Its Here!!! LOVE YOU SO HARD is now available!! #NewReRelease #TaraLain

Woohooo!! Love You So Hard is now available!!

Hi! I’m so happy to tell you that one of my most popular stories of all time, Love You So Hard, is now re-released from Dreamspinner. Happily, this will be the first in a series of new loosely connected romances called the Love You So stories. Love You So Hard was first written for the MM Romance Group on Goodreads and i’ll always be grateful to them for posting the photo of the sassy T-shirt that said, I Would Bottom You So Hard that became the inspiration for this tale of a guy who thinks he’s a loser until he meets the tutor who teaches him to top his life. Hope you enjoy it.

Blurb:
A Love You So Story

Craig Elson’s life has hit rock bottom. Even though he’s one of the best strategic planners around, a more confident guy takes credit for his work, and despite being a good-looking man, he suffers insults from the slimiest creep at the bar. Taking care of his beloved mom, who has Alzheimer’s, uses all his funds, leaving him in a plain, depressing car… and a plain, depressing life.

Until he sees gorgeous grad student Jesse Randall and his T-shirt that reads “I Would Bottom You So Hard.” The message seeps into Craig’s soul, and he asks Jesse to teach him to top.

Jesse’s had his eye on the quiet hottie who comes into the coffee shop, and he’s more than eager to perfect his tutoring. He sets out to get Craig a new job, a new apartment, and a new life so far outside plain and depressing that it’s unrecognizable.The problem is, Craig loves his lessons—and his teacher—too much to want to graduate. How can Craig reach the top without losing his sassy bottom?

Available for purchase at

Kindle |  Dreamspinner | Kobo | Nook

Excerpt

 

Five more minutes.

Craig took a sip of his latte and forced himself to lean against the coffee shop wall and stare at his phone screen. If the guy didn’t come in five minutes, he had to leave and get to work.

This was a huge day. That promotion would make the difference in—well, everything. But the guy was his good-luck charm. He really didn’t want to miss him. Maybe the kid would wear that shirt stretched across his lean chest. Craig swallowed hard and sipped the coffee.

Craig looked up as the door opened, then sighed softly when he saw a woman with two kids. The little boy and girl were pulling on her arms and yelling at each other. She got in line and let the two kids go. The boy grabbed for his sister, missed, flew across the store, and smashed into Craig’s legs. Craig grabbed his latte, dropped his phone, coffee splashed, and he jumped back to keep it off his suit. The woman behind him hollered and pushed him as his foot sank down on her toe.

Turning, he came face-to-face with her frown. He mirrored it. “I’m so sorry!”

A scream ricocheted off the walls, Craig looked back to see the kid in a heap on the floor, yelling his lungs out as people stared at Craig like he was a child molester.

The mother rushed over, grabbed the kid up in her arms, and carried him back to the line. No apology, no recognition of Craig’s existence. Jesus, what the hell was he? Invisible? He knew the answer to that one. His father had certainly told him often enough. With a sigh he reached down for his phone. Somehow it wasn’t broken.

He glanced at the door and then at his watch. Damn. Two more minutes.

People in the line chatted as they waited for Ida and Will to serve them. Craig didn’t actually know Ida and Will, but he’d heard him—the kid in the T-shirt—say their names a couple of times.

Thirty seconds. Come on—

The door pushed open. Oh yes, thank you, God. Every time, it was like some commercial on television for perfume or something. Time slowed down. The guy’s long, black-denim-clad leg stretched through the door, the fabric tightening across his thigh muscles. Another step and the jeans cupped his package like a jeweler showing off a diamond. The guy wasn’t real tall. Maybe five foot ten—inches shorter than Craig—but he added up to Craig’s idea of perfection.

That face. Half god, half elf. On the one hand, he had high cheekbones and a nicely shaped jaw. Real architectural. But that was in total contrast to the bright, crinkly eyes, the turned-up nose, and dishwater-blond hair that looked like it had been hacked into submission with a lawnmower—a very sexy lawnmower.

