Feb 16 2016 11:30am

Well, This Is Awkward: Unconventional First Meetings in Romance

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Today we're thrilled to welcome Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Their recent release of Strong Signal, features two gamers who meet in a video game, but fall in love in the real world. Today, Megan and Santino are here to talk about other unconventional meet-cutes in romance. Thanks, Megan and Santino!

Our recent release, Strong Signal, features two gamers (or gaymers as Kai calls himself) who meet in a video game. It's definitely not love at first sight when their avatars meet, but what happens in the game definitely does not stay in the game. Kai and Garrett end up investigating each other's real selves, revealing a famous streamer and an isolated soldier, and end up conecting in a very real way.

Unconventional meetings in romance novels are fun, unexpected, and sometimes humorous. Here's a list of some of our favorites:

Upside Down by Lia Riley

The first time Talia spies the hero, he’s dressed up in a koala costume and in a fist fight. It’s an amazing way to show how passionate the hero is. The scene is simultaneously awkward and funny, and endeared me to the characters and Riley’s writing immediately.

The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith

Not quite humorous like some of our other pics, this one is no less unconventional. Drake starts his night as his father’s campaign fundraiser, but ends it being conned into buying drugs. The upside is that he gets to watch the beautiful girl on stage at the club sing. I love the image Smith creates as she shows the heroine, Lacey, through Drake’s eyes (and ears) at the first meeting.

Chase Me by Tessa Bailey

What’s a more unconventional meeting than the heroine performing a singing telegram about the hero’s, uh, package, all while dressed in a bunny costume? But it’s not Donnie Darko scary— it’s pretty hilarious, complete with a hungover hero.

Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews

Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews

The first time the two heroes meet, college-student Parker isn’t too happy that his jerk of a TA won’t change his grade. But when strange things begin happening on campus, Parker’s only ride away from the zombie madness is on the back of his TA’s motorcycle. Finding love among brain-eaters is a little unconventional.

Victim of Love by Darien Cox

Olsen is just trying to be alone on the beach at night, until he finds a drunk man who then proceeds to play keep-away with his wallet. It’s an interesting scene because while it’s funny, there is an undertone to the whole meeting—a concern for the tipsy man on the beach—that makes readers want to read on to know his history.

Mnevermind series by Jordan Castillo Price

No one does unconventional meetings like JCP, and this alternate reality gay romance is one of her most unique. In The Persistence of Memory (book 1 in the series) Daniel and Elijah meet in a simulated world, and Daniel can't figure out how or why the mysterious man in black is infiltrating his manufactured memories.


Learn more about or order a copy of Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, out now: 

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes



Megan Erickson

My first stories written in crayon-scrawl on loose-leaf notebook paper were about my childhood pet — a deaf cat with dandruff. And after covering real-life dramas as a journalist, I decided I liked writing my own endings better and switched to fiction. My romance novels full of humor and heart are a far cry from those early scribblings about my hygiene-deficient pet.

I live in southern Pennsylvania, with my husband, two kids and two cats. I like a good pint of beer, a greasy bacon cheeseburger, homemade mac and cheese, and a great book with a happily ever after. When I’m not tapping away on my laptop, I’m probably listening to the characters in my head who just. Won’t. Shut. Up.

I am represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.


Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
What a fun post! My first thought on reading the post's title was of Chase Me; that was an entertaining beginning. I'm looking forward to reading Strong Signal.
2. J.Patrick
I'm so into the model. I can't contain myself. He's enticing me to read Strong Signal. Good work Megan and Santino.
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