And we’re back, with more phenomenal women from Love in Los Angeles. When we started venturing into the M/M romance space, we were told again and again that people who read gay romance don’t want women in their books, as love interests or anything else. So we were concerned, when Starling came out, that Gemma, Carly, Margaret, Kathleen and Laura would not be greeted particularly warmly.
We were thrilled that wasn’t the case. In fact, reader response to them (Gemma and Carly in particular) was positive beyond our most optimistic hopes. Which is wonderful. We love them, too!
So now, with Doves out on January 21, we’re back to talk about the women again. We’ll get you caught up on Gemma and Carly and everyone else you know and love from Starling, but first we’re going to introduce you to some of the new fabulous females you’ll meet in Doves.
First off is Beth Keane. She appears ever so briefly in Starling, when Paul introduces her to Alex via Skype at Thanksgiving, and then again when Paul goes home for Christmas. She has a lot more onscreen time in Doves, when Paul and Alex take their first trip together to Paul’s family home in South Carolina.
Beth likes Alex, and is relieved Paul seems to have found himself a stable relationship — Paul can be incompetent when it comes to love, and she did side-eye the age difference, and the famous thing, at first. But she also worries about them together in her house, not because of what they might do, but because of what the house might do to them.
The Marion farm has been in Beth’s family for generations. It was her mother’s before it was hers, and her grandmother’s before that. And from Beth, according to Marion family tradition, it will pass to Paul’s sister Sarah. The house is an old and angry house, and it keeps its secrets hidden well except from those it wants to know. It also doesn’t seem to like men.
Love in Los Angeles is not a paranormal series and it’s not about to become one. But there’s always been a thread of magical realism through it. That thread gets a little stronger as the series progresses, and the Marion house is definitely a part of it.
The house has been part of Beth’s family for generations and will continue to be for generations, as far as she is concerned. It’s not about possessiveness of the property. It’s about an awareness of the family’s history and the role the land plays in it — a history that has often been dark and occasionally violent. Even her son the storyteller doesn’t like to talk about it, although it’s in this book we do finally find out how Paul got his scars.
So when Beth and Paul’s father separated, she stayed in the house with Paul and Sarah, because the house is hers. She’s survived, and helped her family survive, crises of all kinds there over the years. When Alex arrives, and the house doesn’t seem to hate him, she’s surprised. She’s also intrigued, because it’s clear that a new chapter of the Marion family history has begun.