Hello everyone! We’ve got fabulous author Beth Kery visiting with us today! I’m so excited to have her here visiting with us, especially since Tuesday she had a new release – Exposed to You, which is one of the best books I’ve read this year! In fact, I reviewed it over at Heroes & Heartbreakers. But anyway, you don’t want to hear me – you want to see what Beth has to say. And believe me – if you haven’t read her before, you definitely want to.
I recently watched an interview on one of the news channels featuring Niall Leonard, the husband of author E.L. James who wrote the publishing phenomenon, Fifty Shades of Grey. Mr. Leonard himself had just put out a book, but of course all the reporters weren’t asking him about that. Instead, they wanted to know such crucial—and utterly embarrassing—things, like whether or not Mr. Leonard and his wife possessed their own red room of pain or if he considered himself to be like Christian Grey? To the latter, Mr. Leonard said wryly something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing): “I hope not. He’s one sick bastard.” I mentally applauded Mr. Leonard’s response, not to mention his grace in general in answering such silly questions.
Those of us in the romance community can’t help but notice the booming popularity of…er…we’ll call him the ‘emotionally challenged hero’. He’s sexy, he’s intense, he’s got more than one diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. I am not casting aspersions on these heroes. Not at all. I love to write a dark hero with a past, an intense alpha with a wound that the heroine helps to heal with her love. As a psychologist, I love digging into a character, and yes, oftentimes those layers go deep and dark.
But they can also go deep and light. Mental health doesn’t equate with being shallow or uninteresting. No, it might just mean strength of character and the ability to learn after making mistakes.
Given this love of the dark, messed-up hero, I was more than a little interested—and concerned—about what readers would think of Everett Hughes, the hero of my upcoming contemporary erotic romance, Exposed to You.
Here’s the thing about Everett: he’s supremely mentally healthy. Yes, he’s a superstar, but instead of being the screwed-up-celebrity-stereotype, he balances his fame with grace, a sense of humor, and the love and closeness of family and friends. Everett just refuses to be typecast, and that includes being shoved into the restrictive role of a narcissistic movie star.
Everett appeared initially in the first book in the One Night of Passion series, Addicted to You, as the brother of heroine Katie Hughes. He immediately leapt out of the realms of my unconscious and onto the page for me, and I knew I had to give him his own romance.
Katie noticed he was wearing the newsboy hat again, a white T-shirt, horrid knee-length sweat shorts, black socks and white Converse tennis shoes. With his tall, lean body and careless elegance, he actually managed to make the ensemble look quirky chic instead of atrocious, which it would have been on any other human on the planet. If Katie thought Everett was trying to be cute on purpose, it would have annoyed her, but she knew the truth. Almost everything Everett did was effortlessly perfect, right down to the fact that he typically could care less about perfection.
—Addicted to You, Beth Kery writing as Bethany Kane
Just like Everett himself, I knew his romance would be sexy, passionate, unexpected and full of fun. He’s the perfect foil for my heroine, introverted, careful, talented, cancer-survivor, Joy Hightower. Joy isn’t quite sure what to make of the gorgeous, unaffected Everett. It’s not everyday that a star blazes into your midst during some of the darkest days of your life.
Did one ever become accustomed to his sexuality? It was like a third person in the room, a guest Joy wasn’t sure if she should ignore or welcome. Her gaze skittered over the opened portion of the robe he wore. The hair on his chest wasn’t a pelt, by any means, but it emphasized his potent masculinity. Hollywood golden boy Everett may be, but he was the polar opposite of an effeminate fop. He seemed about as aware of his looks as he was his own skin.
—Exposed to You by Beth Kery
It’s Joy who possesses the wounds in Exposed to You. Not in the diagnosable sense, but in the very real, heart-rending way. She possesses the scars of not only her own cancer scare, but the unhealed wounds from watching a mother die from the disease after a protracted illness. Her father had left her mother rand her after watching his wife wasting away. Joy would never willfully wish that hell upon an enemy, let alone someone she loves.
If you haven’t noticed, Joy’s gorgeous and kind and amazingly modest, considering all her talent and gifts. To be honest, I’m not surprised at all Everett has fallen for her. He hates artifice, even though he thrives in the midst of it. Joy is fresh and understated and . . . and . . .”
“What?” Seth prompted, no longer looking taken aback by Katie’s outburst, but interested.
“Well, sort of haunted, to be honest,” Katie said regretfully. “It’s the kind of combination a man like my brother would find irresistible.”
“He would think her being haunted was irresistible?” Seth asked, sounding mildly offended.
“No,” Katie said. “He’d find the idea of bringing her peace and happiness irresistible.”
—Exposed to You by Beth Kery
Fortunately for Everett—and for Joy—he does end up convincing her that life and love are worth the risk. As for how they get to their happily-ever-after, that’s a journey you’ll have to read for yourself.
What are your thoughts about dark, tortured alpha heroes and equally alpha, sexy, healthy ones? What draws you to one or the other? If you’re anything like me, both types have their appeal given the storyline. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
We’re so lucky that Ms. Kery is giving away TWO books today! First, a copy of Addicted to You and another winner will get Exposed to You. And I definitely want to know what you think about heroes and which types are your favorites too.