Publication date: February 10, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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The Boyfriend List follows twenty-year-old Reagan in her quest for the perfect relationship after a somewhat tragic spring break breakup leaves her disillusioned about love… again.
Reagan had always prided herself on making levelheaded, practical, analytical decisions about everything. Everything, that is, except where guys are concerned. Which was proven to her, once again, when her “boyfriend” opts to take another girl on their oh-so-romantic trip to his lake house. In order to prevent future heartbreak, she creates a checklist of all the qualities she wants in a man, and vows not to give her heart away again until she can determine if they fit every last criteria.
After scouring campus with her two best friends in her tricky journey, her detective work returns a pile of unworthy rejects, and it seems as though her choices are narrowed down to only two options: the hot stranger who’s inspired her new project, and her best guy friend Ian, who she’s always kept at bay due to his perceived playboy reputation.
Reagan gets more than she bargained for with her new set of rules, however, and is surprised to find that love, and the perfect boyfriend, may have been within reach the entire time. But will Ian’s reputation ruin his chances to prove his worth? And can Reagan let go of her insecurities long enough to even give him a chance?
The Boyfriend List is a light, New Adult romance about friendship, trust, and learning to let go in order to embrace what real love can offer.
Renee’ Novelle is Preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart.
As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems.
Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.
In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. She writes psychological and paranormal thrillers, as well as contemporary fiction and new adult fiction. For a complete schedule of upcoming releases, please visit www.RSNovelle.com
Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you're meant to be.
Maybe she needed to get some fresh air, she decided. Go for a walk, clear her head. Anything to distract her focus from her thoughts and reset her mind back on her paper.
Decision made. She shut down her computer, set aside her books and wrapped her long hair into a somewhat sloppy bun on the top of her head. Reagan had contemplated a light sweatshirt to ward off the last cold brisk of winter that clung to the night air in stubborn resignation, then decided against it. But before she’d even left her bedroom, she turned back and yanked it off her bed after all. Apparently she was having a hard time making up her mind about everything that night.
Zipping it halfway up her torso, just below her breasts, she crept quietly out the front door and turned to lock it behind her. A quick breeze whipped its way around the corner and down the corridor, and as a shiver worked its way up her spine, she was thankful she’d listened to her intuition. Maybe she should do that more often.
But just as Reagan turned to go down the stairs and head out on her walk, she was met – nearly head on – by an unexpected sight. Ian stood before her, mildly drunk but mostly sober, looking as surprised to see her as she was to see him. It was clear he’d been out for a night of fun, though she’d seen him far worse on more occasions than she could count on both hands. But it was also just as clear that, once again, he’d come home alone. She couldn’t help the little smirk of satisfaction that turned up at the corners of her mouth on that discovery, though internally she chastised herself at the thought.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” His voice danced over the words with dramatic flair, an indicative side effect of his inebriated condition.
It took her a minute to find her voice. “I need a break.” She finally explained, “This essay’s killing me and I want to clear my head.”
“Nice jacket.” He flicked the toggle of her zipper, and Reagan felt it flutter in her core. “Want some company?”
The flutter was moving faster at the suggestion. His eyes had grown dark, almost as dark as the night sky, and she thought she saw something in them that begged her to say yes. Suddenly, she wasn’t so sure she needed her sweatshirt any longer, since the temperature seemed to have risen up all around her, working a pink tint into her cheeks. She was glad it was so dark out, hopefully he couldn’t tell this time. “Aren’t you just getting in though? You’re probably tired...right?”
Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes... she chanted in her head. The truth was she very much would’ve loved his company, maybe a little too much, but she wasn’t certain she trusted herself around him yet...alone...in the middle of the night. There were too many possibilities, too many temptations that her imagination could come up with. If she acted on any one of them, and was wrong in her assumption, well the let down could be brutal at best.
