Today I am so pleased to welcome Kris T. Bethke to Joyfully Jay. Kris has come to talk to us about her book, Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I’ve always had a thing for older heroes.
When I was contemplating what to write for this post, that was the first thing that came to mind. I began writing when I was ten years old (there’s a whole story about fifth grade, but that’s a different blog post) and even then my MCs were older. I remember very clearly writing about fourteen-year-olds as I sat at my tiny little desk. As I got into middle school and high school, my MCs got older than me as well. In college, I wrote about 30 somethings.
So why my fascination with older people? When I was younger, I think it was the mystique of older. That they had things I hadn’t yet gotten to, knowledge I didn’t yet have, abilities that were beyond my scope. But now that I am one of those older people, I see it in a different light.
They might have wisdom and experience, but that doesn’t mean they are flawless. And there’s something inherently real about that. MCs who have the experience but are still not perfect, still mess up, still make mistakes and live a real life.
My heroes are generally older these days. And by that I mean they aren’t early twenties, just starting out. But one MC in particular always stands out as an older hero for me. Ben Winters is 46 in Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love. He is happily content with his life, and he’s resigned himself to not having a partner. He’s fine with it. He really is. But when he meets Zack Anderson, he takes a chance. Even though he knows it’s going to hurt when things come to an end. And considering they live on opposite coasts, he knows it is absolutely going to come to an end.
I loved writing Ben for a lot of reasons. He’s steady and strong, comfortable in his life, and focused on doing what he feels is the right thing. But he’s not perfect. He makes mistakes. But what I loved most about him, what I tried very hard to show in the writing of him, is that even though he’s older and settled, he’s able to take a risk with Zack. That’s brave in a a whole different way than if a twenty-one year old guy was to do the same thing. He already has everything he’s worked for, and he’s actually happy, so to take a chance on something that might change all that? Well, in my opinion, Ben is one of the bravest heroes I’ve ever written.
So the point of all this is don’t discount the older heroes. They might just surprise you. And their story is always worth it. Do yourself a favor, and try out a book with an older MC or two if you haven’t already.
But first I had to see what was going on in the kitchen.
Zack looked up when I crossed the threshold, his face lighting into a beautiful grin. I could see several mixing bowls behind him on the counter, a freshly brewed pot of coffee, and was that a waffle maker? I was distracted when Zack’s heated gaze swept the length of my body. There was no doubt about it—he was good for my ego.
“I’m making waffles,” Zack announced cheerily. He looked so much better than before, well rested and actually happy. A grin unconsciously worked its way onto my lips. His smile grew in response. “It’ll be about fifteen minutes before they’re ready if you want to grab a shower.”
I nodded and turned, then took the stairs quickly. Once in the bathroom, I gave myself a stern talking to. I needed to stop this infatuation with Zack. I was here for Josie, he was misplacing feelings, and I would be going home to the other side of the country in a few more days. It was just a bad idea all around.
Showered, I dressed in my last set of clean clothes. I hadn’t wanted to pack too much, because I didn’t want the baggage fee and I was in a hurry, so I only had a few things with me. Zack would probably let me use his washer and dryer. I made a mental note to ask when I got back downstairs. With one last look in the mirror to tell myself to fucking behave, I went back to the kitchen.
Zack was humming tunelessly, and the table was set for two. There was a stack of waffles on a plate in the center, along with syrup, a can of whipped cream, and some cut-up fruit. Zack was removing another set of done waffles from the maker, and I could see there was already a steaming mug of coffee at the place I’d sat the last two nights.
“This looks great,” I said sincerely as I crossed the floor. I pulled out my chair and cast a glance back over my shoulder. “Thank you.”
Zack just beamed and poured the remaining batter onto the iron before snapping the lid closed. “You’re welcome. I wasn’t sure if you were a syrup or a whipped cream kind of guy, so I put out both.”
Usually I just used butter and nothing else, but when I saw the maple syrup was the real kind, I couldn’t help adding just a bit into the wells on the waffle. My first bite made me moan. The waffles were perfectly done—golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside—and the real maple flavor without all the extra fake sweetness tasted like heaven. Zack made a choked sound behind me, and I turned quickly to make sure he was okay.
His blue eyes were filled with lust, and he leered at me. “That was a good sound.”
I swallowed hard, my bite of waffle sticking in my throat. I took a quick sip of coffee. “Zack,” I chastised.
“You were right last night,” he announced before I could say anything else. Even as disappointment flooded through my veins, he kept talking. “Not about us, mind you. But about how tired I was. I wasn’t thinking clearly. If I was, I wouldn’t have tried to rush you into bed. I would have wooed you first, let you know how serious I am.”
“Wooed?” I repeated, my brain stuck on that.
“It’s a good word.” His shrug was casual. He brought the last waffle over to the table and sat down across from me. His gaze bored into mine. “And you deserve to be shown how special you are. None of those other guys you’ve dated made the time or the effort. So that’s what I’m going to do.”
As it often does, the bad news comes in the middle of the night.
When attorney Ben Winters’s close friend takes a bad spill and ends up in the hospital, he flies across the country to be there for her. His instant attraction to her brother takes him by surprise. Wanting Zack Anderson is easy; actually having him is a bad idea. While the two connect over concern for Zack’s sister, there are many reason to fight the attraction brewing between them. Things heat up as Ben’s friend begins to show improvement, but the reasons not to get involved with the younger man remain the same–long distance relationships never work and Ben doesn’t do one-night stands. But there’s one powerful reason to give in: Ben has never wanted anyone more.
Kris is a bisexual hardcore fan of romance, and has been from a very young age. She believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated. With that in mind, she writes romance across several subgenres but with the ultimate goal of a satisfying happily ever after at the end. That is, after all, the important part.
Kris lives in a converted attic with a pack of rodents who amuse her daily, and long naps on the weekend are her greatest pleasure. A creative soul and an avid daydreamer, her pursuits range past just the written word into fiber arts, candle and soap making, and expressing herself with makeup. Kris finds inspiration in all of life’s twist and turns. From the mundane to the fantastical, just about anything will make it into her books. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to get in touch through email, Facebook, or Twitter.