Beyond Prejudice and Stereotypes – Karina Buchanan
In today's ever-changing world I think romance novels play a big part in breaking down social barriers, especially with the advancement of the e-book industry. No longer are these stories forced to adhere to the one woman, one man and a happy-ever-after concept, though I admit I'm still partial to these. But these days, we have such a variety of books to choose from that accurately reflect the diversity of our society.
Inter-racial or gay relationships are no longer taboo stories that we can't get our hand on and instead of concentrating on the stereotypes often portrayed in the media, they focus on the bare bones of the story – people meeting and exploring a relationship with each other. That's not to say authors of these books don't face discrimination from mainstream writing organisations, but with the growing popularity of these books I hope someday they will get the recognition they deserve.
To some extent my novel, Daring to Love, was my attempt at dissolving stereotypes. Yes, it's a contemporary m/f romance but it's set in Belfast. What's wrong with that? Well, Northern Ireland has acquired something of a reputation over the years. The only thing many people associated us with was terrorism and bombs during the religious conflict here. And of course there are those who think the Irish sit in their thatched cottages with leprechauns dancing a jig by their turf fires! I hate to disappoint anyone but we're just normal peoples and in fact, Belfast has become a very vibrant city. They even held the EMAs here only a few months ago. (Okay so we had a farmer throw Rihanna out of his field for being too scantily glad when she was filming her video but we've all got some prehistoric throwbacks)
Any romance I ever read which was set in this country was usually about a Catholic and a Protestant who fell in love and had to overcome the troubles associated with that religious conflict. To many of the new generation, though, religion isn't an issue and that's the way it should be. So, while Belfast is the backdrop for my story, there is no mention of religion at all. Gasp! Horror!
Daring to Love is just an old fashioned love story, with a bit of humour, a bit of spice and a bit of the Northern Irish countryside just to remind people what a beautiful place this is.
I'll leave you with a little taster…
Daring to Love – Blurb
Andrea Macleave is determined to lose her 'Miss Stuffy Knickers' nickname with a rappel down Ireland's famous Europa Hotel, for the hospital where she works. Risk taking goes against everything she believes in and it takes a kiss from her hunky instructor to send her on her way. With her wild side let loose, a one night stand with the action man seems the perfect antidote to her staid life.
Part-time charity volunteer, Matt King, hopes to put the disastrous hook-up behind him. That's easier said than done when he meets the woman in question at his workplace. There's clearly a powerful attraction between them but he's fighting his past demons by living life on the edge.
With each of them determined to let their past ruin their chance for happiness, how can an adrenaline junkie and a control freak ever make it work?
"I should have known you couldn't handle your drink." With the devil in him, Matt pushed the buttons guaranteed to re-activate his Andie.
A frown, a purse of full pink lips and she took the bait. "I'll have a whiskey if you're buying." The determination to prove him wrong blinded her to the goggled looks she garnered and the sudden quiet at the table.
He couldn't help his smile getting wider, the more irritated she became. "One whiskey, coming up. Jimmy give me a hand getting these in, will you?"
"I've a good mind to get you fired!" Matt hadn't noticed Andrea following him over to the bar. At the sound of her sexy, pissed-off voice, he slowly turned his head.
She stood, ram-rod straight, giving him clear appreciation of long, lean legs. They seemed to go on forever in those spiky black heels she had swapped for her trainers, even if she still had to look up at his six foot four frame. The figure-hugging jeans would bring a grown man to his knees but he would prefer to see her in something to better show off those pins.
The rose tint in her cheeks gave away her embarrassment at being so openly admired and coming across as a letch was not how he wished to be perceived. Nevertheless, he did enjoy throwing her off guard.
"You should be thanking me really." He wound her up and let her go.
"Thanking you?" She crossed her arms across her chest, drawing the V of her top down to give a tantalizing peek at her cleavage. "I should have you arrested for the way you behaved, never mind getting you fired."
"It got you over the edge, didn't it? You were so caught up, being ticked off at me that you didn't have time to think about what you were doing."
"In that case, turn around."
"So I can slap the gold star on your backside for a job well done! Do you seriously think that's a good enough reason for your behavior? Is that the way you carry on with all your clients?"
"Only the pretty, obstinate ones. As for having me fired, well," he backed his elbows onto the bar, "I do the charity rappels voluntarily. It's difficult to replace a trained instructor willing to work for free but if I caused you so much offense, do what you must."
Her delicious mouth opened and closed and he was assaulted with memories of tasting her. And how good it would be to do it again.
"Since it's for charity and all, I suppose I'll let the matter drop. Forget it happened." The defensive arms slackened and fell to her sides. With the thaw setting in, Matt impulsively stepped forward, to invade her personal space.
"Are you sure that's what you want, Andie?" If he could forget his rules for one night, she could stop pretending she didn't want him.
Instead of seeing the look of longing staring back at him, her pupils narrowed. "Where do you get off calling me 'Andie', anyway? My name is Andrea." She lifted the tumbler of the finest whiskey from the bar, knocked it back and stalked back to her friends.
Matt King never was one to back away from a challenge.
Daring to Love is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Daring-to-Love-ebook/dp/B006UITZ5W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328627930&sr=8-1
You can find Karina on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002715462350
Her Blog http://karina-buchanan.blogspot.com/
Or Twitter @karinabuchanan1