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Title: Love Can’t Conquer
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Release Date: 06/03/2016
Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.
Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.
Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.
Hi, I’m Kim Fielding and I want to talk a little bit about bullying.
One of the main characters in my new novel, Love Can’t Conquer, was bullied as a kid. It’s one of the reasons he fled his small town in Kansas as soon as he could, landing in Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, Jeremy Cox is tall and muscular, an ex-cop who heads the local urban park rangers. Even though it’s been many years since anyone dared to bully him, those childhood experiences left their mark. He reacted to them by making himself strong, by casting himself as a superhero out to rescue those in need. But that doesn’t mean he’s not still vulnerable. As Jeremy himself realizes, “Inside every man was the boy he used to be. No matter how much bigger he’d grown or how many miles he’d traveled. No matter how high the bridge from which he’d leaped.”
The other main character, Qayin Hill, was bullied too as a youth. But in his case, the abuse came from within his own family, and his scars run deep.
Bullying used to be almost taken for granted, but in recent years it’s received more attention. There’s a growing body of research on the subject, showing the effects on victims. Some of these effects can last for years, such as anxiety and depression. Bullies, too, are often damaged people who experience many difficulties in life.
One of the messages I wanted to convey in this book is that growing up doesn’t mean we leave our childhood problems behind. We often carry them around with us like a ratty old school backpack we can’t remove. I also wanted to make it clear that even falling in love with a wonderful person won’t heal all those old wounds. But there’s a hopeful message too—with the support of good friends and loved ones, we can overcome a troubled past and even experience our own HEA.
About the Author
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
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