Enemies to Lovers in F.A.S.T. Balls – Tara Lain blogs plus WIN!
I’m thrilled to welcome back one of my fave writers, the incomparable Tara Lain! Tara’s blogging about her amazing new release, F.A.S.T. Balls, the latest in the Balls to the Wall series. Plus there’s a chance to win all the books in the series plus some bonus goodies in her Rafflecopter giveaway
Enemies-to-Lovers in F.A.S.T. Balls
I’m celebrating the launch of my new contemporary LGBT romance, F.A.S.T. Balls, which got me thinking about enemies-to-lovers stories which this book is. Of course, the first enemies story to come to mind from classical literature is Romeo and Juliet and the famous contemporary play which grew out of it, West Side Story. The best enemies to lovers novels or plays have a deep division between the lovers that in innate. There is something about them that makes them natural adversaries. In Romeo and Juliet it is the warring houses of Montague and Capulet who have been at odds for generations. In a book like Last of the Mohicans, the barely hinted at attraction between Cora and Uncas would have been so proscribed because of their races and cultures that Cooper was being wildly brave to even suggest it.
Enemies-to-lovers stories are notable because of their unhappy endings. Dare to cross the forbidden lines and everybody dies. That makes for a tough romance! But it is fun trying to bring the enemies together. That was my challenge in F.A.S.T. Balls.
As anyone who has read Fire Balls will discover in seconds, one of my heroes in the new book was the villain in Fire Balls. In that first book, I must confess I had no idea I was going to try to ultimately redeem the horribly homophobic Mick. But after he gets his butt kicked by Rodney, he disappears and many people asked what happened to him. In F.A.S.T. Balls, we find out what happened and discover whether a homophobe and a gay firefighter can find anything in common. Unlike most enemies to lovers stories where the lovers don’t know their inherent animosity at the beginning of the story (think back to Romeo and Juliet), in F.A.S.T. Balls, the heroes know they are at odds from the first page. Overcoming that division was — hard! You can decide if I succeeded!
Do you have a favorite enemies-to-lovers story?
Blurb: F.A.S.T. Balls
F.A.S.T. — Firefighter Assist and Search Team
Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded. On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?
Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known. Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.
The band got into the spirit and segued from the cha cha into a meringue. Jerry didn’t know this one as well but he mimicked Andres and pretty soon had the rhythm. Some people were standing around watching them while others joined in and danced. Andres was so gorgeous and so great at dancing. He even spun a couple of the women around as he danced by them and they squealed. What a charmer.
The musicians worked up to a big finish. Andres pulled Jerry in close then spun him out in a twirl. He circled twice, laughed, and…stopped dead.
Holy crap. Standing on the edge of the dance floor staring at the dancers with big green eyes was the yummiest thing he’d ever seen. Mick Cassidy, tall, straight and strong in a dress blue uniform, the light from the ballroom chandeliers shining off his pale gold hair.
Jerry glanced at the girl standing next to Mick. Really pretty in a blue dress. But nothing, underline nothing, he had seen in a long time was as pretty as that big, hunky homophobe. Mick might be mean as piss, as Hunter said, but he stood there proving that sometimes things that were bad for you are the ones you want most.
A hand on his shoulder woke him up. “You okay, Jerry?”
“Oh, sorry.” He turned and smiled at Andres, but man, it was hard tearing his eyes away. “I just saw someone I know.”
He headed back to the table and Andres stepped up beside him. “Was the person you know that golden dreamboat in blue by any chance?”
He wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t know who Andres meant. “Yeah, that’s the guy I was telling Rod and Hunter about. The one who was nice to me.”
“Oh guapo, he can be nice to me anytime.”
Jerry laughed. “Yeah. Too bad he’s a raging fag hater.”
“So why was he nice?”
“I still haven’t figured that out.”
* * *
He’d been turned to stone. Hell, he had to move. This was stupid. Mick watched Jerry’s retreating back moving off the dance floor and saw him guiding a beautiful Mexican with him. Who the hell was that? Jerry had said his boyfriend had left him. He’d sure moved on fast.
“You know that guy?”
He glanced at Jezebel. Oh right, she was with him. “Yes, he works on my shift a lot of the time.”
“Sure is a good dancer. He a fag? Must be, if he’s dancing with a guy, right.”
Whoa. He used that word all the time but it sounded bad when she said it about Jerry. “Yeah, he’s gay.”
“Must be like your father says. You see a lot of gay guys in Laguna.”
“Yes.” It felt weird to have his father’s ideas dragged into his work life.
She looked out at the dancers. “I always figured what your father says is a load of crap. Gay people are born that way so it has to be God’s will and if it’s not then God’s a load of crap.”
Mick gasped and looked at her. Really looked. “I don’t believe you just said that.”
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly male/male and MMF ménage, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her unique heroes. In fact, her readers say her tagline, Read the Beautiful Boys of Romance, about sums it up. Her first romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards.
Some people call Tara “the Balls girl” in honor of her best-selling MM contemporary romance series, Balls to the Wall. Readers send her suggested titles for her next Balls book! Three of the Balls books, Volley Balls, Fire Balls and Snow Balls, were on the Amazon list of the top selling 100 gay romances in 2012. Tara also has a popular paranormal series called the Aloysius Tales and an award-winning ménage series titled Genetic Attraction.
In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
Want to WIN a copy of F.A.S.T. Balls? And not only that, but the complete Balls to the Wall series collection, bangle braclet and a $15 GC? You can do so at the tour Giveaway Rafflecopter! GO THERE NOW