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Amanda Forester | The Tortured Hero vs. Torturing Your Hero

November 16, 2011

Amanda ForesterTHE HIGHLANDER'S HEARTI do love the tortured hero in romance novels.  My first book, THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD, had a great tortured hero.  He had been raised in war and held lots of deep secrets, guilt, and anguish.  As a result  he was distrusting, moody, and did a lot of glowering and such.

In contrast, the hero of my latest release, THE HIGHLANDER’S HEART, is not particularly tortured.  Laird David Campbell  actually had a loving childhood and is surrounded by family who adore him.  His clan is prosperous, and although he does have to negotiate with the surrounding clans to avoid war, I wouldn’t say he has anything in particular to be tortured about.

Despite this, poor David Campbell is still a tortured hero.  No, he’s not being tortured by his own internal demons, he is being tortured by me, the author.  He had his life all worked out, controlled, organized, and predictable, until I threw Lady Isabelle into his path.   Within fifteen minutes of meeting her, he is attacked by ruffians, gored by a wild pig, and his horse is stolen.  And it pretty much goes downhill from there.

David also has a secret fear, one that he doesn’t want anyone to know.  He is a brave man, don’t get me wrong, but he has arranged things nicely so he doesn’t have to face this one particular phobia.  So of course, me the evil author, will push him to face this fear.  Repeatedly.

I’d like to think that I am generally a kind person, but being a hero in one of my books is a risky proposition.  I really enjoy David, he is one of my favorite heroes, but he has things just too perfect, too orderly.  Time to shake up his world.  Enter a lost English countess trying to escape her murderous husband.  I’d like to think it is with the best intentions that I throw Isabelle into his path, but I’m sure at several times in the book David might want to stop the narrative and argue with me to stop afflicting him with such an unconventional, trouble-making lady.  A lady who makes everything he was settling for in life seem colorless and flat compared to the spark she ignites within him.  Once he had lost his heart , he will risk everything to be with her.   Let the torturing commence!

In the end, love will win the day, and I hope poor David Campbell, the tortured hero, will forgive me!

When you read books do you like a hero who is tortured by his internal demons, or a hero who is tortured by his leading lady?  Comment on the blog for a chance to win a copy of THE HIGHLANDER’S HEART!


Lady Isabelle escapes her murderous English husband only to be abducted by a Highland warrior and held for ransom. Her determination to break free from captivity is exceeded only by the passion growing between her and the Highland Laird. David Campbell plans to hold Isabelle for ransom as an easy way to line his pockets and return her back where she belongs, but he is unprepared for a feisty English lass with a penchant for finding trouble. Caught between rival clans bent on claiming the throne of Scotland, Campbell must choose a side, and a bride. Standing on the brink of war, Isabelle may be his only hope to save his clan, and his heart

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