Today, I have Iris Faire in the inteview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Hot Stepdad Summer, book one in the Stepdad Summer series, a m/m contemporary romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Hi, Iris. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?
Iris: I work full-time so writing and self-publishing are my passion projects on the side but I’d very much like to move this toward a self-sustaining opportunity. I’ve been writing for a few years, and finally told myself a year ago I’d self-publish no matter what. I’m glad I did. I’m having a blast.
2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page and see this is your first book, and you chose to write m/m romance. Why this genre?
Iris: Why not? I believe in love for all people and for all people to find their person. I try to look at the characters the same, no matter who they are, M/F or M/M or whatever…they deserve love, they have things to overcome, and will grow by the end to gain their happy ever after with their person. I enjoy great MM romances and hope I can bring readers stories filled with good characters
3. Can you tell me what inspired you to create the Stepdad Summer series?
Iris: I have an author friend who writes a lot of taboo as well as MM romance. One of her books last year spawned something in my brain and before I knew it, this series, the titles, and the plots came to me. I knew I had to write them. In fact, book three was to be the first in this series, but then Dillon and Steven insisted theirs was better. Scenes started coming to me, and before I knew it, their book was ready for the world.
4. Can you share your writing process through Hot Stepdad Summer?
Iris: It was a little crazy. I crammed it in between two other writing projects, again because the characters kept “talking” to me. But it was worth it to have a breather between other works in progress to work on these characters and their love story. I used beats for a 10-12 chapter romance, set my sights on around 30k words and worked steadily toward it.
5. Why choose a stepdad as the romantic partner?
Iris: It intrigued me as a taboo topic. It’s a little dangerous and I was looking for something different than what I usually write (contemporary romance). But, I didn’t want to go full BDSM or things like that. I wanted these two people, likely closer in age, to have certain circumstances happen that made it okay to pursue each other, lingering only briefly on the taboo nature of it. If they could get past that, and if others would as well, they might have something special. I tried to think: If they were just two ordinary guys who had feelings for each other with nothing blocking them how would they fall in love…
6. Let’s talk about the main characters. What do you love most about them and what makes you want to shake them?
Dillon: Working hard for what I wanted was something I’d become accustomed to. I wasn’t looking for love and I didn’t need a protector. I wanted more than a hot man possessing me. But when my friend got himself into trouble, Steven stepped in. He opened my heart to something wild and new. And now, I can’t let him go. It turned out his protection, his possession, and his love all claimed me, fulfilling every dream possible.
Steven: I kept my feelings for Dillon locked away for so long. When one night opened my eyes to the possibilities of a life with him, my shell cracked. Now, all I can think about is leaving town with him, creating a new life where we live on our terms. I desired love. What I found in him was unexpected. If only the world around us would stop judging, we would build a life together.
Could we leave everything behind, right our wrongs, and fulfill our dreams—together—before the dark forces surrounding us take us under?
Dillon is the main character who I just adore. I love them both, but Dillon’s maturity and confidence at a young age (22) surprised me as it did to Steven as well. 🙂
7. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Hot Stepdad Summer?
Iris: Oh the steamy scenes were a ton of fun – especially the final steamy scene at the end, five years later – I love how their comfortable banter grew as they matured together. 😉
8. What makes the Stepdad Summer series different from other stepdad/stepson romances?
Iris: Mine focuses on the relationship between the two being more than about sex. While there’s plenty of steam, yes, there is actually this relationship they build together based on trust, based on mutual regard for each other’s talents and abilities. They encourage each other when others don’t, they are there for each other when others aren’t. Of course there’s also a little romantic suspense going on with ties to the mafia and that will play out even larger in book 2 with the next couple.
9. If a reader asked you why they should read Hot Stepdad Summer, what would you tell them?
Iris: It’s a fun romp when they finally do get together. It’s got mafia intrigue. If you like steamy romance where you can get into the characters and cheer them on to work things out, then give it a try.
10. What can readers expect from you in the future?
Well, for now, this series is four books, the next one will be out this summer. But I don’t know, I could see this playing out a few more books beyond four. We’ll see what readers think of it, and also what other MM series ideas crash into my brain in the meantime.
11. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
It seems like our family has worked through the Marvel and Star Wars universes, both of which I love, and since then have used Disney+ to view all the short series runs for Star Wars, like Mandalorean (my fav) and Wandavision (brilliant).
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
Oh, it spans, but in gay romance I’ve been working through the Keira Andrews books – her ice skaters in Canada. Maybe because it’s the olympics right now, and who doesn’t love men on ice?
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
I don’t have much time to listen to music! But I love country and classic rock. Right now, Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton matches the mood of one of my WIPs.
- What song puts a smile on your face?
I sing Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” to my teens all the time. It annoys them. 🙂
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Book Title: Hot Stepdad Summer
Series: Stepdad Summer, #1
Author: Iris Faire
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance LGBTQ Romance, Romantic Suspense
Tropes: Taboo – stepdad, forbidden love, bisexual and gay awakenings, mafia suspense
Themes: Coming out, acceptance, found family, first loves
Length: 33 000 words/ 122 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2022
Heat Rating: 4.5 flames
Wrongs righted. Love fated. Passionate desires unleashed.
