[Edited to add: This whole post became somewhat irrelevant when the Day 30 changed from Dommes to Hidden Gems—which is another great topic, of course. I’ve been sorta busy with end of term stuff, so I missed the announcement on Twitter. But I am leaving this post up because why not? I hope you enjoy it, even if it is no longer tied to #RomBkLove.]
The #RomBkLove prompts in 2018 have been delicious, thanks to the creator and moderator Ana Coqui, and thanks to all those who suggested the theme ideas. I noticed a little pattern in this list, one I happen to love. Look at #2 and #30. A nice pairing, perhaps? I for one am having fun writing a male-submissive, hero-in-peril who falls under the sway of an emerging domme. Meet Ben and Allegra in the upcoming Sugar Moon.
I began writing Sugar Moon in August 2013, and it is still not out yet. Honestly, there is a lot about this book that makes it complicated—not least of which is the fact that Ben Potter has been a thoroughly unlikeable character so far in the series. No one wanted to see him redeemed, and yet I have spent five years trying to do exactly that. Yes, I may have some masochistic tendencies. There are also complications surrounding Ben’s history as an American soldier in Balangiga, Philippines. He tries to stop events from unfolding in a particularly disastrous way, but spoiler alert: he fails. Shit happens. And it turns him inside out. Enter Allegra.
Trauma does not cause Ben to seek domination by a woman. He needed it before. Maybe he was born this way. The way his story twists and turns does have a point, though: it leads him to Allegra Alazas. She is sophisticated, erudite, and petite—and you should know that none of those things matter. She wants you to see the giant within.
Adding to the complications of this book is the fact that it is a historical, and my domme is a virgin who has been sheltered in a convent school, for goodness sake. Ben is barely more experienced than she is, and he has no idea what he needs or how to ask for it. These two are friends-to-lovers, and they must figure things out as they go—without a vocabulary and without anyone to direct them. In this way, it is really a subtle power exchange, with no full-fledged scenes. Elements of domination, maybe. Domination lite.
Why write Ben this way? If he’s some virile soldier type, shouldn’t he be alpha? If you read Tamsen Parker’s Compass series—and I highly recommend you do!—you will see that sometimes the people who kick ass in daily life need to give up control in the bedroom. However, I should point out that Ben is not really alpha-in-the-streets and beta-in-the-sheets. He is a hodge-podge of both. He is complicated. But he seeks Allegra’s strength from the get-go. He loves her certainty, her intelligence, and her sass. He loves that only Allie would get sex advice from a human anatomy textbook:
Look for Sugar Moon this fall 2018. I hope you love these two together as much as I do.