by Lila Munro
At the seasoned age of fifty-six, Allen Bourke has resigned himself to the fact he’ll probably never find someone to top he can also love. While he’s had wives and lovers, none of them endured and he’s come to the conclusion the clock’s ticking and age is working against him. Then a very intriguing Nicki Cartwright pings on his radar at what Allen determines will be his last house party. He can’t help but notice while he and his friends are getting older, the players emerging on the scene are forever getting younger. Nicki's no exception. Determined to resist the vibes humming between them, he only agrees to service her after his old friend, Kyle Montgomery, convinces him it's entirely feasible. Then it’s brought to Allen’s attention who Nicki really is. Knowing their pasts are forever intertwined, as hard as he tries to ignore his heart, he finds himself yielding to the tides of fate.
Born to senatorial royalty, Nicki Cartwright has spent her entire life trying to shield her mother from her father’s wrath while drifting further and further into a world where panic is normal and anxiety is always on the edge of her reality. Tired of burning the candle at both ends and forever trying to live up to the picture of All-American perfection her father James Cartwright touts as his ace in the hole during election cycles, Nicki finds herself on the path of self-discovery in search of relief from the stressors continually swamping her mind. What she doesn’t expect is to find who she thought she was is truly just a shadow of the person she really is. And what scares her most is the fact Allen, the only person she thought she could trust, has been holding a secret since before she was born which could destroy her entire family.
When the urge to kiss Nicki had become unbearable, Allen had showed her where she could take a shower, provided her a pair of his old lounge pants and a t-shirt he knew would be three sizes too big, and slipped downstairs to get her a cup of hot chocolate. She seemed like the type of woman who would drink black coffee so stiff you could stand a spoon in it in public, sip tea while with other proper ladies, and needed a good cup of chocolate when in distress and in complete privacy, perhaps with a healthy dose of something stronger than toilet cleaner splashed in it.
As he steamed some whole cream on the stove, he mentally ran through his list of reliable young Doms who were either looking for an available sub or were willing to train and service one until she could find a good match. One thing he knew for certain, he was too old to play this dangerous game with her feelings and he had to find someone else to help her through the initial fog of figuring out if she was cut out for this lifestyle or not. If he was being honest, and right now all he wanted to do was lie to himself, he already knew she was cut out for it and nothing would please him more than to be the service Dom she needed, but he wasn’t in the market for any more disasters and to take her on would be setting them both up for one of catastrophic proportions.
No Matter Your Age…Beeee Yourself
Good morning everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Erzabet’s today and I thank her for allowing me to come by and chat a bit about my Identity series, specifically Assumed Calling which has recently released and is the final installment in the series.
This morning has been pretty busy so far and I was struck by Erzabet’s request that I talk about perfection, aging, and being yourself in the BDSM lifestyle as I just finished a blog post for my own site about some of those very things and how I began writing around them. You see Assumed Identity, book three in the series, was really the turning point for it all, the place where I sort of happened upon my own identity as a writer. And this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked to talk about the age of my characters in some capacity.
It was while writing Assumed Identity I found a niche unknowingly. I’d never heard of the “rule” about age in romance until someone in another interview asked me about it and why I broke that rule. At first I just shrugged and was silent. First I wasn’t aware I stepped over the rule line and secondly I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the rule existed to begin with. Age 45 is the standard “cut-off” for a characters age? Um…well. Do people cease to exist after age 45 in the real world? Do they stop loving or exploring or being sexual? Pardon me, but I’m 43 and I’m only coming into my prime to be honest. I don’t often talk of my own sex life in any way during interviews or while writing posts because my husband and I deem this as our personal space and we get questioned continually about it because of what I write, but this one I just had to address. I’m 43 but I’m not dead! In fact, I’ve just discovered after the kids are grown and gone just how noisy sex can be without hiding my head in shame. I believe there are plenty of people out there who want to read characters their own age, an untapped market if you will.
It was after writing Mason and Julie I got an influx of fan mail expressing that very thing. People my age and older were ecstatic someone had written a character as old as they were and who was still enjoying a healthy, active sex life which just happened to include some very kinky stuff. They also graciously pointed out they were happy I’d addressed the real-life issues not just pertaining to the lifestyle specifically but to that age group. Squeaky, creaky knees, achy backs. These things happen when we age and how we deal with them can enhance or detract from our sex lives. Face them with your partner and figure out how to overcome them and the level of intimacy between the two of you has just shot up a few notches. It was a natural thing for me to mention these sorts of problems in Assumed Identity and Assumed Master as I am, after all, the realmantica queen.
With Assumed Calling, I didn’t mold Allen to be 56 to squeeze him in a box of what was expected of me post books three and four. He had long ago told me who he was, how old he was, and what he was about. It just happened he was 56. I never force my characters into molds of who they should or shouldn’t be, they tell me and I work with what I’m given. And I must confess, Allen was a joy to work with, one of the reasons being one of Erzabet’s questions. Being yourself. Allen and Nicki each had a lot to overcome in that area concerning the lifestyle. Allen was seasoned, had seen it all and done it all. Nicki on the other hand is 30 years his junior and just coming into the scene. While Allen was coming to grips with what he really wanted out of life, what he was sick of dealing with, and trying to figure out who he wanted to be…surprise, surprise…so was Nicki but on the level of someone inexperienced. They had to learn together how to be themselves, not just in the lifestyle but with each other in that lifestyle.
You see that’s another aspect of age, with it seems to come the ability to reconcile with who you are and what you really want, and somewhere in the midst of that you realize being yourself makes accepting all the rest much, much easier.
So, what do you all think of this age “rule?” Do you enjoy the older characters and would you like to see more of them?
Thanks again, Erzabet for having me by and thanks readers for stopping in today!
Thanks Lila for stopping in. I love to read about older characters. It makes things more real for me and brings things into perspective. I am looking forward to reading this book! I love your work and the depth of emotion that your characters breathe into the pages.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012-2013 and has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be found at:
Realmantic Moments: http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com/
You can also contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org ,
and you can find all her works at:
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Lila will be awarding a Godiva Chocolates gift basket worth at least $35.00 to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a Godiva Chocolates gift basket to a randomly drawn host. (US ONLY)