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Guest ~ Starla Kaye

Who doesn’t love a hot cowboy? Today we’re thrilled to welcome guest blogger Starla Kaye, with a new release, a great excerpt and a contest. Leave a comment by midnight (US Central) October 6 to enter for a chance to win a copy of either MAGGIE’S SECRET WISH or STARTING OVER from Decadent Publishing and a special gift: a memories frame. 

Writing About Romance

I write romance in many sub-genres, mainly m/f, but I also write m/m and m/f/m. No matter what kind of romantic relationship there are basic stages involved. All relationships go through stages, face challenges, experience times of joy and times of stress. None of the stages last forever, but it can be a struggle to remain committed and determined to stay together. I believe it helps a writer to have a simple understanding of the complexities of relationships. Here are some of the possible stages a couple may go through:

First Stage: Blind Bliss

  • Head over heels in love
  • Partners believe they have so much in common, that they are completely in sync with one another
  • Annoyances that pop up are ignored or dismissed
  • Partners feel good in each other’s presence, depressed when they are apart


Second Stage: Awakening

  • Reality sets in and the love blinders come off
  • Partners still have many common interests, but they now begin to see differences in connection with those interests
  • Annoyances start bothering each partner
  • There are life-altering decisions to make that the partners have differing opinions on: having children, where to live, who works/who doesn’t, who pays the bills, getting along with in-laws, who will do the cooking
  • Partners begin feeling disillusioned and wonder if they made a mistake


Third Stage: Imperfections Abound

  • Instead of blind bliss about the other partner’s perfection, now each partner sees things more in your way (wrong way) vs. my way (right way)
  • Struggles begin because of stubbornness, spitefulness, or a need for control and lead to frustration, anger, and hurt
  • Partners begin to believe that if the other partner would change, then the relationship will work
  • Unhappy partners begin to consider giving up, divorcing or resigning themselves to their differences and leading separate lives


Fourth Stage: Acceptance Begins

  • Partners begin to realize that attempts at reasoning, begging, nagging, yelling, and threatening are not going to make the other partner change
  • Partners possibly experience a new determination to save the relationship by seeking outside help
  • Partners start to understand that neither partner will ever be perfect
  • Partners begin showing more compassion, forgiveness, and understanding to each other
  • Disagreements are fewer and less emotional, not as intense
  • Each partner makes conscious efforts not to push the other partner’s buttons


Fifth Stage: Not Bliss, But Peace

  • Partners realize that they have always loved each other and now see again how much they like each other as well
  • Partners feel connected again, having weathered the ups and downs of the earlier stages in the relationship
  • Each partner appreciates how the other one remained committed to making it through the struggles in order to reach this point
  • Each partner now feels more secure about themselves and now is more comfortable with the differences between them


THE CEO AND THE COWBOY is a story of two men trying to deal with confusion in their lives, trying to find their way, and hoping to find happiness one day. As the story starts, Calhoun has just witnessed the wedding of the woman he’d been engaged to for five years and never could walk down the aisle with. He has had a secret longing that he has never acknowledged and is still afraid to embrace. He meets a friend of his ex’s husband at the wedding, a striking man with a sexually enticing scrutiny. The man unnerves him even as he arouses him. Daniel is immediately drawn to the ruggedly handsome cowboy, his “hot guy” inner warning system going crazy. But he’s not really on the hunt for a new man in his life. He’s still dealing with the hurt and betrayal of his last lover.

I can’t exactly say that Calhoun (the cowboy) and Daniel (the CEO) land in that “blind bliss” stage where they are head over heels in love. But when they meet, they can’t resist the strength of their attraction to one another. They do experience that “awakening” stage where Calhoun wonders if they made a mistake. And they go through the “imperfections abound” stage when they struggle with stubbornness and frustration. Being a HFN romance, Calhoun and Daniel wind their way through the “acceptance” and “peace” stages. But there are a couple of twists along the way, one that particularly surprised me. My characters often surprise me as I tell their stories.

I hope you will enjoy the story of these two special men. The story has been so well received that I have been asked to write a sequel, which will, hopefully, come out late this year or early next year.


The whole thing about relationships and feelings confuses the heck out of Calhoun. He’s a simple cowboy and he’d been planning to marry a long-time friend for a while. When he finally realizes it doesn’t feel right, he lets her go. He probably shouldn’t have gone to her wedding to another man, but she wanted him there. But that’s when he really gets confused. His eye is drawn to a seriously hot businessman…and that sure does unnerve him…and yet….

Emotionally burned by the last man he thought he’d loved, Daniel isn’t anxious to replace him. But there is something about the proud, bedroom-eyed cowboy who shows up at his friend’s wedding. The CEO isn’t even sure if the cowboy’s gay, although the heat firing between them makes him wonder….

What he does know is that he plans to find out.



Decadent Publishing      Amazon US     Amazon UK



“Why did you really bring me here?”

Surprised, he stood quietly for several long seconds, debating how to answer. Then he decided actions might just be better than words at the moment. If he had the nerve. Yes! Yes, you do.

He moved directly in front of him, watched the man’s nostrils flare, and his eyes widen. But the cowboy didn’t step back, and he didn’t look ready to send a fist into his face. Nerves tangling in his stomach, he put his hands around Cordell’s neck and leaned closer.

The big man tensed, but still didn’t tell him to back off. He didn’t say a word, just stood there looking wary, but determined. Clearly curious. Cautious, too.

Unable to resist any longer, he slanted his mouth over the tempting lips. Fire seared him. Need. Desperation.

Cordell stiffened even more, and he was pretty sure his cowboy had never done this before. He appeared uncomfortable, and his heart pounded so hard he could feel it. Yet he didn’t pull away.