Blurb: I didn’t need a protector. And I wanted more than a hot alpha possessing me.
I desired love. What I found in him was unexpected. If only the world around us would stop judging, we would have a chance to build a life together.
When the past caught up to me and a friend, dark forces surrounded us.
Only one man could save me.
It turned out his protection, his possession, and his love all claimed me, fulfilling every dream possible.
Iris Faire weaves a tale of past wrongs righted, of love fated, and passionate desires explored. The quick read romp ends in a happy ever after. It can be read as a stand alone, but will have you wishing for more in the interconnected Stepdad Summer Series.
Note: There are a few steamy scenes that get spicy and intimate and real for our main couple – but nothing involving BDSM. Maybe a tiny bit of hands around the throat, that’s it.)
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
“Who were those guys?” His fists balled up on my stomach, and I heard the crack of his jawline tightening with teeth gnashing. These signs of his possession turned my heart to jelly.
“Relax there, Mr. Protective. They were punk ass college guys on spring break. Never saw them again. And I haven’t been with anyone since . . . Until last night. With you.”
“Me? So you were my first in forever, and I was as well for you?” He squeezed me tighter.
“Hm-hmm. After your birthday, I intended to quit for sure. But then you came to see me. So I danced for you. And then I kept going, wondering if you might come back. And you did. Every Tuesday and Thursday, when Mom had her meetings like clockwork. Somehow, you made me feel safe. And . . . I enjoyed dancing for you. I liked your eyes following my every move.”
“Don’t go back. I don’t want you there. I can’t stand the thought of other men watching you, touching your G-string or going anywhere near your skin.”
I tightened our hold once again, wiggling my bottom against his half hard morning wood. “Hm. So you’re the jealous type. I like it.”
“Yeah, maybe I am. Besides, I should have stopped you when I first saw you. If I had given any thought to how dangerous it might be for you there . . . maybe Nico wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“Fucking Nico,” I said with upmost affection for my friend. “It probably didn’t matter. His drug use would have still gotten out of hand, maybe slower is all.”
“Still, don’t go back. Quit today.”
“And work where? I can’t stay at moms, and can’t stay at Dominic’s. It’s nice of you to offer here, but I need a job to afford my own place.” I already had a printout of some jobs to check on for the week. Coffee barista, nighttime janitor . . . nothing really appealing, but my options narrowed without a degree or career trajectory. I’d go to hell before admitting Mom was right about college.
“Stay with me. I’ll take care of us until you find something else.”
“Yeah?” I twisted, facing him, and cupped his cheek. I hung on every hope for what this meant between us.
I brushed his lips, taking full advantage of this euphoric morning feeling. This thing right now between us, undefined, yet perfect. Undeterred by an uncertain future, simply luxuriating in each other’s arms before time or whatever life threw at us took it away.
He worked down, brushing his lips across my neck and Adam’s apple.
“Mm. If I stay with you, does it mean I get more of your lips all over me?”
“Whatever you want, I’m happy to provide,” he said, pushing me onto my back. Brushing his whiskers down my torso followed by his soft lips and tongue, every move of his grew like little reassurances of our path ahead, freely exploring whatever this was between us.
I liked the sound of the blurb, so when this came up for review, I nabbed it. First off, I really enjoyed the two main characters. Dillon isn’t sure what to do with his life, so he works at a dance club, but he also spends a lot of time writing since he has hopes of becoming an author, something his mother doesn’t approve of because she wants him to go to university and find a job that will guarantee an income.
I really felt for Dillon. He’s in a tough spot, and it doesn’t help that he is attracted to his stepfather, feelings he’s very uncomfortable with. This says a lot about his character, even when his mother is driving him insane since she does nothing but yell at him about what she views as his going nowhere life. But mom’s hiding her own secrets why she’s snapping at everyone and short tempered.
As for Steven, the hot stepdad, I really liked him. He’s a loyal man, too loyal. The things he unearthed, the way he stuck by that certain someone (I won’t say who or spoil the novel) says a lot about him. He’s very mature for his age and came across as much older.
I liked the pacing of the novel for such a short book. The author kept each scene on the mark. The chemistry between Steven and Dillon was well done. The same for their romance and bedrooms scenes. I also enjoyed what happened with the mother. I felt what was unearthed wasn’t tossed in as a plot device, but showed what she was feeling and why she did what she’d done (again, being vague so I don’t spoil the novel).
This is a great short read and a book I’d recommend. There’s even an epilogue that hints about what will happen to Dillon’s friend Nico.
Iris writes from the comfort of her kitchen, while sipping vanilla lattes on a good day—even in summer. Writing MM Romance is a nice distraction from her many other commitments, like needle-working, homemaking, and mom taxi service. While it’s terrible fun to invest time in her book characters, she’s not expecting to quit her day job anytime soon.
Visit her website to keep up to date on her latest work in progress.
On a more serious note: Iris has a teen who is trans. And she loves them with her whole heart and soul.
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