A month or so ago I released a new e-book. It’s called Worth a Shot.
Worth a Shot is listed as a gay romance on Amazon. It’s listed as a gay romance on All Romance E-books. It’s also filed under the gay label on a few different review sites.
But labels are tricky things. They don’t always tell the full story. They’re not always entirely accurate.
Is Worth a Shot a really a gay romance? How about I tell you a bit about it, so you can decide for yourself?
One of the book’s main characters is Donovan. He’s an archer at the Falconer Institute of Training. He’s sweet, and shy, and as nervous as hell whenever anyone flirts with him. He’s also gay. At twenty-two years old, he’s been out for three years and known he’s gay for as long as he can remember. He’s never had a girlfriend or the least interest in women. He’s never doubted which way he swings.
So far, so good. Labeling the book gay works.
On to the book’s second main character – Tony. He’s a sprinter at Falconer. (If you’ve read Worth Waiting For, you might remember him as Colby’s older brother.) Tony’s twenty-five and super confident. He’s dated a lot of people since he joined Falconer. He’s a relatively experienced and very enthusiastic dom. He’s also bi.
It’s not a phase. Tony is not confused. He hasn’t got one foot stuck in the closet. He’s not in denial or any of the other insults bi people are so familiar with. He just happens to be bi rather than gay.
Is Tony being bi important to the storyline? No.
But, is it important for people to realise that Tony didn’t miraculously become gay just because he fell in love with a man? Yes.
And, is it also important to realise that their relationship is same-sex rather than gay? Yes.
These things aren’t important because of anything that happens in the book. They’re important because of real world issues.
Bi-erasure and bi-invisibility are both big problems for the bi community. Categorising every same-sex relationship as gay (or every opposite-sex relationship as straight) effectively re-labels any bi people in those relationships. It makes it more difficult for bi people to stand up and be counted. It makes it easier to ignore bi people and, leading on from there, easier to ignore bi-phobia.
When it comes right down to it, Worth a Shot isn’t a gay romance (or a bisexual romance). The only labels that make sense to me are same-sex romance or Male/Male romance. Now, it would be nice if I could click my fingers and make those kind of tick boxes available on a whole host of websites. But, I can’t.
All any writer can do is work with the system that exists at the moment and tick the box that will allow the greatest number of people who might want to read the book to find it as easily as possible. For this book, that meant listing it as gay and dealing with any bi-erasure related guilt that brought with it.
I’m a pragmatist. I’m a professional writer. I’m not going to have a temper tantrum and refuse to sell through Amazon, or anywhere else, just because I don’t like their way of categorising books.
I’m also bi. So, while I’ll tick the boxes I need to tick. You’ll also see tweets from me that give information that goes past one easy label. For this book, the tweets looked something like this
“To avoid confusion about Worth a Shot content – Tony is bi, Donovan is gay, and all the action is Male/Male :)”
So, to answer the original question: is Worth a Shot a gay romance? No. But if you want to read it, you will find it for sale in the gay romance section…
Kim is a thirty year old bisexual submissive from Wales (UK). First published in 2008, she has since released almost 100 BDSM erotic romance titles ranging from short stories to full length novels. Having worked with a host of fantastic e-publishers, she has just moved into self publishing.
While she has occasionally ventured towards other pairings, Kim’s first love is still, and probably always will be, Male/Male stories. But, no matter what the pairing, from paranormal to contemporary, and from the sweet to the intense, everything she writes will always feature three things – Kink, Love and a Happy Ending.
About Worth a Shot
Everyone knows that Tony Landon’s dated dozens of different men and women since he joined the athletics department at the Falconer Institute of Training. Everyone who’s ever gossiped with one of his exes knows that he’s kinky, too.
Donovan’s reputation at the institute is different. The only reason people are pretty sure he’s gay is because he drinks at the same pub as most of the gay and bi Falconer guys, and he’s never actually said he’s straight when he’s brushed them all off.
Tony’s been flirting with Donovan ever since Donovan joined the institute’s archery programme. Even though a whole year has passed and Donovan’s never given him the slightest encouragement, Tony can’t quite convince himself to give up hope.
Donovan has his reasons for not flirting back whenever Tony hits on him—right up until a snippet of overheard gossip lets him in on an interesting fact that just might change everything.
The odds are stacked against two very different men ever finding happiness together, but as far as Tony and Donovan are concerned, it’s still worth a shot.
LGBT Grand Prize Giveaway
- With a Kiss by Kim Dare (MM)
- Hot Head by Damien Suede (MM)
- By the Book by Scarlett Parrish (MM)
- The Dom With a Safeword by Cari Silverwood (FFM)
- Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon (MM)
- How Sweet it is – Melissa Brayden (FF)
- Fatal Shadows – Josh Lanyon (MM)
- Faith and Fidelity – Tere Michaels (MM)
- How to Love – Kelly Jamieson (FMM)
- Cut and Run – Abigail Roux (MM)