Friday, February 25, 2011

A Dangerous Hero

I find dangerous heroes strangely compelling. I’m drawn to their mystery and darkness. The unknown. Is he dangerous to everyone, including the heroine, or only his enemies? Part of the thrill is not knowing for a while. Part of the fun of the Twilight series is the wondering and waiting, will he bite her as he’s yearning to and drain all her blood? The longer he resists doing what he wants to do most, the more we love him. He’s proven his trustworthiness. Though he could kill an enemy one handed, he treats Bella like precious glass.

Dangerous heroes are often alpha heroes, very protective of those they love. An expert with weapons, ready at a moment’s notice to charge into the action. While a dangerous hero causes a lot of conflict initially, he proves to be someone fantastic to have around. Dangerous heroes are sometimes hard to love, but in the end it only makes them more irresistible. Don’t you think?

In my upcoming March 21 release from Carina Press, a paranormal historical called Laird of Darkness, the hero, Duncan, kidnaps the heroine and takes her hostage. With him displaying such outlaw behavior, the heroine Alana doesn’t know what to expect from him. He could do any number of horrid things to her.

Duncan has a dangerous reputation. Is he evil? Clearly he has paranormal abilities, but are the rumors about him true? Here’s an excerpt from my novella:

What an infuriating warlord he was. For all she knew, he could be the infamous Laird of Darkness she’d heard rumors about the whole of her life. A man who could single-handedly lay waste to an entire army. He was said to drive well-trained war horses mad, sending them fleeing from battle. The Laird of Darkness could possess weapons and turn them against their owners. A man killed with his own sword or dagger did not die in honor. But survivors fared no better. The legends claimed he would call up violent gales, blowing his enemies into lochs and rivers, drowning them. And most scandalous of all, he slipped past men-at-arms and seduced rival chiefs’ wives and grown daughters…and even a few comely maids, turning their loyalties. Nicole North – Laird of Darkness

Rumors are often embellished, growing with each retelling until the tale has expanded to mythical proportions.

What is the truth? Here’s an explanation from Duncan’s point of view.

He glared back at her. She talked too much. Asked too many questions. He liked women who silently did what they were told. Didn’t he? If that were the case, why did he look forward to hearing her voice and her impetuous remarks?

Truth was she fascinated him. A brave, curious lass who didn’t fear the Laird of Darkness. He knew of his reputation, how parents frightened their children with scary stories to make them behave. Be good or the Laird of Darkness and his monster minions will cart you away to the cold, dark land of Otherworld.

He snorted and faced the window again.

His wicked reputation had come when he was but a lad of seventeen—though he appeared a man full grown. His father had just died, and his enemies had thought to invade, capture the castle, rape the women and steal the cattle. But Duncan had proven the new chief was not someone to trifle with. Using his Fae powers and any weapon at his disposal, he’d personally killed the leading chieftains, both seasoned warriors, who stormed the castle and several of their men. His own men saw that day he was a strong leader despite his youth, and though outnumbered, they rallied behind him and successfully thwarted the two rival clans who’d banded together. Before long, the tales of him, his men and the battle had been exaggerated to legendary proportions. His fearsome reputation kept any foes at bay, allowing his clan to live in peace. Nicole North – Laird of Darkness

I enjoy exploring the concept that first impressions can be deceiving, and that a dangerous hero can actually be one of the best kind of men to have around.

Do you enjoy reading or writing about dangerous heroes? If so, what draws you to them? One commenter will be selected to win a copy of Laird of Darkness, my March 21 release from Carina Press.



Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers as “exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious and pure romance.” Her stories contain “heart and heat, killer love scenes, magic and extraordinary characters.” She has sold four stories to Red Sage Publishing. Laird of Darkness is her first novella for Carina Press. Nicole’s stories usually focus on her favorite things: Scotland, Highlanders and hot men in kilts. She and her husband live in the Southeastern US, but she wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. As she puts it, Scotland is a beautiful, magical and enchanting place where anything seems possible. She teaches online workshops about various aspects of writing, including sexual tension and how to write great love scenes. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love.

