Racing into Love (Cut to the Feelings, Book 1)
by Noah Steele
Aiden Reed is stuck in a major boy rut.
Every date ends in something worse than disaster—boredom.
That is, until star racer Derrek Luna crashes the end of a terrible date at Aiden’s cozy bookstore. Derrek’s confident charm and killer good looks throw Aiden’s quiet, cautious world into chaos when he says he wants a shot at Aiden’s heart.
Derrek is sure Aiden is different. He’s sure Aiden won’t just vanish without a word. Not like the others did. But the closer Derrek gets to the man who charmed him without a word from across a crowded room, the more his life on the track threatens to keep them apart.
Aiden is ready to take the risk—he thinks.
What if Aiden’s panic attacks scare Derrek away?
What if Derrek’s ghosts come back to haunt him?
…what if it doesn’t matter because they’re already in love?
Racing into Love is a gay instalove romantic drama ready and waiting to take you from zero to sixty with every turn of the page.
🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
A passionate and thrilling insta-love story, with so much heart you can’t help but fall for these characters!
I loved Noah’s writing style and this was a great debut novel! I could feel the chemistry develop quickly between these two even with the false start. I loved Derrek’s passion and his fast-paced everything, from his feelings, thoughts, life, and dates. He’s the perfect match for Adien and Noah was able to master the way these two could fall so instantly for each other and is so believable I fell for them too.
Both Aiden and Derrek have a bit of baggage and Noah alludes to this while keeping us guessing. The passion these to share is hot and while their flame ignited quickly they have a connection that could last!
As we know I love a little thrill with my romance and this one was a bit of a surprise. The antagonist in this story might be easy to guess, they are so intrinsically evil you can’t help but hate them and hate them with a passion! While the villain seems quite a bit unhinged it is their interference that brings the truth to lights and gives Derrek what he always wanted and deserves! And Noah gives us all the feelings!!
The additional characters in this book are fantastic and I’m so glad we will get to see more of them and have them find their own happy endings too. I love the family they have created together and really look forward to seeing what adventure Noah will take us on next! All I can be saw about is that is will have heart, passionate and all the feelings you could need!!
A great debut novel and I look forward to many more in this insta-love series!!
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Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m Noah, and I’m a gay man writing M/M romance! I’ve been writing most of my life but didn’t consider it professionally until I got a big push from a friend and fellow author to really go for it after YEARS of second-guessing myself and not knowing what to write. Now I can’t think of doing anything else! I’m a tea-loving, cat dad, and a HUGE gamer. When I’m not writing, there’s a 90% chance it’s because I’m playing Final Fantasy XIV or some other RPG. I’m also very into strength training and enjoy being in the gym…but dancing around my apartment totally counts as cardio, too, right?
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I took a detour from publishing and writing to get TESOL certified! I did a Skype interview after graduating and was offered a job teaching at a primary school in South Korea, but I turned it down. The certification was something I had finished out of obligation to myself for starting it, and I had to confront that I really just didn’t want to be teaching at all. So, I’m a certified teacher of English to speakers of other languages!
How do you relax?
A combination of exercise, reading, and video games. Some of these things might not seem very relaxing, but they help clear my head SO much. I like getting lost in other activities when I’m feeling stuck and tense.
Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or ones you’ve read or person past or present)?
I have a line from Racing into Love, my debut book, I’m really proud of. It’s an observation that Aiden, the main character, makes about Derrek, the man he’s in love with. “There, under bad light, topless and barefoot in dark blue jeans, looking like the most ordinary boy in the world, he seemed perfect”.
What’s your favorite book or a book that changed your life?
I’m a HUGE fantasy nerd. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books, and it found me at a time when I really needed it. It’s memorable and makes me want to work toward that level of telling an impactful love story that lingers in the mind. Such a massive motivator. I think the way I approached writing really changed after reading that book.
Who inspires you?
I’m really inspired by confident creative types, and even more so by queer creators filling the world with the things we didn’t get to have much of ourselves growing up. People like author Adam Silvera, Olympian Adam Rippon, musicians, and fellow Canadians Tegan & Sara. It’s a comfort and a source of strength to know that they’re out there being themselves vocally and lifting other queer people up with them.
How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
I guess I’ve been writing most of my life! The first thing I can really remember is a flash fiction story I wrote in grade 6 about monsters under the bed. What made me fall in love with writing was the possibility of it all. I spent TONS of time reading as a kid, then playing video games, and getting lost in all those worlds made me want to start creating my own…so I did!
Did you always want to be a writer?
For a while, yes, and then for a few years, no. Many practical voices got in my head and said it just wasn’t viable, so I moved to the other side of the fence to find a job in publishing. I’ve since learned that the only person I’ll be happy working for is myself doing what I want to be doing, so I’ve committed to writing as much as I can!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
More than anything, I want to be an active gay male presence in M/M romance with a focus on writing varied, interesting queer men primarily for a queer audience to see themselves in. I have an ambition to have at least one book in this first series to enter the top 10 gay romance, so keep your fingers crossed for me! I think book 2 is even better than my debut, so maybe it’ll happen toward the end of the year with later books in the series? I hope!
What’s your favorite part of writing?
SEX SCENES. Just kidding, haha. They’re fun, but my favorite part of writing is taking the emotional journey with my characters. They’re all so different, and they each bring out different things in me that become parts of them, and getting to feel all that happen is pretty incredible.
Why did you choose to write LGBTQ+ romance? Why not another genre?
