Friday, May 21, 2010

Emotionally Wounded Heroes = Hot Romance Reading - Elizabeth Amber

My heart goes pitter-patter over an emotionally wounded hero. One who has been tested by some terrible fire in his past and emerged as a strong, sexy, alpha male. Why do we empathize with wounded heroes? Because they harbor deep secrets and have dark, murky, mysterious pasts. Because they need a good woman to help them heal.
In my June release, Dane, The Lords of Satyr, Dane is such a hero. I like to write unusual situations and didn’t want him to have a problem I’d already read too often. When a friend gave me a stack of her Entertainment Weekly magazines, I saw an ad for The United States of Tara on Showtime. Tara has dissociative identity disorder, which used to be called multiple personalities. I’d read the book, Sybil, years ago about a woman with the disorder. I instantly knew this was what I’d write about and started researching.

My satyr novels are set in 19th century Italy, and I discovered there was great interest in this topic around 1880, the same year the Roman forum excavations were in high gear. It’s around this time that Jekyll and Hyde was written.
Dane is “missing” a year. When he was twelve, he and his younger brother disappeared. Although Dane reappeared a year later wandering the Roman forum ruins, his memories of that missing time are locked within an alternate personality named Dante. This personality only surfaces during carnal engagements, when he acts in Dane’s stead and usurps his enjoyment of them. Dane and Dante are one in the same. Fragments of a single mind. Possessors of one body. Dane trained as a tracker, and has defected from ElseWorld to join his older brothers in Rome. There’s more than one secret stirring inside him and there are pressing reasons he must know his past. His missing younger brother will soon turn 18, the age at which the satyr first change physically and are driven to take part in the ancient rituals dedicated to the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. The secret to his whereabouts is locked inside Dane. The clock is ticking.

To compound the complications in his life, the satyr who masquerade as human in EarthWorld are in danger of exposure, so Dane and his brothers are compelled to seek out human brides to further entrench themselves in Roman society. Eva, a matchmaker from ElseWorld, arrives to aid in their selections, and though she is far from human herself, she just might be Dane’s perfect match!

Five of my favorite wounded romantic heroes in fiction are:

Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre

Cam in Lora Leigh’s Wicked Pleasure

Gabe in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Dream A Little Dream

Edward in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight
Who are your favorite wounded romantic heroes in books or movies? What is it about them that appeals to you? Why do they touch your heart? Would you want to be in a relationship with one of them?

Elizabeth Amber is the author of the popular Lords of Satyr novels, erotic historical paranormal romances published by Kensington Aphrodisia. Enjoy excerpts at

One randomly selected commenter will win a copy of Elizabeth Amber’s new erotic historical paranormal romance release, DANE, THE LORDS OF SATYR, which is an RT Book Reviews (Romantic Times) TOP PICK in the June issue (4.5 stars).


bookbunny68 said...

I'd have to say Christian from FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale is my fav. The story line was very unique and I loved the way the two of them responded to each other.

s7anna said...

I love Webb Tallant from Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard...he's a hero with a tragic past and he's just such an Alpha hero...easy to love. I loved his take charge attitude...don't know how well I would handle it real life but I would definitely want to give it a shot.


jeanette8042 said...

I love Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. He is appealing because he had a torturous and horrible past but is still pushing forward and able to find love. His heartbreaking past makes him more human and I love him for that. I would definitely attempt to try to have a relationship with him.

lilazncutie1215 @

Estella said...

I like Lone from Larissa Ione's Demonic Series.

practimom said...

Zsadist from JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood is my favorite. He is so wounded from a past that should have never happened to him. He appeals to me because much of a bad boy he is and the "i hate everyone" attitude, he silently cares deeply for everyone around him (queue Rhage punishment scene!)

Leni said...

I instantly thought of Colt and Cameron McKay from the Lorelei James Rough Riders Series books. Both have to work through serious situations that call on a great deal of strength. They get to me because they're sexy,loyal and wild. As for the relationship question, yes, I wouldn't mind at all.

Helen said...

This book sounds really good.
My favourite tortured hero Gideon from Anna Campbell's Captive Of Sin Yummo

Have Fun

Lil said...

Well, of the books I have read, these are some of the favorites with a wounded hero which spring to mind:

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

Dark Lover by JR Ward

Clay Yeager's Redemption
and Angel for Hire (both) by Justine Davis

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

A strong, confident hero who has a hurt or vulnerability makes me want to wrap my heart around him.

Pat Cochran said...

I'm not usually into books which
are set in "other worlds," but
this story seems very interesting.
I look forward to reading it.

As for a tortured hero, my fave is
from a TV show. DD1 and I enjoyed
Ron Perlman's role of "Vincent" in Beauty and The Beast.

Pat Cochran

LAMusing said...

Quasimodo - pure and completely unrequited love...

Cathy M said...

Joey W Hill writes amazing stories with tortured heroes and heroines. Their road to redemption is an emotional one that tends to make me a bit teary. She still delivers a HEA though, with her characters flawed, but so deserving of love.

Thought their heartache is more than I could bear in my personal life


chey said...

I'd have to say Jamie Fraser from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

chey127 at hotmail dot com

Mary said...

I love Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series of books. He's been through so much as a child and then even when he got older and found out who he was and what he could do he had a hard time. After reading his book, aptly named, Acheron...I really felt for his character.

