SON OF A GUN
Welcome to the Bent Pine Ranch and the start of BIG D DADS.
Why do we love those tortured heart-breakers so much? They’re damaged physically and/or emotionally by life experience, scarred inside and out. Yet they often have an unshakable code of honor and loyalty that might be the same heroic quality that got them wounded in the first place. These men have been judged—by society, by someone they care about or respect, or even by themselves—and now bear a label that they often mistakenly think defines who they are. Some fight for redemption—others hide away from the world, reluctantly exposing themselves to stares and whispers, ridicule or fear, when called on to defend a person or cause. While there is much to admire about these heroes—these men are hard to love. They may feel undeserving of love, even. They may need to be taught how to love—or how to love again. These are the men who overcome extreme adversity. They battle unbeatable odds. And when they finally fall in love, they know only one way to do it—with everything in them.
The hero in my May 2012 Intrigue, John Murdock, is a wounded hero. This firefighter had his heart broken and went back into the Marine Corps to put distance between him and the woman he can’t have. But when the captain comes home from the war, his troubles are far from over. He might have a chestful of medals, but he’s been damaged inside and out. He understands fighting for his home and the people he cares about. But coming home, healing, opening up his heart again just might be the toughest battle he’s ever fought. So I knew he needed a very special heroine. KCPD desk sergeant Maggie Wheeler is a wounded warrior herself. With danger stalking her every thought and breath, can she trust the Marine next door to keep her and her son safe? And will they live long enough to heal each other’s wounded hearts?
In keeping with this theme, my local writers’ group, the Prairieland Romance Writers, just had a Roundtable discussion about our favorite wounded romance heroes. Representing a variety of genres and authors, here is PRW’s Top 20 list of wounded heroes. Actually, we came up with far more, but we limited ourselves to 20 ;)
Who are your favorite fictional wounded heroes? Tell us his name, and the book title and author if you know it. Share why he was so memorable for you if you like. I’ll give away a copy of THE MARINE NEXT DOOR to one lucky commenter.
20 Stories Featuring PRW’s Favorite Wounded Heroes:
(in no particular order)
1. Beauty & the Beast
2. Land of Dreams by Cheryl St. John
3. Solitary Soldier by Debra Webb
4. Miss Emmaline and the Archangel by Rachel Lee
5. Broken Promise by Laura Landon
6. Jackson Rule by Dinah McCall (aka Sharon Sala)
7. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
8. To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
9. Frisco’s Kid by Suzanne Brockmann
10. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
11. Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd
12. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
13. BIG Temptation by Robin L. Rotham
14. In the Blink of an Eye by Julie Miller
15. Accidental Bodyguard by Julie Miller
16. Immortal Heart by Julie Miller
17. Forbidden Captor by Julie Miller
18. Lord of Vengeance by Laura Landon
19. Woman in Charge by Sherry James
20. Fugitive Fiancée by Kristin Gabriel
Icy wind howled through the SUV's shattered windshield, spraying glass and freezing sleet across Eric Wentworth's face. He struggled in and out of consciousness. Flashes of memory struck. Oncoming headlights on the wrong side of the road. Skidding tires on black ice. The baby's cries. Emily's screams.
Why couldn't he focus? Above the wind, he heard only silence, then an ominous gurgling sound from his lungs. He shifted his head slightly to check on his wife, and a knifelike pain seared his neck. He stopped, staring in horror at the shaft of metal guardrail penetrating his chest. Blood pulsed from the wound, but he couldn't feel it. He couldn't feel anything.
Eric was dying. And it was no accident. He hadn't taken the threats seriously, hadn't told Emily what he'd done. Why they were all in danger.