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Topic: Brooding Male Lead

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Subject: Brooding Male Lead
Date Posted: 5/26/2010 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 49
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I've been looking for novels that involve a tortured, brooding, physically (or emotionally) scarred  (yes, I know it's trite) male lead.  When I say this, The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, Simply Love by Mary Balogh, and England's Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch come to mind. They are men who have serious issues to deal with, that aren't lightly glossed over and miraculously fixed. But they do get their HEA. Any suggestions?

Date Posted: 5/26/2010 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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Laura Kinsale's Flowers in the Storm or The Shadow and the Star, Jennifer Ashely's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie. I will have to think of some others.


ETA: The men are not physically scarred, as much as emotionally. And Lord Ian had Asperger's Syndrome. FFTS, he had a stroke and TSS&S, he was emotionally and physically abused as a child.

Last Edited on: 5/27/10 11:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 5/27/2010 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Tapestry and My Beloved by Karen Ranney.  And she actually has written more of this type of hero - I'm just not looking at her book list right now to name them all.  They're kind of her forte.  And more by Kinsale (not all physically scarred): My Sweet Folly, Prince of Midnight, For My Lady'sHeart, and Shadow Heart.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2008
Posts: 928
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If you like, PNR at all, I would suggest Christine Feehan's Dark Desire.  It is the 2nd  in the series, but can be read without reading the 1st.  The hero is tortured, physically and mentally, but he was my favorite in the series.



Date Posted: 5/27/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 5,629
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Can't get much more tortured than Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre.  My heart breaks every time I read that!

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 49
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Yes, Jane Eyre is definitely a tried-and-true classic. I read all genres, so I'll have to check those out. I think it can be tough to do a contemporary romance with this subject, but historical and paranormal lend themselves well; Catherine Anderson does the "scarred" female lead very well.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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I second Dark Desire for the tortured/scarred.  The latest in the Dark series is my all-time favorite, though. Tortured & scarred--inside and out--hero and heroine in that one. LOVE the guy standing back letting his lady lead the way. :) Really stands out in this series.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward if you like paranormals

I second all of the Kinsale choices! Also, if you can get hands on Texas Destiny - Houston is a great tortured/scarred hero. Also, another hard one to get your hands on but an absolute keeper for me, The Portrait by Megan Chance - the hero has Bipolar Disorder and its done really, really well. Loved that book!

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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Broken Wing by Judith James.  Very cool Heroine and very sadly damged Hero.  Big adventure romance.  I loved this book.   Possibly, the worst cover ever!

Joe's Wife by Cheryl St. John.  Hero is son of small town postitute.  Joins the army and becomes Civil War hero, everywhere except in the small town.  Sweet story.

I think that Duncan's Bride also qualifies as a damaged hero book.  Great contemporary.  I rarely like or keep them but this one's a keeper.

Morning Glory by Laveryl Spencer.   Depression Era story.  One of the best novels I have read in a long time.

To Love a Scottish Lord:  #4 of the Highlands Lords by Karen Ranney.  I really loved these two characters, but the way in which this guy is tortured is unique and facinating.  I can only say it that way because it is fiction.

Last Edited on: 5/27/10 6:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 5/27/2010 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I just finished a pretty good one.  Its called Of men and angels by Victoria Bylin.

Date Posted: 5/27/2010 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 49
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Wow - keep the suggestions coming! I love JR Ward (how I thoughty tortured and brooding and forgot her, I'm not sure), and Lorraine Heath's Houston's story too - when he came home and found how much things had changed, I almost cried. I haven't read Kinsale or Ranney, so I just ordered some.

I just read a great one After the Kiss by Joan Johnston - Marcus goes off to war and returns physically scarred and holes himself up by himself for a year. The heroine is great as well.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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Teddy Westgaard in Years by Lavyrle Spencer.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2009
Posts: 197
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Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd.  The heroine is a blind woman who is asked to go help a newly blinded knight.  Brooding hero and, I thought, a wonderful, touching story.

Date Posted: 5/31/2010 11:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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I'm sorry but what was so sympathtic and tortured about Mr Rochester? He married for money, lied, and was a would be bigamist. I much prefer Jean Rhys's WIDE SARGASSO SEA since there is 2 sides to every story. It's also a much better written book.


I just read a bk with a hero w/ lots of scars, a limp, and a drinking problem. I didnt like it that much but lots of others have. ONCE A WARRIOR by Karyn Monk


Second the recommend for any Kinsale bk

Date Posted: 6/1/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,173
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Just started one over the weekend-Suzanne Enoch's "A Lady's Guide to Proper Behavior"-Tolly James is damaged and remote. 


I like this plot device-will have to think of some more titles...ok, coffee must be working   Ian Cameron-Mary Jo Putney's "Veils of Silk"....



Date Posted: 6/1/2010 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm sorry but what was so sympathtic and tortured about Mr Rochester? He married for money, lied, and was a would be bigamist.

Lol.  So true - I was thinking about this the other day, and I can't figure out why we've cut this guy so much slack through the years.  He's a cad.  And not even a hunky, mischievous cad, but brooding, cranky, & slightly unattractive:P  I tried to imagine one of my favorite authors putting him in one of her books & I think I'd have to lambaste her for it.