- Loose Id
- Release Date
- June 2017
- Book 8 of Superpowered Love
Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Jody Aguirre's family was kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters. After a few days of captivity, he's all that's left. Using his frosty awakened superpowers, Jody manages to escape and is rescued from the side of the road by Bren Faulkner's stretch Town Car. Bren, a hot-thermal awakened with government connections, promises to help find the witch hunters who destroyed Jody's life.
While navigating his trauma and pain, Jody comes to rely on Bren for more than just food, his house, and his superpowered connections. Brendan is all that reminds Jody what's left to live for, and a strong advocate for justice vs. vengeance, like the proverbial knight in shining armor he is. As their affection for one another deepens and their attraction becomes impossible to deny, Bren wonders if acting on their feelings would be taking advantage. Jody, meanwhile, struggles to claw his way back to something like normality, knowing that Bren's part of the solution, not the problem.
But none of it matters, if they don't take down those witch hunters.
BOOK INTERVIEW on July 2017
Interview by Laura
Hi Katey, welcome to The Romance Reviews, and let's talk about SUPERPOWERED LOVE: THE TAKEDOWN.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for the Superpowered Love series? How are the books tied together?
The inspiration comes from my love of superhero comics. Too often, the comics focus more on action, so I find myself craving something more character-driven and intimate... but still involving superpowers. The awakened are my answer to that.
Since each book in the series has different main characters (for the most part), they can be read in any order or even skipped. What ties them together is the awakened themselves and their powers--and their disparate communities, each with their own rules and ways of doing things.
Q: Tell us more about "the awakened". What can they do? Where did you get the idea for this?
The awakened either have thermal or electrical superpowers, with the former divided between people who can master cold and people who can master hot. (A rare few can do both, but it's uncommon to be proficient with them.) So with the thermal-types, you get hot-thermals who can do anything from melt metal to heat up their coffee to create fireballs. You also have cold-thermals who can turn any room into a walk-in freezer, freeze ambient and nearby moisture into ice or snow, or do something really freaky that's often referred to as 'go frost nova'. You can imagine what that looks like. Electrical-type awakened can control electricity--in house wiring or in peoples' nervous systems, even--and generate large amounts of it on their own.
A lot of my favorite superpowers are elemental in nature, so it seemed like a good fit.
Q: That's fascinating! Please tell us more about Jody Aguirre. It must be hard for him to suffer the loss of his family and to be tortured besides.
Yeah, to lose your family like that would be an incredible adjustment for anyone, but it's especially weird for Jody because he's really never experienced anything all that bad before. He went from being a ray of sunshine for his friends and family to being bruised, battered, and obsessed with revenge. But then the sunshine starts to peek through the cracks again, the harder he works on his recovery.
Q: How about Bren Faulkner? What made him into the man we met at the start of the book?
Bren's had loss in his life too, so he understands where Jody's coming from, partly. Growing up trans at a time when there was less information and access to resources shaped him into a remarkably self-confident but also very cynical person. His success is self-made, everything he has is self-made, and so it's a hard won confidence. He relies on himself for everything but has more than enough to go around, if he thinks someone deserving.
Q: How is their first meeting like?
Extremely awkward. It happens just after Jody makes an escape from his captors, so...
FROM THE TAKEDOW
The car came to a stop some ways beyond me. If it were the hunters, I'd be dead already. I jogged to the tinted window and pounded on it, leaning against the hot car for support. Now I'd stopped moving, my legs felt like wet cardboard.
The back window rolled down, and a man asked, "Trouble?"
"You could say that." My voice didn't feel like my own. I was still freezing. I was getting head-spinny. Needed to sit down or— "Listen, man, I would really, really appreciate a ride into town."
"Any-fuckin'-town. Please." I looked over my shoulder, just waiting for a flash of blue lights. Or maybe a pitchfork-wielding redneck.
Or the woman with red hair. And there had been others too. A blond guy, always with her—
My voice went up about an octave when I said, "I swear to God it's not the cops."
The man took a good look at me. He was a white guy, eyes narrowed and sharp like silver.
I suddenly wondered if I'd be any safer with him, but whatever his deal was, it couldn't be as bad as what I'd just escaped.