Oh and wow...just wow..that cover is delicious..thanks for posting that.

Laurie said...

Xander (Alexander) Jones in To Tempt a Saint by Kate Moore. He was born a bastard. He is the oldest of 3 boys all with the same mother. He feels responsible for the disappearance of his youngest brother Kip. He's searching relentlessly for him. He doesn't feel that he deserves to be loved. Until he meets up with a desperate woman Cleo who is also valiantly protecting her younger brother.

Richard in Pretty Woman A ruthless loner intent on devouring companies and breaking them apart for money.

Vivienne eventually breaks through his heart's barriers and he falls in love with her.

What appeals ...Their search and need for love even though they are unaware of this need.

I think at first it would be very painful but the reward at the end ...his love would make it all worth while!

What touches my heart.. How they eventually surrender to the healing power of love.

Laurie said...

Oh I thought of a couple more:
Hawk in A Woman Without Lies Elizabeth Lowell, again a man who feels unlovable. The woman Angel has lost her family and her fiance. She seeks peace via her stained glass art pieces.
Takasi in Anne Stuart's Ice Blue. He's part Japanese mobster, part American. He falls for Summer who he's supposed to kill... conflict of value and interest.
He's part bad guy part good guy ..who will win?

johnslake at usa dot com

Armenia said...

Oh my gosh, Gabe from SEP's Dream A Little Dream was so tortured I was torn a little bit myself reading his story, but it was worth it because he found his HEA with Rachel.

Also, one of my favorite tortured hero is Gabriel St.Croix from Judith James' Broken Wing. My heart really went out to him because of the trauma he endured during his childhood. But I rejoiced when he found such a gem of a heroine that understood him and never lost faith.

Elizabeth Amber said...

Lee! Thank you so much for having me here!

And thanks to everyone who popped in!

FFTS is on my keeper shelf. I agree with you about the unique hero. A wonderful book! Thanks for reminding me about this book. Now I want to reread it.

Oh yeah! Another one on my keeper shelf. I love all the same things about Webb that you mentioned. This book has great sexual tension and is just all around great. I always wonder about that very thing—would I like having a guy like this in my life for real? Like you say, I’m very willing to give it a shot! LOL

Hi Jeanette,
This is a book I want to try, but haven’t read yet. I’ve heard wonderful things about Acheron. I heard Sherrilyn speak at a conference once and she was one of the best speakers ever. She had people laughing and in tears. She’s a warm, wonderful person.

Larissa can write! Wow. I have one of hers in my TBR stack. Thanks for adding her to the queue.

~ Elizabeth Amber

Elizabeth Amber said...

I love his name, and all the hero names in J.R. Ward’s series. I haven’t delved into this series, but I want to! I love bad boys with good hearts.

Hi Leni!
I’ve heard good things about this series, too. Very good things. I’ll have to try it.

Anna Campbell rocks. She has a new book out this week—My Reckless Surrender. I loved her Untouched. Talk about a wounded hero! I’ll put her COS on my list. Thanks for the suggestions!

Well said, Lil,
Strong on the outside and wounded but good on the inside. Yummy! I haven’t tried J. Davis or L. Chase, but will take a look. Oh, my list is growing…

I hope you enjoy Dane if you get a chance. It’s erotic historical paranormal romance, so I hope that’s something you like. Wow! This is one I haven’t heard of this performance, but Ron P. brought something special to Hellboy. I didn’t think I’d enjoy that movie, but my husband rented it and it was good, mostly because he was great. A wounded hero—tough on the outside and good on the inside.

Quasimodo’s story makes me cry when I watch it, so I can’t! He’s a great example of a wounded hero.

Good to see you. I have heard GREAT things about Joey Hill’s writing. Someone recommended her to me last week. I’m definitely going to give her a try. I love HEAs in my romance. That’s what I write and usually read. I like putting characters through a lot so they deserve that HEA.

I have a friend who loves this book, but I haven’t given it a shot. Not sure why. I think I’m daunted by really long books. Although GWTW was long. I’ll take another look because I hear raves. Thanks, Chey!

Welcome, Laurie,
I loved Pretty Woman. It’s a simple tale, but all the elements of a great romance are there. Richard G. and Julia R. had chemistry. “The healing power of love.” Yes! Wounded heroes desperately need it and it touches my heart as well when they find love and are healed or on the road to healing. Anne Stuart and Elizabeth Lowell are amazing. I haven’t tried Kate Moore, but will put her book on my list. Thank you for these!

I’m so glad you remember Gabe! He WAS a tortured soul. Ack, it makes me ache for him just to think about how sad he is at the beginning. I’m adding Broken Wing to my list—sounds right up my alley. Much appreciated!

Here's wishing you all a good Thursday!

Lisa said...

Tegan from Lara Adrian's BREED series comes to mind. His journey is quite profound.


Virginia C said...

Sebastian Dain, the one and only "Lord of Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase. Physically imposing and with imperfect looks, seemingly without redemption, the beast was captured by his beauty. Lucky girl!

My favorite seduction scene occurs in a public place, and only one article of clothing is removed. The "glove scene" from "The Lord of Scoundrels" is almost unbearably sensual. Sebastian, Lord Dain, slowly, sinfully, seductively removes the glove of the lovely Miss Trent, all the while muttering to her in wickedly erotic Italian.