The Band of Brothers in South of Surrender
I’m very happy to be back visiting Parajunkee for the release of my tenth novel, South of Surrender, the third book in my Greek-mythology-inspired Hearts of the Anemoi series. Each book in this series has featured as the hero one of the men of the Anemoi family, brothers in fact or spirit. And South of Surrender has the most bromance of any of the books so far. And I’ve always loved a good bromance in my romance novels – how about you?
I enjoy the relationships between the male leads in a romance series for a lot of reasons. I love the camaraderie, which is sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and sometimes deadly serious. I love that the male characters almost never let each other get away with anything, and they call each other on all their BS. I love the fraternal-type relationships—even when the guys aren’t truly brothers—wherein they would do anything for one another and always have each other’s backs. These kinds of relationships are part of why I love reading series of books—because you get to visit with these guys again and again and watch their relationships deepen alongside the romantic relationships with their various female leads.
South of Surrender has a lot of good bromance going on. The following men play a significant role in this book:
Chrysander – the hero, and the Supreme God of the South Wind and Summer
Boreas – Chrys’s oldest brother and the Supreme God of the North Wind and Winter
Zephyros – Chrys’s next oldest brother and the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring
Owen – Chrys’s “nephew” and heir to Boreas
Aeolus – Chrys’s father and the strongest storm god of all
Livos – Chrys’s subordinate and the Ordinal God of the Southwest Wind
Apheliotes – Chrys’s subordinate and the Ordinal God of the Southeast Wind
Hephaestus – Olympic God of Blacksmithing and Metallurgy
The relationship between Chrys and his brothers, including Owen, was totally fun to write. Individually, these guys all have wounds, and they all realize that a lot more about each other than any of them have previously realized for themselves. And they hurt for one another. They want to take those wounds away. And they’ll do anything they can to make sure no others occur. The relationship between Chrys and his subordinate gods was also interesting to write—it’s the first time in the series the reader has been introduced to the ordinal gods (ordinal meaning the intermediate points on a compass: southwest, southeast, etc.). And it was interesting to write both the friendship but also the hierarchical nature of the relationship, too.
Here’s a taste of the guys together from South of Surrender:
Blowing out a long breath, Chrys summoned every bit of energy he possessed and crossed the room to the ornate, golden doors. He flung one open and glared at the melee.“What. The fuck. Does a god have to do. To get some sleep in his own. Damn. House?”Four sets of eyes turned on him. Their freeze-frame routine might’ve been comical if the door wasn’t all that was keeping him in a standing position.“Chrysander.” Boreas broke the silence.He dragged his gaze to his oldest brother. Deep concern poured from the winter god’s silver eyes. Above his long beard, his face was a ruddy red. Chrys sighed and pulled the door closed behind him, cutting off the flow of superheated air from the ceremonial hall. “You shouldn’t be here, B.”“We are concerned about you.”“I appreciate that. I do. But I just need to rest.”“Bullshit,” Zeph bit out, blue eyes flaring.Chrys glared at him. “While I appreciate the erudite assessment—”“I’m calling bullshit on this whole situation. What the hell happened last night?”
Gods, he did not have the strength to deal with the agitation rolling off Zeph right now.
“Start talking,” Z said.
Fine. He’d tell them enough to make them go away. “I’m drained, okay? It took everything I had to manifest the clothes I’m wearing so I didn’t have to walk out here with my bare ass flapping in the breeze.”
“What is going on, Chrysander?” Boreas asked. “Why have you dragged out this thing with Eurus?”
“It’s three fucking weeks until his season,” Zeph interjected.
Like he needed the reminder. Chrys was acutely aware of the passage of time. If Eurus came into his powers while he possessed their father’s firestone ring, he would be nearly unstoppable. But if his brothers—or worse, the Olympians—found out that Aeolus had lost the ring and not confessed it, their father—and all of them, really—was likely to be in just as much trouble.
“Dude. I’m well aware of the calendar. I’ve been trying to reason with him, to bring him in voluntarily.”
“Why the hell bother? He’s dying one way or the other. Just kill him while you’re more powerful and put a stop to this,” Z said.
If only it were that easy. “Because if he makes a good faith effort at cooperation, maybe we can get Mars to lower the sentence.”
Zeph’s face went bright red. “That’s what you’ve been doing? Trying to save him?”
Chrys held out a hand. “Think about it. No matter what, Eurus loses his position and one of his sons comes to power. Do we really want to pass this cluster fuck down to a new generation? If we kill Eurus, or if we don’t at least try to save him, all we’re doing is guaranteeing a new round of animosity between the East and the rest of us.” It was one of Chrys’s considerations, if not his main one.
“Chrysander may have a point,” Boreas said. “I had not thought of that, but it is true. Not to mention that another of his sons is now your heir, Zephyros. We must do what we can to cultivate Devlin’s and Alastor’s friendship and end this once and for all.”
Zeph tugged his hands through his hair. “Devlin’s a lost cause. Eurus’s influence on him has been too great. But either way, I’m telling you right now that the Olympians aren’t going to sit around and wait for us to make inroads with them. They’ve let the family handle this largely out of deference to Mars, but the decision is going to be taken from our hands. Then the shit’s gonna rain down on our heads, too, for not following their orders.”
“I know.” Exhausted, Chrys fell back against the door. The wounds on his back hit the hard surface and screamed agony through every cell. He grunted and closed his eyes.
“Shit. So this is why you refused the Acheron,” Z said.
Chrys nodded, breathing through the dizziness making it increasingly difficult to know which way was up. Finally, he lifted his gaze and looked from one brother to the other. “I just need some shut-eye. Twenty-four hours and I’ll get back out there.”
Boreas’s gaze narrowed. Chrys suddenly felt like maybe B could see through what Chrys wasn’t saying.
“Fine. Get your ass back to bed. And ask for some damn help next time.”
“No. I got this. You both have families to worry about now.” And Chrys was happy for them. He was. Despite his own loneliness. The string of random sex partners was fine for what it was, but didn’t leave him feeling connected to anyone.
“You are our family, too,” Boreas said. “And we are helping bring this matter to a close whether you like it or not.”
“Okay,” Chrys said. “Now get out of here before you melt all over my floor, would ya?”
Boreas grinned, winked, and disappeared.
“You, too,” Chrys said to the remaining god.
“All right, little brother. But I haven’t forgotten how you were there for me when Aeolus dished out his punishment last spring. So know you can call on me for anything.”
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“A fast-paced thrill ride.” ~New York Journal of Books
“Sexy, emotional stories, powerful, evocative writing, a vivid and unique vision, and enough magic and mysticism to keep the most demanding reader satisfied, Laura Kaye delivers it all. I love this series!” ~Maggie Shayne, NYT Bestselling Author
About South of Surrender:
She’s the only one who can see through his golden boy façade to the broken god within…
Chrysander Notos, Supreme God of the South Wind and Summer, is on a mission: save Eurus from his death sentence and prove his troubled brother can be redeemed. But Eurus fights back, triggering vicious storms that threaten the mortal realm and dangerously drain Chrys.
Laney Summerlyn refuses to give up her grandfather’s horse farm, despite her deteriorating vision. More than ever, she needs the organized routine of her life at Summerlyn Stables, until a ferocious storm brings an impossible—and beautiful—creature crashing down from the heavens.
Injured while fighting Eurus, Chrys finds himself at the mercy of a mortal woman whose compassion and acceptance he can’t resist. As they surrender to the passion flaring between them, immortal enemies close in, forcing Chrys to choose between his brother and the only woman who’s ever loved the real him.
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About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
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