The story had started the Thanksgiving before, with Martin and Drake meeting at Drake’s parents and for both a bell had rung when their eyes first crossed. If for Martin it meant he had finally found his soul-mate, for Drake it was just a disturbing sensation more akin to sexual attraction. However little Drake’s tastes ran in that direction, the attraction turned out too strong to resist, so after a month, Martin had seduced his pirate Drake into having sex with a man, something Drake had never considered as an option in his life. The sex is great, reason enough for Drake to accept Martin’s invitation, but things in Ireland are not so smooth.
Overwhelmed by Martin’s family Christmas welcome, Drake understands he’s not ready to commit to anyone, much less a man whether his soul-mate or not. Martin agrees to drop all references to the soul-mate business and on their return to the US, they’ll spend a few months apart. During this time, Drake gets transferred to a new division and starts an affair with Michelle, a new colleague. But all he can think about is Martin. No way, though, he’s going to call him, but business exigencies bring them back together. The first time they meet again, Drake learns Martin has to leave his apartment, so he offers to rent him a room in his house. Martin eventually accepts, and it’s Drake’s undoing. No, not because the devil spins Drake into a vortex of sex with men and women, but because the living together and being so close every day is something he can’t handle. But as it will turn out, neither can Martin.
“Martin and Drake are an explosion of hot male loving. Their need for each other goes well beyond sex, and it is great to see how Martin gives Drake the time and freedom to find his way in their relationship. I found this story to be sexy and engaging.” CTR
Laura Tolomei lives in Rome, Italy and is the author of 21+ books. She has been traveling the globe since age five and has no intention of quitting. After having been an avid reader her entire life, she decided at age forty to write her own stories and has not looked back since. Writing novels that are on the edge of accepted conventions is her trademark, and she guarantees an erotic earthquake with each book!
An Interview with Laura Tolomei
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Your featured book is The Pirate’s Surrender and is part of your Soulmate series. First, what can you tell us about this very sexy series?
LT: The series is about the inevitability of coming together. Martin and Drake do not choose to be soul-mates. Destiny makes this choice for them, and how they deal with it is what this series is all about. Unpredictable at best, each will react in a very different and personal way. While Martin has always known there was a soul-mate custom-made for him -- he just had to find him -- Drake has never believed in it. His rational mind cannot accept the concept, much less a person telling him they are in fact kindred spirits. Still, Drake cannot deny the recognition signs that have gone off like alarms the moment he set eyes on Martin. Mostly, Drake is scared. Accepting Martin as a soul-mate means opening his options to a man, something he never considered as a viable partner. If sex is Drake’s first issue, it’s nothing compared to what could come after. Being soul-mates means more than a casual affair, more than a tumble in bed. It’s something inescapable, something that requires Drake to take a hard look inside and decide if life without Martin, at whatever the cost, is worth living. So the Soulmate Series is also about overcoming one’s prejudices, about opening one’s heart to unconventional choices. And once the right choices are made, readers will discover that the Soulmate Series is in fact about the inevitability of true love.
LT: To Seduce A Soul-mate is where Martin and Drake first meet. Apparently, nothing about it could be more casual or less fateful. It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and the Seymour family has an extra reason to be celebrating -- Drake’s birthday. Together with Mom Rose and Papa James, there’s Drake’s sister, Jenny, with her new boyfriend Dale, a man Drake can’t stand, and her longtime friend, Aline and her husband Martin Shaw, an Irishman and Dale’s boss. The last thing Martin would have thought was to meet his soul-mate where he least expected -- at a boring family reunion during a holiday that has nothing to do with his traditions, in the company of a wife he’s married only because he had given up on finding his soul-mate. Truth is–Martin has been searching for the one person who would make his life meaningful ever since he was old enough to understand what it meant, tumbling into bed with any male or female who came his way in the slightest hope he or she would turn out to be the one. When reaching age thirty-three without it ever happening, he decides to settle down and forget about his illusions. So there he is, in the Seymours den, drinking a cocktail when in walks the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen. But what attracts his attention isn’t the beauty, the striking body or the long dark-haired pirate-like appeal. It’s the fact he recognizes this unbelievable man as if he had actually known him before, which isn’t the case at all. Seeing Drake in his parents’ house is positively the first time he has ever laid eyes on this gorgeous male. Right there and then, Martin knows his instinct was right all along. Now his soul-mate is just one-step away. For Drake, things are different. He, too, feels the twinge of recognition, but he thinks it’s just a trick of the imagination, an odd reaction to a very handsome man. Then again, Pirate Drake has never dreamed of a soul-mate, nor has he travelled the world looking for one. In addition, men have never been on his list of possible candidates, so whatever he feels on meeting Martin must be just coincidence. And even if it weren’t, what are the chances he’ll get to see Martin again after Thanksgiving? But here’s where Drake is wrong. Destiny kicks in and with it, Martin’s unbending will to seduce his soul-mate in the most fascinating adventure you’ll ever read.
