Wounded heroes – why we love them
Throughout history, starting with the Greek Gods, man has applauded survivors. The Gods had to face insurmountable odds but being Gods they of course won.
They have fought the beast, won the war, outsmarted the villain, and emerged—maybe a bit messy—yet still sexy—to live to fight another day.
It’s human nature to admire survivors, men who have faced dark, dangerous odds, men who have been to hell and back, yet they have pulled through. They have emerged triumphant, if not somewhat scared.
It’s the scars that make them interesting. Either physically or emotionally or both. Wounded heroes are the best because they have that vulnerability about them. They are fighting for good, with honor, usually with their own code of ethics. Driven to fight to the bitter end for friends and family—for those they love.
Look at Daniel Craig as James Bond, in Casino Royal. He loved Vesper even when she betrayed him because he understood why—loyalty—love. They are strong motivators. He hunts her killers and avenges her, keeping a token. You can see why every woman after that he keeps at arms length even though he’s crying out for someone to love him. Being the woman to break through all that hurt and the fortress around his heart is more than a little appealing.
My hero. Arend Aubury, Baron Labourd in A NIGHT OF FOREVER book #6 in my Disgraced Lords series, is a survivor. As a child, his family escaped the French Revolution, arriving in England with nothing and he had to fight for his place in a society that looked down on French émigré and even more so, those with no money.
At school he met his fellow libertine scholars who befriended him, and protected him. Now that he’s an adult he’ll do anything to ensure he protects then and their families from the evil villain hunting them. Even if it means sacrificing his life.
Can you imagine then, what he is faced with when the young woman he’s attracted to, comes to him for help, and he learns she’s the stepdaughter of his nemesis. Is she party to the villains plans? Is she playing him a fool?
In A Night of Forever, Arend is definitely a wounded hero who trusts no one but his fellow Libertine Scholars. For them, he’d lay down his life and believing in Isobel just might see him doing just that. It takes a very stubborn, understanding, and intelligent heroine to help him open up enough to trust her and fall love. The path is far from smooth, but who doesn’t like a few twists turns and sensual sparring once in a while.
Distrust is no match for desire as a proper young miss and a self-professed rogue hunt down a murderer in this thrilling Disgraced Lords novel from the USA Today bestselling author of A Kiss of Lies and A Taste of Seduction.
Arend Aubury trusts no one besides his fellow Libertine Scholars. After his family escaped from France, penniless and persecuted, only the Scholars took him in. So when the stepdaughter of the villainess who has been plotting against them approaches Arend with allegations against their enemy, he suspects a double cross. Yet Isobel is a tantalizing prize, with lips as sweet as champagne and skin as creamy as Camembert. Is she a feast for the senses—or a bitter trap?
Lady Isobel Thompson dreams of marrying an honorable gentleman with a spotless reputation, a trait that Arend seems to lack completely. But Isobel believes that her stepmother is responsible for her father’s death, and only Arend has the skills to uncover the truth. As a cover, Arend suggests a fake betrothal—and soon Isobel finds herself forgetting that their courtship is a ploy. He’s so different from the man of her fantasies, and yet he’s so terribly handsome, so dangerously intoxicating—and all Isobel wants is more.
Arend now understood what the word “black” truly meant. He could not see anything. Not his nose, fingers, legs—nothing. It was as if his eyes were blindfolded, yet he knew they were open. He felt himself blink.
He didn’t need his eyesight to know where he was, though. The rock digging into his back, the dusty soot that made it difficult to breathe, and the distinctive smell all indicated he was underground. In a coal mine, to be precise.
The back of his skull throbbed like hell. He managed to prop himself upright against the rock, but his head swam and nausea rolled in his stomach. His mouth was so dry he could barely swallow.
Even if he could move, he didn’t know where he was or which way to crawl. In the complete blackness he could be moving deeper into the mine; worse still, he might fall down a shaft. Anyway, his legs didn’t seem to want to move at the moment.
He had no one to blame for his predicament but himself. He’d let a woman’s beauty distract him, and he’d never even heard or seen his attacker coming.
“Fool,” he whispered into the stale, dust-laden air.
He had fallen for the charms of a woman once before, years ago in South America. He’d stupidly let himself believe she had loved him, when all she’d been after was the location of his diamond mine. It had cost him his best friend’s life and his faith in human nature.
It also made him wary of a woman whose beauty could turn a man’s head. A beauty that could make a man want to lay down his honor and life.
Beautiful women were not to be trusted. Any woman who wanted him had to have an ulterior motive because . . . well, just because. Why else would she want him? Not for his pleasant disposition.
He tried to laugh, but all he managed was a dry, scratchy croak.
Bloody Isobel had turned his head to the point where the hunter had become the hunted. She’d played him like an expert, but then she’d learned from the best—her stepmother.
All she’d had to do was bare her breasts, and he’d salivated over her like a dog in heat. The desire that had ravaged him at one glimpse of her pert, bountiful bosom had blinded him to his foe.
He closed his eyes and cursed himself to hell.
He was hell.
After a moment of self-pity he pulled himself together. He had no intention of visiting hell until he died, and he wasn’t dead yet.
He had no idea how long he’d been lying in this coal mine, but from his thirst and hunger it would seem a couple of days at least.
He hoped that his friends were at this moment looking for him.
However, the past had taught him it was best to rely on no one but himself. With that in mind, he turned toward the wall and, feeling the way with his hands, slowly pulled himself up. To his surprise, he could stand upright. He was in a main shaft, then. He stood waiting for the dizziness to fade and in the silence he heard a sound that was, at this point, worth all his diamond mines combined—a trickle of water.