I'm a sucker for a tortured hero. I love to read 'em. I love to write 'em. Either way, I get to hurt for their pain, yearn alongside them for what they think they'll never have (or don't deserve), and get the HUGE emotional payoff of watching them give in to the love that will take their pain away and make them all better. I don't care if it's formulaic. It gets me every time.
My own tortured heroes come in a variety of packages. There's Lucien, the man who became a vampire after watching his sire murder his wife and daughter before his eyes (Forever Freed). He gets the extra added torture of being empathic, which means he feels his victims' terror every times he feeds. There's Cayden, who became an EMT despite a tragic childhood car accident that killed his mother and brother (Hearts in the Dark). There's Kael, an ancient vampire king whose been alone for centuries rather than subject another mate to the possibility of the kind of tragedy that sent his first wife into fatal premature labor (In the Service of the King). And there's Merrick, an angel exiled from heaven for having broken angelic law, despite the fact that his infraction saved lives, and who will ultimately have to choose between human love and returning to paradise (Merrick's Chance).
I enjoy reading 'em as much as writing 'em. J.R. Ward's Zsadist anyone? I mean, I'm an equal opportunity Brother-lover, but no one tops Zsadist in the tortured soul department. And, woowee, the results of all that pent-up sorrow and anger and hurt are molten. For that same reason, I have to give a nod to Sherrilyn Kenyon's Zarek. (Now, I haven't gotten all the way through her series to read Acheron's book yet, though I've an inkling he might knock Zarek out of first place...).
So, do tell, who are your favorite tortured soul heroes? Who should I put on my must-read list?
Thanks for reading,Laura