Liza warns: this blog will make you hungry!
It’s National Chocolate Cake Day, at least according to a few sources, and I’ve gotta ask – what’s more romantic than Chocolate Cake? Nothing, obviously. If there’s a treat that deserves its own day my vote would certainly be for chocolate cake. Or any cake, really. I’m not picky. And I’m not shy about my love for food, especially desserts.
But I do sometimes get shy about my love of Romance. And that’s a problem.
I get it – we’re conditioned to think less of romance as a genre. At best it’s a guilty pleasure. Chocolate cake that we should feel bad about enjoying. Fluff and diversion without any real significance, or an important message. Something that’s okay once and a while, when we’re not reading more important things.
And that’s BS.
Pleasure is pleasure. It shouldn’t be defined or quantified, because it certainly never feels like there’s enough to go around. Love is literally the most important thing in the world. Romance is hope. It’s the promise that people can find happiness; that there’s a happily ever after for every person, regardless of how damaged they believe themselves to be. Regardless of who they love. And it’s the promise that love can redeem, heal, and make whole.
I literally can’t think of anything more important - more significant - than that.
Love isn’t a guilty pleasure. It’s not fluff, and not a diversion. And I’m tired of bowing to the feeling like I should treat it like one.
Kayana, the heroine in Flare, struggles with guilt too – but she’s also seldom shy about what she wants, or how to go about getting it. After having lost everything, she’s started fighting her way back, and in the following excerpt, she’s allowing herself a little pleasure of her own…no guilt allowed
Kayana didn’t understand humans. That had to be it. One moment, Ax had been grieving and burying his dead friend. The next, the man had been checking out her ass as she walked off to the bridge. She hadn’t been offended by the attention—he was hardly the first human to do so, and she’d have spaced half of the crew if she’d murdered every man who’d given her the eye. It was the incongruity of the timing that threw her off. None of which stopped her from taking up position in her cabin’s doorway when she heard the shower cut out. Sauce for the Ct’hau was, after all, sauce for Ct’hara.
It was a grotesque luxury to have an actual, water-based shower on a ship of this size. Then again, “grotesque luxury” seemed to be the singular design ethic. At least they kept themselves in check by limiting themselves to one shared facility for the two crew members. No telling if the holocam crew had their own. Berniss had been so perfectly composed every time they’d met that Kayana half-expected the woman was secretly a robot.
A few minutes after the shower shut off, Ax padded down the hall toward his cabin, which was conveniently across the narrow hall from her own. Kayana leaned against the wall next to his door and watched him approach. He had a fluffy white towel wrapped around his waist and artfully knotted, and he left wet footprints on the expensive hardwood.
Kayana made a show of giving him a slow once-over. As humans went, she supposed he wasn’t altogether hideous—he didn’t show signs of the near-psychotic body worship that plagued most Malebranki men. It made him look less sculpted and more naturally fit. Instead of a chiseled six-pack, the soft shadow of abs showed across his stomach. His shoulders were nice and broad, though, and the way his torso narrowed at the waist drew her eye naturally down.
The same brown stubble that seemed to permanently grace his cheeks formed a dusting of hair on his belly and ducked below the towel in a teasing suggestion that made her imagination flare for a moment.
Only a moment though. He was a necessary trouble she had to put up with to reach her goal of getting back into her family’s good graces. An easy route to enough money to prove she could contribute and belonged as a part of the House. He wasn’t the worst eyesore she’d endured as means to that end, but he was temporary nonetheless.
He narrowed his eyes as he noticed her and stopped in the middle of the hall, just before his door. She held back her smirk as he tensed his abs to improve their definition—as though she wouldn’t notice. “Find what you were looking for?”
Kayana rolled her eyes. “Hard to tell with the towel in the way, but I suspect not.” She smiled, showing off the points of her teeth. It should terrify him—among her people, smiling was more of a challenge than a gesture of reassurance. She prided herself on her smile.
He deflated slightly at the dismissal, but she watched him pick his ego back up before he walked into his cabin.
Flare: Team Corona
They could go all the way, if they don’t go straight to hell.
All Kayana wants is respect. Jilted by her fiancée, turned out by her family, and rejected by her crew – esteem is in short supply. When she hears about the cash prize for winning the Great Space Race, she realizes it's more than enough money to get her old life back. Or buy herself an asteroid someplace where she won't care what people think.
Ax Turner just needs to hide, and the Race gives him the best opportunity to do so. In plain sight. Surely the thugs and criminals he's ripped off won't come after him while cameras are rolling on the galaxy's most popular reality game show. And if they do, well, having a partner who's able to fight and looks like a devil seems like a win.
They're on the run - from the past, from the lethal challenges of the Great Race, from their feelings, and straight into each other. They've got more than their share of problems, and those secrets could drive them apart, or be the key to winning the biggest prize of all: each other.
Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/mZ50J2
Want to learn about the other Great Space Race Books? Go to http://gspacerace.com to read about the other books and download a free preview of the series!
About JC Hay
JC Hay writes romantic science fiction and space opera, because the coolest gadgets in the world are useless without someone to share them.
In addition to Romance Writers of America, he is also a proud member of the SFR Brigade (for Science Fiction Romance), the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance chapter, and a proud member of RWA’s PAN (the published authors network).
In addition to piracy in high space, JC writes the Corporate Services series, a set of connected cyberpunk romances set eighty years in our future where the limits of humanity are being stretched and tested.
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