SLAVE is now a full time reviewer for Guys Like Romance, Too!

Please note that SLAVE's Erotic Review is on hiatus to catch up on reviews.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are you a Romance Purist?

I’m delighted to be part of the launch of Guys Like Romance, Too! 
And I have a question for the guys and girls who do like romance. Do you only like books that are pure LGBT? No girl cooties?  LOL. Be honest. When I started writing novels I was told “don’t mix up your females in your male/male books because LGBT readers don’t like it”. I understand. I do like my beautiful guys. But in real life, gay guys know women and even have relationships with them. Some men who identify as gay have been married and had children. Or had girlfriends. And certainly, gay men and straight women are great friends. I can attest to that. So, how do you feel about books that include women? Or straight men as well as gay men?

I came to romance novel writing late in my career after many years of writing non-fiction so I tend to just write what I like and the stories that fill my head. I’ve been delighted that other people seem to like them too. Sometimes these stories aren’t pure anything (yep, pun intended). I’m interested in the fluidity of sexual identity and in people finding true expression for themselves. And I love stories that mix things up a bit. While some of my books are pure LGBT, I’ve also written two M/M/F ménages both of which include men who consider themselves gay. I’ve written M/M and M/M/M books including characters who had always thought of themselves as straight. And my ultimate mixup to date is my new holiday romance called Mistletowed.  

Mistletowed is definitely M/M. In fact, I would even call it LGBT although it starts with five friends, two male/female couples and their gay best friend. Then two more guys get thrown into the mix -- men who would probably call themselves bisexual. Add a dash of magic and a piece of mistletoe and poof, we end up with a book that is M/M, M/F and M/M/F with BDSM. It is an ensemble piece that defies categorization and yet I think it will be fun and satisfying for fans of LGBT romance. That’s my hope. My intention. Let me know if I succeed. 

Would you like to win a copy of Mistletowed? (Or my other new release, Deceptive Attraction?) 

Leave a comment here with your EMAIL. Be sure to include the email. Then go over to Leave a comment with EMAIL and follow the blog. Do these things quick because the drawing is tomorrow morning early!  :

GOOD LUCK! And thanks again to Carson for being such a great host.  :)

Available December 13 from Loose Id.

Five friends, one piece of mistletoe. Christian Elliott has the perfect life -- right girlfriend, right job, right house and car. How come he’s only really happy when he’s with his best friend, Jason? Melanie Cantrell has everything she wants. Why can’t she stop cheating on her boyfriend with her yoga teacher? Buttercup Allender adores her stable life with Winston.  But she can’t give up her secret desire for BDSM. Stir them all together at a holiday party with a beautiful rock god and a submissive stockbroker and what do you get? It could be love and it could be magic.
He turned back to Andy, who had remained silent while the exchange was going on.
Donnie got that shy grin in return. “So, how do you know this group, Donnie?”
“I shop at Buttercup’s place a lot. I think she’s really pretty, and I thought I was being all macho to impress her, but she saw pretty quickly that I’m not exactly Daniel Craig, ya know?”
Andy glanced down and smiled.. “I hear he’s bisexual.”
“Then we’d have a lot in common. Anyway, she’s the one who gave me Jason’s number.”
“Jason seems very nice.”
“He is, actually. I think we’ll probably be friends forever, or at least a long time.”
“Yeah.” Donnie really looked at Andy. He resembled his cousin and was just about as pretty, but the guy was wearing khakis for crap’s sake. Donnie wanted to walk him into his room and change his clothes.
“What do you do for a living, Andy?”
“Portfolio manager. You know, stocks..”
Really? This sweet guy hung out with the sharks? That explained the khakis, though.
Pretty Face smiled at him. “What do you do?”
“Musician.” He looked at him again. Shoot. The guy was too pretty for this crap outfit. “Do you have any jeans?”
“Jeans. Do you have any with you or just those things?” He flicked a finger at the khakis.
The big dark eyes cast down. “I have jeans.”
“Good. C’mon.” He stood up, pulling Andy with him.
“What? Why?”
“Let’s just say we’re about to up your self-expression.” He looked at the others, who were staring at them in surprise. “Excuse us a minute. Going to slip into something more comfortable.” He saw Christian glance at Jase. The cutie mathematician looked over and then straight back at Winston, as if he hadn’t a care. Donnie grinned again. Keep guessing, Mr. Newport.
He led Andy toward the bedrooms. When they got to the hall, he said, “Which one?”
Andy pointed. “There.”
Inside, the room was neat as the proverbial pin. Two pairs of khakis hung in the guest closet and a number of button-down shirts. “Andy, baby, you can do better than this.”
“I, uh, can?”
Donnie opened the top dresser drawer. Some neatly folded boxer shorts. He looked up at the beautiful guy. “Better than this too.”
“Sometimes I go commando.” The guy blushed. A-fucking-dorable.
He opened the second drawer. “Eureka!” Donnie pulled the perfectly worn jeans with ragged hems out of the drawer.
“Those, uh, are just for chores and stuff.”
“This is stuff, baby. Now take off those damned pants and whatever ridiculous thing you have on under them and put these on.” Andy didn’t take the jeans. Donnie thrust them forward. “Just do it.”
“Yes, sir.” Without another word, he removed his belt. Shit. Andy likely had a year or two on Donnie’s meager twenty-four, but the guy liked to take orders. And yet Donnie had talked to him about his work. He was some big fucking financial whiz kid.
Donnie went back to the drawers. Ah, a long-sleeved T-shirt with a tribal pattern on it. Kind of cool. “Here, put this --” He turned in time to see Andy pulling up his jeans over the biggest damned cock he’d ever seen on a small guy. “Shee-it, baby, that is a dangerous weapon.”
Andy stopped in midaction, seemingly unsure whether to go forward or back.
Donnie laughed. “Go ahead, dress. You need to be careful about swinging something like that around a gay man.”
“What if I want to?”
Donnie snapped his eyes up to the big brown gaze, not wavering now. “I’d say bring it my way again when we don’t have a room full of people waiting for us.”
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  1. Greetings!

