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Lydia Sharp | A Virgin Secretly Hooks Up with Her Frenemy

Frenemies with Benefits
Lydia Sharp




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September 2023
On Sale: August 29, 2023
Featuring: Benjamin Oliver
400 pages
ISBN: 1649374097
EAN: 9781649374097
Trade Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Lydia Sharp:
Frenemies with Benefits, September 2023
The Night of Your Life, March 2020


1--What is the title of your latest release?



2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

What happens when a virgin secretly hooks up with her frenemy to learn all about sex during the summer after graduating high school?


3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

The story is set in Trinity, Pennsylvania. It’s not like this for all stories I write, but for this one in particular, the setting didn’t have to be anything more specific than “a suburb in the Midwest” so I just made one up. I’m familiar with Pittsburgh, the big city that Trinity is a suburb of, and maybe that’s why it came to mind. I didn’t think “this place has to be near Pittsburgh” that’s just what happened to come up when I started writing, and it worked, so I kept it.


4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely. I love her. We’d have so much fun together.


5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Shy. Snarky. Brave.


6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

While writing, I wasn’t thinking that deeply about it. It wasn’t until the book was completely written, and I started working on how to make it better for other people to read and enjoy it, that the “lessons” of my own art became apparent. And the biggest thing I learned is that it’s worth it to take risks and put yourself in the line of fire if it’s beneficial to someone else who needs it. Publishing this book was a huge risk for me. I have made myself vulnerable to a lot of criticism because it openly portrays teenagers owning their sexuality, but if that has helped even one reader out there to understand themselves better, it’s totally worth it. Ten-million times worth it.


7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I do both. I’m a perfectionist to a fault, but that isn’t the main reason I edit as I draft. I do it to keep the story front-and-center in my mind and keep track of where I’m at in the story’s progress. It’s also good to look back at what I’ve already written because it helps me create relevant ideas in the scenes I’m currently writing and have yet to write. I want everything to clearly connect from start to finish, and I can’t really make that happen if I’m not constantly aware of what I’ve written, am writing, and have yet to write until the story is complete. Then I go back through it all again and again and again and again doing edits with a completed draft. My process is basically a continual cycle of writing, editing, rewriting, editing, until it feels done.


8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

How much time do you have? I could answer this all day, so let’s just go with the first few that come to mind: any kind of Italian pasta and tomato and cheese dish (grazie Nonna), bread, bread, and more bread, calamari (when I’m feeling fancy), Moose Tracks ice cream (if you don’t know what this is, look it up and try some, your life will change, you’re welcome).


9--Describe your writing space/office!

A mess. My “desk” is actually an old table that used to be in my kitchen. It’s huge, with lots of space to fill with clutter. But it’s sort of an “organized chaos.” It looks awful, but I know where everything is and if something is missing or out of place. My “office” is a slightly partitioned-off room adjacent to my living room. There is a sliding glass door that opens to the backyard, so I have plenty of natural light, which I prefer while working, and I love to be able to look out to see flowers and trees and birds and sunshine and rain (or snow) and my neighbors walking their dogs throughout the day. My own dogs have their beds in my office, so they are usually close by when I’m working. Even though it’s messy, it’s also cozy and comfy, and I love it.


10--Who is an author you admire?

Lauren Oliver is one of the first YA authors I got really addicted to reading. BEFORE I FALL kind of blew me away. It was the first book I read as an adult that I literally could not put down until I finished it. I stayed up all night reading it—and that book is long! When I was done, I just sat there blinking and wondering how someone managed to write in such a compelling way. From then on, I made it my goal to write books that would be “unputdownable.” It's such an amazing thing to experience, getting swept up in a story.


11--Is there a book that changed your life?

There are several, not just one, but I’ll narrow it down. FOREVER by Judy Blume, which I talk about in my author’s note in FRENEMIES WITH BENEFITS. Another book, ANNIE ON MY MIND by Nancy Garden, was something I really needed to read at the time I read it, when I was trying to figure out my bisexuality. It confirmed for me that I wasn’t just “confused” or “curious” and that my sexual orientation is not something I can choose or force. When I was a kid, I was so in love with THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis, and eventually, all of the Narnia books. I was so fascinated by the idea of being able to escape to a fantasy world just by opening a closet door. It was after I read this book that my storytelling imagination really took off, because I realized there were no limits to it.