People always say that a good place to start is to write what you know, right? Well, I know what it’s like being an out gay man in a big city, and I know what I wish the world was like for the queer community, so that’s why I’m writing what I’m writing! It’s a HUGE deal for me to be creating a world where my cast of queer characters can be out and flirty and physical and fun and not have anyone react negatively to their queerness. I want to change minds however I can, and for me, it starts with sharing my fictional world where the drama that surrounds these queer guys doesn’t at all come from their queerness, because we as queer people are SO much more than who we’re attracted to. If things go well for me and my books, I do want to try my hand writing M/M fantasy romance maybe.
What sort of reception do you get when you told your family and friends about the genre and stories you write? (I ask this question to help show stories of hope and support and that, fellow people in the LGBTQ community can relate to)
I’m one of the lucky ones! The reaction was overwhelmingly positive. I think everyone in my life knew I’d only be happy writing long before I believed it was a possibility myself. I do get the occasional double-take when I tell people I’m writing M/M romance, but when I’ve pressed the question, it’s always been because they didn’t know there’s an audience for that! I clearly need more local queer friends, haha.
What’s your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ communities?
Everyone I’ve encountered has been so vocal and happy to share their experiences and interests in a way I don’t see elsewhere. I love that. I love the willingness to bond over new exciting things with people who emote so freely. I always feel at home. However, I do acknowledge that as a white cis-gay man, there is a level of privilege that makes that possible, and I wish that everyone under the rainbow was given that same level of love and support and respect. We can and should do better.
Describe a scene in your writing that has made you laugh or cry?
I BAWLED while writing the dream scene and the panic attack that happens late in Racing into Love. I don’t want to spoil it! Aiden, the main character, has had panic attacks ever since an accident in his childhood, and they factor into the plot of the book. Writing that scene was hard because the book’s antagonist turned out to be crueler than I thought. I’m sneering at my screen even as I answer this question! Ugh!
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I’m somewhere between a plotter and a pantser. I write rough outlines and character profiles, but I also sort of let the story take me wherever it wants to take me in my first drafts as I work up to and wind down from the major plot moments. It’s just structured enough without taking away my room to play and see what direction I want to take the story in.
What does your writing process look like?
Step one, set up a playlist. Step two, just start writing. Don’t stop for at least twenty-five minutes. I really like the Pomodoro method of writing for twenty-five minutes, breaking for five minutes, and taking a longer break every hour. I wrote the whole second book that way! There’s a lot of talking things out with friends and fellow authors when I get stuck, or if things seem off, and hearing stuff out loud always helps. Eventually, I have a book!
When/where is your favorite time/place to write?
I like to write in the afternoons, mostly at cute coffee houses. While writing Cut to the Feeling #2 in the warmer months, I spent A LOT of time writing in parks. My favorite place is definitely the corner booth at a nearby café, and I’m only kiiiind of swayed by their delicious popcorn chicken.
How do you go about naming your characters?
Mostly I just pick names I like that sound nice together! I’ll research surnames, especially because I write guys who definitely come from immigrant families (like Oliver), or are immigrants themselves (like Derrek). If I can see a vision of the character in my head, I’ll do my best to find a name that fits that face.
Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?
I love Aiden and Derrek! Aiden is a cautious indoor cat most of the time. His adventurous outlet is reading and exploring worlds that way. At the start of Racing into Love, he’s sort of forgotten himself because of the slump he’s in, and Derrek’s confident charisma pulls out the more curious parts of him. Derrek is a total cocky flirt. He’s Aiden’s opposite in some ways, but I like to think they balance each other well. Derrek is the fire to Aiden’s air. Not quite opposites, but they have interesting effects on each other.
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
You will! Racing into Love is book 1 in my Cut to the Feeling series (named after a Carly Rae Jepsen song that I think captures the spirit of instalove romance). The series won’t follow the same couple in every book, but because my main cast are all friends, or connected in some other ways, you’ll see couples from earlier books a lot as the series goes on and will be able to see the growth in their relationships that way! Book 2 in the series, Fighting for Love is coming out April 18 and will follow Oliver, who was a secondary character in book 1.
What’s your spirit animal/mascot/avatar?
Everyone tells me I walk like a gazelle, which I still haven’t really figured out the logistics of, so I’m going to say gazelle because I also think they’re pretty and powerful.
Do you have any tattoos?
I have one tattoo! The concept art for Save The Queen, a sword from Final Fantasy IX, on the inside of my left forearm. It’s my reminder that I always have what I need to fight through rough times without losing my way. The first of hopefully many!
What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Archery! It gets expensive, though, so I don’t take regular lessons L
Tea or coffee? What’s your drink?
Tea! I love herbal teas, especially citrusy and flowery ones. I do like the occasional espresso, though.
I’d like to thank Noah for his time, I love learning
what makes a great author tick!!
Fighting for Love Coming April 18th, 2019
(Kindle, Paperback, and KU)
When daydreamer Oliver Park falls—literally—into the arms of a boy he’s never seen at the coffee house before, the spark of mystery muscle boy Seth Kane’s touch sends him reeling.
He hasn’t felt anything like it since he was in love with his ex-boyfriend turned best friend Aiden. When Seth asks Oliver out, the immediate heat between them is too great to ignore.
But Seth is holding back.
Are stolen moments with Oliver enough, or will Seth’s growing love risk putting a target on Oliver’s back? Someone dangerous stands in the way of the new couple’s happily ever after. Someone willing to do whatever it takes to keep Seth and Oliver apart.
Can Seth get close to Oliver without letting the sweet, soft boy get too close?
What if the truth sends Oliver running scared?
Is their whirlwind romance worth the fight?
Fighting for Love is book 2 in the Cut to the Feeling series. It is a gay instalove romantic drama that can be read as a standalone novel but is better read as part of the series.