Tuesday, March 27, 2012


“Hi, my name is Ednah and I’m a tortured-hero addict.” 
(Sam and Dean A or B)  Sam looks amazing in a suit, but give me a tortured Dean any day.

Seriously, what type of heroes rocks your world?  Is it the flirt? The perfect and charming one? The serious, meticulous kind? The cocky bad boy?  The nerdy hunk? The tortured brooder?

I remember a critique partner kept pushing me to read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books. I resisted for so long but finally succumbed.

For months she raved about her favorite hero. All she talked about was Hollywood—I can’t remember his name now, but if you’ve read the series, you know the one. He’s the gorgeous hunk with multi-shaded blond hair.  She raved about how hot he was, gorgeous and charming…everything she loved in a hero.

When I finished four of the books, I only had one word for her—Zsadist. Boy, talk about a tortured hero. I loved Z before I read his story.  Cried when I read it. And he spoiled the rest of the series for me.  Okay, he didn’t exactly do that.  After I read the ghost wife book, my interest in the series tapered off.

Anyway, this post is not about Ward’s BDB series. It’s about heroes.  What we like in our heroes and what we don’t.  Look at TV characters we love, the programs we tune in to watch every week. I’m talking about Dr. House, White Collar, Monk…. I may like smart, nerdy guys (I love The Big Bang Theory), but my favorite guys are the tortured heroes.  The White Collar guy…what can I say? He’s so in love with his Kate he can’t see straight.  Monk and his dead wife.  House…why is House tortured?  He’s so complex every time I think I’ve figured him out, he surprises me.

Why tortured heroes? I like to see them come out that dark place and into the light, watch them become transformed by the right woman.  They tend to resist falling in love the hardest, yet they long to be loved the most. When such a man lets a woman in, you know it’s for keeps, ladies.  You got him for EVER.

So in my books, I always try to make a hero as imperfect as I possibly can and tortured. If it’s not family issues, it’s personal ones.  Ron, in SLOW BURN, is from a wealthy family, but it’s as dysfunctional as they come. They have secrets, most of them not good. They’re not big on touchy-feely moments either, so he has a lot to learn about trust and love.  Then there’s the guilt he carries with him, the one that made him seek the heroine. It all adds to his character and makes his three dimensional. 

In MINE UNTIL DAWN, my hero has it worse—dealing with rejection from his father. Part of him wishes the old man could stay out of his life the other part wants his approval, until his feelings for the heroines make shim re-assess his priorities.

In KISS ME CRAZY, my hero was seriously hurt in the past and that past colors everything he does. That past comes back to haunt him and almost costs him the woman he loves.

In DANGEROUS LOVE, my latest release, we meet Ken, who quit the Bureau because of an incident he couldn’t control and has major father issues. Instead of making him a hard man, he’s a lot more perceptive, exactly what the heroine needs. So there, I admit it—tortured heroes are my weakness.  What’s yours?


“I want to hire you to steal some designs from my competitor’s offices,” she said.

Ken choked on his drink and started to cough. “What?”

“I want to hire you—”

“Jeez, don’t repeat it. I got it the first time.” He looked toward the nearest tables to make sure his voice hadn’t drawn attention. A few people were looking their way. He got up, undid the knot holding the flaps of the cabana entrance, so the white material fell into place, giving them total privacy. He pinned Faith with a hard gaze as he sat.

“Why would you want me to do something like that?” he asked, not masking his shock.

“Because he stole my designs, and I want proof so I can plan my next move.”

The relief that raced through Ken left him light-headed. He gulped his drink, wishing it was something stronger. He glowered at the maddening woman in front of him. Why did she always throw him a curve ball when he least expected it?

“Why didn’t you just say so in the first place?”

She shrugged. “I needed to get your attention. This is not a joke or a game for me. I need your help.”

Blunt as always. He’d been basking in the knowledge that she needed him for something, that he had her exactly where he wanted her.


  1. I LOVE THE WINCHESTERS! LOL. okay, sorry for the caps. :) But oh, man, give me Dean nekkid in the back of the Impala with a bottle of whiskey any day. And I sure as heck am not planning on drinking the whiskey. (At least, not from the bottle.) Maybe from his skin....

    1. Jennifer, I'm Team Dean all the way. Def whiskey off his his six-pack or...fill in the blanks. I love his intensity

  2. I love me an angsty hero, a bit of a bad boy. Those are my favs to read...and write. ;-)

    1. I read your work, D, so I know. Bad Boys all the way

  3. I love me an angsty hero, a bit of a bad boy. Those are my favs to read...and write. ;-)

  4. Angsty heroes....Ah yes! I like them for all the reasons you mentioned! And Sam & Dean???? {{{SIGH}}} LOVE them too!

  5. Tortured and ansty are good, but I have a hard time falling for total alphas. They often make me wish the heroine would smack them upside the head with a frying pan and dump them. It's just me...I like a man who can flirt and be charming and make me laugh, so my favorite heroes can do at least one of those things too. Reggie Davenport, in Mary Jo Putney's THE RAKE, is an example of what I'm talking about.

    1. There is a series...Silhoutte something where the men are alpha and treat their women like crap until they fall for them...I read a few and I kept getting pissed at the men and disgusted by the women for being total pushovers, so I hear you.