Craig sighed. Above the jeans, the guy wore a windbreaker with the hem of a white polo shirt sticking out. No black T-shirt. No shirt of Craig’s dreams. The shirt that ran through his mind as he sat at his desk working out strategic plans.

The one that said I Would Bottom You So Hard.

The kid had only worn it once that Craig had seen. That was all it took. Sure, he would have noticed this guy no matter what. He was that delicious. But he was also maybe twenty-one or twenty-two, which was at least four or five years too young for Craig. But the shirt. He saw it and the promise seeped right into his heart. His soul.

I would bottom you so hard. Damn, no one ever let Craig top. In thirty-two years of life, he’d never once topped. Even though he was tall, there was just something about him that screamed Shove my feet over my head and fuck me. Hell, he wasn’t complaining exactly. At least he got fucked—sometimes. But nobody thought of him as a top. Anywhere. He wasn’t even sure he bottomed hard.

The kid danced in the line. He didn’t have earbuds in, so he must be dancing to the music in his head. Craig glanced at his watch. He should go, but it was hard to leave that flexing ass. What would it be like to push his cock into that cute crack outlined between the denim pockets?

Whoa! He adjusted his suit coat over his bulge.

The kid’s pretty voice sang out—a little high but still real masculine. “Hey, Ida, babes. Do you have three caramel macchiatos for me, puh-leez?”

The older woman, heavyset, wearing an apron over her jeans and shirt, laughed. “For you, sweetheart, anything.”

Man, that was the truth. This was one of those genetically gifted charmers.

The man he’d heard called Will, who seemed like the owner of the coffee shop, leaned over the other end of the counter and waved. And then he said it. First time Craig had heard it. “Hi, Jesse. How you doin’, kid?”

Jesse. Jesse. Jesse. Perfect name.

 

Best Gay Book of the Year #2 Winner! Fool of Main Beach. #RainbowAwards

Hi everyone — I’m so thrilled to share than my Love in Laguna novel, Fool of Main Beach, took second place as Gay Book of the Year in the Rainbow Awards. This international contest recognizes excellence in LGBT literature of all types. The book  took second place in the Best Contemporary Romance Category and then followed up as second in the overall Best Book. There are hundreds of books in this contest and i was floored to be told about the win.

Thank you to Elisa Rolle who volunteers hundreds of hours of work a year to make this contest possible and to raise thousands of dollars for LGBT charities. And thank you to all the judges who said such kind things about Fool of Main Beach. To read an except of the book, Click HERE.

Will You Vote? Book of the Week — Fool of Main Beach #LoveBytes #5Hearts

Hi — I’m happy to say that Fool of Main Beach received a 5 Heart review on Love Bytes Reviews and so is nominated for Book of the Week. A bunch of great books are nominated. Would you Vote? HERE?

In here review, Christie said, “To be completely honest, I had a hard time writing this review. Not because I disliked the book (because, I loved it to pieces). It’s the fact that the first few drafts made me seem like a complete fangirl instead of a professional. I even messaged Tara to let her know of my difficulties, while trying to write it. Actually, the message I sent to her said: “You’re definitely getting [a review] from me, as soon as I can string a coherent sentence together that consists of more than “ZOMG, TARA LAIN IS THE MOST AMAZING AUTHOR ON THIS PLANET AND YOU MUST BUY ALL HER BOOKS NOW!” Well, okay, I had to fangirl a little. If you’re a fan of her or her books, can you blame me? At any rate, Fool of Main Beach was an excellent addition to the Love in Laguna series, and I definitely recommend reading it as soon as you can.”

Needless to say, i was very honored to receive such an amazing review. If you get a chance to vote, I’d so appreciate your consideration. Vote HERE. 

Thank you for coming by! BTW, if you haven’t entered the Fool of Main Beach blog tour giveaway, you can do it HERE.

