Some romance books end with a wedding. Tempting the Stars one starts with one. But it’s a series book and the last one ended with a proposal, so it made sense to follow right up on that and get on with the wedding.
It’s the first time I’ve gotten my lead characters married – within the book at least. I’m sure some would have done that eventually. Others would look at you as if you’re mad if you suggested it. This is m/m romance, so I’m talking about two men marrying each other. It’s set in the future and same sex marriage is no more remarkable to them than that any two people would be able to stand each other’s company for long enough to get married. (I am a tad cynical for a Romance writer, I admit.)
Our own world isn’t the same on the matter, sadly, though huge strides have been made the last few years in some countries, including my own, the UK. I didn’t consciously set out to write a “ripped from the headlines” story and it’s not an issue book about marriage equality. It was just the natural next stage in the relationship for those characters and also fits in with the way the story harks back to the days of the East India Companies. Jarvez in this book is kind of in the position of a woman in historical times who could gain independence from her birth family only through marriage. Jarvez isn’t as tied to his family as women were then, but marriage and other things make him start to assert an independence he didn’t have before. (Just don’t call him the bride.)
Even if I didn’t consciously choose to write a book about same sex marriage because of how much it’s been in the news lately, I can’t say that hasn’t influenced me unconsciously. As well as Alyn and Jarvez’s wedding and married life (this being fiction that is not of course all plain sailing) I’ll be including married characters in other stories, where it will either be unremarkable for them, or not, depending on the setting. Meanwhile I hope the real world continues to move toward it being no big deal.
Red Dragon #3: Tempting the Stars
Marriage should be a happy ending, but for Alyn and Jarvez it’s only the start of a new set of problems as grief and guilt stir deeply buried desires in Jarvez. Will wedded bliss prove to be a myth?
The Red Dragon returns to Earth carrying the newly-married Captain Alyn Evans and Company Rep Jarvez Kashari. After promising to leave the Dragon, Jarvez expects confrontation when the grandfather he’s spent all his life trying to please learns he lied. But the showdown never happens—he arrives home to the news his grandfather is dead. While dealing with the shock and grief, the revelation of a terrible old secret changes Jarvez’s perceptions of his family and the company.
Coming to terms with what he learned at home, haunted by guilt for his unwitting part in it, Jarvez finds dark sexual urges surfacing. He longs for punishment, domination, and pain – longings Alyn finds hard to satisfy. The Dragon leaves Earth with a new mission and Jarvez has new ambitions. He wants to raise enough money to leave the company behind, buy a ship with Alyn and become independent traders. When a consignment of diamonds is stolen aboard the Dragon, they are not allowed to go on until the case is solved. With only a few days left to buy the ship he wants and start the new life he dreams of, Jarvez must find those diamonds.