A Hero in Conflict

I love heroes of all kinds in the romance novels I read or write. I love those tough alpha warrior or chief types who rarely smile... because of all that intensity and emotional baggage. I also love the teasing charmer types who seduce with nothing more than a wink and a grin.

Today I want to talk about that hunky caber-tossin' man, Scott MacPherson, the hero of my erotic romance novella Kilted Lover, coming soon from Red Sage. He's 6 1/2 feet of drool-worthy masculinity, with bulging muscles, an American who wears a kilt when he competes in Scottish Games. He's not afraid to throw a few punches and rescue the heroine, Leslie, in a life-threatening situation. If he can toss logs, chances are he can toss people if he wants.

Scott is a gentle giant who is honorable, serious at times, funny at times, and has a great respect for women and commitment. What happens if he is tempted to go against his code of honor? What if the woman he wants is already in a relationship with a man unsuited for her? A man who doesn't deserve or appreciate her? And what if, in the past Scott was the man whose girl was stolen from him? He'd certainly understand the pain of betrayal and rejection. He wouldn't want to make someone else go through that.

But his attraction to Leslie is so intense and compelling he can't turn away. When she asks him for one night to explore this unexpected, blazing-hot attraction between them, how can he say no?

He wants to say no. He tries to say no.

He is a man with a lot of inner conflict. At first glance it might seem as if he's being selfish and taking what he wants, but that's not the whole picture. In Leslie he sees an amazing woman who needs something she isn't getting. What she needs, Scott has and he's unwilling to deny her that. He knows he has to let her go after their one night is over, though it will nearly kill him to do so because he's falling for her hard. Still, at the core he is honorable and he can't ask her to leave her injured boyfriend who needs her.

I love writing conflicted heroes who must do the thing they believed they never would. I like to make them go out on a limb or throw them into uncharted territory and see how they deal with it. This will show what they're made of, deep down.

What about you? What kind of heroes do you like? Do you like them conflicted?


Julie Robinson said...

OMG, Nicole, I love that cover. And the story line. I can't wait to read it. But then I've been waiting since that course last year when I took that course with you (Writers Anon formed from there). I can only imagine how you must feel with the anticipation!

Conflicted heroes are wonderful in a romance novel because you know there will be an HEA. In life though, there is no guarantee that your big oaf of a man will ever meet you halfway and work on his inner demons /conflict resolution.

Did I just say that?!
Nothing personal here, you understand.


Carly Carson said...

I agree with Julie. A conflicted hero is probably best met within the pages of a book. They are fun there, though maybe not my absolute favorite hero. That inner conflict can make for great page-turning tension. And great relief when the HEA is reached.


Anonymous said...

I am currently reading JR Wards black dagger brotherhood series and I have to say i'm digging the alpha male tortured hero persona. every warrior in her books is tortured in some way or another and i like seeing the heroines save them from themselves so to speak. it's horribly romantic and sexy lol. I also like the brooding types, the funny charmers, hell, i just love hero's lol.

Pat McDermott said...

That cover is "drool-worthy" for sure, Nicole! A gorgeous guy in touch with his feelings is always a good read for me. And fun to write. The honorable husband in the clutches of a temptress who's not his wife comes up in my WIP, and I'm having a blast with the conflict it's creating not only in the story but in my writing group! Your log-throwing he-man sounds fabulous. Good luck with the release!

Anne Rainey said...

That really is a HOT cover! Love Red Sage covers! I agree, inner conflict is awesome. Makes me want to cuddle the hero. :)

Nicole North said...

Thanks Julie!! I'm so glad you like the cover. I'm in love with it myself. :) I agree that in real life some conflicted men are too difficult to deal with. But in romance stories, it's a lot of fun to watch all that conflict play out and get resolved in the end.

I agree, Carly! Lots of conflict makes that HEA even more enjoyable. Sigh. :)

Kaycee, oooh yeah one of my favorites. Love those tortured alpha males. They need the love of a good woman. :)

Pat, thanks!! So glad you're drooling over my cover! :) Me too. Rae is a talented cover artist. Your scene sounds very interesting and conflictive! Good luck with it!

Anne, thanks!! Red Sage does have awesome covers! Scott needs some cuddling. He's actually a really lovable guy. Mmm mmm

Abby Niles said...

Awesome cover! My favorite type of hero is the one with dark chewy chunks. There is something about a tortured soul that gets me and I love every minute of it. Don't get me wrong I like the fun loving ones too, but if I had my choice I'm reading the hero with issues, lol.
Sounds like a fantastic story!!

Carol Ericson said...

Ah, so many heroes, so little time! I love 'em all, but I do have a soft spot for those tortured heroes who may come on a little stronge because deep inside they're a bit insecure. Your cover is awesomely hot!

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Nicole!

A conflicted/tortured hero is my favorite kind of fictional guy :) Going along with him on his journey to overcome obstacles--internally and externally--is what keeps me turning the pages and unable to put down the book. Gotta have some suffering to earn the rewards/reach the goals/get the happily ever after IMO. Anything worth having is worth striving for :)

Happy week wishes,


Natasha Moore said...

Tortured heroes are my favorite too. And when they earn their HEA with a heroine who had soothed him and saved him...aaaaah :)

Jessica Lee said...

Oh man, tortured alpha males. *sigh* I do LOVE them. And yours sounds tremendously lovable, Nicole. Thanks for sharing that tidbit to wet our appetites.

Nicole North said...

Thanks Esme!! Dark chewy chunks... LOL! Great term! At times I'm in the mood for one of those dark lost soul archetypes.

Thanks Carol!! Glad you like the cover! I do love seeing the vulnerabilities of a strong hero. Makes me fall in love with him.

That's so true, Shawna! I love to see a hero with a strong character arc, who learns, grows and overcomes.

Natasha, that's the fun part and always worth the wait! Sigh.

Sherri, thanks!! He is lovable for sure. And huggable and kissable and... I better stop there. :)

J K Maze said...

I love conflicted heroes. The inner struggle adds depth and, together with whatever the outer struggle is, you've got a winner. I also like to read about the big, brawny types and am already picturing this guy in a kilt. I was about to go and order this book when I realized it wasn't available yet. I'll be watching for your announcement.

Nicole North said...

Hi JK, wow lady, you've just made my day, wanting to buy my book!! :) Thanks!!