Today I'm so happy to have Jaime Samms on my blog talking about her new book Three Player Game. As I have a particular fondness for grumpy, growly characters, I enjoyed reading about hers.
When A Character is Not All Sunshine and Roses
Lee is not my first character who’s had more clouds and thorns to his personality than sunshine and roses, especially at the beginning of the book. I’ve written my share of thorny, difficult men. I’ve had my share of reviews from readers who didn’t like those guys. That’s fair. They aren’t always immediately likeable. Sometimes, they still aren’t snuggle-bunnies by the end of the book. Lee is not a snuggle bunny. Lee will never be a snuggle bunny. If he was, very likely, he would not have found a place with his lovers. They didn’t approach him because they wanted to fix him, or smooth out his edges, or make him better in some way. They approached him because they both found him, just the way he was, attractive and worthy of love.
And that, to me, is the key. Everyone is worthy of love.
There is no caveat that says you have to be a certain percentage soft and fluffy before you get to be loved, or that you have to be reformed of all your bad habits to keep that love. Does Lee have growing to do? Of course. Can he be nicer? Probably, and after some time being loved and accepted and shown that there are other ways to protect himself than lashing out, he will be.
I respect my readers too much to tie pretty red bows around happy cocks and call it done by the power of the magic sexytimes. Or to thinly veneer couples (or threesomes) with giddy joy just to cover up that the characters are not perfect. Flaws still exist and bad behavior takes time to correct. Sometimes the first step is realizing that there are people who are worth protecting, even from your own barbs, and that’s where Lee landed in this story.
He found two people who accepted his difficult edges, and who he wants to be softer towards. They found him worthy of loving, and now he wants to prove to them they weren’t wrong. That’s only the first step, and to change a lifetime of bad habits and poor interpersonal skills, Lee has to discover in himself what Vince and Pete already see. Then Lee will realize he is worthy of his own love, and he can really begin to grow.
That’s a long—a lifetime—story, though, and Three Player Game is a romance. A slice of a much longer, richer story that leads to an epic love affair to last three lifetimes. Beyond the scope of just one book.
Vince’s life has improved immeasurably since he moved to Bluewater Bay two years ago. He’s gone from working for a man he hated, to helping found a company he believes in. And he and his boyfriend, Pete, have built a delicate balance of power between them that keeps them both grounded and thriving.
Pete’s job on the set of Wolf’s Landing is demanding. He needs lots of downtime off set, and that’s where Vince’s firm but gentle control isn’t always enough. And for Vince, Pete’s constant high-energy needs are turning out to be more than he can handle alone.
It’s no surprise to either of them, then, that sparks fly when Vince’s coworker Lee enters the picture. Outwardly, Lee is tough and confident, but when a bad back confines him to Pete and Vince’s spare room, the cracks start to show and his desire for connection begins to peek through.
Pete and Vince both like what they see under Lee’s prickly outside, but now the three men must learn that love isn’t about beating the game—it’s about balance, trust, and letting each other in.