Anyone in the mood for a steamy MM romance featuring a country music star? Then Stay a Little Longer by Jess Bryant might be perfect for you!
Please give her a warm welcome and check out her guest post about the role country music played in her story and where the title for the book comes from!
Country music superstar, Trent Thorne is on the run. What he’s kept hidden from the world is no longer a secret. He trusted the wrong person, a man he’d stupidly thought he was in love with, and instead of a happily ever after all he’d gotten was outed. Unwilling to sit around and watch his private life get plastered all over the news, Trent hits the road and somehow ends up in his best friend Lemon’s small hometown of Fate, Texas.
Lance Nichols knows a thing or two about hiding. He’s so deep in the closet he can’t even see daylight. The former womanizer finally admitted the truth to himself a few years ago but he never thought he’d be able to say the words aloud, not to his family, not to his friends, and certainly not to his secret celebrity crush when the guy stumbles awkwardly into his life.
Fate brought these two together, but will it also tear them apart? One newly outed man refuses to go back in the closet. The other can’t imagine coming out of his.
Country Music Loves Love, or Does It?
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: if you play a country song backwards a guy gets his truck, his dog and his girlfriend back. A lot of country music does follow the heartbreak rule but really, name me a genre of music that isn’t about love and loss and life. I’ll wait. Okay, now that I’m done arguing with the folks that claim electronica doesn’t because there are no words, let’s move this along. My point, if I had one to begin with is this, country music loves love.
There are songs about first love and last love. Songs about the kind of love that lifts you up and songs about the kind that tear you apart bit by bit and destroy your soul. There are songs about loving one another and your community and your country. There are even songs about loving your dog, your truck or your favorite bar.
But by and large, country music is about love with a capital L, and in my humble opinion, I believe that is why country music is the largest and highest selling genre of music in the world.
Because love is universal.
We all know it. We all experience it. We all relate to these songs and lyrics.
For me, as a writer, music and stories go hand in hand. From my very first attempts at writing, music was there. My *NSync fan fiction is hidden where nobody will ever find it (thank God Wattpad wasn’t a thing when I was a pre-teen) because my attempts to recast myself as the Britney to Justin were fun but probably a tad dramatic.
All of my published novels have music as part of the storyline. The West Brothers series as well as the subsequent Fate, Texas standalones that came after, all have song titles as book titles. Each West Brother also has what I like to think of as a “theme song” mentioned within the book that conveys in 3 minutes what it takes me an entire book to tell a reader. So of course, the natural progression of my love of music was to write a singer and so country music superstar Lemon Kelly was born for Call Me, Irresistible.
To date, it is my bestselling book. It is also one of my favorites. I won’t say my favorite because about midway through that book, a new character started to form in my head and he is the real focus of this post and the main character of Stay A Little Longer. He is also hands down one of my most complicated, loveable, complex and emotional characters to date.
I am talking of course about Trent Thorne. Lemon’s Nashville bestie. A country music star in his own right known for his good-time, party boy, country meets classic rock anthems as well as his charming dimpled smile and traditional cowboy charm. Trent Thorne was instantly the character to fit the mold of the man, the myth, the legend… with a focus on the myth part.
Trent is a gay, closeted, country music star, you see. It’s not an impossible characterization. We all know that several famous country music singers have come out in recent years. But to be brutally honest, I think we also know there are more people in the LGBTQ+ community in Nashville than country music cares to admit.
Country music gets a stigma for being traditional to put it kindly and to put it not so kindly backwoods, racist and homophobic. I can’t say that I completely disagree. Then again, based on a lot of things that have been happening in this country (I’m the US in case you weren’t aware) lately, I’d say there’s a lot more of all of those hateful, intolerant ideas still running rampant than we care to admit either.
Anyway, I digress, because Stay A Little Longer is not a think piece on the culture of country music or America. It isn’t going to change the way Nashville sees its stars or the way fans embrace singers that don’t necessarily look or love like them. But it is a love story set in a world that, based on a very real history, hasn’t shown itself to be very accepting.
You can read Trent’s story when it releases on 11/19 from NineStar Press and tell me what you think about the journey Trent goes on and the way country music and the world it exists in plays a role in his choices. But before I go, here’s a quick bit of country music trivia to keep you entertained, because that’s what I’m really here for…
Stay A Little Longer, like all of the Fate, Texas standalone novels, is named for a song. In this case, the song of the same name is from a duo called The Brothers Osbourne. I chose the name for the story because it fits and because the words themselves are spoken throughout the book by both Trent and Lance, but also for another reason that may not be so obvious to non-country music fans.
The Brothers Osbourne did something nearly unheard of when they released the music video for Stay A Little Longer. They included couples without discriminating based on age, race, gender or sexuality. And, in case you didn’t hear, not everyone was proud of this video that showed love in all of its beautiful forms. In fact, one woman tweeted them to say that she would no longer be buying their albums and in true ally fashion, the Brothers didn’t back down or ignore the hate speech. They replied, on twitter, for all the world to see and know, that if you promote hate over love then you can go f*ck yourself. I was already a fan of their music. I became a fan of the men behind the songs that day too.
So, in closing, go one-click Stay A Little Longer to meet Trent Thorne properly and head over to YouTube to check out that music video too if you haven’t seen it yet.
Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.
Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.
For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.
Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Nine Star Press Tag: Art / Artist Tag: Celebrity / Famous Person Tag: Guest Post Tag: Insta-Love / Insta-Lust Tag: Rockstar/Musician Jess Bryant Stay a Little Longer