OS: Welcome to JR Loveless author of You Belong To Me. Thanks for stopping by! What can you tell us about your new book?
JR: Hi, everyone! I’m J.R. Loveless and today I want to share a little bit about myself as well as a bit about my newest release, You Belong With Me. I’ve been spinning up tales of romance for the last twenty-three plus years and I have been writing gay romance for a little over ten years now. I became interested in gay romance when I stumbled on the Yaoi universe in 2005 and then eventually migrated into western m/m romance about a year later. Over the last six years I have written and released five novels and two novellas. I also have another novella coming up for release in December. I currently live in South Florida with my dog Yoshi and my cat Soubi where I work a full time job as a Systems Support Manager during the day and spend as much of my free time as possible writing.
You Belong With Me was born about six years ago when I heard a song on the radio and it triggered this short novella where a young man is in love with the friend he’s had his entire life. It’s never easy to accept when the one person you’re in love with is blind to just how perfect you are for one another, how in sync you are, and how beautifully you fit together. Sometimes it takes a chain of events we never saw coming to open our eyes and force us to face reality, or to realize just how close we are to losing the one thing we hold dear.
In his senior year of high school, Scott finally admits to himself and his twin sister Karen that he needs some time away from his best friend Craig, to try and forget how he feels, to wipe away the pain and maybe the chance to move on. He lets his sister talk him into spending the summer in Paris to give himself that time. Three days before Scott is due to leave on his trip, Craig breaks Scott’s heart so completely, Scott isn’t sure if he’ll ever recover.
They say a writer writes from experience. They aren’t wrong in many cases. When I was in high school, I believed myself in love with a friend, though I now know it wasn’t love, but I truly thought it was love at the time. It was unrequited, of course, and the boy ended up in a relationship with another friend of mine. It’s never easy to accept that the person we want most in the world doesn’t want us in return, but it’s also never easy to let go of our feelings and to move on once we’ve accepted it. We can only hope to have our HEA with the ones we want most, but in the end it’s up to fate and how our lives are meant to turn out. I, myself, moved on and ended up with someone else later on in my life story, who I attribute a lot of my good fortune over the last several years to in many ways. Alas, if you would like to know how Scott and Craig’s lives turn out though you’ll have to dive in between the pages of You Belong With Me to find out.
OS: Thanks for sharing that! Good luck on your tour!
Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.
Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.
When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.
Having slept all day, Scott couldn’t sleep that night. He felt restless and constantly moved his shoulders. Something seemed off and he couldn’t put his finger on it. After some major debating with himself, he finally turned on his cell phone. There were multiple texts from Craig, but he couldn’t bring himself to read them. The odd thing was, once the phone was on, there were no calls or texts. His brooding grew worse.
Stanley tried everything he could to distract him from thinking, but even the smallest thing reminded Scott of Craig. They hadn’t gone a full twenty-four hours in their entire friendship without at least talking to each other. Sadly, last night might be the last time they spoke for a while. Craig would be so pissed at him for leaving without saying good-bye.
That would lead to Scott having to explain why. Could he finally tell him? After all this time? Would Craig hate him? Pity him? It might even end their friendship. Could he survive that? Questions raced each other around and around inside his head, never letting up as the hours drifted by at a slow pace.
“Scott,” Stanley said with exasperation, as if he’d called his name more than once. “Come on. It’s your turn.”
They were in the middle of playing Monopoly. Scott gave a chagrined smile. “Sorry. Guess my mind isn’t all here.”
“Would you rather watch a movie?” Stanley was trying to keep his face passive, blank. Scott knew he felt bad for him.
Scott shrugged. “If you’d prefer.”
They cleaned up the game, and Stanley popped in an action movie that didn’t have a speck of romance. “Want some popcorn?” he offered.
“Nah. I’m not really hungry.” In fact, Scott hadn’t eaten all day. The thought of food made him feel sick to his stomach.
Not more than thirty minutes into the movie, Stanley fell asleep. Scott heard his soft snuffle and smiled. He stood up and pulled the afghan from the back of the couch to cover him. He carefully removed Stanley’s wire-framed glasses to set them on the coffee table. It reminded him of the many times Craig had fallen asleep while they were watching a movie late at night.
Scott sighed and wearily sank down into the easy chair nearby. He knew it was time to let Craig go, but how would he find the strength he needed to do it? It wasn’t fair to Craig if he just cut him from his life. Craig didn’t know.
He wasn’t even sure how he let himself fall in love with Craig. But he clearly remembered the day he realized it. They were playing basketball outside his house, and Craig stripped off his shirt to wipe the sweat from his face. Scott’s eyes were drawn to Craig’s chest and stomach. The sun glinted off the beads of sweat like diamonds. Craig tossed the shirt at him teasingly. “What? You want my hot bod?” He flexed his miniscule muscles arrogantly.
Maybe that was Scott’s chance, but he swallowed hard and shakily said, “No. Who’d want your skinny-chicken self?”
Craig let out an indignant shout and rushed at him. Scott tried to run, but Craig was faster and tackled him in the grass before he started to tickle him. Tears were rolling by the time Craig collapsed onto the grass next to him, huffing from his own laughter. His eyes were sparkling with happiness and affection. “Buds forever, right?”
As he looked into Craig’s eyes, Scott’s heart started to pound so hard against his rib cage. And an overwhelming sense of wanting to kiss his beautiful lips washed over him. He managed to choke out, “Yeah.”
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