One of the things I love about series romance is the incredibly strong ties you can create between the lead characters. Sometimes it is as simple as the setting, a memorable place where all of the characters live and thrive, that you get to revisit with every new story. Sometimes it is the camaraderie of sports teams or military men, linked by a common purpose or enemy. And sometimes it is a group, like a pack of wolves or a coven of witches which creates a sense of yearning to belong. But one of the perennial favorites, is families.
Thankfully, the definition of family has grown to adapt to all the ways life
throws a group of people together. Some are functional, some are not, but as Jim
Butcher is alleged to have said, “I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you witho flinching, they are your family.”
Which brings me to JORDAN RECLAIMED, the first book in my new rock star romance series, Preload. The fact that these men are in a band could be enough to build a compelling series. Plenty of series have been built on that premise alone. But then I read THE BOY WHO WAS RAISED AS A DOG by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t an easy read. It is a series of case studies by a child psychiatrist who treated children who had faced all kinds of trauma and horror. From the survivors of the Waco siege, to a boy who was quite literally kept in a cage like an animal.
Which got me to thinking. I was curious where those children ended up. I was curious what sort of bonds they forged into adulthood. And so the men of Preload began to take shape, each one with a traumatic past, each one abandoned. I realized how different their definition of family would be, and how hard it would be for them to trust, to love, to open themselves up to the kind of hurts they had suffered to get to where they were.
Growing up in the Toronto group home, under the watchful eye of Ellen, the group home leader, and Maisey their social worker, these men found new meaning in the word family. They found a way to function in the world, and embraced the freedom of music and performing in their own way.
But those demons still lurk beneath the surface, making relationships a
minefield they want to simultaneously cross and run away from. In the first book of this steamy new contemporary romance series, JORDAN RECLAIMED, Jordan finds the light to his dark in the form of Lexi, a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Canada. But her demons are powerful triggers from his own past, and Jordan has to figure out if he can change before he loses Lexi for good.
I read a quote as I was preparing this article, it said, “Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family.”
And I think the boys of Preload would agree with that.