On Writing M/M Romance
By Laura Kaye
I’m celebrating the release of Hard to Be Good, the fifth book in my Hard Ink romantic suspense series, and I’m super excited to be here! The Hard Ink series follows the surviving members of an Army Special Forces team as they investigate the conspiracy that got them discharged from the military and seek to clear their names. Hard to Be Good is a friends-to-lovers and opposites-attract story about the siblings of the first romantic leads in the series (from the book Hard As It Gets)—a sexy, outgoing, playful tattoo shop owner and a shy computer consultant who was recently rescued from a kidnapping. Hard to Be Good is also a gay romance, and the first that I’ve written.
I incorporated a gay romance story into a series that otherwise focuses on heterosexual romances because that was what was right for these characters. Tattoo artist Jeremy Rixey is outgoing, playful, sexy, known for wearing innuendo-filled T-shirts, and bisexual. That was how he came to me. Charlie Merritt was a murkier character at first—he was the kidnapping victim that brings the surviving members of the team together in the first book in the series, and that heroine’s brother. But the moment I figured out that the conflict between him and his Army Colonel father – also the SF team’s commander – was over Charlie’s homosexuality, I knew he and Jeremy would end up together. It’s just how it was. And that was before I knew for sure they’d get their own book, and before their friendship had yet been developed to lay the groundwork for their romance.
Jeremy and Charlie meet in book one, and their friendship grew over the first four books. As the two non-military men in the group, they often work together on operational tasks that don’t take them out in the field, and they share both a frustration that they can’t do more and concerns for their siblings (Jeremy’s brother is the co-owner of the tattoo shop and the hero from Hard As It Gets). Their opposites-attract personas also spoke to me as likely to drive a great story. So I didn’t set out to write a gay romance so much as it was just the most natural course for these characters. Sometimes secondary characters come to life in ways you don’t expect and demand their own story—that was definitely the case with Jeremy and Charlie, and I’m really thrilled that I got to write their book and give them the happily ever after they deserve!
In terms of writing the romance and sex scenes in Hard to Be Good, my main goal was to approach them exactly the same way I do heterosexual sex scenes. That is, I always try to layer in the physical, emotional, and mental in every sex scene so that they’re (hopefully!) as moving and emotional as they are hot and sexy. These scenes were definitely exciting to write not just because these two guys are crazy hot together, but because their relationship had been building over so many books, and I wanted to do all that build-up justice! I wanted this relationship to be every bit as emotionally fulfilling as every other I’ve written because, in the end, love is love. And it heals and comforts and builds up these guys as much as any of my other characters.
Thanks for reading!
Hard to be Good: A Hard Ink Novella by Laura Kaye
Title ~ Hard to be Good: A Hard Ink Novella
Author ~ Laura Kaye
Publisher ~ HarperCollins Publishers
Published ~ 14th April 2015
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance
Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.
Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.
With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...
Click on the image below for Lisa’s 4.5 Star Review
Hard Ink Series
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About Laura Kaye
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.