Skate Cute



Skate Cute

by Melissa J. Roche

GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

Kriss heads home to her small prairie town with 98% of an astrophysics PhD, a load of memories she’d rather not think about, and a survival plan: skate and graduate. Her plan doesn’t include the attention of a familiar admirer from the nearby fire station, one with an impressive physique, a hidden singing talent, and a smile dazzling enough to sweep her off her skates. Before she knows it, she’s falling for him—hard.

Chase has settled into the rhythms of his small-town firefighter routine, but he remembers Kriss from high school: the starry-eyed skater girl on her way out the door of his life. Now she’s back, just as gorgeous as ever, spinning around the next-door rink without a care in the world. Or so he thinks, until Kriss is targeted with mysterious acts of vandalism designed to derail her dreams. Can he help Kriss find the courage to stand up under the attacks and trust herself to love again?


The door on the south side of the rink banged against the wall, the noise jerking Kriss out of her emotional puddle. Her eyes flung open and her body surged upward, her head jerking toward the sound and the intruder. Crap, someone from the skate park must have thought the rink was empty and come over to goof off—

But it wasn’t a skater. It was a dude in jogging shorts and a dark navy-blue T-shirt with a fire department logo on the front, one earbud dangling against his collar.

Kriss met his wide eyes for exactly one shocked microsecond before dropping her head in embarrassment.

“Oh… I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “I thought you were… Um. Are you okay?”

She nodded, hastily swiping at her cheeks. But it was too late; he had to have seen the tears already. “Sorry, no, I’m fine. I just… felt like lying down.”

She stole another quick glance at him. He was nodding sheepishly, his arm raised to scratch awkwardly at the back of his neck. A detached corner of her mind noted that his face looked familiar from somewhere. Another very, very detached corner of her mind noted the way his T-shirt stretched over his upper arms with the motion.

“Well, um, glad you’re okay,” he said, his chest bouncing with a hasty chuckle. His voice wasn’t what she was expecting. It was deep, but not too deep, and definitely more… smooth, or something. Maybe resonant was the right word.

About the Author:

Melissa received her first pair of black-and-hot-pink inline skates in fourth grade, a couple of years before she swore her life to the study of the stars (in a fit of sci-fi inspired passion). Two decades later, she has acquired several larger pairs of skates and an astronomy PhD, both of which tend to slip out from under her at the most inopportune moments. She enjoys skating and singing at the neighborhood rink in her small town in Colorado, where she lives with her husband, two boys, and a cozy lap cat. Only one of which is allowed to read her writing over her shoulder.


Q&A With the Author

Who is your favorite author and why?

Oh man, I have to choose?? I’ll go with my favorite romance author, and only the latest at the moment: Sophie Kinsella. I laughed so hard while reading Can You Keep a Secret?, falling in love with the main character Emma and the brilliantly subtle way that Kinsella wrapped her unique voice into the prose. Kinsella and Emma win for romantic comedy, hands down. 

But I also can’t resist dry wit and en pointe humor, and for that Jill Shalvis has stolen a huge chunk of my heart. 

What is your favorite quote and why?

My favorite quote from my book, Skate Cute, happens in the middle of a backyard stargazing conversation between the romantic hero and heroine. The heroine, Kriss, has just finished describing her graduate-level research in layman’s terms, at the request of the hero, Chase. He’s been listening well, enough to summarize her research in a sentence, with a quirky twist:

“So, the galaxies you study have this mysterious inner strength to them that goes deeper than their outward beauty?… And something about curves,” he finished, just as understanding began to dawn on her face.

Her mouth hung open for a moment, so close. “You did not,” she protested hotly, pushing herself onto her own elbow on the blanket to face him down. Even closer now.

“Not what?”

“Just turn my dissertation into a pickup line.”

(Don’t worry, he didn’t. Well, he mostly didn’t. Did it work?… Well, you’ll have to read and find out!) 

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Good writing shows up in many forms, and not all of it is novel writing, but that’s what I’m most familiar with. Good novel writing, first and foremost, requires a solid handle on the elements of storytelling. Excellent novelists understand pacing and the “beats” of a story and a scene, as well as the arcs that characters and plotlines and scenes have to traverse to get from A to a satisfying B. Good novels lead me along with a string of questions in my mind, creating tension and delightful suspense. I’m not talking about just thrillers, either—the best romance novels carry me along a string of questions, too. “How will they meet?” is often followed by “What do they think of each other?” and can lead into “How will she overcome her past?” or similar conflicts between and beyond the characters. It’s the questions, arcs, and micro-hooks within the book that keep me turning pages.

What is your favorite part of this story?

The meet-cute moment. That’s where the story of Skate Cute began, when it popped into my head while I was skating by myself at the rink: Skater Girl has an emotional moment and lies down on the concrete, only to be interrupted by Paramedic Guy who rushes to her “rescue”… then proceeds to sweep her off her skates. 

Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?

This one is so tough, because I love both my main characters! Writing Kriss came easily, because I’ve given her so much of my own backstory—fell in love with astronomy at an early age, persisted through a tough PhD program, loves artistic skating as a means of escape and self-expression. But Chase—swoon—has so much to love as well: quirky humor, huge heart, secret crush on Kriss from high school, closet karaoke talent that Kriss helps bring to life… 

Favorite secondary character? That one’s easy: Chase’s mom Angie wins without a contest. She practically leapt off the pages in Skate Cute with more story to tell, so much so that I wrote the second book in the series about her! She’ll find her happily ever after, ready or not, in Ever After, Etc., coming soon.

Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?

For this book, it would have to be the primary antagonist, Tyler. Villains are always tough to write well, and Tyler took the most time and energy out of me as I tried to understand his actions and motivations. I always want to be true to both the story arc and the humanity of the character I’m shaping, and for Tyler that work required a bit of “getting into his head,” which is always a challenge in the case of someone who doesn’t think and behave like me. I worked hard on this one, and I can only hope I have done both the story and the villain justice.

Amazon buy link:

This book is on sale for $0.99.


Melissa J. Roche will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC or a digital copy of the book to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have never read Sophie Kinsella....I'll have to check her out. I do love Jill Shalvis though...she does have great humor!

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me and Skate Cute on your blog! It’s a delight to be here in great company.

  3. I like the cute cover. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and am looking forward to this novel for sure

  4. Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

  5. A cute cover and I liked the synopsis and excerpt, Skate Cute sounds like a fun read and I am looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing your Q&A and book details

  6. Skate Cute sounds like a fun, sweet, and entertaining story!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  7. Meet cutes can be very telling as to the kind of relationship.

    1. Fascinating observation! I'd love to know what you mean, tell me more

  8. Liking that description writing style.


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