I mean… 

D. Rose [00:31:10] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:31:10] You know, it is what it is. But I’m gonna have to one day ’cause we’re local. Imma just, I was like, she gonna call me a stalker. I said, ’cause I’m just gonna be like drive past her house like, “Hey, girl, [inaudible].”

D. Rose [00:31:31] I mean, I went to Morgan State and homecoming’s canceled. So, it’s like I’m not…I’m in Baltimore, but it’s cancelled. 

Danielle [00:31:39] Right. Right. Not this year. But yeah, we’ll meet. I know we will. Because I mean, we’re always talking on Twitter so it’s destined to happen. 

Danielle [00:31:50] Right. But it was so good to talk to you. And I just like I said before, I love your books and I love recommending ’em. And you’re doing fabulous. Just let you know you do a fabulous thank you. 

D. Rose [00:32:05] That means a lot. I really appreciate you having me. I listen to the podcast, different episodes, and it’s always…what’s the word I wanna use? Not nice, but I’m always excited when the podcast that I listen to reach out to me and want me to be on their podcast because it’s like… 

Danielle [00:32:24] Right. Right. 

D. Rose [00:32:25] “I’ve listened to you interview this person” or “I listened to you talk about this and now you want to have a conversation with little me?” So, I’m greatly appreciative of this opportunity. 

Danielle [00:32:34] You’re welcome. You’re welcome. And just any new books you have, just just keep them coming. 

D. Rose [00:32:43] I will. 

Danielle [00:32:43] 17 and counting. This is like, you’ve been doing this like two years, right? 

D. Rose [00:32:47] Yeah. Two years. 

Danielle [00:32:48] Two. Yeah, because I think we had your book sale, it was like around two years. 

D. Rose [00:32:56] Yeah. 

Danielle [00:32:56] And when you said the little card with your books on it, I was like, okay, I could use this thing as my little check-off so I know, which was I haven’t read. And then you had came out with like two more books, and I was like, “Goddamnit!”

[00:33:12] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:33:12] I was like, “I’m just gonna write these at the bottom or something.”

D. Rose [00:33:15] I try to stay consistent ’cause there’s people out here that’s releasing every month, and I’m like, “Oh, my God. How do you do it?” 

Danielle [00:33:23] And that’s the thing! Like when people say, like, um, you know, when they tell their favorite authors, they’re like, “Oh, write, faster.” And I’m like, “Get you some more favorite authors, because between we all the ones I like, I got plenty to read.” 

D. Rose [00:33:37] Right. 

Danielle [00:33:37] Between all of my faves and then, you know, somebody or recommends somebody new. And I’m like, “Damn, now I gotta add this person.”. 

[00:33:47] <laughter> 

Danielle [00:33:47] “And then I gotta add that back list.” Look, between Christina C. Jones and Te Russ, that’s my whole year. The whole rest of my year I got to read books. If I, if I read anybody else, that will fill up the rest of my year. 

D. Rose [00:34:04] Right. So, it’s not we need to write faster. You guys, like you said, find new authors to read. We’re out there. It’s, it’s millions out there.