We’re so pleased to have author Tara Lain joining us today on the tour for her latest release, Rome and Jules, a new addition to the Dreamspun Beyond line from Dreamspinner Press. She’s here to chat about that title with us today, and she’s also offering a giveaway so be sure to check out the details below.
Star-crossed Enemies to Lovers
Hi and welcome. I’m so happy to be here to launch my new paranormal romance, Rome and Jules. Hmmm. Is there something about the title that suggests that this might be an enemies-to-lovers story? Whenever we think about enemies-to-lovers, the first story to come to mind from classical literature is Romeo and Juliet and the famous contemporary play that grew out of it, West Side Story. The best enemies-to-lovers novels or plays have a deep division between the lovers that is innate. There is something about them that makes them natural adversaries. In Romeo and Juliet it is the warring houses of Montague and Capulet who have been at odds for generations. In a book like Last of the Mohicans, the barely hinted at attraction between Cora and Uncas would have been so proscribed because of their races and cultures that Cooper was being wildly brave to even suggest it.
More often than cultural or racial divides, however, are enemies created by personality clashes or maybe social standing. I did that in my book FAST Balls where the villain from a previous books is redeemed, but at the beginning the future lovers are at odds. I had a great old time creating the battle of cats and dogs in The Pack or the Panther, in which a werewolf falls for a panther shifter. Their conflicts are based on the qualities of their species as well as the clash between a sincere werewolf and a snarky, standoffish panther. And, of course, Knight of Ocean Avenue is based on the societal conflict of a touch, blue collar guy and a flamboyant gay stylist.
Enemies-to-lovers stories in literature are notable because of their unhappy endings. Dare to cross the forbidden lines and everybody dies. That makes for a tough romance! But it is fun trying to bring the enemies together. In Rome and Jules, which pays homage to the Romeo and Juliet trope, I get to create tons of conflict, both external and internal, but still manifest a happy ending. I hope you love it!
About the Book
Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….
Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.
Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.
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Holy shit! Rome controlled his face and swooped Yolanda into a big twirl to cover his surprise. As he came out of the spin, he leaned in and sang, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The big bad wolf.”
Yolanda gave him a gutsy laugh. “Whoever you are, cutie, you’ve got balls. Not many guys want to take on my brother.”
“Surely he can’t object to you dancing?”
She shrugged. “I guess the problem is that no one knows what Ty will object to.”
“Must limit your social life.”
A crease popped between her arched brows. “Tell me about it.”
“Uh, where is your brother?”
She shrugged. “I guess he got kind of beat up on the tennis courts today and decided to go drown his sorrows with some of his cronies rather than attending this command performance.”
“But then that means he’s not performing on command.”
She spoke softly. “Ty doesn’t give a fuck. Not like old man Havilland can do much, or at least will do anything. Too busy with his friends Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.”
Rome quirked a half smile. The music stopped, and he hid his sigh of relief. He gave Yolanda a small bow. “Thank you for the dance.”
“Thank you for the courage.” She chuckled again. Shame she was a blatant enemy. He kind of liked her.
A tapping against a glass brought the whole crowd around to face the center of the dance floor.
All the guests who were sitting stood and placed a hand over their heart. Rome didn’t even have to ask. He turned to find Gerard Havilland weaving drunkenly between his sister, a pale, delicate-for-a-wolf female, and some male named Alphonse who Rome had heard was Havilland’s second. Nobody spoke about Havilland’s wife, who’d apparently walked out on him years before. Rome sighed quietly and crossed his heart. Yeah, and his fingers.
Someone started the pledge.
“I pledge my life to the alpha, who is the conduit to the wolfgods and giver of wolfen energy. Hail the alpha, source of strength and unity. Praise the alpha, defender of the pack and wellspring of all that is good. I lay myself at the alpha’s feet without need for request, cause, or reason. The alpha rules us all.”
As the voices died down, Rome felt all his hair standing on end. Regardless of how unworthy the alpha, the pledge rang with the truth of ages and united every were.
Havilland waved his hand impatiently toward the crowd. Rome turned his head—felt his mouth fall open—and let his body follow the turn.
Oh my god of wolves.
From the side of the big room walked a young male who could only be the much-heralded son. What was his name? Who cares? The guy was tall—taller even than Rome—reed slender, with dark blond hair that likely fell to his shoulders if released from the queue gathered at his neck in a ribbon. But the face. Like someone translated poetry into a person. Large eyes, so blue Rome could see their color from where he stood, dominated his face above high cheekbones that would have been gaunt if they weren’t a soft, glowing pink. His neck was long, his hands graceful. Gods, what is he? Wolf males might be tall like Rome, but they were nearly always powerfully built. This guy looked very little like Gerard Havilland.
Rome’s whole body vibrated with electricity and shook as if the male were a magnet and Rome was iron filings trying to organize around him.
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. 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”!
Author Links: Website || Blog || Twitter || FB Author Page || Goodreads || Pinterest
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1 thought on “Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Rome and Jules by Tara Lain”
The blurb was interesting because it’s hard to shake up Romeo and Juliet and make it not follow that same ABC route. Shapeshifters make it a bit more interesting I’ll say.