I’ve been a fan of Rebekah Weatherspoons romances for years, and especially love the way she writes characters with strong and distinctive voices, combines humor and heat, often centers queer characters in her books including her m/f romances, and writes heroines I want to be friends with. Many of her books are comfort reads for me, and I pick them up repeatedly when I’m having a rough time. Her new contemporary m/f romance Rafe is hilarious, hot, and full of heart, and feels exactly like the fluff we need in this historical moment. It is definitely going to be a comfort reread for me, and I’m excited to share this interview with Rebekah about this amazing book!
A Bit About Rebekah
Rebekah Weatherspoon is a multi award-winning romance author whose contemporary romantic suspense Beards & Bondage titles were two of The Ripped Bodice’s best-sellers and named Best of 2017. Rebekah is from Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California where she will remain because she hates moving. You can find Rebekah and her books on twitter at @rdotspoon and her website www.rebekahweatherspoon.com
An Interview with Rebekah
How would you describe yourself to a new reader just discovering your work?
Missy Elliot and Rihanna doing the soundtrack to your favorite romantic movie/TV show.
What authors or books have you been reading lately that you would highly recommend?
What sparked Rafe for you?
I hadn’t gotten out of bed in days because someone thought keeping brown children in cages was a good idea. I needed to insert some happiness into my life.
What made you want to write this particular story?
Holley Trent and I came up with the original concept for a whole nanny series back in 2016, but then Trump was elected so we shelved it to focus on our sanity. I picked it back up with Holley’s blessing.
I really appreciated Sloan’s relationships with her friends in Rafe, and how important they were for her. One of the things I love about the romance genre and your work in particular is how often friendships are really valued. What are some of your favorite friendships in romance novels?
I love the way Sarah Kuhn and Alyssa Cole write friendships. Flawed, but so necessary for survival in this wacky world. My friends are extremely important to me so I like giving my heroines the same kind of support.
It seems clear that this story has things to say about toxic masculinity, particularly in the characterization of Rafe. Can you talk a bit about writing this aspect of the story?
In the past I’ve heard readers comment on my heroes being too nice. Michael from SO SWEET gets the most flack for this. Daniel from SATED is a close second. I was very lucky to be raised by an extremely kind man, but didn’t recognize how to seek out kindness in partners until I hit my thirties. I think it’s very important to pair my heroines, who are WOC 99% of the time, with men who readers KNOW aren’t going to hurt them or even jerk them around. We deal with that enough in real life. It’s nice to take a break on the page.
Single parent romances are one of my most favorite things, and I really enjoyed seeing Sloan parenting, watching Rafe build connections with her daughters, and the way they slowly form a family. Tell me about how you build pacing into an arc like this.
I wish I could say I sat down and really carved this out in a painstaking process, but it really just flowed out this way.
Consent is such a layered thing in this story, in a way I really appreciated. I especially loved seeing the different ways that they communicate with each other. Can you tell me more about consent in your writing, and how you navigate the complexities of it?
Consent isn’t complex for me at all. Expressed, enthusiastic consent or GTFO. That’s just how I write all of my romances.
There is this moment in the story where Rafe’s stepmother talks about the complex layers of power between him and Sloan, and how he has power in the situation as a white man in a relationship with a Black woman, despite the class differences present between them. This moment feels like such an important one, in understanding Rafe in the context of his family, and in pointing to the core dynamics at work between the MCs. Tell me about writing this scene, and building Rafe as a character, making him a man who was worthy of Sloan and her daughters.
I think for Black women we are fiercely protective of our kids (I don’t have kids, but I have nieces and nephews I would die for), especially when it comes to casual racism. For Sloan to let a White man watch her children he would need to be someone who wouldn’t even be accidentally racist around her kids. Monica was important to all of this, but really I think it was Monica AND his father Joe who gave Rafe the foundation he needed. Monica taught him a lot, but his father also showed him how to treat a Black woman right. He also helped raise his biracial sisters, who he cares for like they were his own. So really it was a family affair.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
A long ass nap. No I kid. I’ll never catch up on sleep during this administration. I’m working on Cowboys for Kensington Books! And then I’ll be back to catch up with Sloan’s best friend Xeni.
More About Rafe: The Buff Male Nanny
All Dr. Sloan Copeland needed was someone to watch her kids. What she found was the man of her dreams…
After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are finally getting the hang of their new life in Los Angeles. When their live-in nanny bails with no warning, Sloan is left scrambling to find a competent caretaker to wrangle her smart, sensitive girls. Nothing less will do.
Enter Rafe Whitcomb. He’s all of those things, not to mention good-natured and one heck of a whiz in the kitchen. He’s also tall, and handsome, and bearded, and ripped, and tatted, wrist to neck.
It doesn’t take long for the Copelands to invite Rafe into their home. Just as quickly, both Sloan and Rafe find themselves succumbing to a heady mutual attraction, neither of them wants to deny. With every minute they spend under the same roof, this working mom can’t help but wonder if Rafe can handle all her needs…
**This stand-alone romance is fluffy. So fluffy. It’s fluff. Low. Angst. Fluff. featuring a large tatted, motorcycle riding ginger man, who bakes a mean bacon quiche and knows exactly how to wrangle clever six year olds while making their mom feel loved, loved, loved.**
While RAFE is a stand-alone novel here’s a suggested reading order to get you to this point
SATED (Fit #3) (Meegan)
SO SWEET (Daniella and Duke origin story)
WRAPPED (Meegan, Shae, Sarah)
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