24 April 2013

The Tortured Hero

What do we define as a tortured hero? 

Is it the physicality of being a hero fighting for the side of right that we root for?  Or is it the internal struggle he goes through that keeps us hanging on? 

Perhaps it’s us who are attracted to dominance, seeing the Alpha in our fantasy that makes us salivate whenever we find that hero that surmounts all obstacles to prove what a man he is.  He can be the complete opposite of what we have in reality or, maybe, the complement to the person who lies next to us in bed.  

He can be the bad boy with a heart of gold, or the battling firefighter.  Maybe he’s the SWAT member, or the policeman, or the spy fighting insurmountable odds.  Perhaps he’s just the guy next door struggling with loss.  Tortured heroes come in all shapes and sizes with various backgrounds as a platform to his story. We can fall in love with his strength, be it from his heart or from his muscles.  A good man is hard to find and the best stories come when our emotions are engaged.

I think it’s fair to say that it’s every romance author’s dream to write a hero that transcends the page.  Authors can write our hero into a box and either save him or sink him.  We are the master’s of his fate.  Of course, in a romance novel, a happily every after (or happily for now) always has to be met and personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If I’m going to engage my feelings in a character I damn well better have him get his girl (or guy). 

But creating that right blend of tortured hero and interesting guy is hard to do.  I’ve read many hits but I’ve also read many misses.  Even writing a ménage story has to have that right, delicate balance of Alpha and Beta, and I’m not just talking shifters here.  The beautiful thing about romance novels is that there’s something for everyone and a tortured hero just waiting to be found.

In celebration of the release of my newest novel, Hereafter, I’ll be giving away one PDF version of it (or book 1 in the series titled Otherworldly, if you wish). In both stories, I’ve hopefully created heroes that are yummy as well as a bit tortured.  Detective Jonas Daire is tortured by the presence of Agent Nash McKnight while Nash is tortured with the images of sassy clairvoyant Charlotte Perth in Jonas’s arms. Whatever is a girl to do?  To win, please leave a comment about what tortured hero you love.  One winner will be chosen on Monday, the 29th, so please leave a way to contact you!


  1. Michelle Willingham write a series of books about the MacKinloch. Each one featured a tortured hero. They were amazing stories.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Shyla Colt wrote a story about a hero that had to crawl out of the depths of drug addiction. He was a seriously tortured hero. I loved that book by her.
    The book was called Recovery.


    Your story sounds fab!

  3. Great post. I love reading and writing a tortured hero. They can be so complex.