Lovely Stars for FOOL OF MAIN BEACH #5Stars #gayromance

Hi everyone —

Reviewers are being very enthusiastic about Fool of Main Beach! If you haven’t entered to WIN a $15 Amazon GC, Click HERE. You can also read excerpts from Fool of Main Beach.

Christie at Love Bytes says — 5 Hearts!

“Actually, the message I sent to her said: “You’re definitely getting [a review] from me, as soon as I can string a coherent sentence together that consists of more than “ZOMG, TARA LAIN IS THE MOST AMAZING AUTHOR ON THIS PLANET AND YOU MUST BUY ALL HER BOOKS NOW!” Well, okay, I had to fangirl a little. If you’re a fan of her or her books, can you blame me? At any rate, Fool of Main Beach was an excellent addition to the Love in Laguna series, and I definitely recommend reading it as soon as you can.”

Danielle at Watch and Word Society says — 5 stars!

“I love Lain’s Laguna series, and the book that kicked off the series is one of my all time favorites.  Her series made it to my top of 2016.  With this release, Lain rivals the magic of her first release in the series.”

Lena Gray at Rainbow Book Reviews says — 5 stars!

“Thanks again, Tara, for characters who break with traditional stereotypes, which makes them even more special.”

Brandee at Bookworm Brandee Book Reviews says — 5 Bookworms!

“In the end, this might have moved into the top spot as my favorite in this series so far!”

Amber at OptimuMM Book Reviews says — 4.5 stars!

“I can’t express how much I enjoy Tara Lain’s writing style and how lovable her characters are. I still haven’t read a book of hers yet that I haven’t loved.”

Morgan at Open Skye Book Reviews says — 5 stars!

“Ranks up with top for 2017!”

Buffy at Buffy Kennedy Book Reviews — 5 stars!

“Fool of Main Beach definitely lives up to the standard that’s been set by its predecessors in the series. It holds you captivated, and makes you fall in love and feel happy. ”

Angie at Wicked Reads says  — 5 Stars!

“Great story that made me shed a tear and melted my heart.”

Carrie from The Novel Approach says — 5 stars!

“I totally recommend this book and this series from Tara Lain. If you are looking for solid romance with a sprinkling of angst and a heartwarming HEA, then this book and this series are for you.”

I hope you’ll check out Fool of Main Beach and thank you for visiting.

Released! FOOL OF MAIN BEACH by Tara Lain. Enter to WIN! #sweetlove

Hi! Happy Eclipse!  LOL. I’m thrilled to welcome you to the blog tour for the release of Fool of Main Beach. This book turned out to be one of my favorites and i hope you love it too. Be sure to enter on the Rafflecopter and, if you have time, stop by the different sites on the blog tour and say hi!

Blog Tour StopsAugust 21, 2017 
Nessa’s Book Reviews

August 22, 2017 
Readaholics Anonymous

August 23, 2017 
My Fiction Nook

August 24, 2017
Love Bytes

August 25, 2017 
Buffy’s Ramblings
Stories That Make You Smile

August 28, 2017 
Bayou Book Junkie

August 29, 2017 
Book Lovers 4Ever

August 30, 2017 
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
Dawn’s Reading Nook

August 31, 2017 
books are love

September 1, 2017
Contry Reads
Making it Happen

The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves. 

Fool of Main Beach(Love of Laguna Series, Bk #5)by Tara Lain
Blurb:
Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?

Available for purchase at
            
Also available in paperback
Excerpts

 

