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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hump day with Dreamspinners Press: Elizabeth Noble

Life’s Little Surprises
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog!

Webster’s Online Dictionary defines mayhem as:
1 a :  willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability
b :  willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of the body
2 :  needless or willful damage or violence

Oh hello hurt/comfort one of the sweet little staples of many, many genres of writing and storytelling! It’s taken many forms and had other names dating back to the time humans began weaving stories and using the stars as characters. We’ve read it in books and watched it on the big and little screen. It’s in every culture and every age of humanity. 

Clearly it is a popular theme.

Who doesn’t like their hero being comforted, loved and cared for by the other hero. Notice how I go from stars and through the ages to M/M romance?

What is it about hurt/comfort that we like so much? Most human beings don’t really want to see someone hurt, but the hurting is important. Without the hurt we never get the comfort. It’s the comfort that speaks to something in us all. The hurt takes many forms. It can be mental anguish, physical pain, emotional trauma, or some combination of all three. The hero can get a broken leg, or in the case of Val in Run for the Roses a broken arm, hand and shoulder. He can have the crap scared out of him and then his hero comes along to provide a much-needed sense of security. His friend can be hurt and he feels helpless and alone or maybe his family has shunned him (or he thinks they will) for being gay. The possibilities are endless.
After the hurts comes the comfort. The understanding without the need to explain feelings. Strong arms and shoulders to lean on for support. A lover who is first, a friend, someone a guy can depend on no matter what.

I never realized how full of hurt/comfort Run for the Roses is until it was mentioned in a review. Our hero, Val is no stranger to hurt, the comfort part not so much. He’s had a string of bad, and abusive, relationships. He’s been hit physically and hurt emotionally. Like many people who’ve survived something like that, he’s chosen a life alone rather than take the chance on being hurt again. He might sleep alone every night, but he’s safe.

Then his friend, Janelle, has a terrible accident, one she’s lucky to have survived and Val’s life is turned upside down. That’s about the time Wyatt, Janelle’s father, rides into to town in a rented car. He’s there to help out Janelle, but he’s got that comfort thing down pat and Val gets a good dose of it as well.

Wyatt isn’t like other men Val has known. He’s older, calmer and more subtle than previous men Val has dated. Wyatt isn’t simply there for Janelle, he becomes the man Val learns he can depend upon, the man who will not hurt him. The man who in fact saves him and comforts him.

Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.

They left the restaurant and walked to Wyatt’s car. Stepping around Val, Wyatt went to the passenger side and unlocked the car door. Val saw Wyatt glance around the parking lot. No one else was around. When Wyatt reached out and slipped one hand through Val’s hair and pulled him gently closer, Val tensed despite his brain screaming at him not to.

“Shush. I’m not going to hurt you.” Wyatt tenderly brushed his fingers through Val’s hair. “Though, I’ll be honest, I have hurt people. But they were bad people stealing valuable national treasures and wouldn’t give them back.”

Val burst out laughing, and the tension left him. Wyatt smiled in that way that made the corners of his eyes crinkle. When Wyatt leaned in toward Val again, he inched forward.

Wyatt’s kiss was light and gentle. He didn’t push, but seemed to wait patiently and coax Val into opening his lips. It was the hottest thing Val ever could imagine, and he moaned, rocking his hips into Wyatt as Wyatt’s tongue slipped over Val’s and skimmed the roof of his mouth.

Val slid his arm around Wyatt’s back. At the same time Wyatt wound his free arm around Val’s waist, pulled him closer, and pressed his thigh between Val’s legs, applying steady pressure upward. It was delightful and maddening at the same time. No one had ever affected him in this way or so completely. Val wanted more.

Wyatt ran a hand softly up Val’s spine, making him shiver, then moved his hand to Val’s shoulder. He pushed back from Val barely enough to break their kiss and caressed Val’s cheek with his own before saying in a low voice, “I thought I’d burst before I had the chance to kiss you.” Wyatt’s breath was warm against Val’s skin, making him quiver and his breath catch in his throat. Reaching around Val, Wyatt pulled on the car door latch. He nudged Val to the side and opened the door completely, then waved grandly at the inside. “Shall we?”

Elizabeth Noble bio:

Elizabeth Noble began telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Her favorite books to write (and read) include all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural as well as a good mystery.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!) and using her trusty telescope. When she's not writing she's working as a veterinary nurse, so don't be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

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