A Night to Surrender: Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men. It is a haven for those who live there.
Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters…and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.
Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle…but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
I'm ecstatic to have Tessa here to talk about creating a wounded heroine with her fabulously titled post, "A Reticule Full of Kryptonite."
Tessa Dare: We romance readers love a wounded hero, don’t we? An otherwise strong, capable leader sidelined by physical injury—usually an injury incurred for a worthy cause. Perhaps he was defending his country in battle, as in the case of Bram, hero of A Night to Surrender. Other worthy hero injuries might be obtained whilst defending a lady’s honor in a duel, or rescuing kittens from a burning building.
A wounded hero gives us that perfect mix of strength and vulnerability. He wants to do everything all on his own, just as he’s always done…but he can’t. He’s like Superman, come face-to-face with his own mortality. He’s been humbled. And most heart-wrenching of all, he wonders… Could any woman find reason to love him as he is?
Well, hello! That answer’s obvious. We readers (and the heroine) are there to shout a loud, emphatic YES. We will not be deterred by his gruff, prickly manner. We will see through his every attempt to hold us at a distance. And oh yes, we will love him just as he is. We will love him in the sea, we will love him ‘neath a tree. We will love him here or there, and we will love him everywhere.
But what about wounded heroines?
I’ve written heroines of all sorts, but A Night to Surrender was my first time writing a truly wounded female lead. Following her mother’s death, young Susanna Finch was sent to live with relatives. These relations interpreted Susanna’s emotional turmoil to be the sign of some physical ailment, and they called in doctors who subjected her to a number of (by our modern standards) barbaric quack treatments. Bleeding, purging, leeches, baths in ice-cold water, and more. In essence, she was tortured by the same people who were meant to protect her, and as an adult she still bears the scars—inside and out.
And as much as I enjoy reading or writing a story where the hero learns that yes, he is still lovable even in his wounded state…boy, did I ever love giving Susanna her well-deserved partner. A hero bent on convincing her that yes, he will love her just as she is. Imperfections and all. He will love her in the sea, he will love her ‘neath a tree. (You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not! I’m being quite literal.)
Who are some of your favorite wounded heroes or wounded heroines in romance?
Answer Tessa's question in the comments below and be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate! The more times you enter on Tessa's blog tour, the more chances you have to win! My answer: I love Abigail Cabot from Susan Wiggs' Halfway to Heaven and Sydnam Butler from Mary Balogh's Simply Love.
Thanks to Judy and Marianne from Goddess Fish Promotions for arranging Tessa Dare's visit. And don't forget to support Tessa, Avon Books and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in supporting the K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign! Enter the giveaway for TWO K.I.S.S. and Teal books here!