Tom sat on the side of the double bed that
Merle kept for company. “This is nice.”
“I’ll have a better place when my house is
done. The bathroom is across the hall. The towels are clean. I’ll see if I have
an extra toothbrush.”
Tom looked up with those big eyes. “Thank you
for saving me.”
“I’m just glad you called.”
“I didn’t know who else to call. I was
thinking maybe Billy if I couldn’t get you.” He looked at his hands folded in
his lap. “I figured you’d be with Renee.”
“No. We left right after you did, and I came
here.”
Tom glanced up quickly and then back down.
Merle swallowed a little too loudly. “I might
have some pajama bottoms that will fit you, but they’ll be way too short.”
“That’s okay. I’ll wear my undies.”
“So, uh, sleep well.” He turned and
practically raced to his own room before his nobility faded.
Tom stared at his hands some more. Merle sure did want to go back to sleep. I
must have bothered him.
But I’m still
happy he came to get me. I didn’t want to fuck Aaron or even suck his cock like
he said.
Tom stood and walked to the bathroom across
the hall. He glanced toward the other door just a little way away. That’s where Merle is. Light still
showed under the door. Not asleep yet.
No toothbrush. Merle forgot. But Tom found some toothpaste in a drawer and put
some on his finger and slid it around. After rinsing, he peed, washed his hands
and face, and went back into the bedroom, stripped to his boxer briefs, and
hung his jeans and shirt and jacket on hangers in the closet.
He pulled back the covers and found nice
white sheets, then crawled in and flipped off the light beside the bed. Wonder if Merle’s asleep? I hope the boys
are okay and don’t miss me too much.
He almost never left them overnight.
Mrs. A. wouldn’t like it if he did it very much. The boys wouldn’t like it
either.
He sighed and stretched his hands behind his
head. I shouldn’t have said I’d go
dancing with Aaron. Why did I do that?
He followed the patterns of headlights
streaking across the wall through a gap in the curtains. I like to dance. His lips compressed in a line. I wanted to dance, but not with Aaron. I
wanted to dance with Merle.
He smiled. I
got to and it was rad. Merle’s the best dancer ever.
Oh
boy
. He shook his head. I really like Merle. I never
should’ve said I’d go with Aaron when I wanted to go with Merle. That was dumb.
And not very nice.
He blew out his breath in a long stream and felt it
tickle his chest. But Merle didn’t ask
me.
Flipping to his side, he stroked the soft
sheets. But maybe Merle wants me to ask
him.
When I called him, he came right
away like—like nobody ever has. What would he do if I just told him?

 

