Title ~ Mirage
Author ~ Tia Fielding
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 17st March 2014
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Contemporary
When forty-six-year-old washed-up country musician Jasper “Red” Blue looks at the past, all he sees is a series of failures. His one treasured success is six years battling alcoholism without the help of AA. To secure his children’s future, Jasper desperately wants to produce a new album, but he can’t write alone. And he won’t work with just anyone.
Jasper's record company manages to secure the writer one of the biggest country music songs in recent history to help write the album. Cade Wallace is a long-haired former soul surfer, devastatingly handsome, talented, and willing to take a chance on the rugged musician. Jasper, on the other hand, is deep in the closet.
With Jasper's career hanging in the balance, he can't promise Cade anything, and Cade eventually heads back to his full-time job as a truck driver, taking Jasper’s hopes of a relationship with him. If Jasper’s dream of a life together is ever to come true, he will have to take some big risks, putting both his career and his children’s security on the line.
Tia Fielding is a new author to me and when I came across the blurb of Mirage I immediately new this story would be the perfect opportunity to get to know her writing.
The age of Jasper Blue aka ‘Red’ was the first thing that fascinated me. If you read M/M romances you will be used to heroes of a ‘certain' age, it seems unusual for MC’s older than 25 or 30 to fall in love. So it was refreshingly different that Jasper is forty-six and still has the ‘right’ to hope for the love of his life.
When Jasper starts talking about his life you feel the sadness and the loneliness behind his words. He’s a forty-six years old washed-up alcoholic, a country music star who lives in self-imposed isolation with his horses and his dogs Smith and Wesson (the ‘Munitions’, how a certain guy calls them later), somewhere on a ranch in Texas. Even so he’s been clean and sober for a few years now the possibility of falling off the wagon is still his daily reality. His ex-wife, who knows that he is gay, still loves him dearly and supports him as best she can. Jasper’s career, though, never gave him the opportunity to step out of the closet. Being a country star and openly gay? Keep on dreaming!
Anyway, after six years without any new music Jasper is determined to make a new album and is looking for a song-writer to help him with the lyrics. Cade Wallace is the name of the truck driver and song writer who shows up at Jasper’s ranch and starts working with him. Hot, talented, with beautiful long dark hair, a movie-star smile, and ten years younger, he is Jasper’s dream guy, the sparks immediately fly and soon Jasper has to decide if Cade is only a mirage that is going to vanish into thin air or if they can build something together.
Tia's relationship development of Jasper and Cade is so emotional, her writing, remarkable. I loved the chemistry between them, the tension was building nicely and I couldn’t wait to see them getting to the point when all the intensity between them just exploded! And when that happened… after some heart breaking moments of embarrassment… wow, it was so brilliant, emotionally written…. I was in heaven!
Those two are just a perfect fit and I loved that the story is more focused on the relationship between Cade and Jasper and not always the sex. Mirage touches some areas of sexuality that aren't usually included in the average M/M romance and makes it very real. Those two men have tasted the bitterness of life, have both gone through so many ups and downs, they are marvellously imperfect with their insecurities and inadequacies, wonderfully damaged and lovable with their different backgrounds.
The story has a really nice and solid pace and it’s so easy to fall for both of the guys. You love with them, you suffer with them…. and you want to kick their asses, when their insecurities, their stubbornness and their fear seem to destroy their love.
Mirage is one of those stories where you fall as easily for the secondary character as you do for the MCs. They are so realistically done, so lovable and engaging, a strong support system to Jasper and Cade. They love these two men and would do anything to help them finding their HEA. I only want to mention one of those incredible friends, Mia, a trans character, a cheerful girl.
Mirage is brilliantly written, it made me smile, it made me sad, it made me feel for the guys, I just wanted to hug them and make it all better! Recommended to those who like a character driven story with lots of heart, dogs, kids, horses, country music and a sentimental, sappy ending, the epilogue just blew me away. Highly recommended!
To Write Them Older ~ A Word From Tia Fielding
For a long time now, I’ve wanted to write a story about a country singer who just happens to be gay and dealing with it in his own way. I knew he had to be older than your usual M/M romance main character, just because he needed to have a career behind him, a marriage and kids, in general life behind him to make his story truly interesting. Then came alcoholism, a subject not touched enough in M/M fiction, and other things I found I wanted to talk about in Mirage.
But in the core of everything was this: I didn’t want to write another twenty-something guy falling for another twenty-something guy. I know that’s what sells, all authors know that, but it wasn’t about sales for me—not that it ever is.
It’s just fine to write about young men falling for each other, hell, I like to read and sometimes write those books too. When I opened my mind to an older character, it was like opening a chest with extra content for the story, extra things that made Jasper Blue who he is. At forty-six, Jasper has been through a literal lifetime more stuff than a twenty-something. There is so much more to draw from, and Jasper didn’t disappoint.
Then there’s our mutual love, Cade. While he’s younger, he’s still a decade older than your average M/M romance lead. He has done his share of living and learning, too. He’s been through a lot, lived lifestyles Jasper can only imagine, and from Jasper’s point of view he’s very young.
Incidentally, because that’s how the story came together, they both are looking for the same thing: home. They’ve done the trials and errors of life, and now it’s time for them to find the peace that only comes from finding your true love or at least the person you can see yourself being happy with for the rest of your life.
So yeah, I’ll definitely give a set of older characters a go at some point later. I urge other authors to try the same. Sure, I’ve written a very, very old vampire character before, but it’s not the same; vampires, by definition, are a whole different species in some way. When you look at a human with a weathered face, with sadness and experience in his gaze, with wisdom in how he moves and in the songs he sings, maybe you don’t need the fangs, after all.
About The Author
Tia Fielding is a thirty-something Scandinavian. She is a self-proclaimed queer person, lover of everything pretty, witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and caffeine. (Lots of caffeine.) Tia started writing stories early in life, almost as soon as she learned how to write. Her early stories about horses and ghosts have now turned into romantic tales about people in love, but her early enthusiasm and imagination still runs wild. After losing the thread of her writing in her teens, Tia rediscovered the joy of writing stories through fan fiction, which kick-started her publishing career. Tia is not ashamed of her past of borrowing other people’s characters, but has found creating her own much more satisfying. In 2013 Tia's novel Falling Into Place was recognized by the industry's Rainbow Awards in the Best LGBT Erotic Romance (Bobby Michaels Award) category.
Tia is gifting one lucky reader a paperback of her novel Mirage, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below…