Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Torture, what is it good for?

Tart’s keeper list made me think of all the romance novels I cannot live without; you know, in case, God forbid, there’s a fire and I have to choose which ones I should save first. I was sorting them out when I realized that many of my all-time faves have something in common: a “tortured” dark hero.

This actually came as a surprise to me because I really enjoy “fun” heroes who make me laugh. Not to mention, I would hate it were I the one in the heroine’s shoes; I’d probably yell at the poor guy to just get over it and fucking move on. If he dare refuse, there is no way in hell I’d be sticking around that useless loser. Anyone who stays with this kind of fuckwit is a masochist and a brainless twat.

Once in a while, we encounter a hero who is tortured and then some. He usually lets his pride take over, leading him to misunderstand everything—and will then procede to verbally and, sometimes, physically abuse the heroine.

This is the same guilt-ridden moron who whines the ENTIRE book blaming everyone, from his abusive gay father (who masqueraded as the cop in a “Village People” revival band), to his dead whore of a wife (who would be easier recognized by her pussy than her face were a picture of her to appear in the news). This man, when confronted, usually says, “Fuck off! It’s not my fault I’m this way!” (Oh, please, spare us the pity-party, you idiot!) He’s also the one who won’t admit to being in love (if he actually is) because *poor baby,* he’s too darned damaged and therefore will only give in when the heroine is already dying (or should be!) in the last chapter. Dumbass.

The good news is that though, yes, there are these imbecilic half-wits who authors force on us as the ever popular “alpha males” (when the truth is they’re just weak assholes who should be shot), there are also those rare ones who are deeply tortured, yet still have the ability to love intensely.

I’m talking about the kind of tortured hero I love; the one who, despite his sufferings, doesn’t go on and on and on about it and lets it consume him to the point it’s all he is. He’s a real man who owns up to his sins. He accepts the consequences of his actions, admits his faults and, yes, even feels remorse. And though he might be the toughest bad-ass around, will never harm the heroine because he knows she is the essense of his pathetic existence and hurting her is harming the only good thing in his life. He will fight for her, kill for her, even die for her, ohhh, just to have her love and a chance to that ever elusive happily ever after. And we think romance novels are easy! LOL

Here are some tortured heroes you might want to look into:

  • Alec Castlemaine - Bewitching by Jill Barnett
  • Allegreto Navona - Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
  • Anatole St. Leger - The Bride Finder by Susan Carroll
  • Bentley Rutledge - The Devil You Know by Liz Carlyle
  • Calder Hart - “Deadly” series by Brenda Joyce
  • Christian Langland - Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
  • Darius Santiago - Princess by Gaelen Foley
  • Derek Craven - Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
  • Jack Seward - All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
  • Robert Knight - The Duke by Gaelen Foley
  • Sebastian Ballister - Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
  • Sebastian, Earl of Langlinais - My Beloved by Karen Ranney
  • Simon of Navarre - Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart
  • Alex Markov - Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Gary Rouillard - After the Night by Linda Howard
  • Zachary Benedict - Perfect by Judith McNaught
  • Zarek of Moesia - Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
How about you, do you like books with tortured heroes? Who are the heroes who make up your list?

P.S. In honor of all these lovely men I just mentioned (and Aggie’s request too LOL), I’ll be posting some eye-candy tomorrow (yep, that guy up there has friends). Think “brooding,” ladies. *wink* Till then!

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14 comment(s):

Blogger c.m.p. said...

Err...if you're looking for a uplifting, non-dark heroine try out Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.

4/19/2006 12:54:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

From your list I LOVE LOVE LOVE Calder Heart, and really liked Zarek.

But please, spare me Alec Castlemain the fuckwit wonder. He's an abusive jerk!

And then there's Alex M. He wears a cape!!!!!!!! How can you like anyone that wears a cape? Plus the book makes me believe he's always sweaty and smelly and he works in a circus!!! He was a horrible asshole to that Daisy idiot. I don't find anything romantic about that book. A guy in a cape, heroine who shoves animal dung and has mental conversations with wild tigers, hot sweaty people and dirty clowns do NOT make my list of what I want a romance to have!