Tom tiptoed up the stairs carrying the two big boxes. He’d
knocked, but no answer. Mist met him at the top step, giving him a little hop.
He nodded at her, patted her with one hand, then carried the pizza quietly to
the kitchen. Merle was sound asleep. Boy, he must be tired. Maybe I should put the pizza in plastic bags
and carry Merle to bed?
“Don’t even think about eating all that pizza by yourself.” Merle
laughed behind him, and it made his whole body feel warm to hear it.
He turned. “I think me and Mist can do it. She gets one and I get
the other.”
Merle stood, and he looked yummier than the pizza. “Can dogs eat
pizza?”
“Nope. It’s bad for them. But they do it anyway sometimes.”
Merle nodded. “I guess we’re all like that, aren’t we?”
“Eat pizza?”
He shook his head. “No. We like to do stuff that’s bad for us.”
Merle wiped a hand over his face.
The words made his ears feel tingly like they wouldn’t stop
repeating. Tom swallowed. Yeah, Merle
thinks I’m bad for him. People would make fun of him for having me around
. I bother him for sex when he should be
making friends with people like Renee. Important people.
He turned so Merle
couldn’t see his face.
I
forgot how much this hurts.
Tom grabbed the plates and set them in front of two stools by the
island. “This is a good place to eat, and it’s easy to clean up.”
Merle touched his back. It made him jump. “I really love the way
you worked out the feeding station for Mist. How did you ever think of it?”
He tried to smile. “That’s what I’d do if I lived here. I thought
Mist would like it.” He looked up. “I just made it for her. The boys ate on the
floor. They didn’t mind.”
“Where are the boys?” Merle opened the refrigerator. “Oh good. You
want beer?”
“Yes. In the sewing room.”
“What?” Merle looked up really fast.
“The boys are in the sewing room at Mrs. A.’s and yes, please, I’d
like a beer.”
Merle opened the bottles and put one in front of each place; then
he dished salad onto the plates. “How come you left the boys there? Will Lily
watch them for you?”
Tom got the forks. “No, I’ll take them out when I go home.”
“Oh.” Merle looked really surprised. “I thought you were staying
here.”
His heart leaped so high it tickled his throat. “Oh, I—”
Merle frowned. “Sorry. I don’t mean to take advantage of you. I’m
sure you want to be in your own place.”
Tom stared at the pizza. It didn’t look quite so good as it did
before. “I don’t have a place, Merle.”
“What do you mean? Aren’t you staying with Mrs. Allison anymore?”
“Lily lives in my room now. I just stay in the sewing room with
the boys.” He didn’t want to feel bad about that. He liked having Lily stay,
but he didn’t have anything that was his.
“You can stay here.”
He nodded and pushed the slice of pizza on his plate. “Yes. Thank
you. I’ll bring the boys back Monday night and look after Mist and watch the
place.”
“Oh.” Merle looked unhappy. He took a bite of his pizza and chewed
slowly. “I was thinking you might want to stay tonight.” He looked up. “You
know, go get the boys first.”
Something strange happened in Tom’s chest. Like growing and
shrinking at the same time. It hurt, almost. Words came out before he could
stop them. “That’s okay, Merle. Thank you. But you need to have fun in your
house. I better go be with Lily since I haven’t been with her too much and she
probably gets lonely too.” He stood before he could even stop himself. “If you
don’t mind, I’ll take some of this great pizza to Lily because she really loves
it. You know that.” He rushed over to the drawer where he’d put the plastic
bags, got one, and stuffed it full of pizza slices. Merle stared at him really
funny. “You have a good sleep, and I’ll come back Monday and stay for as long
as you need me to, okay? I’m really glad you like your house. That makes me
happier than anything.” He waved and hurried toward the steps. “Bye, Merle.”
Just like that, he was down the steps and out the door and into
his truck with the warm pizza kind of squished in his hand. The front door of
the house opened, so he backed out really fast and gunned it up the street
before he could see Merle and change his mind.
He made it all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway before the
first sob made him bite his lip. Why did
I do that? Why? I wanted to stay with Merle so bad.
He drove straight down the highway in the right lane so he didn’t
have to pass or go too fast ’cause he couldn’t see so good. He hooked his
shoulder to wipe the wet from his jaw where it was about to drip.
Why?

 

Because
it hurts so much worse when it’s over.

 

Love in Laguna Series
Bk #1

 

Available for purchase at
                 

 

Bk #2
Available for purchase at 
 
                    

 

Bk #3
Available for purchase at
                      

 

 

 

Bk #4
Available for purchase at 
               

 
Grab your copy now!
 
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”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain
               
 
 
Giveaway

Presented By

Top 10 Most Romantic Movie Couples plus Merle and Tom! #romance #TaraLain

Hi! You know i love movies — and i love writing romance. On Monday (less than 2 days as i write this) one of my favorite books is releasing. It’s called Fool of Main Beach and it includes a very romantic couple — Merle and Tom. I say about these guys — the unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves. You can buy the book most anywhere. Here’s the Book Page Link where you’ll find all the buy links and read an excerpt.

Thinking about Fool of Main Beach got me thinking about my favorite movie couples and i went looking for a list. I think this Top 10 list is pretty darned good. See if you agree.

Thank you for stopping by. Remember, you can have your own copy of Fool of Main Beach at midnight tomorrow (Sunday). Plus, there will be a Blog Tour with a gift card prize, so be sure to stop by.

Eyeball Feast! FOOL OF MAIN BEACH by Tara Lain #bestseller #loveinlaguna #preorder

Hi– Fool of Main Beach is coming!! And it’s already a bestseller at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon. If you move fast, you can preorder it today (Sunday August 13th) at 30% Off HERE. Here are a few little nibbles from the book —

If you’d like to read an excerpt, Click HERE. And be sure to stop by tomorrow and see the yummylicious new cover for Cataclysmic Shift!!

