Thursday, July 25, 2013

Grumps and Curmudgeons: An Ode to the Brooding and Tortured Hero

I have a thing for a wounded hero--and no, I'm not talking about physical wounds. I'm talking about emotional scars, the sort that make a man want to build a wall of protection around himself and not allow anyone to hurt him in that way ever again.

I like to dig into his psyche, poke and prod around (yes, to the point that he reacts like an angry bear) until I see what caused him to build up the wall...and until I can figure out how to tear that wall down, brick by brick, and find a man beneath who isn't afraid to let someone come behind it with him.

Before you ask, yes, I know why I have this thing for this sort of hero. There are a lot of men in my life who are exactly like that. They lash out with a hurt-them-before-they-hurt-me mentality. They put on a cocky air, trying to convince the world that they don't need anyone or anything. They destroy everything in their lives, if given half the chance.

And I love them.

Some of these men in my life have let me get beneath the surface and discover the leveling blows that left them in such a state. You know what I've found when I do that? I've found good men, with huge hearts, who just want someone to love them. So I do.

Maybe my thing has gotten to be a bit too much. I don't know. But I do know that I have a tendency to gravitate toward this sort of hero when I'm writing.

The hero of my most recent release, SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON, is precisely that sort of hero. He's a tortured, brooding artist. Aidan Cardiff doesn't know how to face the things that life has thrown into his path, and so he bottles it all up in his head and only lets it out in his artwork.

During a minutes-long span three years ago, their lives were forever changed when Lady Morgan Cardiff nearly drowned.

Returning to the disastrous scene for the first time, Emma Hathaway is older, wiser--and ready to move on. With her parents quickly aging, she needs a husband. Alas, she is an awkward, bookish girl with no dowry to recommend her, and she is far from being an Incomparable, or an heiress who might rouse a gentleman's interest. Her hopes of changing the ton's view of her are dashed upon the arrival of the others involved in that life-altering moment. Aidan Cardiff's perpetual glares prove he blames Emma for Morgan's scarred, blind condition. His unfounded hatred alone leaves Emma shaken, but his unbidden advances threaten to thwart her husband-hunt.

Ever since his sister's failed attempts to take her own life, Aidan Cardiff has been a loathsome, brooding artist. He's spent three years creating artwork to depict the revenge he'd like to exact against anyone, save himself, who can be blamed for Morgan's pervasive melancholy. Yet his art has been far from enough to assuage the rage he's built inside. Morgan is finally ready to live again, but Aidan fears letting her out of his sight--particularly with Emma Hathaway, the chit whose very existence sets his blood to boiling. But is the heat fueling his fire due solely to his anger, or is there something more?

SEVEN MINUTES IN DEVON is available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Do you like a brooding hero? Why or why not? What sort do you tend to gravitate to, whether in your reading/writing material or in real life?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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