Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
Let’s be frank up front, boys and girls: HARD WAY touches on difficult subject matter. It’s a romance, and it’s an erotic romance, but the kink is a trigger subject for many people. It’s dubious consent. Forced sex. And it’s violent sex. While most of our books with Samhain get fluffy, fun sorts of warnings, the one Hard Way got was no joke: Warning: Time to put the kidding aside. Although 100% consensual between a husband and wife, this book contains violent sex that, in some scenes, will appear forced. Readers sensitive to rape scenarios should proceed with caution.
We put that warning on for a reason: We mean it. Because when Carrie and I sat down to write Hard Way, we pushed boundaries. Hard. (Unintentional pun!) Under the Katie Porter name, we have four books coming out this year. Carrie has two and a novella. I have two books so far, with plans for a third perhaps at the end of the year. But this book? Hard Way? It’s the one I most worry about. It’s the one that I nibble my nails as each new review comes in. I have a permanently twisted-tummy whenever I think of Hard Way’s release.
This book…it takes risks. It has what I think is a really wrenching story of a military marriage on the brink. Sunny and Dash have been married for several years by the time the book opens, but Sunny wants out, and asks for a divorce. Dash’s reaction…It’s not pretty. He takes. And then he backs down, but it’s what’s needed to crack open a whole new arena of connection for Sunny and Dash. But it’s a type of connection that’s not pretty. Not pleasant.
So why would we write this book?
Because it was right for the characters.
God, that sounds like such a cliché, but it’s true. Dash first showed up when we were writing Inside Bet, and at first glance, he seemed so goofy. Endearing. And he was already married! But each time either Carrie or I included a few lines about Dash, something else was peeking out. Something angsty. Something that desperately wanted out, and that he wanted help with.
Which isn’t to say that we’re those authors who seem to think they’re surrounded by “real” characters. I don’t take them to the grocery store. (I think about them at the grocery store, if the story is going well, but that’s a different topic.) They’re not autonomous and we’re perfectly capable of directing them.
So we didn’t have to let the kink run in that direction. Not really. We could have figured out something else that would crack open the facades between Dash and Sunny. They’ve both been keeping some deep-down layers hidden, both from each other and from themselves. They’ve both trained in martial arts as a hobby. It’s one of the few things that still holds them together at the beginning of the book. And they’re searching desperately for a way to connect. Something that’s deep and true.
Which oh god, I just realized that what I said could be construed as forced sex being “deep and true.” It’s not. When Carrie and I started putting together the pieces for this book, we started toying with the idea of the “theme kink” being dubious consent. But we were nervous. Not sure it was a good idea. We even ran it past our editor before we even started writing, something we very very seldom do. What if we didn’t write it well? What if we couldn’t convey the very fine line we wanted this couple to walk?
But Sunny still trusts Dash, way deep down. They have so many years of history, and through it all, Dash has never hurt her. Never risked her. But he’s also never shown her all of him. The parts he hides, and the things that have shifted inside him from years of military service and seeing combat. He hasn’t shown her his changes. He hasn’t shown her lots of things.
It’s time for that to change.
We stripped Dash down to his base level. The nasty, icky parts that he doesn’t like to acknowledge. He covers that level up with lots of laughs and smiles…but he needs to know that Sunny loves him no matter what.
Because I think, in the end, that’s why we went that direction.
At the heart of every Katie Porter is a couple that needs to know that their partner loves them. Every part of them. Love is blind…but it’s not dumb. Lust and infatuation is what you have when you think a partner is absolutely perfect. Love is knowing they have broken parts—but knowing that your broken parts fit theirs. That a heroine who wants to be absolutely taken can find the hero who’s willing to claim. That Sunny can fight back (and whoa, does she. She’s not afraid of landing her own blows.) and still be safe. Safe within violence. It’s strange, but it makes sense for Dash and Sunny as a couple. We pushed boundaries because it was right for the story. Because it was where the story made sense.
I hope you’ll trust Carrie and me as writers enough to give it a shot.
“No holds barred. No mercy. No going back ”
Warning: Time to put the kidding aside. Although 100% consensual between a husband and wife, this book contains violent sex that, in some scenes, will appear forced. Readers sensitive to rape scenarios should proceed with caution…
Throughout their eight-year marriage, U.S. Air Force Captain Liam Dash Christiansen and his wife, Sunita, stayed strong through long separations. However Sunny s new job as a high-profile legal advisor puts a severe strain on their enduring bond.
Her abrupt announcement that she wants a divorce is like a missile to Dash s gut but her confession that she s met another man is what unleashes his shocking passion. Sunny is surprised and nearly repulsed by her body s reaction to Dash s animalistic attempt at complete possession. That doesn t stop her from craving more.
With Sunny s whispered approval, their sex life explodes. Not only does Dash s aggression tap into dark fantasies, she s hopeful that now, “at last,” she ll get what she s always wanted from her devil-may-care, don t-give-a-damn husband. Something honest and candid. Something real.
Yet fiery, carnal encounters won t heal two long-broken hearts. Their bodies are finally speaking the same forbidden language, but it will take more than taboo desires to learn each other for the first time and to save a marriage that s only just begun.
For more about Katie Porter, the co-writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown
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One person can win a copy of HARD WAY. Normally I’d have a silly question right about here. But this book…it doesn’t feel so silly. Doesn’t feel very frothy. Any comment will be an entry.