Dark and Damaged Heroes – Why We Love ‘Em

by Elisabeth Naughton, guest blogger and author of Tempted

Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by during my Tempted blog tour! Tempted is the third book in the Eternal Guardians Series, which just hit store shelves on September 6, 2011. The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. Tempted is Demetrius’s story. He’s a descendent of the famed hero Jason and he hides a dark and deadly secret—one that could lead to the end of the world.

Demetrius is your classic dark and damaged hero. Readers met him in the first two books in the series (but don’t worry if you’re new to the EG world – you can read Tempted without reading Marked and Entwined first). He’s the loner, the guardian who doesn’t fit in with the others, the one who always seems to have a chip on his shoulder. And to the heroine in Tempted —Isadora, the future queen of their realm—he’s the one who has always ridiculed and belittled her and made it more than clear he doesn’t think she’s qualified to rule.

Of course, Demetrius isn’t what he seems. It’s the façade he’s adopted to keep people away. Because if his fellow Guardians knew who he really was and where he came from, he’d not only be kicked out of the order, the one person he’s been protecting his whole life might find herself in jeopardy.

The damaged (or rat-bastard, as I like to call them) hero is one of my favorite heroes to read and write about. Why? Because, as Shrek said, damaged heroes “have layers”. What you see on the outside is never what you get when you peel away the layers. They feel deeply. They have serious reasons for the things they do and say, and they justify their actions by those reasons but don’t share them with others. And as a reader, it’s just plain fun to see preconceived notions of a person crumble over the course of a book. Often from within.

From the moment Demetrius came on the page in Marked, book one in the series, I knew that he was not as he seemed. But originally, he was not the hero I intended to pair up with Isadora. He was so mean to her, it didn’t make sense to me that they would eventually fall in love. Readers knew long before I did, though, and halfway through book two—Entwined—I realized those readers were right. Demetrius had to be Isadora’s hero. Isadora turns out to be a lot stronger than anyone gave her credit, but it’s really Demetrius and the way he’s treated her over the years that propels her to finally stand up for herself and become the ruler she was meant to be. Without him—and his dark and damaged character—she never would have reached the culmination of her character arc. For me—the writer—that was a heady moment; when I realized they needed each other to get where they both needed to go. And in a romance, that’s exactly what the reader is hoping to see.

Are you a fan of the dark and damaged hero? Who’s your favorite damaged hero? I’d love to hear your view on this topic!


DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior even his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought.

And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

Buy: Tempted


A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enraptured, will be in stores in April 2012.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of Tempted. Open to US and Canadian readers only. Enter by leaving a comment on sexy dark damaged heroes. Last day to enter: September 30th, 2011.

Author: Guest Blogger

Guest Bloggers featured at Love Romance Passion are romance authors, various industry personnel, and readers just like you!

14 thoughts on “Dark and Damaged Heroes – Why We Love ‘Em”

  1. *LOVE the damaged hero and the darker the better 😉 I have read Tempted (review to post on this site soon) and it is all that and a bag of chips. Can’t say anything else you will have to wait for my review, but now I can’t wait to read the first two books.

  2. Oh yes, I love the dark and damaged hero. When they are damaged and they resist love but eventually let themselves fall in love….perfect! I can’t wait to read Demetrius’ story!

  3. Damaged heroes are my favorite type of hero. I think it’s because it’s that much sweeter to see them get their HEA, especially if they think they are unworthy of love. Right now, I’m thinking of Z from the BDB. His scenes with Bella are just so touching and heartbreaking to read. As a reader I love the strong emotions invoked by those types of stories. Tempted sounds great. I can’t wait to read it.

  4. The damaged hero is what makes a better love story. We get to see his “woman” help to fix whatever is wrong with him. If she can’t fix him, at least help him to deal with whatever is wrong. Sometimes, it can make for some steamy loves scenes as well. I look forward to reading “Tempted”.

  5. My favorite type of Hero. Dark and brooding. It’s those very layers that get peeled away slowly that brings out what he tries to hide. His protective nature, his loyalty and gentleness just to name a couple. But what I love the most is how he loves, completely. I have so many favorites it’s hard to remember. But Sue Ellen Welfonder’s book Devil In A Kilt’s hero Duncan Mackenzie is definitely one.Thank you for this opportunity. Elizabeth I love this series. I can’t wait to read Tempted.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  6. I love damaged heroes. Not too damaged, though. I think my favorite is Acheron from Sherrily Kenyon. He should be so much more broken then he is but because he is strong and a decent person at his core, he survives until he meets the one woman that is perfect for him. **le sigh**

  7. Dark and damaged heroes are the ones I tend to connect the most with It’s not that I like seeing them suffer, but it’s how much I love seeing them transform into a better person, especially when love saves the day. Zsadist from J.R. Ward’s BDB series is my favourite tortured hero.

  8. I’m thinking of J. R. Ward’s Rehvenge. Can’t get more damaged than a drug dealer/nightclub owner/pimp/blackmailed-into-incest victim. Damaged heroes have a lot of character growth to achieve their HEA. The journey is what’s riveting to read.

  9. I love dark, sexy and damaged heroes! It’s amazing to see how they come out of their dark place to finally get an HEA that they deserve!

  10. I love it when a Dark & Damaged hero can find happiness with his heroine – that’s the type of hero that deserves an HEA.

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