Enemies to Lovers ~ Sigh!
Hi and welcome! I’m delighted to be visiting The Novel Approach. I’m Tara Lain, I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance and today I’m introducing you to the new revised and expanded version of my novella, VOLLEY BALLS. If you’ve read the original version of this book, you know that my hero, David, starts out afraid and angry at the two hunky Australian volleyball players who insult him on the beach in Laguna. Then he gradually begins to realize that one of the gorgeous men is actually protecting him – from the other one!
As readers, we tend to love these tales. Of course, the first enemies-to-lovers story to come to mind from classical literature is Romeo and Juliet and the famous contemporary play, which grew out of it, West Side Story. The best enemies to lovers novels or plays have a deep division between the lovers that’s innate. There is something about them that makes them natural adversaries. In Romeo and Juliet it’s the warring houses of Montague and Capulet who have been at odds for generations. Enemies-to-lovers stories are notable because of their unhappy endings. Dare to cross the forbidden lines and everybody dies. That makes for a tough romance!
In gay romances, there are many opportunities for conflict and I’ve incorporated a lot of them in my books. Two of those – the division between homophobes and gay men as well as the stress between closeted gay guys and those who are out and proud – are devices in Volley Balls. Ultimately, the conflict with the third man in this story, Edge, is so intense, it takes a lot of work to make it possible for them to all end up together. In the original version of the book, I always felt there wasn’t enough explanation for how that was possible. I expanded the book to make that a reality. I hope you like it.
About the Book
A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.
Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lover’s lives miserable.
For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?
Excerpt ~ Revised and Expanded
As he approached the gallery, a figure stepped away from the building. He sucked wind, stopped, and slapped a hand over his heart. Shit. Not Phil. Not Phil. He swallowed hard.
The Aussie stepped closer. “Sorry to scare you. Are you okay?”
Couldn’t quite catch his breath. He nodded, but his inhale sounded in his ears.
“Jesus, I’m sorry, David. I keep fucking this up. I should just leave you alone like you asked me.” He shook his head, turned, and started walking away down Forest.
“Wait!” Shit, did he just say that?
The guy stopped and turned. “Yeh?” The word turned up on the end—hopefully.
“I have to give you points for not giving up. After me being such a shit and all.”
“I deserved it. I just—” He shrugged. “—don’t have much experience. None with guys, you know? I’m pretty bad at it.”
“You guarantee you’re not an ax murderer?”
The guy’s perfect lips in his perfect face turned up. “Do American ax murderers admit their profession? Must make policing damned easy.”
“Yep. All the cops are busy eating donuts as we speak.”
“So no, I’m not an ax murderer.” His face sobered. “Or anyone who means you harm.” He extended his hand. “Hello. I’m Gareth Marshall.”
David shook his hand. Big. Very callused. Very warm. “Okay, Gareth.” David crossed his arms. “What’s a nice guy like you doing with a homophobic asshole like that big blond?”
All kinds of emotions flashed across his face—anger, hurt, and embarrassment seemed uppermost. “He’s my volleyball partner.” He took a breath. “And actually my best friend.”
David frowned. “So he harasses every other gay guy, but not you?”
“He doesn’t know I’m gay.”
“Uh, sorry to tell you, but in the dictionary where it says ‘best friend,’ it says ‘guy who you tell all your secrets to.’”
“I know. But we’ve been friends since we were kids. He thinks he knows everything about me.”
“He’s missed a few sucked cocks, I gather.”
Gareth did that shrug thing. “A few.”
“So where do we go from here?”
He flashed a slightly saucy smile. “Where do you want to go, mate?”
“You’re the one lurking in doorways.”
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 35. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!