I love a tortured hero in romance. It wasn’t until I started reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, that I realised how sexy a tortured hero really was. For example, in Kenyon’s book Dance With The Devil, Zarek, the hero, was a very angry, self-destructive and lost individual. His childhood had been full of hatred and abuse at the hands of his father and half brothers. He grew up resentful and untrusting of everyone.
This was one of the very few books that ever made me cry, because I felt so deeply for its characters, especially Zarek. I was hooked!
There is something about a hero who has suffered so much in life that he can’t let his guard down, even for a moment. He or she is a challenge to their HEA. That’s where I believe my attraction to such heroes comes in.
Being able to break through someone’s barriers and teach them how to love is a powerful premise in romance. We often see ourselves, well at least I see myself… : ), as a rescuer of lost souls. I love to help people conquer their inner demons and show them that they are worthy of being loved. I guess that is why a tortured hero in novels really draws me in.
There is nothing better than to follow a character in a story and feel his or hers’ emotions as they struggle to defeat their inner demons. It makes them more real to me. I can root for them, cry with them and eventually celebrate with them. It makes the Happily Ever After so much more satisfying.
Here is a little example of what I mean,
John stood away from the rest of the team. He laced his shoes quietly, in his own little corner near the exit. It was always a habit of his to make sure he had an escape close by. No matter where he went he made sure the way out was never to far out of reach.
Turning his head he watched as the other boys bantered and teased with each other, laughing and carrying on the way fifteen and sixteen year-old boys should.
His stomach twisted. Longing tugged at his gut, to get up and join them. But how could he? What would he say? What if they laughed at him, or worse tried to get to know him? He couldn’t risk that. No it was better this way. Staying just far enough away that no-one could really notice him, yet close enough to watch and at least feel like he was somehow a part of their circle.
Sighing deeply, John bent down and picked up his backpack. he swung it over his shoulder and exited the locker room, into the gym. The girls’ volleyball team just started practice and he walked close to the wall with his head down towards the entrance. A group of girls were standing near the double doors leading out. He recognized one immediately. Tracy Brennan. He always noticed her. She sat next to him in english lit, sixth period. She was a breath of fresh air and always welcomed him into class with a smile. Although he never talked to her, he wondered what it would be like to kiss her pretty pink lips.
But he knew a girl like her would never even give him a wink. Hell she probably has a boyfriend. And, it was most likely someone popular, charismatic. Not like him. Not the weird kid, that everyone seems to avoid like he was some kind of black plague. No, she would be dating the best-looking, best-at-everything kind of guy.
He would just be happy with the smile at the beginning of sixth period. On the way past Tracy, she smiled prettily. His cheeks reddened and he barely lifted his head when he glanced at her and nodded once. His heart beat faster for a second, as he gazed into her bright blue eyes. Just as quickly, it sank deep into his chest and he felt the familiar pang of insecurity crush any hope of getting enough courage to just say hello.
It was too bad really, because when he walked through the doors into the hallway, Tracy turned to follow him, but halted at the entrance. In her hand she held a small invitation with John Stone’s name written in clean script across the front. Her eyes followed John’s back as he faded into the approaching crowd, being let out for fourth period…
Humm….could this be the start of a new YA romance…hummm…