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July 05, 2011

Every week I rewrite the opening pages of a romance novel to make it a bromance novel. This week: Dear Cupid by Julie Ortolon

Dear Cupid,
Do you believe in bro-love at first sight?
--Seriously Trippin'

Dear Seriously Trippin',
Absolutely! But then, I always enjoy a good fairytale.
In the real world, bromance takes a bit longer. What appears to be brolove at first sight is actually a subconscious recognition of a potentially compatible bromate; a premonition, so to speak, of what could be. Only time can tell if the premonition can come true.

Kevin needed a bro. Any man would do. Well, maybe not any man, he amended as he glanced around the gate area of the Los Angeles airport. The businessmen pacing around the window looked too edgy; the grandfather with an armload of Disney souvenirs too old; and the two men in the corner looked a little too interested in each other for his purpose.

What he needed was a nice, reasonably attractive sort of man. Someone friendly. Approachable. But not a bitch. Someone he could just chill with. That was all. Just chilling.

The last thing he wanted was the turmoil of a serious relationship. Bromance, on the other hand, was an entirely different matter. His job required a certain amount of bromance in his life, or so he'd been informed that morning by Gwen, owner of FreeBeer.com, the online magazine that ran his advice column.

Turning his head, he saw a new passenger stroll into the gate area. His skin prickled with interest at the sight of the new man, an odd occurrence since he wasn't Kevin's usual type. He used to hang with dark-haired men in Armani suits who wore power as easily as other men wore denim. That description, however, matched his ex-best-bro a little too closely.

Which is why the newcomer was perfect.

He had the sun-streaked hair and rich tan of someone who spent a lot of time in the tanning salon. The Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants gave him a lived-in look that surprisingly appealed to Kevin.

When he reached the ticket counter, he lifted his blue-mirrored sunglasses and smiled at the ticket agent. Kevin's heart did something it hadn't done in years; it gave one hard thump against his ribs. The man had a devastating smile with perfect white teeth. Generous laugh lines winged out from his eyes. As for his bod, Kev couldn't quite tell if muscle or flab moved under those baggy close, but he liked the taper of his body: broad shoulders down to a small waist. Total wingman material.

Kevin wondered if the man already had a bro.