Hi, everyone! I’m Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m jazzed to be back here at Dawn’s Reading Nook. Every time I’m here, I somehow seem to add to my growing collection of photos of hot men. Now, I’m not saying I take any of the photos that Dawn leaves lying about for visitors to peruse. Like this picture of a shirtless Chris Hemmsworth lying next to a photo of Ian Sommerhousen. I swear that when I passed by the photo Ian Sommerhousen was still there.
But anyway, I want to thank Dawn for agreeing to be a stop on my blog tour promoting When Love Gets Hairy, my latest release from Dreamspinner Press and the third book of the Provincetown Series. For those of you who were wondering, these books do not have to be read in order. You can start the series with this book and then work backward or really read them in any order you prefer. I’m easy that way. Well, in a lot of ways, but I digress.
For today’s post, I wanted to write about Nino Santos, one of the main characters in When Love Gets Hairy. Readers of the first book are already familiar with Nino, who played Van’s best friend in When Love Takes Over. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Nino is a vain, self-absorbed man slut, and he couldn’t be happier about that.
Originally, Nino was never supposed to be a main character. He was supposed to remain Van’s wisecracking, sexually insatiable best friend. Oh, he was going to be a part of the series. That was for sure. How could I not include Nino and his tricking ways in a book based in
But I planned for him to act as a foil to characters or to add comedic effect.
He was to be the character we laughed at when he made a bonehead comment as he commonly did in the first book. We were supposed to roll our eyes at Nino and wonder if he’d ever stop bed hopping and settle down. He was going to be the friend that most of us have who skips through life without a care in the world and who never really changes from one day to the next.
But then something happened. The characters, as they often do for me, developed a life of their own. And that occurred with Nino.
As I was writing When Love Takes Over, a vulnerability I hadn’t planned crept into his character. It was subtle at first. But whenever Nino and Van were in a scene together, there was no doubt in my mind how much Nino loved his best friend. Now, I’m not talking about romantic love. The mere thought of Van and Nino together causes them to make retching noises in the back of my mind. You should hear the two of them right now. It’s really gross.
But they share a love rooted in brotherhood, and it is a love that is just as deep and just as fulfilling as a relationship between two lovers. In order for such deep and abiding affection to exist between them meant that Nino was not as superficial as he pretended to be. It was an act. Van saw that quite clearly and so did many readers. Underneath Nino’s blasé attitude existed a depth no one could see because Nino hid it so cleverly beneath his sex-crazed escapades.
And that’s partially what When Love Gets Hairy explores. This book fleshes out Nino’s character much more than I had ever done in my original character sketch. He truly came to life as a three-dimensional character instead of the stock character I had originally intended him to be.
But Nino needed a story. I couldn’t cast him in the novel I had originally planned to be the second book of the series. It was supposed to be a novel about redemption. Ben Cooper, who was an awful character in the first book, was going to arrive in
and change from the ass who broke Zach Kelly’s heart into a man worthy of true
But there was no way Nino would ever fall for Ben, much less give him a second look. Besides after writing Ben in that very first scene of When Love Takes Over, I hated him. No, that’s not true. I despised him.
So halfway through the first book, I had already changed up the series. The second book would be about Nino, but I had no clue what his story would be. Then, I wrote a scene in When Love Takes Over that basically gave me the idea for the next book.
Van and Nino were out by the pool at the Provincetown Inn. As usual, Nino was being his typical puckish self, which annoyed Van. At that moment, Van thought, “One of these days, Van hoped Nino would meet his match and go up against someone immune to his disarming personality and
From that one statement, the idea for this book was born. Because when Nino and Teddy meet, love most definitely gets hairy.
I hope you enjoyed the information on how Nino and his book were born. I certainly enjoyed sharing it with all of you, and before I go, I want to thank everyone who stopped by today. And I also want to say a special thank you to Dawn for allowing me to come back here and for the wonderful Chris Hemmsworth photo!
For those interested, I have included a blurb and excerpt below. Additionally, as part of my blog tour I’m hosting a giveaway.
The When Love Gets Hairy Giveaway Contest-Check out the raffelcopter at the end of the post for all the details
All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, and your name is entered to win one of eight cool prizes, including books from my back list to gift cards from Amazon to some of my author swag.
As vain as he is beautiful, Nino Santos happily lives life waiting for the next ferry full of fairies to bring him new conquests. As long as they aren’t hirsute, he’s all in. So he's shocked to wake up after a beach party he cannot remember with a hairy naked man lying next to him.
