The Shooting Stars of Kimber Vale!
Kimber Vale is here today to talk about her latest release in her Shooting Stars series, Hard Act To Follow and offers a contest as well as the ABC’s of Romance, K.Vale style!
The ABCs of Romance: D is for Denial by Kimber Vale
Hi, y’all! Kimber Vale here with my ABCs of romance. Today I want to talk about the letter D. I had Dogs written on my list, but I’m pretty sure I’d had a few glasses of wine when I wrote that. Not that dogs can’t be an integral part of a romance; it’s just that you can have romance without dogs. I’m a perfect example. My hubs and I have a crazy romantic relationship sans dogs. In fact, we have two cats, a rabbit, and lots of fish. Oh, and three kids. Maybe it isn’t all that crazy romantic now that I think of it, but I’m pretty sure the wine helps.
So, D is for Denial in the sober light of day. I defy you to name me a romance novel that doesn’t include denial in some form. Heck, name any novel that doesn’t. Any short story, even. It’s the conflict that creates the tension—whether it’s a hero searching for that elusive McGuffin or a lover unable to have the person he or she wants for whatever reason—denial fuels the story. It makes us read on. In romance, it makes us sympathize with the characters, pine with them, root for them, and stick with them until all of the obstacles standing in the way of their love are overcome.
In my new release, Hard Act to Follow, denial is the name of the game. It takes Greg and Kyrie a good chunk of book before they’re honest with themselves and each other about their feelings. There is some major freakin’ denial going on for a while—hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it—and (I hope) that the two best friends refusing to act on their attraction makes the reader all the more invested in their romance. I know I was invested in getting them to the happy ending. 😉
“How can you see with that thing?”
“Some sort of one-way fabric.” Kyr’s voice was muffled under the dome.
Greg peered into the black bunny eyes, but couldn’t make out anything.
“Here.” Kyrie pulled the head off and held it out to him. “See for yourself.”
“Yeah, I don’t…”
Kyrie cut Greg off by cramming the thing down over his face.
“Hah!” Kyrie smiled on the other side of a grayed layer. “Can you see me now?” He turned and shook his tail at him. “How many fingers am I holding up?” He turned back around, flashing four fingers that changed to five and then to…
“One and a half?”
“See. Told ya. All right, give me back my head. We’re ruining the magic of Easter for these poor kids.”
Greg took one more deep breath, inhaling the magic of Kyrie instead. It was something he could almost recreate between his herb garden and his pantry—cracked black pepper, ginger, and a hint of orange zest. It was probably cologne, but was always subtle enough to pass as his natural smell. It worked with his natural smell. Greg pulled the bulky helmet off, holding his breath in for an extra moment.
“I need help.” A preschooler Greg recognized tugged on Kyrie’s white leg fur.
“Let’s hop to it!” His voice belonged on a cartoon. Bending both arms at the elbows, paws together, he swung them comically in the direction of the egg conundrum in question and bounced away with more juice than the Energizer Bunny. Greg shook his head. Kyrie hiked the kid up on his shoulders to reach an egg resting in the crook of a gutter, and then swung him back to the ground in a graceful arc. It was easy to think of Kyr as slight and delicate just because he was short compared to Greg’s six feet. And though he probably only weighed a buck fifty-five soaking wet, he was all muscle thanks to youth, regular gym dates, and great genes.
Skinny washboard—that’s what Greg always thought when he saw him bare-chested on occasion: rare weekends at the Lis’ beach house, those two times Kyrie decided to change into a different shirt before they went out. That instance where he spilled beer on his lap while they were playing Call of Duty, and he stripped down to his underwear still battling the enemy the whole time. Greg had gotten his ass kicked that round, his gaze sliding sideways instead of focusing on the screen. He hadn’t trusted himself to stand up until Kyrie was dressed and he’d guilted his dick into calming the hell down.
Kyrie was sixteen when Greg and Jazz met. Eighteen when Greg graduated with his law degree and tied the knot.
You taught him how to drive after he failed his freakin’ test the first time, for fuck’s sake!
Greg closed his eyes and tried to twine that memory with this awful longing—big brother becomes big boyfriend. I wish.
You are fucking sick. Just stop, Greg. Stop. Before you do something you can’t erase. Before you ruin the best thing in your life.
Kyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing—a lie that eats him alive—and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.
Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?
A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a million times stronger, but maybe Kyrie’s act is just too hard for Greg to follow.
Expected publication: August 18th 2014 by Liquid Silver Books
seriesShooting Stars #3
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Kimber Vale Bio:
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the story.
Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter @KimberVale, and check her site for updates, new releases, and freebies at her website linked below.