We are delighted to welcome Vanessa North to SSBR! I asked Vanessa if she could tell us a few hot secrets about Adam and Harris, the sexy main characters from her new novel High and Tight. OMG! Just picturing big strong alpha male Adam and pretty-boy hairdresser Harris having hot sex makes me all… No, won’t go there! I am totally fan girling… check out Vanessa’s reply and don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win an eBook of High and Tight!
A Word From The Author
Leading up to the release of High and Tight, I knew there was one aspect of the story that was going to provoke a reaction—positive or negative, I wasn’t sure which—and that was the sex. I had written these characters whose career choices carried with them society’s very deeply entrenched ideas about masculinity and sexuality, right down to who might do what in the bedroom.
When I set about writing a romance, even though I plan to write as much steamy sex as the story can hold, I don’t think of my characters in terms of the sexual acts they’re eventually going to get up to—that sort of evolves naturally from their interactions with each other. No one was more surprised than I was when I typed the words in which Adam describes Harris as “a pretty top with a big dick.” As soon as I did though, I had a series of epiphanies about Adam and Harris’s sexual relationship that gave me significant insight into the rest of their relationship too. While High and Tight is not a BDSM story, Adam and Harris allude to dominance and submission, and there are certainly elements of power exchange in their sexual dynamic.
The reader response to my pretty-boy hairdresser as a dominant alpha-top has been overwhelmingly positive—and I’m thrilled about that! Several readers have commented about reversing stereotypes, about my putting the military man on his knees for his boyfriend, and yes, I guess I did those things. I happen to think big, strong men look dead sexy on their knees, and I think any time we look more closely at expectations based on stereotypes, that’s a good thing. I think it’s good to poke at (no pun intended) our ideas and expectations of masculinity, and perhaps examine why we, as a society, tie those expectations up in things like jobs and sexual acts.
However, when it came right down to it, my decisions as to how the guys behaved in the bedroom came down to the characters themselves.
Adam’s submissive side was intrinsic to his personality. He’d given twelve years of his life to the US Navy, a career he describes as fuelled by aggression and ego, two constructs we associate with power and dominance, and yes, masculinity too. But for Adam, giving all that up and submitting to Harris made him happy. As for Harris? He’s a bit of a force of nature—bossy, often crude, confident in the bedroom. In other words? He’s all I’ve ever wanted to write in a dirty-talking alpha-top.
I’m overjoyed at the reader response so far to the dynamic between Adam and Harris—it was fun to write, and really exciting to explore these two personalities in the bedroom.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about bedroom power exchange, sexuality and masculinity, or whatever else you might like to share!
High and Tight by Vanessa North
Title: High and Tight
Author: Vanessa North
Publísher: Carina Press
Release Date: 19th May 2014
Genre: M/M Romance,(Contemporary)
Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.
Harris never wanted to be anyone's dirty little secret. When Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He's picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren't afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.
Adam's been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he's desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks' leave and a Navy man's conviction, he's ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he's ready to come out and commit.
After reading the blurb for High and Tight, I knew I had to give this story a try. Give me a M/M romance involving military hotness and my senses are on overdrive!
Of course Adam, our navy pilot is no exception. He’s in love with Harris, his on-off boyfriend for twelve years, but never had the guts to come out of the closet. First he chose the Navy over his love and then, after the repeal of DADT, he was just torn between the love of his job and his love for Harris. After three years without any contact he spends a few days leave in his hometown Atlanta, and is determined to come out of the closet and finally commit to Harris.
What if Harris didn’t want him anymore? What if Harris decided Adam wasn’t worth the trouble? Three years ago, they’d still had to meet in private, or pretend they were just friends. Things could change in three years—but Adam’s feelings hadn’t, and he hoped Harris’s hadn’t either. Not when Adam had a plan.
Harris, a hair stylist with beautiful green eyes, is tired of getting his heart broken by Adam. Out and proud, he has moved on and has a new boyfriend. When Adam appears out of the blue he doesn’t welcome him the way the navy pilot expects. So Adam has to step up and show Harris he is worth being loved, and Harris has to trust that this time it would be what he had always wished for. And holy moly, that isn’t easy, Adam is so stubborn and Harris is one tough cookie! They both annoyed the shit out of me, but as crazy as it sounds the more frustrated I got the more I fell in love with the guys.
At first glance Harris seems to be the typical twink but surprise, surprise he is anything but. He’s the more dominant, aggressive one of those two, and I loved the change up from the norm and the absence of stereotypes. Tall, lean, gorgeous alpha military Adam isn’t the rough, dominating top, he bottoms for the femme hairdresser, it was brilliant!
I couldn’t help it and fell for these two men instantly, Adam had fucked things up for so long, and now is fucking up trying to fix it all. Harris has put up with a lot of shit from Adam over the years but enough is enough…
“I don’t want to stretch this out. I think you and I, we needed last night, you know? We needed closure. And you, you really needed to get laid. But I don’t want you to make career decisions based on me. Because I’m not your forever guy.”
Oh God, that hurt. Harris winced as he said it, daring to look up at Adam at last.
“I do love you, but we’re broken, Adam. And I don’t want to fix us anymore.”
I loved the writing style, it’s unique, lyrical and full of emotions. The sex is smoking hot, the humour and the angst are well-balanced. High and Tight is an entertaining mix of heartache and love, hurt and passion. The heroes are adorable with all their sweetness, their hotness… and their tattoos are scorching!… I even loved their flaws. Things are tough for these guys to work out, but I stuck with them, because I believed they just deserved their HEA.
Although this is a novella, Vanessa North managed to create a great cast of supporting characters, namely, Emily, Adam’s sister.
Overall High and Tight is an enjoyable quick read with lovable characters. I totally recommend this one and will be looking for more from Vanessa North in the future.
About The Author
Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.
Contact The Author
Vanessa North is gifting one lucky reader an eBook of High And Tight, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.