[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Kendall Ryan guest post on the site today. Take it away, Kendall!]
CW: Sexual Assualt
When I’m reading a book, what resonates most—the thing that hits me right in the feels—is the complexity of human emotions the characters are experiencing. So, even when I’m reading fiction, I want the characters to be deeply flawed. I want to see them strive for more, to see them stumble and pick themselves up again, maybe because it’s something we have to do over and over again ourselves in the real world.
Becca, the heroine of my newest book, All the Way, is a survivor of sexual trauma who has reached a place in her healing where she’s ready to fight for herself and her future. This is where the story begins, with a character who wants to reclaim her love life and, specifically, her sex life. She wants to feel pleasure again, to experience love.
In this book, I wrote about a character who is saying, “I deserve to feel good and be happy again,” and is determined not to let her troubled past win. To do this, I had to draw on real-life experiences, the bravery I’ve seen from my family and friends, headlines pulled from news stories, and the trusted wisdom that came from three personally affected beta readers. It’s a heavy topic, but I handled it the only way I know how—which is through lighthearted moments, humor, friendships … and, of course, steamy encounters.
I think this story has resonated with readers because it’s filled with hope and love and strength, and the promise that just because life hands you a pile of crap, you are not broken. And isn’t that basically what we all want? Another shot at love, another shot at redemption? One more chance, even when your life has gone off the rails?
The other powerful thing about this message is it’s decidedly feminist. Becca is pursuing a future for herself. She’s calling the shots and making the plays. Yes, the hero is every bit an alpha male and a protective partner in this story, but even he recognizes that she’s in charge of her own life. So, when the hero affirms her growth and says, “I didn’t do anything, and that’s the honest truth. You tore your walls down yourself,” it furthers the belief that she didn’t need someone with a Y chromosome to save the day. She had the strength inside herself to do it the entire time. The message is very female-friendly and sex positive, and I won’t apologize for it.
After all, this is what the romance genre is all about. Books written by women, for women, and about women who are pursuing their goals and dreams. It’s about women who are falling deeply in love, having great sex, achieving happiness and fulfillment, and living life well.
And I, for one, am all for it.
About the Author:
Kendall Ryan is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty contemporary romances. With millions of books sold, her books have appeared on dozens of bestseller lists and have been translated into several languages around the world. She currently lives in Texas with her husband and their two young sons.
Her book, All the Way, released on September 24 and is available wherever books are sold.
“Empowering, emotional, sexy and gorgeously romantic in all the best ways. ALL THE WAY is absolute perfection.” – New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting
All the Way by Kendall Ryan, out now!
I know it’s time to move on from my rocky past and get back out there and start dating again.
It’s just that every time I think about it, I get all nervous and sweaty .
Good thing I have a secret weapon to help me–my best friend and professional hockey stud Owen Parrish.
He’s the king of hookups and promises he’ll be my guide through the world of online dating. With his help, I know this won’t be as hard.
I’ve never been this hard in my entire life.
My friend Becca wants my help hooking her up with some douchey guy from a dating app.
I said I’d help her–but now I’m noticing all kinds of things I can’t ignore, like how pretty she is behind those baggy clothes and messy buns.
I want to be the one to help her, to show her the ropes in the bedroom, and it turns out, Becca’s game to let me take a more hands on approach.
But what happens when she’s ready to take her new-found confidence and move on? I’ve never been boyfriend material, but for her, I want to try.