Endings – They Make the Book and the Movie. Top 10! #bestmovieendings

Hi. I’ll bet you agree that if a book has a great beginning, we’ll read that book. If it has a great ending, we’ll read the author’s next book. I love writing endings and my readers tell me they like them. I write VERY happy ever afters as a general rule. Many of my books even have a wedding.

Because i love great story endings, I enjoyed this video of the Top 10 Best Romance Endings. Many of these are bittersweet or even sad, which i can appreciate — but never write. See if you agree with this list of the best movie endings for a romance.

My new book, Fool of Main Beach, is coming in a couple weeks and is available for preorder now. It’s already on the bestseller lists! If you’d like to read an excerpt or know more, click HERE.

Tara Lain’s FOOL OF MAIN BEACH – Cover Reveal! #LoveinLaguna #DreamspinnerPress

 

FOOL OF MAIN BEACH,
 the fifth book in the Love In Laguna Series arrives 
August 21, 2017! 

 

The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves.

 

Hi –I’m so excited to unveil the cover of my upcoming release, Fool of Main Beach.  This is one of my personal favorite books with one of my unlikeliest heroes ever. I hope you love it!

* * *

Fool of Main Beach
(Love of Laguna Series, Bk #5)
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.
Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?
Pre-Order your copy now at

 

Also available to pre-order in paperback
Release Date: 
August 21, 2017
 
Excerpts

 

White bursts of light flashed in front of his eyes and a
river of burning bile filled his mouth, oozing around the pressure of the big
asshole’s arm on his neck. Damn. Damn.
Who the fuck wants to die on the beach in a tuxedo?
Merle staggered backward as the brother tightened his
grip and the other sibling from hell moved in to do more damage. Brother One
pulled back a fist—and suddenly flew through the air, practically knocking
Merle and his captor off their feet.
Standing behind where Brother One had stood
was—Sasquatch. It had to be—this huge man, easily six foot six, dressed in what
might be a pink puffer jacket, with a shock of curly, dark hair flying around
his face. He stopped his forward momentum and snapped a fist at Ritchie, who
was staggering back to join the fray. Only the smallest interface between that
huge hand and Ritchie’s chin signaled bye-bye,
Ritchie
. The dude staggered back and fell on his ass. Merle would have
cheered if his neck wasn’t breaking. Sweet Face held up his hands, and
Sasquatch nodded with a smile more appropriate to a kindergarten class than a beach
brawl.
Then the giant turned to Brother Two, who still held his
arm painfully around Merle’s throat. Brother hissed in Merle’s ear, “Don’t come
any closer or I’ll break his neck.”
Sasquatch cocked his head and gave that weird smile
again. Is the guy nuts? “It’s very
hard to break a person’s neck, did you know that?” He walked slowly forward.
“You don’t want to hurt him.”
The arm around Merle’s neck trembled and tightened
convulsively. Merle made a gagging sound.
Sasquatch frowned, an oddity on what appeared to be a
young, pretty face. “It will be very bad for you if you hurt him, you know? But
if you let him go, I won’t hurt you.” He looked over his shoulder. “See. Your
friends ran away already.”
Sure enough. They’d melted into the dark the second they got
the chance.
“You should go too.” Sasquatch stepped forward again. “Go
now.”
Brother Two released Merle and ran like a rabbit toward
the water as Merle collapsed onto the damp sand. “I hope you fucking drown.” He
rubbed his neck and tried to get a full breath into his lungs.
The big man knelt down beside Merle.
Merle glanced up. Yes, on closer inspection the face
might have been a choirboy’s—on the body of the Jolly Green Giant.
The big man bobbed his head. “You’re okay, right?”
“Yeah. I think so.”
“How can we know?”
Merle almost laughed. “Uh, I guess you can help me up,
and we’ll check it out.”
“Okay.” The giant reached down, grasped Merle at the
waist, and whoa—sent him flying to
his feet. This time Merle did laugh. “Was that fun?” The big man smiled, and
huge dimples popped out in his cherub face.
“Yeah. Thanks.”
“I could do it again. I like lifting you.”
“No, that’s okay.” Funny how that gave him a little flip
in the stomach. He rotated his neck very gently. “I think I’m okay. How does my
tux look?” He stepped back and wiped sand from his butt.
“Tux?”
“Oh, my clothes.”
“Good. Really pretty.”
“Thanks. A friend designed the clothes for me, and I’d
hate for those assholes to ruin them.”
“Yes. That would be bad. Disappointing.”
“Yes, it would.”
“Friends are good.”
Merle stuck out his hand. “I’m Merle Justice, and I’m
extremely grateful to you. I think you might have saved my life.”
The big man looked at Merle’s hand for a minute, then
grinned and shook it enthusiastically. “I’m happy to save your life.”

