Last week I hijacked the comment section of Reese’s post about characters so I could rave about my favorites. I guess I probably should’ve saved some of that for my own post. Whoopsie.
I love reading. And I’ve been reading romance novels since I was twelve. So to ask me to blog about my favorite characters is kinda like asking me to choose between my two dogs—I can’t pick just one! Same goes with authors—I could talk about my first, La Nora, or the first who introduced me to erotic romance, Susan Johnson, or maybe my current glom onto author, Sarah Morgan. See? Not so easy.
I’ll start with my first. I recently re-read Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts, her first published story and the first romance novel I ever read. The heroine, Adelia “Dee” Cunnane, is someone who stays with you long after you finish reading the story. Her strength in the face of losing her home and country, her determination to find a place in this new, crazy world she’s found herself in. And then of course there’s the way she handles the hero, Travis Grant, who’s an overbearing alpha, typical for the 80s when the book was written. The way the two of the spark off each other still reads authentic to me decades later. You can never go wrong, IMO with a Nora Roberts book.
For a hero I have to go with Johnnie Carre, Laird of Ravensby, of Susan Johnson’s Outlaw. He is one of the best examples of a reformed rake. Ever. He starts the book as a rich, powerful, totally slutty, and completely charming Scotsman. And he ends the book the same way but *spoiler alert* totally in love with his wife. Actually he gets there by the middle of the book. The combination of the hero’s personal journey and the sizzling sex scenes has always put this book on my short list.
Warning: Outlaw is not for the faint of heart. The love scenes are scorching and imaginative. And oh man I gotta read this one again soon!
Johnnie reminds me of Sawyer, the hero of my next book Up In Knots currently in edits at Carina Press. Sawyer is very much a modern day rake. He’s an über famous dominant and a master of bondage. But when he meets the heroine who’s a perfect example of serious relationship pitfalls (she’s attempting to get back into the dating scene after the death of her boyfriend) he begins to fall under her spell. Although they start out in the pretext of him showing her around the kinky circuit, their relationship slowly morphs into so much more. I love reading (and writing!) about a rake falling in love. *le sigh*
Can you remember the first romance novel you read? Which characters still stick with you days or weeks later?