12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

It’s never come from one call or one conversation for me. But there is a moment you have with any book that’s about to be published when you suddenly realize it’s REAL. And wow, this is REALLY happening. No matter if it’s your first book or not, the feeling is the same. You basically do muppet-flails until you fall over laughing, and it’s so euphoric.


13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Fantasy, sci-fi, mystery/thriller, and romance are what I was raised on and continued to love into adulthood. So, one or any combination of those.


14--What’s your favorite movie?

Do I have to pick just one? I can’t! Here are the first that come to mind that I’ve watched over and over again: The Fifth Element (1997), You’ve Got Mail (1998), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Mary Poppins (1964), Steel Magnolias (1989), Runaway Bride (1999), STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Labyrinth (1986), Jaws (1975), Shutter Island (2010), Inception (2010), Titanic (1997), Ever After (1998), The Princess Bride (1987), Ten Things I Hate About You (1999), Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), Pride and Prejudice (2005)…and there are so many more!


15--What is your favorite season?

Fall. Everything about it, from the fashion to the cool weather, to the colors, to the relaxing energy shift, it’s just the perfect season.


16--If you weren’t an author, what would you be?

I am an editor in addition to being an author, but since that’s all in the same field—publishing—I can say what I would be if I wasn’t in publishing. I’d love to go back to veterinary medicine. I worked as a vet tech for years, starting my very first job with it at age eighteen. I really loved the science of medicine and I have been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. Another career I dabbled with in my younger years was acting. My love of storytelling and writing factored into me trying out acting as a teenager, and I fell in love with it. Being completely self-taught at the time, I was flabbergasted to land a lead role in the school play my senior year. I was painfully shy back then, and I think acting helped me express myself because I could do it through a character. Being onstage as myself was terrifying. Being onstage as someone else was fun. If an opportunity to get back into that ever came up, I would be thrilled to give it a go.


17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Currently, I am totally obsessed with SUITS on Netflix. It’s not a new show, but it’s new to me, and I’ve already blown through the first 3 seasons in the last couple of weeks. I am a sucker for a really clever, intelligent, yet flawed, protagonist with unique skills and underlying emotional drama. This show has great characters and amazing dialogue. The romance is also super swoony.


18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Italian. I’m a second-generation Italian American and I have tomato sauce in my veins.


19--What do you do when you have free time?

I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do, aside from reading books (both fiction and nonfiction) and watching movies/TV/documentaries, I love to crochet, play music (I play violin and piano), and lately I’ve been getting more into visual art like drawing and painting. Adult coloring books are actually very relaxing. I love to do things that allow me to explore nature, like hiking or horseback riding on trails or even just stepping outside to listen to the birds and photograph whatever I can see. And, of course, my most favorite thing to do is play with my dogs!


20--What can readers expect from you next?

Nothing I can state publicly, but you can be sure it will have lots of romance and humor, possibly some adventure, and a dash of emotional drama to keep it real.


Frenemies with Benefits

A playful and sexy contemporary rom-com perfect for fans of The Kissing Booth and Tweet Cute

If there was an award for Least Able To Function Around Cute Boys, Jess Webster would clean up. She can barely talk to a guy, let alone engage in naked things. But now that high school is over, Jess resolves to put her big-girl pants on and at last bang—sorry, bag—the longtime object of her desire, Andrew. All she needs is someone to practice on first.

Enter Benjamin Oliver. Jock hot, nerd hot (which is just greedy, really), star quarterback, and all-around pain in Jess’s ass. While Jess would rather nap on a nest of fire ants than be his girlfriend, there’s still something about him that sends a jolt through her stomach, making him her best (and only) candidate for her guy game glow-up.

With summer in full swing and not one but two cute boys on the horizon, Jess is pretty sure she’s on the winning side of the bargain. But can her deal with Benjamin stay purely business-with-pleasure? And, the question that Jess soon can’t ignore: does she want it to?


Romance Comedy | Young Adult [Entangled: Teen, On Sale: August 29, 2023, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781649374097 / eISBN: 9781649374271]

Buy FRENEMIES WITH | Kindle | | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | | | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Lydia Sharp

Lydia Sharp

Lydia Sharp worked a number of different jobs, everything from retail management to veterinary medicine, before turning their passion for stories into a career. They are now a romance editor and write YA novels with lots of kissing and adventures. Lydia lives in northeast Ohio with an ever-growing collection of owls. When not completely immersed in a book, they binge on Netflix, pine for fall, and host mad tea parties in Wonderland.





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