 

Merle stretched out the measuring tape and got the
dimensions of the huge family space, then paced it off into dining and living
areas. Once he had enough measurements to buy rugs, he wandered past the big
island into the kitchen and opened each cabinet. His mind filled in the spaces
with dishes and pots and pans—yeah, a lot of stuff he didn’t have. His current
apartment in Santa Monica was still a transition space from starving-actor digs
to TV-star quarters. TV star? He snorted softly. More like vampire of the
month. Of course, he’d been lucky enough to be vampire of the month for two
years.
I’m killing time.
Go down to Ru’s studio and take him to lunch.
“Want part of my sandwich, Merle?”
He looked up into the truly pretty face smiling at him
from the other side of the island. “I don’t want to take your lunch, Tom. I’ll
go get some.”
“It’s okay. I made two sandwiches, so there’s lots.”
I should go, but—“Sure,
I’d love half of your sandwich. What kind is it?”
“I’ve got peanut butter and I’ve got avocado and cheese.”
“Which kind do you like best?”
“I like them both.”
“I’ll take avocado.” He looked around the big room still
covered in drywall dust, nails, and wood shavings. “Where shall we sit?”
Tom made a waggling motion with his finger.
Merle cocked his head and walked around the island to
where Tom stood, towering over him. Suddenly he was flying through the air and
made a little gasping sound as Tom sat him on top of the island, then grinned
and easily hopped up beside him. Merle laughed. “No fair.”
“Oh, didn’t you like it?” Tom looked serious.
“I’m teasing you. I just meant it’s funny that you’re so
much bigger than me.”
He shrugged. “I’m much bigger than anybody—except Billy.
I’m just a little bigger than him.” He handed over his half sandwich. It was on
some kind of multigrain bread and appeared to have cheese that wasn’t American.
“This looks delicious.”
“Mrs. Allison taught me to make it.”
“Who’s that?” He took a bite and was very happy he did.
“The lady I live with.”
“Oh, you live with a lady?” Duh, Merle.
“She owns the house, and I rent a room from her.” He
chewed his peanut butter, which also looked like it might have some organic
roots. “I help her with stuff, and she helps me too. Like teaching me about
food and water and how to feed the boys.”
“Boys?”
“My dogs.”
“How many dogs?”
“Two. Fluffy and Tigger. I got them from the shelter where
I work sometimes.”
“Most landladies don’t let you have dogs.”
“Mrs. A. is really nice. She doesn’t want me to have big
dogs, though. Wish I could.” He chewed thoughtfully.
“You could probably get an apartment or house with enough
space for bigger dogs if you want them.”
He shook his head matter-of-factly. “No. Can’t afford
it.”
“I guess rentals in Laguna are pretty high.”
“Yeah, but Billy pays me good. I just need the money for
my folks to take care of Lily.”
“Your sister.”
“Right.” He grinned like he was happy Merle knew her
name. They chewed companionably. “You’re on TV, right?”
“Yes.”
“I don’t see TV much, but I’m going to watch this week.
Mrs. Allison said I can.”
Why did his saying things like that wring Merle’s heart?
“Do you like movies?”
“Oh yes. I go to movies sometimes.”
“What kind do you like?”
“All kinds. Except the ones with the words. I’m not so
good at that.”
Merle’s glance snapped to Tom’s face, but Tom didn’t seem
to be complaining or confessing. Just stating a fact. “Do you have trouble reading?”
He tried to ask it with great nonchalance.
“Yes. That’s how Billy and I got to be friends. He
doesn’t read so good either.” He grinned. “But we’re better now.”
“May I ask you a personal question? You don’t have to
tell me.”
“Sure, Merle. You’re my friend.”
Again, that thump on his heart. “I know you passed the
electrician’s exam. Billy tells me that’s really hard. If you have trouble
reading, how were you able to do it?”
“Mrs. A. read it to me.”
He looked up from licking his fingers clean of avocado.
“What?”
“I gave her the tests that were like samples, and she
read them to me. And she read all the handbooks too. Then a nice guy named Burt
read me the questions on the test, and I said the answers out loud.”
“So you learned everything when Mrs., uh, A. read it to
you?”
“Um-hm. I remember really good.” He finished the last
bite of his avocado. “Most people don’t, you know?”
Merle grinned. “Yes, I do know.”
“Do you like being on TV?”
“Yes. It’s a good job. Long hours, but I get time off
sometimes. Like now.” Funny. He wanted to tell Tom. “I might have a chance to
make a movie.”
Tom’s whole face lit up. “That would be really good,
right? Would you like that?”
“Yes, it’d be a step up in my career. And the guy
directing the movie is very well-known and respected.” He glanced over. Did Tom
have the slightest idea what he just said?
“Do you like him?”
Merle smiled. Leave it to Tom to get to the heart of the
matter.

