Which do you prefer?

I was talking with my fabulous publisher “E” the other day about my release happening this week – Shattered and she was quite happy I didn’t make my main character – who happens to be a gay male – into a diva. It was funny when I heard the words because I’ve never thought about the concept with my characters. Granted, he’s an actor and supposed to be sexy as hell but he’s a man’s man too who enjoys football and fine scotch along with fast cars. He’s every man’s man and indulges in everything we think of men doing. So her comments have me thinking. I think when we write heterosexual men so many of us follow the concept that they have to be all rugged and masculine with carved bodies, the perfect tan and long locks that sweep down his muscular back. Hey, romance is about fantasy, right? I understand there’s been an old formula in place for a very long time about what men should be like in romance novels but there I’m seeing a trend about including what we would consider the “real” and less perfect guy in our novels. That’s a breath of fresh air.

The great aspect about writing men today is that whether they’re hot guys in suits that hold jobs as accountants or a mechanic or contractor who gets gritty and dirty every day, there’s something to offer in every flavor – for women and men. I’ve always said I can appreciate men of all shapes and sizes and I’m trying to include many varieties in the next creations I bring you. I don’t hold back – from interracial romances to multi-cultural couplings – I don’t hesitate to write about any of them.

I also tend to write about dangerous guys – whether it’s because they’re Harley ridin’ tattooed men or those with perhaps a very tragic past of a criminal record or something even darker. Of course they’re good souls and redeem themselves in the book – we really don’t want to read about an asshole nor can we root for them but a guy that finally got his life together through friendship and love. I also think we love hearing about heroes and it’s not just the guys that serve in the military but also our firemen and policeman and the new brand of hero – the man that fights all odds to be with the one he loves no matter what it takes. Whether straight or gay – men that stay with their families or help care of aging parents, children and their partner, that’s sexy as hell to me.

In writing m/m I really never thought about worrying about my guys being divas. I think you could take that concept a couple of ways. Divas certainly can mean attitude alone in a holier-than-thou kind of stance. These kinds of guys we don’t care about what happens to (or at least I don’t) so these characters are usually relegated to the villains. Divas can also mean – don’t shoot the messenger – haughty and opinionated because of a particular status in their life. Whether they are an artist or rock star, they feel entitled in their life because of their stardom. I think it’s enjoyable to read about another lifestyle that’s totally outside the realm of our own but divas are something else. We almost want to see them fall. But what if they’re hiding behind something so terrible that they fear others will never understand decisions they made in the past? Isn’t that something we want to root for and see a wonderful outcome?

I love bringing m/m stores and have found that my readers really enjoy them but I think I’ve learned through this past year that readers enjoy hot, wicked sex but I think every reader craves a passionate telling of why the lovers are together – no matter what that means. You as readers want a story that gives you pause and helps remind you why you fell in love in the first place. That’s what I think Shattered does. Not only is my hero, who happens to be an artist at heart who’s just accepting a wretched past while savoring a possible future, remind you that we can learn to love again but he is vulnerable without whining. Both men in this piece wants to love and can barely trust themselves let alone fall into love. It takes something extraordinary to drag him out of his horrible shell and a past that almost dragged his very soul into hell.

I like to think that we’re changing as a population and can appreciate the less than perfect man or woman for that matter. Divas or rough-hewn? What about a bit of both? My perfect man is a passionate guy who laughs, loves life, takes care of his family and respects his partner. Is this any different gay or straight? Not in my books.

I hope you’ll enjoy Shattered and read with a bit of an open mind. Enjoy!


Movie star Hunter Reynolds knew a thing or two about the ladies but he didn’t crave them. Instead, he enjoyed the company of men and while he adored Taylor, his live in lover and best friend, they weren’t in love and Hunter refused to be seen in public with him. After all, Hunter’s fans believed he was straight. When he was brutally attacked, he was uncertain he would ever work in Hollywood again and his doctors weren’t sure they could repair the damage. Angry and bitter, Hunter pushed everyone out of his life including Taylor. Sadly, Hunter was merely the latest victim in a series of horrific crimes targeting gay entertainers.

Macgyver Donovich was a reporter for the LA Times who’d written stories on each one of the victims and was anxious to talk with Hunter. From the moment he met the rough-hewn man who exuded sexuality along with chocking self loathing, MacGyver was fascinated. Determined to get to the bottom of the attacks, Mac wrote a series of edgy columns in an attempt to egg on the perpetrator.

Entering into a pact to fight back, both Mac and Hunter realized it was only a matter of time before the assailant struck again. As they grew closer by their respective haunted pasts, a series of new threats were issued and both men were forced to confront their demons. As the race to find the attacker continued, Mac and Hunter finally discovered what they’d been missing in life–love. But was it simply too late?

Kisses   xxx


About Cassandre Dayne

Cassandre Dayne is the pseudo for the best selling author of romantic suspense and thrillers
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  1. vampiriquedezire says:

    Excellent post Cass and you are right about the male leads basically being the same.

    *bites n kisses*


  2. Johnny Miles says:

    Love the post! Thanks Cassandre. There are, indeed all sorts of men out there and just because one is gay or straight, they don’t all have to fit any sort of mold. You can have a very emotional, teary straight man in touch with his feminine side and you can have the big gay bruisers and everything in between. I don’t mind a little stereotyping; sometimes those stereotypical qualities are based on truth. For me it’s when that particular trait — diva, or whatever it may be — is exacerbated that I go, well, hey now. Wait a minute. Thanks again!


  3. Great post Cass. I love a diva, OCCASIONALLY! It really depends on the story how that character plays out. Most of my men are a mixture of the masculine with a touch of something femme. Most of the time it might be length of hair.


    Lovely piece


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