Teddy Miller doesn’t remember the “Bear Week” party either, much less the Abercrombie & Fitch model wannabe next to him. Teddy doesn’t give two cents about appearances, but guys like Abercrombie don’t return the favor. That’s why he prefers men with extra fur and padding over carbon copy clones of perfection—a type of man Teddy is far too familiar with.
When Nino and Teddy glimpse each other the next morning, it’s loathing at first sight. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, they exchange insults and vow never to see each other again. In Provincetown, however, escaping a trick best forgotten isn’t easy. Mutual friends and chance circumstances keep Nino and Teddy in each other’s orbit. But are they fighting each other or the attraction growing between them? The answer lies amid Provincetown’s windswept dunes and the night neither of them can recall.
When Teddy suggested they grab something to eat, Nino surprised himself by agreeing. The yes had come out of his mouth before he had time to think. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to eat. He was hungry. He hadn’t had anything in his stomach since lunch with Jay at Bubala’s.
What was the problem, then?
The furry little bastard wasn’t as much of an asshole as he’d once thought. Teddy had even apologized. Even though he didn’t want to admit it, the apology meant a lot to him. People who’d been cruel to him in the past had never been sorry. Especially not his sisters.
So it wasn’t that he hated Teddy. At least not anymore.
He just didn’t like that he continued to do things he’d never done before. Eating dinner with a guy he’d just spent a couple of hours getting to know was entirely unlike him. It also seemed to break his sixth rule—don’t give a fuck.
If he truly didn’t give a fuck, he wouldn’t have shared his past or agreed to share a meal. He wouldn’t have divulged his problems with his modeling career or taken Teddy’s advice. All of that showed he apparently gave a fuck. That was very unnerving.
How was he supposed to protect himself if he actually cared?
“Oooh, let’s have Spiritus,” Teddy said from his right. “I’m craving some pizza.”
What had he been thinking? Of course, dinner with a bear meant eating carbs. He did not consume such useless calories. “Try again,” Nino said. “How about Jimmy’s HideAway? I can get a salad there.”
“A salad?” Teddy scrunched up his face and stuck out his tongue. Apparently, consuming healthy food was both distasteful and unusual. What else could he expect from a bear?
“Yes, a salad,” he replied. “It’s healthy, and this late at night, it’s not as bad for your digestive system.”
Teddy gave him a raspberry. “Who cares about that? Haven’t you ever just been bad once?” Before he could reply, Teddy cut him off. “And I’m not talking about your sexual escapades, so don’t even start. I’m talking about throwing caution to the wind, and instead of eating right and counting calories, just eat something because it’s really, really, bad for you.”
“I wouldn’t look the way I do if I did that,” he announced. Teddy peered at him out of the corners of his eyes. He obviously was trying to determine if he was joking or not, so he added an eyebrow wiggle for Teddy’s benefit. He didn’t want Teddy to take his comment the wrong way. Oh God, now that sounded like he gave a fuck. Well, shit!
“Well, for that, Curly, I’m gonna buy you a slice of pizza, and you’re going to eat it.”
“No, I’m not,” he said with a shake of his head. “And don’t call me Curly.”
“Oh, yes you are,” Teddy sang as he grabbed Nino’s hand and tugged him toward Spiritus, which apparently had been mobbed by bears. The big guys were everywhere. Some sat on the curb out front with pizza dripping grease onto their paper plates. Others didn’t even bother with the plates. They folded the pizza long-ways and chomped down half the slice in one bite. He could hear their arteries clogging from here.
“You wait here,” Teddy said as he stood Nino by the tree to the left of the building. “I’m going to wade through the crowd and get us a couple of slices.”
“I’ll wait here,” he agreed. “But I won’t eat the pizza.”
“You’ll eat what I give you,” Teddy said, his words made even more suggestive by the sudden twinkle in his eyes. “And you’ll like it.”
The bears in their immediate vicinity echoed their appreciation of Teddy’s comment by growling. Ordinarily, their bearspeak irritated him. Tonight, though, he just laughed and shrugged at them.
“All right, boys,” Teddy told the bears sitting on the bench by the tree. “Watch Curly here. Make sure he doesn’t get away, because this bitch needs to eat.”
“We’ll watch him for you, daddy,” one of the younger bears replied. “You go get your pup some chow.”
His pup? When did he become Teddy’s pup? He opened his mouth to correct the man, but when Teddy nodded and told them thank you, he couldn’t speak. Did Teddy not hear what the man said? If he did, did he not care that these guys obviously thought they were together?
He couldn’t ask any of those questions, though, because by the time his ability to speak had returned, Teddy had disappeared into Spiritus.
You can buy When Love Gets Hairy here:
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
And I urge readers to visit me at any or all of my social media sites:
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