Brooding heroes. I’ve always been drawn to them over all other hero types. They stay in my mind long after they attain their happy ending, perhaps because that HEA tends to be so hard-won. They tend to carry around scars that won’t heal and painful memories that won’t fade, closing themselves off from others, fearing judgement or further hurt. I love their complexity, their secrets, the deep inner darkness they don’t bother to hide, and the tenderness they don’t want you to find.
Who are my favorite brooding heroes?
Dylan McKay from 90210 – Okay, so this one stretches back a bit into TV history, but who could resist the bad boy charm of this ‘90s brooder? My introduction to Dylan came as I binge-watched several seasons of 90210 my freshman year in college and I gotta tell you, there was just something about him. His attempts at being coolly aloof and uncaring inevitably took a turn toward an unexpected gesture of true feeling. Dylan was not proud of where he came from. He was a bad boy with a jaded perspective and a determination to keep people at a distance. Yet, we all fell for him anyway.
Avenell Slade, the hero in my latest title, The Untouchable Earl, is also a wonderful brooder. Keeping people beyond arms reach is vital to his survival in a society that would scorn him for the physical affliction he acquired from a childhood illness. No one can know his secret, and that means no one can get too close. It is a wretched existence made only more devastating when he meets Lily Chadwick, a woman whose closeness he desires beyond all else.
BOOK BLURB: “Are you afraid?”
“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning …
Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with a highest bid, he hides a painful secret- one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him. compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.
Her tone was gentle, and her features were set in a perfect expression of serenity, but he could have sworn he detected a note of dry humor in her tone. Her composure despite the subject matter astounded him. She was so unlike the typical modest young lady.
Something in the steadiness of her gaze urged him to glance away, to look anywhere but at her. He resisted the temptation and began again. “I never entered into such an arrangement because I knew there would be an expectation of certain liberties that I cannot allow.”
There was a long pause, during which the point of pressure in his chest spread outward. Then she tilted her head in a subtle gesture.
“What sort of liberties?” she asked softly.
Her voice had changed. It was difficult to identify exactly what it was, but it warmed him. Made him feel a burst of impatience, a wave of deeper desire. He took a moment before he replied.
“You will understand more fully soon enough. But I promise, I will not allow my limitations to lessen the pleasure you experience during our association.”
A blush pinked her cheeks. But she did not look away.
“And what of your pleasure, my lord?” Her voice was soft and low. Smoky, like her eyes.
It weaved through Avenell’s senses and hit him hard in the gut. Heat scored through his insides on a direct path to his loins. He had suspected from the start that her gentle manner had lured him so strongly. But the unexpected boldness in her query had an intense effect on him.
His arousal roughened his tone as he answered, “My pleasure is assured. Do not doubt that.”
The pink in her cheeks spread down across her chest and the upper swells of her breasts, but still she held his gaze. He wondered what she might be think¬ing. Her stillness was disconcerting when he sensed so much going on inside her.
After a few moments, her lashes swept low as she looked down at the glass of champagne held lightly in her hands.
Avenell set his own glass on the mantel over the fireplace and turned to face her more fully. It was time to begin.
“Come here, Lily.”
REVIEW: I have to say that I see a pattern developing with this authors heroes and heroines. She cleverly gives them a unique character trait and incorporates it within the story and in this case, the hero has a problem with people touching his person. I like that they all have something we rarely read about in romancelandia.
Another unique thing about this series is the timeline. Both books run the same timeline, and because of it, you’re better off reading them in order.
Also, the unconventional relationship that develops between the two leads is intriguing and entertaining, albeit unbelievable. It took a lot out of me to suspend my disbelief in order to thoroughly enjoy the story, which I did.
In the end, good writing and likable characters is what I appreciated in this story the most.
Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
AUTHOR BIO: Amy writes historical romance about dashing, and sometimes dangerous, men who know just how to get what they want and women who at times may be reckless, bold, and unconventional, but who always have the courage to embrace all that life and love have to offer.
Amy grew up in a small dairy town in northern Wisconsin and after earning a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, she eventually made her way back to Wisconsin (though to a slightly larger town) and lives there with her husband, three children and a black lab. She spends her early mornings writing then heads to her “other” job, dreaming of the day she can write full-time. The rest of her time is spent trying to keep up with the kids and squeeze in some stolen moments with her husband.