Monday, January 2, 2012

MAKE MINE EASY MONDAY with author, Diane Hartsock: Love with Awareness is True Love

True love. What an amazing phenomenon. It’s what all of us long for and so few of us find. I’m talking about Romantic love, the kind that flashes in the beginning and burns steadily all through life.
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.”     -Wikipedia

To me, true love is the love that stands the test of time. I’ve loved several men, but it’s only with my husband that love has lasted through the trials and unlooked for tragedies of life. And yes, desire is still smouldering underneath, ready to flame to life at any given moment!

As the author of half a dozen m/m erotic books, I’m often asked if true love plays a part in my stories. Absolutely! My men share the exhileration and thrill of falling in love. Suffer the heartache of seperation and breakup and the wonder and delight of reunion with that one person who makes them whole. The only difference would be, where in other romance stories the door would close on their lovemaking,  we get to climb into bed with my men and share the passion and joy of discovery.

With Shelton (Shelton in Love, Shelton’s Promise, Shelton’s Choice), it was love at first sight. New offices were being built onto the bank where he worked as a loan officer. The architect they’d hired had come to drop off the blueprints for the offices, and when Nevil walked through the doors, he stole Shelton’s breath and heart. Nevil. Handsome, sexy, witty. Do you know the song ‘Last of the Famous International Playboys’ by Morrissey? That’s my Nevil.

Shelton is shy and beautiful, unsure yet alluring in his own way. A definite temptation. But when I started writing their story, I wasn’t sure how to get them together. I couldn’t just start with them in bed, however much as I’d like to! Should I start with their first meeting, where Shelton falls helplessly for Nevil’s charm?
Too predictable, though even as I’m writing this, I picture their first encounter in my mind, Shelton meeting Nevil’s burning glance across the room, his bones melting as the gorgeous man seemed interested in him…
But no, I wanted their relationship to be special. So I started later. In Shelton in Love, Shelton’s already hopelessly in love with Nevil but his happily ever after is still achingly out of reach. The story is about Shelton’s struggle to win Nevil’s elusive heart and not break his own.

In Shelton’s Promise, Shelton’s been with his lover for six months and is more than ready to commit himself to their relationship for the rest of his life. But is Nevil ready? The man can’t seem to help himself when it comes to flirtations with other men. It takes a near tragedy to get Nevil to see how important Shelton is to him.
Their love comes to a header in Shelton’s Choice. Shelton has to move to another state to take the promotion he’s been working for. Can their love survive the separation and sense of betrayal such a move entails? This is the ultimate test of their love, and thankfully, it turns out to be true and everlasting.

Shelton in Love

Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.

Shelton’s Promise

Shelton has a gift he’s eager to give to Nevil. At a party, Nevil flirts with one man after another, keeping Shelton on his toes. Then Percy, an ex, shows up to complicate things. Despite his best efforts, Shelton can’t find the right moment to give Nevil his gift. Will Nevil ever let Shelton get close to him, or will Shelton have to keep the gift in his pocket all evening?

Shelton’s Choice

After a year of bliss with Nevil, Shelton is offered the promotion he's been working toward at the bank. Unfortunately the new position is in another state, and Nevil doesn't want to move. As tension mounts between them, Shelton is given another challenge in the form of a besotted coworker. Torn between the pressures at work and at home, Shelton has to choose his future. That is, until Nevil takes the decision out of his hands.

Excerpt from Shelton’s Choice:
Shelton hurried after him as Nevil wove his way through the boisterous lunch crowd to the front entrance. His heart fluttered when Nevil opened the door of the car for him and kissed his cheek as he climbed into the Prius at the curb. Nevil rarely displayed his affection in public, a sure sign he felt as aroused as Shelton did. He remained silent as Nevil drove through the afternoon traffic, his body tingling in anticipation of their lovemaking.
"What about this blindfold?" he asked, becoming slightly breathless at the thought. Nevil could be so creative.
"That's for later, my dear, when I have you alone and enthralled."
Shelton snorted and enjoyed Nevil's easy laughter. Grateful to be Nevil's friend as well as his lover, Shelton's spirits soared. His days were filled with laughter and comradeship. He thrust Ted's stinging reminder from his mind. He'd keep that discussion for another day and take this precious time with Nevil.
He sat up in the bucket seat as Nevil skirted the city and took one of the smaller highways toward the mountains. "Where are we going?"
"You'll see. We put the last nail in Bill Stanton's place this morning, two weeks ahead of schedule, and Barker gave us the weekend off, with a bonus." Nevil patted his pocket.
"It's only Thursday."
Nevil waved it off. "I'm sure you'll come down with a cold or something by morning. Live a little, Shelton! The bank won't fall apart without you tomorrow. I want to celebrate."
Shelton leaned back in his seat. Who was he to argue, especially when Nevil's gaze raked over him with the promise of passion in his beautiful eyes? The highway ascended steadily up into the mountains, and Nevil turned off along a narrow road, then onto a private driveway. Shelton whistled appreciatively when they pulled up to a modern glass-and-redwood-sided bungalow snug against the lake.
"It's beautiful," he said in admiration, recalling the blueprints for the house on Nevil's desk last winter.
"The Gordans haven't moved in yet and lent it to me for the weekend."
"But why?"
Nevil turned off the engine and moved closer to Shelton. "I told them it was my first-year anniversary with the man I love."
Shelton reached out and cupped the back of Nevil's head, pulling him closer for a kiss. So delicious. He never tired of the taste of this man in his arms. Nevil pressed against him, and the heat of his body ignited Shelton, the scent of Nevil's skin filling him with the longing to run his tongue over every inch of Nevil's body.
Nevil groaned low in his throat and slowly pulled away from him. "Let's go inside," he said unsteadily.
Nevil squeezed his hand as they left the car and climbed onto the wide porch surrounding the house. Shelton’s heart pounded with excitement as Nevil fished the keys from a pocket and opened the door. He waved Shelton in and barely let the door close behind them before pulling Shelton tight against his body.
The dark head bent to him. "I love you," Nevil told him and captured Shelton's lips before Shelton could reply.

Dianne Hartsock

1 comment:

  1. Glad I can help with your Monday, Cynthia! Thanks for having me!