As I write this blog post, I’m waiting for my latest book, Love You Forever, to “go live” on Amazon. By the time this posts, it will have been out a few weeks.
But sitting here right now, I’m nervous. About the usual stuff (Will it sell? Will people like it? Will I get positive reviews?) and about some other stuff, too. Most notably those sins and mistakes and really bad choices I let my characters make.
What kind of “sins”, you ask?
In the m/m Romance genre, a big sin is unprotected sex. For some readers, it is a real deal-breaker. So yeah, this book has some unprotected sex. But whatever the morality police say, having those guys use condoms at that point would have been ridiculous. So I stand by my decision. Still, I know it might offend people.
How about a bigger “sin” – like cheating?
This book has a teeny-tiny bit of cheating, and I know some people HATE cheating in a Romance novel. In this story, it is a minor event, and not really part of the plot. And now I’m nervous about it. Should I have put it in at all? Will people be angry? Will I get negative reviews because of this?
But the truth is, in real life, people sometimes cheat. And that doesn’t always mean they are the worst people on earth. It just means they are human, and they made a mistake. It means they are not perfect.
But in Romance, we like our guys perfect, don’t we?
We like them sexy and strong, caring and considerate. We want perfect lovers with perfect morals and perfect bodies. Why would we want to read about average, flawed guys acting like jerks, right?
Well… maybe. I guess when I think about it, most of my stories are about average, flawed guys. And they sometimes act like jerks. But hopefully, if I’ve done my job, the reader will understand them, and forgive them, and feel proud of them as they grow and change into average, flawed guys who are trying really hard not to be jerks.
So back to my problem: will people be angry at me for writing a cheating main character? And what about all the other things I put in there? Drug use. Arguments that got a bit physical. How about the fact that for the first few chapters, my characters are just barely 18 years old, and having lots of explicit, on-page sex?
Chances are good I’ll offend someone.
But I don’t think I could have written this story any other way. It is a story about growing up, learning to love, and forgiveness. And without some darkness, the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t as bright.
What about you, readers? What is an absolute turn off for you? Is there any way that cheating, or other so-called “sins of Romance,” would be acceptable to you in fiction? Is there anything that makes you simply not finish a book? Can you forgive a main character for his mistakes?
They grew up together, and fell in love along the way. But the night Cole & Rick came out to their parents their lives changed in ways they never expected. Before their romance could stand on its own, they were cursed by the gods to remain together, or die.
What happens when kissing your boyfriend becomes a life or death situation? When you have to stay together no matter how your feelings change?
Cole promised he’d love Rick forever. He had no idea how difficult that would prove to be.
Love You Forever is available on Amazon 🙂
About the Author
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For the Grand Prize Giveaway, I (Nix) will be giving away ten of my top LGBT books. These books will be gifted via All Romance as the books are available to readers on all the types of eReaders (you just need to sign up for a free account to access the books and you can send them directly). If you have any of the books and you win the prize, speak to me and I’ll see what else I can do. All of the posts have prizes atatched and a list of these can be found here
The books are (and there are substitutions available for people who have copies)…
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)
Paperback Tread Marks & Trademarks by SA McAuley
A eCopy of Bite Me Tender by Kate Lowell
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I think characters are most interesting when they have flaws, so they would certainly make mistakes. If the character grows during the story, then mistakes are forgivable. That said, I’m really not a fan of cheating between main characters in romances. I can get over it, but it takes a lot to convince me.
That is a good point! the growth is critical. Regret for the mistake, and an attempt to make amends, is also important, I think (in real life as well as fiction, am I right?) 🙂
I’m not a fan of cheating, but if it’s minor and I get a believable HEA, I can live with it. 🙂
I’m with you! Those are my requirements as well.
I don’t think I could write (or read) a long term cheating situation. And i don’t know if I could buy a HEA after that. My cheating episode in this story was minor, so I’m really hoping it comes off as believable and forgivable!
In the end, I think you had to be true to your characters and the story. If you write to please everybody (even me 🙂 ) it just ends up unsatisfying…
That’s for sure. The best way to drive yourself nuts is by trying to please everyone 🙂
I would say I dislike cheating in books but I have read more than one book where the flaws or sins actually made sense and a few that made the story better.
True, flaws often make a character more real, and sometimes sins make a book more fun to read 🙂 I don’t like long term cheating, or really badly behaving MCs, but a little naughty can be nice!