    The blurb and excerpt have certainly caught my eye! Some of my favorite movies feature a large selection of protagonists- LOVE ACTUALLY for example- and I've often lamented the fact that books don't do that. Far too often I get bored with the main couple in a book and I drop it and move on, intending to come back to it later, but... doesn't always happen.

    I am curious to see how it works!
    Good luck and thanks for sharing!


  2. Hi Matthew--Great to meet you! Yes, the movie i use to explain the ensemble style of Mistletowed is Love Actually! Thank you for entering. The first drawing is today and another one comes up on Dec 25. : )

  3. I guess I'm like you, Tara. I am certainly not a purist, not as a reader or an author. :) I like wonderful stories, regardless of flavors or combination. :) Looking forward to reading this!

  4. Thank you, Bel. That means a lot. : )

  5. I am definitely not a purist, and love that I can find love stories that mix it up a bit. At the core, I am looking for a sexy romance with interesting characters, and if you want to push the envelope a bit, I say go girl, lol. It's working!

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  6. I love the cover. It's cheesy and cool at the same time ;)

    endlessly.bookish (at)

  7. Nothing pure about that excerpt - loved it! Go Tara! Cheers, JP

  8. Enjoyed the post and the excerpt. I look forward in reaidng Mistletowed, Tara.

    Don't enter me into the contest; I'm luck to have a copy of Mistletowed.

    Tracey D

  9. Hi Cathy and Nimue-- Thanks so much! You're entered.
    JP, you devil. Thanks for your comment!

    Tracey--if you win, we'll come up with another prize. No worries. : )

  10. Hi Tara,
    thank you for the great post and the chance at such an awesome giveaway. i am pretty easy about the romance i read, as long as the story is interesting and has a good story with charaters that are believable and have chemistry then i'm good. :)

  11. Sorry! I got so caught up in the story I forgot what your blog was about. Just a sec... Oh yea. Okay, no one hate me, but I think reading about girl bits is very boring. I usually skim over those parts. What can I say?

  12. Hi Tara! Getting here late. Very long day at work and now traveling to the in-laws to celebrate Christmas (DH is driving). Anyway, I like thing mixed up, definitely nothing pure here. :)

    Beckerjo at Verizon dot net

  13. Hi Tara!

    I actually like a little of everything. This looks like fun!

    tigerblossoms at hotmail dot com

  14. Hi Tammy-- Thanks so much!
    Dianne-- Thank you for your honesty. I have some all male books and a bunch more coming up. Watch for those. Would you like to be entered to win Mistletowed? If so, please leave your email address.
    Hi Jo-- Not late. It counts for next drawing on the 25th.
    Hi Teresa-- This was a fun one! : )

  15. Hello Tara from beautiful Corfu, Greece. A great post and enjoyed your excerpt.
    I am so with you on the Romance purist thing.I get tired with the stereotypes and rules in romance writing. As best friend and 'love of his life' gay, married man, I can tell you nothing is black or white. In fact, man's sexuality is coated in many shades of grey. Love is blind to gender of orientation - I concept I explored in my single title Written in Stone {see my website for more info}. Look forward to more of you.

  16. Sorry - I forgot my email


  17. wish you'd stop doing this to me. I keep reading these excerpts and hating that I don't have the funds yet to buy the book!

    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

  18. Hi Viviane-- Thank you for your interesting comments both here and on my site. I thought i'd answer here since it's related to the post. I go with what you told your friend--i too write romance. Romance, no matter how "realistic" or gritty, still contains elements of fantasy . All people, gay or straight, have a lot of things in their sex lives that might not be considered very "romantic". Gay men may have moments in bathhouses (sorry. i live in southern California. We don't have trains! LOL) they enjoyed but don't tell their life companion about, straight women have those dates they took to get ahead even if they don't admit it to themselves,and so it goes. This may be the stuff of life but it is usually not the stuff of romance and, if it is, there are life lessons to be learned. At the same time, gay men fall in love and make passionate life-long commitments to each other that serve as models for any marriage. If they do that less in life than in my books, i go back to what i said at the start. I write romance. I think gay romances, whether written by men or women, are equally "romantic", at least the good ones are. Cover up the titles and i defy a reader to tell if most good romances were written by men or women. Gay men's stories convey just as much emotion and sentiment, just as much commitment as any woman's book. That, i submit, is more realistic research than any train station! LOL : )

  19. Hi ilona-- I love teasing! LOL : )

  20. Really want to read this book. Like girl bits and guy bits and everyone touching.
    linze_e at

  21. Thanks Lindseye--So glad you came by! : )