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October 2018: Favorite Hero
~ Kilby Blades ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: Of your published titles to date, which hero is your favorite and why?

Kilby Blades said:
Michael is the perfect 21st century romance hero. He possesses all the sexiness, strength, success and protective instincts that romance readers want from their leading men. He’s also emotionally intelligent, circumspect, self-aware and avoids the common trappings of the male ego. His deeper appeal comes from his loyalty, his dry wit and his best intentions. Michael pulls off super-sexy without ever being a jerk.

This doesn’t mean that he’s not flawed. Michael is the poster child for neurodivergence. His profound giftedness lends to anxiety, crushing impostor’s syndrome, and a sensory processing disorder. He’s developed coping mechanisms, but relationships have never felt easy or straightforward to him. Throughout the course of the book, he makes many mistakes with my heroine, Darby.

As many memorable, complex heroes do, Michael also has a painful past: an absent father, a mother who worked too hard and died too young, and a bout of serious depression when he was a teen. He grew up in poverty and struggles to reconcile his millionaire status and Chicago penthouse living with the life he knew while growing up on the South Side. He experiences other aspects of life in a unique way. Being blue-eyed and light-skinned with short-cropped hair obscures the fact that his mother was black. Nearly nobody realizes that Michael unintentionally passes for white.

Yet he has overcome. His survival may be Michael’s dearest quality. Life may kick the crap out of him, but he never fails to be grateful for his gifts. He pushes through depression to create beauty (he is an architect and an artist), he pushes through injustice on every level (which extends to his fierce protection of Darby), he pushes through the pain of the many ghosts that haunt him for a love of humanity and reverence for the people he loves. And like any great hero, he always comes through.


Snapdragon by Kilby Blades cover


[Erotic Contemporary Romance]

The rules are simple: unattached companionship, toe-curling sex and a clean break whenever it ends. Either one can say the single word that will break it off: Snapdragon.

Darby’s groundbreaking medical research will launch her into career stardom. Architectural wunderkind Michael is up for a promotion in a far-flung locale. Compromising their ambitions is not an option.

But the line begins to blur when Michael orchestrates epic gestures–when, in battles with her misogynist boss and notorious father, Michael becomes Darby’s fiercest ally. Reveling in the intimacy of a relationship that feels anything but fleeting, Darby must fight hard not to fall in love.

Deeply meaningful, desperately sexual, and inevitably bittersweet, Snapdragon deals with the quandary of choosing love over career, the weight of adulthood and the complexity of modern work-life. It rewrites the book on what a 21st century relationship should look like and keeps the reader wondering how it will end.

“Snapdragon” is a ten-time-award finalist or winner for awards including The Holt Medallion, the Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize for Fiction, the Foreword Indie Awards and the Book Buyer’s Best Awards. It is the debut novel of Kilby Blades, who was named Best Debut Author in the 2018 RSJ Emma Awards.

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