Not much into tortured heros lol

Love the hottie in the pic *wink*

4/19/2006 02:32:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Damn, did you fool me! I thought I was getting a whole lot of eyecandy and only found one as I scrolled lol, one very nice view, thank you.

Trollop, LMAO!

What about Ren in BREATHING ROOM? Yum yum yum!

4/19/2006 03:34:00 PM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

*sigh* (I look forward to tomorrow). Now on to the question...

I would have swore that I liked tortured heros, but in going thru my list of books, I could only come up with 4. In reviewing the list, it seems that I go in for the tortured heroine more (something in her past holds her back, she's hurt by a prior love interest, prior physical violence, et al.)

I've read Kiss an Angel, and I have to agree with trollop that the hero was a jerk, and she was a total ditz.

The few books in my pile with tortured heros are:
-- Baby Love by Catherine Anderson
-- Forget Me Not by Marliss Melton (literally a tortured hero)
--Sarah's Child by Linda Howard
--Annie and the Outlaw by Sharon Sala

4/19/2006 03:37:00 PM  

Blogger HOTMAMA said...

Oh, and what about the one Im just finishing GF PIRATE PRINCE ? I looove Lazar, but he is quite silly in his self-imposed torture, although he was raped at 13!!

All of Karen Marie Moning's heroes are heartbreakingly tortured souls but by outside forces. Fabulous heroes!!!

4/19/2006 03:56:00 PM  

Anonymous Vixen said...

Mmmm, I love Darius from Princess and Zack from Perfect. Oh my!

I like them strong, dark and sexy. That's about the best I can sum up on at this time (too tired).

Harlot, you are a such a TEASE. I have to wait till tomorrow? Geez. This is a week I REALLY need eye candy too. I haven't had time to visit the gym and see my "Hottest guy to step foot on planet" eye candy and I have had one of those weeks where absolutely everyone (in person) is annoying the shit out of me. It's to the point that someone only has to open their mouth to speak before I start rolling my eyes in annoyance. I need the eye candy. Do I sound desparate? Well, I am!
HM already got an email full of my recent annoyances. Sorry, it's one of those days. I'm gonna go to the Retro Bitches and look for my lover Brian the naked chef. He should hold me over till then.
I will thank you for the nice appetizer though!

4/19/2006 03:56:00 PM  

Anonymous Aggie said...

Oh I heart you Harlot
I can't wait for the main course!
I too am looking back at naked chef Brian to sustain me during the long night ahead!
(I will smear my computer screen with nutella first of course)

4/19/2006 07:56:00 PM  

Blogger Tart said...

Oh, I love a tortured, dark and broody hero :D

And I too am anxiously awaiting the eye candy! Bring it on babe.

4/19/2006 08:24:00 PM  

Blogger kinky courtesan said...

ahhhh i finally have read a book you guys mentioned!!! i love Zach in Perfect!! he makes me want to... i dunno..... do very very dirty things to boys..... mmmmmm damn.... now i gatta go find one....

4/19/2006 09:18:00 PM  

Blogger SportyChick said...

were there words on the page? All I saw was the photo.... and thank you for that photo.

4/19/2006 09:51:00 PM  

Blogger Dylan said...

I really love Zarek of Moesia and Zack Benedict, other tortured heroes I love are, let's see...Dageus MacKeltar from The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning and some others that I can't think of right now.

Great blog though! LOVE the eye candy!

4/19/2006 10:25:00 PM  

Blogger Serendipity said...

You can add Lorraine Heath's tortured hero and heroine...not same book of course.

Rhys Rhodes...he's quite a lover, but so tortured. I can almost physically feel relief when he found his happily ever after in Love with a Scandalous Lord.

4/20/2006 02:58:00 AM  

Blogger Mailyn said...

don't forget the mother, er, father of all tortured heroes:

Nicholas Blackthorne from Anne Stuart's A Rose at Midnight.

With him and the heroine you didn't know what to expect, except I was damn sure they'd kill each other. ;)

4/20/2006 08:59:00 AM  

Blogger Cassidy Kent said...

I love Trevelyan in Jude Devereaux's The Duchess. He's brooding, sexy as hell, and arrogant. If you're looking for more of a beta than alpha, check out Zach in Sunset Key at

4/27/2006 05:13:00 PM