Scarred heroes in contemporary romance

This is cross-posted at The Season where Bev is giving away a copy of Deirdre Martin’s Icebreaker to one commenter.

The last week of December, I celebrated my final few days of holiday by dipping into the pile of books I’d bought myself for Christmas. Completely unintentionally, the two books I read were both contemporaries with scarred heroes.

Edge-of-Sight-coverThe first, Edge of Sight by Roxanne St. Claire, is a sexy, exciting romantic suspense with one of the hottest heroes I’ve read about. He and the heroine have a history together, but in their years apart he’s suffered horrifically and it’s kept him from contacting her. To say anything more would spoil parts of the plot, so instead I’ll quote the back cover copy, which describes Zach as “a Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he’s  both courageous and flawed.”

The second, Never Too Hot by Bella Andre, is a very steamy contemporary single title starring a wounded firefighter. The reader finds out about Connor MacKenzie’s scars in the first paragraph, so I don’t think it’d spoil anything to say his hands and arms were burned and he’s had skin grafts which continue causing him terrible pain and discomfort.

In Bella Andre’s book, the scars are a mark of heroism but also a sign that the hero’s future plans are damaged beyond repair. Connor is desperate to get back to firefighting because it’s all he’s ever imagined doing, but doing so would mean not having a future with his heroine.

In Roxanne St. Claire’s, the scars Zach carries are a constant reminder of a decision he made that cost the men who trusted him far more than it cost him. When he is asked to protect his heroine, he has good reason to doubt his abilities.

Scars are used for so many reasons in romance, but as I think back over my twenty years of reading romance it seems like characters—particularly men—suffer more and more.

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The problem with having an alpha male brother

I’ve got a new gig blogging once a week about contemporary romance at The Season.

Check out my first post, about all the ways my macho brother has ruined romance for me. (And yes, he could have posed for the cover of the Bella Andre novel in the post. Sickening, isn’t it?)

Even better, Bev’s giving away a copy of Jill Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism. I can’t tell you how I wish I were eligible!