Before I could say anything, he leaned over and popped open the door. "Come on."
Q: What makes them perfect for each other?
Bren's very In the Zone all the time. He has friends, but he lives his life very much alone, afraid to really rely on anyone else emotionally since his loss. There's something in him that appreciates beauty and light, though, and he really needs someone to whom those things come naturally.
Jody needs a support system in a lot of ways, so Bren's stability is immediately attractive. But it becomes clear there's a lot more going on with their attraction; Bren is sharp-witted, intelligent, and tempers Jody's impulsive nature beautifully.
... there's more, but no spoilers. ha!
Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?
Here is a short scene:
While I was guzzling from my flute, Bren said, "Do you know, I feel like I'm really seeing you now. Not quite for the first time, but perhaps more completely."
"Huh?" I swallowed.
"I caught hints of it. Especially that day I found you blissing out to Mozart on my couch."
I blushed and laughed. So that was what he'd meant by that bit in the letter. "That must've been weird as shit."
"No, it was darling. It was my inspiration for tonight, in fact." He chuckled.
I could've fucking squeed. He did want…whatever that thing in me he saw right now was. He wanted it so much he'd brought me here not just because he knew we'd both like it, but because he'd like me liking it.
He confirmed by going on, "But I've always seen this—I don't know how to describe it, but there's a lightness to you that almost can't be human."
I didn't even know how to hold in the way I felt. I just wanted to laugh myself stupid. It was so good. "Like, when I'm not having panic attacks or yelling at FBI agents?"
He still smiled. "Even when you are, in truth. It baffled me at first, but it quickly became one of my favorite things about you."
"I feel like I've had way more to drink than you, because I am confused," I admitted. "I mean, I saw something kinda about that in that letter to Aidan. I didn't really get it."
"Suffice it to say that if I hadn't had enough to drink, I certainly wouldn't be saying all this." He winked and sipped at his drink, looking content.
I still didn't get it, but I gave up and scooted a little closer anyhow, until our knees touched. "So if it's not human, what is it?"
He looked like he was thinking seriously. "Angelic, possibly?"
I burst out laughing, like I suddenly overflowed.
He grinned. Like, honest-to-God grinned.
"I am definitely not an angel." I leaned closer.
"Prove it," he said lightly. But this time, he kissed me.
Q: Which character is the hardest to write? Why?
The book is from Jody's PoV, and sometimes that was difficult because he's been through so much. Not because I couldn't remember all of it or empathize, but because it was rough on my emotional state to put myself in his headspace day in and day out. This is why I don't often write too much angst!
Bren was remarkably easy. We have a lot in common. Like our favorite bands.
Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.
I knew going in that I wanted to make sure Jody's acute anxiety (often the precursor to PTSD) was presented as accurately and treated as respectfully as possible. Too often situations like his are treated flippantly, exploited for extra angst, or just waved away with the old "Magical Healing Cock" trope. I used a lot of my own therapy experience, but also did a lot of reading and talking to people about healing and trauma. Years of it, actually. It was a really great experience.
Q: Please give us a sneak peek at the next book in the series.
The next book is tentatively called GLITTERBUG, and it's about Kieran Hooper, who played a small part in book 4, LOSING BETTER. As usual, there will be no need to read book 4 to get GLITTERBUG. In LOSING BETTER, Kieran was in a casual, occasional poly arrangement with Andrew and Gabriel, the heroes of that book. He also had no idea that Andrew and Gabriel had superpowers, or that the awakened even exist in his world. So this one has him finding a new guy to call his own and dealing with a lot of superpowered trouble, of course.
Q: What's up next for you?
I'm just about to submit the next KANAAN & TILNEY book with my co-author, Jenna Rose. It's a series of paranormal mysteries surrounding a couple of P.I.s, one of whom is pyrokinetic and the other of whom is a wolf-shifter. Their world is peopled with all different sorts of paranormal creatures who are always getting into trouble... or murdered.
I'm also working on a contemporary novel about a couple of small town rock stars and their trials (and romance) while working their way to the top. It's called THE RISE AND RISE OF VIRGINIE... again, tentatively.
Thank you for your time, Katey!
Bio of author, Katey Hawthorne:
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she's trying to prove it.
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