LT: At one point, Drake understands he cannot deny the passionate attraction he feels for Martin and gives in to Martin’s seduction. In bed, sex is fantastic, beyond any of Drake’s wildest expectations, but still he holds back on the soul-mate thing. In Ireland, where Martin, who has divorced Aline in the meantime, takes him to spend Christmas with his family, Drake is further overwhelmed by the Shaws reactions to him. Turns out Martin’s soul-mate search is more real than Drake gives him credit for, and is practically a family joke. Now that he has found and brought his true soul-mate home, everyone from Martin’s mother to his brothers and sisters are in awe and can’t stop complimenting Martin, which further embarrasses Drake to the point he asks Martin never to bring up the soul-mate thing again. So The Pirate’s Surrender is not off to a brilliant start, rather to a break-up once they return to the States. But Drake has become addicted to the sex and the person, so much that he can’t stop thinking of Martin, and when he learns Martin has to look for a new place to stay, he offers him his home and his “fucking friendship”, literally. But this will lead both down a path neither had anticipated, a path where being soul-mates means a far greater commitment, a far greater depth of feelings, which again both will have to grapple in their own personal terms.
HH: What do you like best about Martin and why will readers pull for him?
LT: I love that Martin is so obstinate about reaching out and taking what is his by default. I love his stubbornness and his holding on to what many people consider fantasies or tricks of the imagination. I love his optimism -- even when it seems he’s given up on his dream, it is just another one of his strategies. Never once does he lose his perspective or his goal. Never once does he doubt himself or the validity of his feelings. Never once does he question what he knows is true -- that Drake is inevitably his, no matter how hard the pirate may deny it. Whatever the cost or the effort, Martin will not only seduce his soul-mate, but also convince him they are meant to be together in and out of bed. The depth, intensity and extent of his feelings is what amazes me about Martin, a man who has always known destiny would place the one soul made for him on his path. And most of all, I love how much he experiments with men and women, his open-mindedness about sex and relationships, along with his willingness to wait for Drake to realize what he, Martin, has long come to terms with. Above all, readers will inevitably fall for Martin’s candor and straightforward honesty, like when he tells Drake what his feelings are from the first time, or when he divorces Aline even if Drake is skeptical about the whole soul-mate thing and hasn’t made up his mind one way or the other.
HH: What do you like best about Drake and why will readers love him?
LT: Drake is an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. There’s nothing super-heroish about him. He’s a straight man riddled by doubts like any person would be if confronted by someone of the same gender claiming to be his or her soul-mate. Readers will totally relate to Drake’s bafflement, but also to his growing feelings, to his attempts at denying the obvious and to the way he resolves his inner conflicts in favor of love and surrender. Speaking as a writer, Drake made me see aspects of myself I had never seen before and accept the fact that surrender doesn’t necessarily mean capitulating to an enemy, rather giving in to love and letting it change your life forever.
HH: What’s next in this series?