“Tired? Me?” He shook his head and made a face at the suggestion. “The party was just getting boring. Too many of the same people, not worth the time.” Was he implying that she was worth his time then? Reagan certainly hoped so, considering how long they’d been friends. But she couldn’t help wondering if there was something more behind the words. “So what do you say? Can I walk with you?” And as he tilted his head in that subtle way that only Ian could, a dimple working it’s way into the corner of his cheek, she felt her breath rush out of her lungs.
He’d put the ball back in her court again. Damn him! There’d be no getting around it this time, she’d have to give him a definitive answer. And quickly. Reagan knew she should say no. There was something inside, warning her that it wasn’t a good idea. As though accepting his innocent invitation would somehow change things. Alter their relationship and shift their energies toward one another in a way that could never be put back again. But, when she really thought about it, hadn’t they kind of done that already?
And yet everything inside of her wanted to scream yes, and keep the momentum of what they’d started earlier in the day moving forward. It wanted to let him take her hand in his, entwine her fingers around his, as though it was the most natural thing in the world for them to be doing. All she could manage though was a simple nod, stiffened by the breath she held tightly in her chest. It was almost as though she was afraid to acknowledge what she wholeheartedly wanted, even to herself, because doing so would only leave her open and vulnerable to a future of regrets and failures.
Where are you from originally?
Originally I was born in the tiny little town of Ashland, Kentucky. But we moved pretty quickly, and I grew up almost all of my life in Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!). Living in a city that kind of revolves around the college there, and is comprised of mostly college students gave me some great material for my upcoming New Adult stories.
Tell us your latest news?
I’m so, so excited to have just released my first New Adult romance! I had so much fun writing this book, and I really hope that readers will be able to connect with the characters. I had originally planned it as a single title, but I’ve received so many requests asking for more of Reagan and Ian that I’ve decided to turn it into a trilogy! I’m really excited to explore the next step in their journey together.
Where do you get your ideas?
It depends on what genre I’m writing in. Sometimes they come from real life events and experiences. Other times they’re inspired by pieces of a news story I’ve heard or something in the community. But lately my muse likes to drop them into my head at 3am while I’m trying to sleep.
What is your writing process?
I generally tend to think of the title first (I work backwards like that), and then form the general concept of the story around that. I sit on this for weeks, months, even years in some instances until I feel like I know the story and characters well enough to plot the whole thing out. After writing a detailed outline, I start the first draft and edit as I go. Then I give it one or two more edits before passing it on to my proof readers/beta readers. I tend to write quickly, so once I have an outline and commit to writing a story, I usually have it done in 2-3 months.
Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
I think I pull aspects of personalities from my real-life friends, but there isn’t a character that is completely someone I know. I based a lot of Ian’s characteristics, the way he loves and his attentiveness to those he cares about, around the person I’m in love with. They’re very much alike in that regard. And I’ve had friends like Petra in the past who are so outgoing and confident in every situation.
Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
Absolutely! I think as a writer it’s hard not to. You want the characters to be relatable and feel real, so I’m constantly giving them my own insecurities and strengths, and relying on my own experiences to portray a particular moment. But even more than that, I often find that my characters are enjoying my favourite type of coffee or tea, or that the color nail polish that I’m wearing as I write a scene is the color they’re wearing as well.
Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself and if you did where did you get the inspiration?
I designed the overall concept and feel of the cover, but I worked very closely with a professional graphic artist to bring it all together. I understand my limitations, and I think it’s very beneficial to utilize professionals whenever possible. And I enjoy the collaboration of working with someone else, bouncing ideas off each other and watching the process of the image coming to life.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee!!! I live for caffeine. But a nice cup of tea helps me unwind after a long day of writing.
What do you do outside of writing?
I also still write as a freelance journalist for magazines. But when I’m NOT writing, I enjoy the beach, going to concerts or musicals, trying a new restaurant, or exploring a new city. Since I spend so much time at my desk, I really enjoy activities that will get me outside and active.