Not wanting to frighten the man off, he gently slid his tongue along the crease of those lips until, finally, they opened. He had to have more, but he had to go slowly.

Surprising him again, he felt Cordell put his arms around his waist, pushing under his suit coat, pulling him closer. God, yes!

Heat raged through him, and he felt the warmth of the body pressed against his. Their hearts thudded, chest against chest. Then the man shuddered even as they tangled tongues. They kissed hungrily, only Daniel apparently familiar with this first sexual dance. Cordell seemed lost in the moment. Although he sensed the cowboy hadn’t done this before, he had moved past being hesitant, gone straight for being desperate to satisfy a need he no doubt hadn’t known he had.


Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of either MAGGIE’S SECRET WISH or STARTING OVER from Decadent Publishing and a special gift: a memories frame. Contest ends October 6.

Find Starla Kaye at:

Website: Starla Kaye

Twitter:  Starla Kaye

Facebook: Starla Kaye Writer

Pinterest:  Starla Kaye



TRR GLBT Madness Hop ~ Review: The Harder She Comes

Welcome to The Romance Reviews GLBT Madness Hop! Over forty bloggers are participating, with prizes at each stop. When you’re finished here, leave a comment to enter, then click on the Hop button at the bottom of the page to whisk yourself away to the next stop on your hop! You have four days to make the rounds (9/27 – 9/30) and winners will be drawn Monday, October 1.


What is it about a pretty girl in a tight skirt bent over to adjust her stockings? Or that hotter-than-hot butch, swaggering into the bar like she owns it, eyes undressing every pretty girl in the place?

Some butches worship at the altar of their femmes fatale and many little girls have a need to serve their big, strong daddies. In The Harder She Comes, we meet girls salivating at the sight of well-filled and packed jeans and bois dreaming of having a beautiful girl’s red lipstick smeared across their mouths. D. L. King has curated a singular set of stories filled with sexy sirens luring unsuspecting butches to their demise on the rocky shores of love and hot, confident women in silk and lace during the day who will do anything to serve their daddies’ needs at night. The Harder She Comes is great writing with characters that will stay with the reader for a long, long time — sometimes sweet, always sexy, often romantic, and more than a little dangerous.


In a word, delicious. Like a box of fine chocolates, each one unique and hand-crafted, a little something for everyone. I’ve been savoring the eighteen stories in D. L. King’s most recent collection, The Harder She Comes (Cleis Press, 2012), for over two months, rationing them out, tasting each one thoroughly, pausing to pay attention to the details that most speak to me, and not wanting to pick up the next one too quickly, for fear of spoiling the lingering sensual aftertaste of the one I’ve just finished.

Some favorites:

“Winner Take All,” by Andrea Dale. This one stood out for the unexpectedness of the encounter, the unrehearsed serendipity of seizing the moment and going for it.

“Born to Ride,” by Beth Wylde. A snappy dressed-to-the-nines femme decides I know what I like and I’m not afraid to go after it.

“Birthday Butch,” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, for its layers of control and submission, the heady mix of soft curves and steel.

“The Bucket List,” by Charlotte Dare, for being a well told cougar story with just the right balance of lust, romance and bravery.

“Tamales,” by Kathleen Bradean. I love stories that propel me from humor and hot banter and laughter right to the very heart of what it is to be filled with love, and this one delivers. My favorite lines: “There was nothing like a lover you knew when you were in a hurry. Confident touches in all the right places; curves that fit together like memory; fingertips that glided over heated skin; shared gasps between soul kisses.”


My giveaway for the Hop is a free download of our lesbian erotic romance novella, The Lady Wants More (Torquere). Here’s the blurb and a LINK to an excerpt. To enter for the drawing (and for the other hop prizes), leave a comment below.

The Lady Wants MoreThe Lady Wants More: Janet Baxter keeps her post-divorce life neatly compartmentalized: Secure job, spacious Westchester County home, successful adult children, dependable community volunteer activities. Why is she drawn – for the first time ever – to attend her twenty-year college reunion in New York City?

Always a free spirit, Brenda Cassidy is comfortably bisexual and has no plans to ever settle down. But a fling? The reappearance of svelte, reserved Janet Baxter in Brenda’s life is nothing less than a gift, worthy of every enticement Brenda can conjure up. Can Brenda seduce Janet into an endless night of the lovemaking they enjoyed too briefly as college roommates? What if the lady wants more?

My lesbian short story, “A Bucket List Tattoo,” is available as a free read for subscribers to my newsletter. For details, click on the links in the my upper left sidebar.

Click the button to travel to the next stop on your Hop!

The Romance Reviews GLBT Madness Hop


New #Free Read ~ A Bucket List Tattoo!

New Free Read! Our two year contract on one of our fave short stories has run out, and that means YOU can get a PDF copy free!

“A Bucket List Tattoo” is a quick, spicy f/f read, complete with a recipe for edible body paints (and who wouldn’t love that!). Plus, it comes with a link and discount code for where to get some of the hot temp tattoos featured on its new cover!


Just past fifty and freshly divorced, cardiac nurse Natalie Gardner decides it’s time to create her personal bucket list. On the top of her list? A tattoo – but she’s nervous about the pain. Maybe Cindy McGraw, the hot young physical therapist she often lunches with, can help her out. Next on her list? It may be too much to hope for, but she’s definitely angling for more than tattoo advice from Cindy. Would a taste be too much to ask?


How to get your copy: Two simple rules – (1) subscribe to my newsletter (sign up is in the left hand sidebar), and (2) send me an email (adrianakraft99 at yahoo dot com ) with FREE READ in the subject line – I’ll take care of the rest!

© 2017 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.