I recently read some comments from a writer decrying HEA (happily ever after) endings in m/m romance. Unrealistic! Pandering! Womanly! And so on. To these complaints, I blow a big ol’ virtual raspberry. There’s plenty of heartbreak out there in the real world. I read and write romance as an escape, and I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with that.
Once upon a time…
I’ve loved fairy tales since I was a kid. I’d get lost for hours in the stories of faraway lands, dashing princes, dastardly villains and happily ever afters. Last year when my friend Leta Blake mentioned the idea of writing a series of erotic gay fairy tales inspired by the original tales we all grew up with, I was thrilled to team up with her.
Our vision is that the original legends are a jumping-off point for stories that will take on lives of their own and not merely be the same tales with two male protagonists instead of princesses and damsels. Our versions will not be modernized, but in keeping with a historical/fantasy tone and style. Some will be whimsical and light, others darker. All will feature hot sex and — of course! — happy endings.
Earthly Desires giveaway
Earthly Desires, based on Scottish tale The Light Princess, is the first novella in our Tempting Tales series. It’s something a bit different from your usual m/m romance, and we hope you enjoy it! We’re giving away a free copy here on RJ’s blog. To enter the draw, simply comment on this post. Contest closes Monday, July 30 at midnight EST; please provide your email address.
In the meantime, here’s the blurb and an excerpt from Earthly Desires.
Cursed as an infant with a lack of physical and emotional gravity, Prince Efrosin can’t keep his feet on the ground or his head out of the clouds. Laughing his way through life, he’s never been weighed down by love and lust.
Then one fateful day, his tenuous tie to the earth is severed and he blows away on the wind. He’s rescued by Dmitri, a handsome young woodsman who suffers from a mysterious curse of his own, and the two strangers are irresistibly drawn together. They dive into a delightfully sensual and passionate affair. As the evil witch who cursed them plans her ultimate revenge, Efrosin and Dmitri must fight to find their fairy tale ending and live happily ever after.
Dmitri didn’t understand it, but as he gazed at Efrosin’s lips, he felt a heretofore unfamiliar, and yet compelling surge of need pulse through him, and before he could stop himself, he leaned forward and kissed those lips. The answering gasp, followed by more laughter that seemed to fill his own mouth and tickle against his palate, did not discourage him at all.
Efrosin’s lips were soft and his tongue was slick and he didn’t pull away from Dmitri’s clumsy attempt, but rather deepened the kiss in a way that made Dmitri’s toes curl and blood rush to his cock. For a confused moment he thought he was kissing an angel before he remembered that he was only kissing a prince. A free-floating, beautiful, powerful, laughing prince. Perhaps “only” was not quite the proper word.
“Lovely,” Efrosin exclaimed, pulling away and licking his lips. “I hope you intend to ravish me, because I have always imagined it would be quite fun to be ravished. No one’s ever tried it with me, alas.” Efrosin frowned a little and licked his mouth. “You taste like dirt. It’s delicious, though I’ve never enjoyed the taste of dirt before. How odd.”
“You taste like clouds,” Dmitri said, hoping it was a compliment.
“I ate quite a few during my journey to this tree,” Efrosin said. “I…feel a bit strange. Quick. Kiss me again.”
Dmitri, reminded of Efrosin’s perilous flight, came to his senses, and while he was not willing to say that he would not kiss the prince again, he did think there were just a few things that should be accomplished first.
“We must get you down.”
Efrosin frowned, seeming much less intent on getting back to the earth now that he had company in the tree. “But you will kiss me again?”
“Once we’re safe.” Dmitri looked down to choose which limbs they should try, and immediately wished he hadn’t. His head swirled with the distance between his body and the earth below. He’d never before climbed so high.
“Safe is such a thrilling state of being. I can’t remember the last time I felt safe. Grip my hands,” Efrosin said.
“Don’t let go.”
Dmitri took Efrosin’s smooth hands into his own, and Efrosin began to shake with amusement again. “Your calluses tickle. Now, hold tight. It will be fun.”
“What will be?” Dmitri asked.
“We are tied hand and foot, and you have hold of my hands. All will be well. Trust me.”
It was surprisingly hard to trust laughing royalty. “We’ll die. It’s too far.”
“Too far? What a silly notion.”
Dmitri’s last thought when Efrosin kicked his feet out from under him with a strong swipe was, At least I got to kiss him. They tumbled into the air, crashing into branches below until Efrosin pushed off against the tree trunk, thrusting them both clear. It was only then Dmitri realized how slowly the ground rose up to meet them.
“Your weight to bring us down,” Efrosin sang in his ear. “My levity to keep us from being quite smashed.” There was more laughter, and then a curl of words in his ear, which, coupled with the rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins, made Dmitri’s cock stiffen against the hard bone of Efrosin’s hip. “And you will ravish me, won’t you? Once we’re on the ground. You promised. You’re so handsome, and your hands are so big. I’m aquiver at the thought of you on me, in me, touching me—”
“Oh my God,” Dmitri choked. “Do you speak to everyone who gets you down from trees this way?”
really finding the right inspiration, Keira Andrews discovered her voice in gay
romance, which has become a passion. She writes both contemporary and
historical fiction and – although she loves delicious angst along the way –
Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good
ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” You can find
out more about Keira and her books at her website, Facebook, Twitter and
erotica has combined in the co-authored series Tempting Tales published through Ellora's Cave. Leta looks forward to
writing many more books in the future, both in and out of the fairy tale genre.
Leta lives happily with her husband, her kid, and one too many dogs. She hopes
to continue writing sexy stories for many years to come. You can find Leta
online at her website, Facebook, Twitter and