When I was planning out my next book, I was faced with a serious question and a quandary — could a flawed man, a selfish one, who is bad at the beginning of a story really change and be a hero by the end? Would readers accept that a man who sends another man on a mission that ends in that man’s death, simply to give himself a chance to seduce the man’s wife?
As I began thinking about the last of my MacLerie Clan stories, I was ‘inspired’ by the Biblical story of David and Bathsheba — FYI – King David wanted/lusted after his friend Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. Since he was king and couldn’t commit adultery(multiple wives and concubines aside), he sent Uriah to the frontlines of battle to get him killed — then seducing Bathsheba wouldn’t be adultery. So, Uriah goes to the battle, gets killed and David gets Bathsheba. (there were lots of other consequences to this, of course!) I definitely planned to change some of that — but I really wanted to build on the premise.
So, when you read or write a romance, can the hero be a bad man at the beginning of the story as long as he’s heroic at the end? I mean I completely understand and agree that the hero being heroic is part of the process of a romance — he must be worthy of the heroine’s love in order to find that Happily-Ever-After. To me that’s a deal-breaker. But I don’t mind a bad boy. . . or a seriously bad/dangerous alpha male who is redeemed by love. I love a Regency rake or a medieval rogue. I love a tormented man, molded by his past, who must shatter the chains of that past to claim love.
What about you? Should a man who causes the death of another man in order to seduce his wife find happiness eventually? Is there any ‘deal-breaker’ hero/man for you in a romance? Anything that will stop you from enjoying a romance? Tell me — please!
Terri is working on her next book, the final (!!) MacLerie Clan romance for Harlequin Historicals. Visit her website for lots of info about her, her books and events!