Scarred and Sexy – the Beast in His Lair, by Annie West
I love a romance hero who’s a challenge.
Where’s the fun in reading a book where boy meets girl, boy and girl fall for each other and walk off into the sunset hand in hand? I want a few difficulties along the way. I want to feel they’ve really worked to deserve their happy ever after. Maybe I just enjoy being mean to my characters (what romance writer doesn’t?).
For me a story is so much for fascinating when the hero represents Trouble for the heroine with a capital T. Maybe that’s why strong-willed alpha heroes who think they know how to tackle the world appeal to me more than a mild, understanding, walkover boy next door. And what could be more troublesome than a wounded beast in his lair?
I didn’t realise till I was well into writing Undone By His Touch, that I was writing Beauty and the Beast. Chloe is a no-nonsense woman who’s had her share of heartache and has learned to defend herself, or so she believes, against the pain that love that can bring. Until she meets Declan and against the odds, he sneaks past every one of her defences.
Declan is a man used to taking charge and leaving his mark on the world. He’s active – a rock climber, daredevil and athlete, as well as a man with a multi-billion dollar business to run. All that changes in the blink of an eye when a rock climb takes his brother’s life and leaves Declan scarred and blinded. Worse, he’s left racked by guilt over the fact he couldn’t prevent his brother’s death. Living as a recluse, Declan runs his business empire from in his mountain home and spurns sympathy from those around him. He’s driven by the need to find the woman he believes ultimately responsible for his brother’s death, and by his own remorse.
Which begs the question – what will he do when he discovers the woman he’s let into his life, and his heart, is the woman he holds responsible for all that’s gone wrong in his world? You can be sure that the beast in Declan’s nature gets full rein, at least for a while. But Chloe is no shrinking violet and refuses to let him walk all over her.
I loved writing this book. It’s set in the gorgeous Blue Mountains, west of Sydney – a World Heritage Area I love to visit. I’ve included here a photo that will give you a feel for the sort of rugged, beautiful country where Declan risked his life to try saving his brother. When the action moved to cosmopolitan Sydney, I had a marvellous excuse to do some site research there too.
But most of all I loved the sizzling intensity of this book confronting a wounded hero in his refuge and making him face all the things he’d rather avoid.
How about you? Do you like ‘beast’ heroes – emotionally or physically scared and ready