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ChrisS said...

I do like reading about dangerous heroes. Flirting with danger brings an excitement to the story that otherwise would there. It's the thrill that helps get your heart pumping.

rjofus(at)gmail(dot)com / NJ

Chicks of Characterization said...

Hi Nicole! Once again you've written a fabulous post!! I for one like a dark, unpredictable hero. When I am reading a book I want to be kept on my toes, guessing what the hero will do next. If I KNOW exactly I tend to get bored. I like that my heroine is leery, that she has to tip toe around him, not sure what he will do next! Its builds the suspense and the joy when his heart starts to melt!!!!

Thanks again for sharing!!


Sarah Hoss said...

I also love reading about dangerous heros. Their intrigue and brash actions are so different then the heros we have today. We live everyday with a more gentle society. Our men don't have to work their bare hands to the bone in the fields, fight off outlaws in a sword fight, etc. So to see the men behave in such a fashion is exciting. Then to have the man be so strong and manly towards others and then treat the woman he loves so gently and passionately is intoxicting.

Nicole North said...

Thanks Chris, Andrea and Sarah!! I agree with your comments. Dangerous heroes are very interesting most of the time.

Nicole North said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole North said...

Also I wanted to add that I've posted the first chapter of Laird of Darkness on my website:

Caridad Pineiro said...

Great cover and post! Can't wait to get in on my new e-reader. I've finally gotten one so I can catch up on reading while at the gym! Congrats on the release.

Diane said...

Yes dangerous heroes are a must; I don't quite know what attracts us to danger but we are always looking for them.

Nicole North said...

Thanks, Caridad! I'm so glad you liked it! I envy your new e-reader. :) I'm going to have to get one myself.

Diane, apparently we need the excitement an unpredictable hero brings. :)

Maeve said...

Awesome post! And I LOVE dangerous, dark hero's...especially when the heroine finds their one little vulnerability -and uses it to her advantage. ;-) Laird of Darkness is going to be a fantastic read, I'm sure.

Robin Covington said...

I LOVE dark heroes. They are always edgy and tumultuous and the heroine has really trust herself and take a leap of faith to start anything with such a man. But the reward is the oh, so thrilling!

Great post!

AuthorCasey Sheridan said...

Hi Nicole!
Dangerous heroes are a must to read. I like the very things you mentioned in your post: dangerous and protective, the conflict they bring to the story, and, of course, their hotness! =)

Looking forward to your release!

Eliza Knight said...

I do love dangerous heroes... I think its the combination of mystery, sensuality, strength, adventure... You know with a dangerous hero, there will be excitement, the blood will be pumping. I think we like the idea of a man who will do anything for us, and love us fiercely--with every breath in his body. I love to read and write dangerous heroes.

Nicole North said...

Maeve, thanks!! I so hope you enjoy the story! I also love when the heroine finds the hidden vulnerability of the hero. :)

Robin, I think you nailed it! There's an adrenaline rush in there somewhere. :)

Casey, thanks!! Hot heroes who increase the conflict is a great thing. :)

I agree, Eliza! Sometimes we crave that excitement. We like to see men risk everything for what they want most.

Cathy M said...

I love alpha heroes, and their intensity and dangerous vibe is uber sexy in a character. Watching him succumb to his softer side from the love of a woman is just plain fun.

Stephanie said...

I love reading about dangerous heroes. I love how they keep everyone at bay and then when someone does not fear them they become intrigued and want to get to know that person. They fight against their own desires of being alone to see why this person does not fear them.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Nicole North said...

You said it, Cathy! I love the intensity too. And the emotion.

Stephanie, Yes, it's fun to see the sparks fly when the heroine doesn't fear him. :)

Nicole North said...

I've chosen the winner using a random number generator. Congratulations to Diane! Please email me at: nicole (at) nicole north (dot) com and I'll email your ebook prize.

Thanks to everyone who left comments! :) And thanks to Katie for letting me be a guest!