Friday, September 25, 2015

Reluctant Heroes

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Romance is well populated by lords responsible for the welfare of their family members and tenants, by firemen, SEALs, doctors and highland warriors. And, sure, all of those character types are wonderful and brave and nobly heroic, but I very much prefer the reluctant hero.

Reluctant heroes are the Han Solos of the romantic world. They’re the devilish rogues who are happily pursuing their own, possibly shady, agendas when they’re confronted by a choice about whether to do the right thing for someone else, or to continue to do the right thing for them.

It’s usually not a linear path, which makes it more fun to see where they wobble along the road. Their pasts generally don’t let them go easy. They often have debts to pay for things that they’ve done. But all of that just makes their redemptive arc that much sweeter.

The hero in my newest book, By Hook or By Crook, starts out the Reapers series as a smuggler. Over the course of the series, he decides to turn over a new leaf. He sets himself up as a respectable businessman. He tries to make an honest woman out of his partner in crime. And he begins to fight against the greed and corruption in the Scraper cities.

He’s still something of a rogue who plays by his own rules and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, but he also has a good heart. He fights for what he believes in…even if he sometimes does it in an underhanded way.

Flynn is my tribute to all of the reluctant heroes from my youth—Han, Starbuck, pretty much everyone on the A-Team…

Who’s your favorite reluctant hero?


Flynn was born in the lap of luxury—a Founder’s son and heir to the Stark fortune. Of course, Molly hadn’t known that when she fell in love with the devilishly charming smuggler. If she’d known that Flynn was a Scraper back when she first met him, she probably would have hated him just on principle.

Molly was born in an outlaw camp, the daughter of a whore and a gambler. She was a street rat who didn’t belong in the glittering sky city where Flynn wanted to take her as a spy for the forts. She wasn’t ever going to turn into a lady, no matter how many fancy gowns Flynn dressed her in.

But maybe while they were there, she’d be able to talk Flynn into giving up on his plan of becoming a respectable businessman, and things could go back to the way they should be—her and Flynn raising hell, the scourge of the western skies. Blood didn’t have to be destiny, did it? And if Flynn could choose the future he wanted, then what was to stop her from doing the same?

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