 

Love in Laguna Series
Bk #1

 

Available for purchase at
                 

 

Bk #2
Available for purchase at 
 
                    

 

Bk #3
Available for purchase at
                      

 

 

 

Bk #4
Available for purchase at 
               
Pre-order your copy now!
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”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain
               
Presented By

 

Redeeming the Villain. #FASTBalls #firefighterromance

Hi! Welcome. In a little over a week, on June 12th, I’m celebrating the re-release of my novella, FAST Balls. In this book I do something I’ve only done once or twice in my books – I redeem a villain. It’s hard work – but it’s fun!

First let me say that some authors may plan out their series so thoroughly in advance that they know that a villain will later be a hero. I’m not one of those authors. LOL. When a villain steps up and asks for his own romance, I start off skeptical – but I can be persuaded. In Tackling the Tight End, for example, I redeem a guy who was really bad in the first book in the series, Outing the Quarterback. Similarly, in FAST Balls I make a hero out a dude who we really love to hate in an earlier book in the Balls to the Wall series, Fire Balls. Interestingly, you don’t have to read Fire Balls first, because you get to see my former villain being bad in this book, so you understand how far he has to progress to be a real hero.

That’s the thing about villains. While in their villainous deeds, they’re the heroes of their own stories – they aren’t the heroes of ours. So to redeem them, we have to be able to explain why they did the things they did to the reader’s –and the other lover’s – satisfaction. And it better be good! The more horrific we can make the cause, the more heroic the villain can become. Then, of course, the villain has to step up and show his true heroic nature. Once again, the more valorous the better. While a regular old hero may get points for just being cute and funny, a redeemed villain is going to have to impress us more than that.

My redeemed villain in FAST Balls is in his 20s, so much bad stuff can be laid at the door of his parents – and that’s where it’s piled deep and high in this story. His father is a very bad dude and we understand how our newly minted hero got to be the way he is. N addition, he’s a firefighter so he has many great opportunities to prove what a brave and good man he can be.

If you read Fire Balls, you may be surprised to see this hero, but I hope you love him – and that you enjoy my firefighters-in-love romance, FAST Balls. You can pre-order it everywhere now. Read an excerpt HERE.