Linnea March is a contemporary romance author who writes steamy stories about self-confident women and the rugged men who love them.
She lives somewhere in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their two boys, and a plump dog. After fifteen years of teaching early childhood education, she put down the googly eyes and picked up a pen. When not writing, she can be found reading her way through her ever-growing TBR pile while drinking copious amounts of coffee.
She proudly refuses to use umbrellas.
It’s treacherous to picture your best friend naked.
Nathan Ayers prides himself on being likable. He’s the sweetheart bassist of the world’s hottest rock band. He has millions of fans who love his talent, kind smile, and old-fashioned southern charm. He is everyone’s friend, so why can’t Nathan stop thinking about Ilsa in a not-so-friendly way?
Ilsa Kruger is determined. Determined to launch her fashion line. Determined to be as successful as she was as a teenage beauty queen. Most of all she is determined not to let her growing attraction to her friend, Nathan, distract her from her goals.
As they find themselves growing closer, darkness from their past threatens their happiness.
Can they stay together? Or will the perils of fame tear them apart?
Confident there was no sign of the persistent pop star, Ilsa moved to leave their little fern oasis. Then, down the walkway, she caught sight of Brenton Michael’s black-and-white striped jacket.
“Damnit, come here.” Before Nathan could resist, Ilsa pulled his face down until their noses touched. Their breath mingled together in the space between them. Her fingers threaded through his soft brown hair. She had never been this close to Nathan before. His glance flickered from her eyes to her lips. She felt him shift closer, the sweetness of his exhale against her lips. For a brief moment, she forgot why she pulled him so close. The rasp of shoes on decorative concrete brought her back. “Stay like this for a second. Let him think we’re kissing or something,” she said, her words so soft, it was more breath than volume.
Nathan held his face still. His nose brushed against hers. If she shifted at all, their lips would connect. His hand moved from his side to rest on her hip bone, pulling her body closer to his. She could feel every muscle along his body pressing into hers. She moved a step back, and he followed. Her back was to the wall of the house, his firm body pressed against hers. He fixed his attention on her face as they waited to move.
They didn’t speak. They were motionless in their embrace. She saw a building heat behind the green-blue of his eyes as they met hers. The thumb that rested on her hip moved, sending a slow heated line that dove straight to her core. She let out a small gasp at the contact, and his pupils dilated. Against her stomach, she could sense something poking her and realized what it was.
He had a boner.
Nathan, her best friend, her confidante. Because he pressed against her. A boner. She wanted to feel disgusted or embarrassed. She felt none of those things. His body’s reaction to hers turned her on. Hadn’t she been thinking about him naked only fifteen minutes ago? Her tongue darted out, licking her lips. She watched as his eyes flickered to her mouth.
His head tilted to the side. He was going to kiss her. He had a boner, and he was going to kiss her. His head moved against hers, the roughness of his stubble on her cheek until his lips found her ear.
“I think he went the other way,” he whispered.
As he pulled away, he kept her gaze. She realized at some point she had set her hands on his upper arms, grasping them. The powerful muscles under her hands tensed.
“Right.” She dropped her hands from his muscles, folding her arms across her own chest. “Right.”
Nathan stepped back. The absence of his hand on her hip cooled her skin. She felt icy everywhere. She rubbed a hand down her bare arms, wishing she’d brought a sweater to go over her dress. When she left her studio earlier that day, she’d been so pleased with her outfit—an Ilsa Kruger original fitted jade-green dress of charmeuse. Now, bereft of Nathan’s heat, being a walking advertisement for her brand was the last thing on her mind.
Nathan shrugged his jacket off his shoulders, holding it out to Ilsa. “You’re cold?”
Shaking her head, Ilsa forced a smile. “No, you’re a heater. I’m getting back down to a standard fever-free temp.”
“Are you saying I’m hot?” he teased.
Giving him a genuine smile, she relaxed. She was back to joking about pick-up lines with her friend. Momentary erections and impulses to kiss him aside, he was the best friend she had.
He was an attractive man. He had a symmetrical face, beautiful green-blue eyes, and fucking dimples, and he smelled good, like leather and clean soap, and he had a sexy laugh, and he—
Nope. He was a good friend. He was kind and funny, and he was her friend. Friend.
From my earliest memories, I loved reading. I’m never without a book. My love of reading blossomed into writing short stories and poetry. When the pandemic hit, I left my job as an education administrator to help my sons with their distance learning. While home with them I began to write what would be the first few pages of Faultless Notion. From there, I focused on writing full-time.
I write while my children are at school. Working from a converted office space in a linen closet, I will write for a few hours each day. I’m somewhere between a planner and pantser. I will outline each story using the Save the Cat structure, but will allow for exploration if the story needs it.
READ!, camping with my family, watch television, listen to music, hanging out with my family
Take a nap. Take a bit of break before diving back into my self-edits.
Macarons and a glass of wine
This series began because I had an idea for a song, while I am tone deaf musically, lyrics have always been my favorite part of a song. I’ve always loved songs that have a twist to them. This is how I came up with the lyrics of Take Me Back. From there I wrote about a song writer and musician, writing them into a rock star romance fit perfectly. I wanted to write a story about a woman who has been pining after the wrong man, while being blind to the love of her life being right there beside her.
I like to take a little bit of everyone I love and put them in my characters. I won’t pretend I put some of my bad qualities in the characters. I too am messy, and a questionable cook, like Ilsa. I have a friend who is always impeccably dressed even in a tee shirt and jeans. My husband’s love of teasing and corny pickup lines, as well as his comfort in being exactly who is, I wrote into Nathan. My husband loves Kenny G, unironically. I wanted a love interest like that.
The pressure to have it be as good as Faultless Notion. Nathan and Ilsa are very different characters than Keller and Eloise.
Coming up with pick-up lines for them. I have about 50 I compiled, hand selecting them for each scenario.
Oddly, a few historical romances. I loved the friends to lovers trope in Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, as well as Sarah Maclean’s Bareknuckle Bastards Series. Reading Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sisters book was also inspiring, I loved the depth to her characters and wanted to emulate that in my own.
Mostly it was songs that inspired me. I listened to a ton of Maisie Peters, Foo Fighters, The Head and the Heart, Taylor Swift, Wet Leg (tell me Chaise Longue isn’t their song) and Elsa and Emilie.
Why are you making me choose?! Okay. This one I love.
Ilsa took a deep breath. His words stirred deep behind her ribs. How could he be so resolute? How could he know his feelings so well? All her life, she’d known nothing but doubt and shame around trusting someone else. Years of disappointment and erecting walls around herself to never have to give herself over. And yet here was Nathan, giving his heart to her to be destroyed. It was terrifying.
Ilsa for sure. Fiercely loyal to her friends, amazing fashion sense, ability to work with super long nails, consummate blanket stealer. What’s not to love