Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Friendships In Sweet Romance by Merri Maywether

 When I pick up a sweet romance novel, I look for three things, the small town setting, the friends, and of course, the happily ever after. 

The small town's setting, via the element of proximity, is the doorway to romance. It’s hard to get away from people when everyone shops at the same grocery store, eats at the same burger place, and attends the same signature activities, like the annual zucchini festival. There is always a sense of anticipation.

Will Mabel win the blue ribbon for her chocolate zucchini pie again this year?  Of course. She always wins. But, the two people on their way to happily ever after–that’s something that will catch the eyes and hearts of everyone involved with the story.

Because book friends give the character the space for candid honesty, they add flavor to the love story. Book friends are the listening ear, the shoulder to lean on, and the speaker of the wise words the character (and sometimes the reader) need to hear. I’ve learned to be a better friend through the actions of many best friends in sweet romance stories. 

When the friends guide the character to see that it’s his or her turn at love, I giggle with delight. In Lyn Cotes, Mavis’s Forever Christmas, there is a scene where the calls-it-as-he-sees-it character stated what he thought was obvious. We all need that person in our lives. 

Josie Riviera’s 1-800-Summer highlights how friends rush to action when the character needs help. It sweetens those salty moments in life while setting the foundation for the characters to believe in love.

And there is the friend that gets in trouble alongside the character. In my book Paradise Hills Summer, my cast of friends unknowingly set up a blind date for my main character with her ex-fiancé. In true friend fashion, they stick by her side, and the eight of them ended up sitting around her living room eating out of takeout boxes. 

There are so many more variables of small-town sweet romance friendships, and I am a softy for all of them. I know I barely grazed the list of great friends in stories. So please share in the comments. What type of sweet romance friend do you like reading about?

💝 💝 💝

They moved to Paradise Hills, Montana for a second chance at life. Faith and Clark found each other.  Paradise Hills Summer is a story about second chances and the power of love.


Paradise Hills Summer is 99¢ at your favorite online retailer.

| Get Paradise Hills Summer


  1. I love sweet, small-town romance, too, Merri. And thanks for the shout-out for my sweet romance, 1-800-SUMMER.