LT: There’s a third book in the making for this series, one I’ve started working on if only in my head. The way the relationship between Martin and Drake has progressed, they’ve come to a beautiful start, so now it’s time I made them move forward to a great future. It’s obvious Drake has still to learn a lot about men, both about living and having sex with them. If Drake doesn’t overcome his belief that he doesn’t love men just Martin, Martin knows their relationship will be doomed. He is open-minded enough to understand that, in order to grow, he has to teach Drake the finer points of having sex with men, all men not just him. In short, he has to bring Drake to like men in order to have the mate he’s always dreamed about. And I’ll be damned! I think Martin driven enough to accomplish it in the end!
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
LT: First and foremost, the end of the Virtus Saga for sure! As readers may know, Virtus Saga, or how three people can reach true union, apparently is a fantasy series that takes place during a three-year period on an invented world, Sendar, where a mechanical device turns violent impulses into sexual ones. This ensures a peaceful existence to all its inhabitants. But nothing is ever absolutely good or bad, so the device, called Virtus, isn’t only beneficial. He has some disturbing side effects our heroes will discover and battle against in the course of the eight books of the saga. There are three protagonists to this saga—lovers Prince Duncan Caldwell and Lord Christopher Templeton, and the woman who bewitched them both, Ylianor Meyer. The three never change throughout the six books already released, which should be read in sequence, because each one starts off from where the previous leaves off. Each moves the story forward, not just in time, but in the characters’ growth. The Sex #1,The Game #2, The Festival #3, The Leader #4, The Pledge #5, The Heat #6 are available now @eXtasy Books. Book 7 The Princess and Book 8 The Demon are my next releases, work in progress as I write, and I can’t wait to reach the words The End to this bewitching tale of love and power. But there’s no rest for me in sight LOL
Right after I’m done with the Virtus Saga, I want to finish another of my favorite series: ReScue, with Re-Scue, Book 1, and Tasting Leon’s Mark, Book 2 already released and with an Audio Book on the making. Yes, readers be prepared for Re-Scue the Audio Book, coming later 2013, and this is great news that started my year on the right foot!!! Can’t hide how proud and excited I am, which is also why I realized it was high time I finished off Leon Sterling and Sean Davis’s story. They met first as Didri and Tylean, destroying one another in a dangerous game of sex and blood. As gazelle and predator, they didn’t fare any better, nor did they as Aural and Rhodri. Finally, reincarnated as Leon and Sean, they learned their lesson they could not grasp all the previous lifetimes, and moved on. That they are connected at a deeper level than either ever admitted became clear in Tasting Leon’s Mark, where Janet first glimpsed the truth of their relationship and forced them into accepting it. Now, the three of them are leaving for Atlanta, bound to return to San Francisco on a coast-to-coast trip that will change their lives forever. Funny thing I never realized while writing is how this series is also a ménage in disguise, with the third one coming up so unexpectedly, it threw me off at first. But now that I see where these characters, as unruly as the ones in the Virtus Saga, I can’t wait to write the sequel of the ReScue Series, Book 3, working title Travelling Through Souls.
HH: What do you enjoy most about being an author?
The best part of being an author is that I get to create my own stories. In fact, it’s the reason I decided to become a writer after being an avid reader for forty years. Don’t get me wrong. I still love reading and find it one of life’s greatest pleasures, but of late, I didn’t much agree with other authors’ plots or character building. There was always something missing or unconvincing. In addition, my imagination was taking the better of me, making me invent all kinds of tales until I couldn’t hold them inside any longer. That’s why I started setting them down on paper and making a career out of it!
HH: Where can readers find you online?
LT: I got plenty of places! Here are a few of them:
LT: Since 2013 is my Chinese horoscope name sign, the Snake, it promises to be very different from 2012, if not more complicated as well. Being in your sign’s year isn’t always a good thing, at least according to most of the horoscopes I read on line, which all advise me to lay low, keep a low profile. But I don’t let this influence me. Instead, I’m convinced 2013 is going to be an arrival point in my writing and in my growth as an author. I’m looking forward to it, to all that I’m going to learn about myself and then use in my work, because the more I know of myself, the better I write. And it’s no coincidence that the Chinese New Year is set on February 4th, which is the date Kool Queer Blog will feature my post: Gender? What a bother at least according to my characters, during their Love is Love Blog Tour. So let’s hear it for 2013!