Publication date: April 18th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
The year began great for me.
Became the starting quarterback for an NFL team – check.
Secured a multi-million-dollar contract – check.
Moved to LA and lived the glamorous life – check.
What could possibly cause me any issues?
Oh yeah, one more thing. I’m gay.
I was outed a couple of years ago to my former team and my family, but it hasn’t been made public knowledge yet. Well, that is, until now. I’ll be known as the first LGBTQ+ active player in the league’s history. And if I stick to the conditions of my contract, it won’t be a problem. The thing is, I’m not really a guy known for playing by the rules.
Most people think of my personality as the three B’s: bold, brash, and blunt. My mouth has gotten me into more predicaments than I can count. Even my best friends have told me I’m stubborn as a mule and have the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. This presents a big problem for me because I have my eyes set on winning over the guy who stole my heart years ago, only he doesn’t know it yet.
Getting his attention is going to be challenging. It’s a good thing I’m tenacious.
Unfortunately, it’s not great timing and could get me into a whole mess of trouble.
Why does falling for a guy need to be anyone’s business but mine?
The past couple of years were a whirlwind of activity. My career took off after my guest shot appearance in Americana. I appeared in a few indie features and finally got a shot at my first major motion picture release. The work came as a great distraction from my personal life, which took a further nosedive after I found out the guy I was falling for had already fallen for someone else.
Why should I be surprised? He was another in a string of failed relationship attempts. I swore I wouldn’t get involved with anyone else, choosing to stay focused on my career instead. That is, until the force of nature known as Archer McMillan came storming into my life.
To be the pursued instead of the pursuer was not in the cards. To top it off, he’s everything I’m not. Yet, there’s something to be said for a guy who can make you laugh when it’s the last thing you want to be doing. I’ll admit he’s got a playful and determined spirit. Archer also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever known. Not the mention the cute way he… Hold on. What am I doing? We cannot be a thing. Nope. Not gonna happen. Ever. Right?
Follow Kai and Archer as they cross the lines as friends, partners-in-crime, and confidants, to discover a love beyond boundaries that needs no definition.
(StrangeLove is a funny, heartwarming, slow-burn love story. It contains a cast of fully developed characters that encounter romance, laughter, and life lessons. It contains adult language, mature themes, and is best enjoyed by those over the age of 18. It can be read as a standalone; however, if you would like to know the backstories of some characters, check out the prior books in the series.)
GUEST POST by T.L. Bradford
StrangeLove is the third book in my Young Americans Series. It follows the journey of Archer McMillan and Kai Anderson, two characters previously introduced in the books Just Like Heaven and True Faith.
It was while writing my first book, Just Like Heaven, that the idea for a Kai and Archer pairing entered my mind. The possibilities of the pair made for great writing fodder. With Archer being a macho, bull-headed jock type and Kai being a sophisticated, refined, dancer/entertainer, there were so many paths I could take to bring these two together.
I ended up adapting the end of Just Like Heaven to accommodate a future meeting of the two. We can see the beginnings of their light flirting and attraction at the ending of True Faith. The concept of two such different people finding a middle ground that could only be filled with the other person intrigued me.
What was originally going to be a harder take on the struggles of maintaining an interracial relationship, took on a different path as the characters slowly began developing in my mind. Given that both Kai and Archer had experienced a lot of pain and disappointment in their lives, I wanted this book to be the time when they experience their first true happiness with another person.
So, it’s a tale of two very different young men who find strength and bliss with each other, despite the challenges around them. I remembered hearing that the best way to tackle a sensitive topic is with humor. Thus, we see them dealing with the daily struggles of coping with their differing backgrounds, oftentimes with hilarious results.
What follows is a sweet love story of two people coming together despite the odds. It’s filled with loads of fun, flirting, and mishaps.
I was inspired to dig deeper into Kai and Archer’s personalities and flesh out their unique traits. I adore character quirks, so you can expect to see how each one handles the peculiarities of the other.
It was risky to take the character of Kai (the relationship rival to Josh in the previous books) and have readers empathize with his role. My first goal was to set about humanizing him. In StrangeLove, it’s easier to see Kai’s motivations. I’ve also fleshed out Archer’s backstory with his family and the issues he’s had with the NFL team management.
What has always been important to me, is to show the many types of love that can exist between people, whether it be lovers, friends or family. The core structure of all my characters is the group support system of their friendship. Despite whatever problems the world may throw their way, internally the group will always stay strong together. Where they lack family support, the Young Americans crew is there to step in and help their friends. And though they have many romantic entanglements between them, it’s never a deterrent to the love they all feel for each other.
T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words. Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly. Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while.
Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them. T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.
As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story. Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.
She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.
T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.
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