Heroes Who Think They’re Villains

fangsandfloggersmedGuest blog by Saloni Quinby, author of Fangs and Floggers (Weapons of Redemption)

Although I love many different types of characters, my favorites are the redeemed villain and the antihero. There’s nothing more intriguing than a man or woman with a murky past who at some point in their story, manages to do the right thing.

I like characters who do what they must to achieve their objectives, who make tough decisions, not concerned about approval from others. Depending on your point of view, that can make the character a hero or a villain.

The best villains are the ones who, in some twisted way, believe they’re doing the right thing. Deep inside, they recognize that their decisions hurt others and they regret it, but in their mind, they’re sacrificing for the greater good. These characters have the potential to cross over to hero or antihero status.

Even if a villain redeems himself, his past is not erased. He can’t undo the damage he’s done, but he can change his future. He might reconcile with some of his old adversaries, but he’ll always have enemies. His inner struggle is part of what makes him endearing. Without it, he’d be one dimensional and like a hero who’s completely golden, he would be hard to connect with.

Most people have both a good and an evil side. The appeal of villains and antiheroes is their imperfect nature. It makes them easier to relate to, since everyone has made mistakes and there are times when we all have to choose between being an angel or a monster.

In my Weapons of Redemption series, I enjoyed developing the villain, Tarun, and finally giving him the chance to tell his story in the last book in the series. Fangs and Floggers delves into the vampire pirate’s past, showing why he chose his wicked path.

I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Weapons of Fangs and Floggers (Weapons of Redemption).

How do you feel about villains and antiheroes? Like them or hate them?

Weapons of Redemption 5: Fangs and Floggers by Saloni Quinby

(M/M Erotic Vampire)

It is said that every villain thinks he’s a hero, but what about the hero who thinks he’s a villain? Eventually he becomes what he believes himself to be. Still, he has the soul of a hero and only if he lets it guide him again will he find redemption.

Adrian had written those words in his journal just hours ago, when his lover had been at the threshold of salvation or destruction. Tarun had been whole in body then, but shattered in mind for more centuries than Adrian could fathom. Now his body was in the same state as his mind — seriously damaged but possible to restore.

Adrian had tried to warn him that his blood sons would attempt to destroy him tonight, but Tarun had been determined to welcome them home. It had nearly cost his life.

The van carrying Adrian, Tarun and two of his lover’s minions who were necessary for this escape, sped down the dark country road.

“I don’t know why I’m trusting you,” Dirk, the burly redheaded vampire driving the van called into the back section where Tarun lay on the verge of death, Adrian beside him. Cara, a rare medical doctor who specialized in vampires, worked at saving Tarun’s life.

“Because you know you can,” Adrian replied. “Now shut up and focus on driving.”

“And slow down!” Cara snapped. “Hit another bump like the last one and we’ll probably lose him.”

“Well it won’t take Bryce and the others long to figure out what happened to us. Then we’ll all die. Except Adrian. His damn vampire-killer brother will probably make sure he stays alive.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Adrian said softly. One thing about Shane, he lived by his own code and no one changed his mind once it was set.

Or at least that’s what Adrian had thought. He’d been shocked to learn that Shane had taken a vampire lover — unfortunately Bryce was Tarun’s archenemy. He had been the first to rebel against Tarun. The first to bide his time and turn more of Tarun’s blood children against him.

The problem was, like most vampires as well as most humans, they were completely ignorant of the truth — the hidden truth. Both Shane and Adrian had been born with certain gifts that had enabled them to become great vampire hunters. Both were immune to vampiric mind control, but Adrian had an additional gift — he could read vampires.

Everyone had secrets, some so deep that they even disguised them from themselves. After nearly three thousand years, Tarun had many secrets.

“You need to pull over,” Cara said. “The bullet is very close to his heart. I need everything to be still for me to help him. Adrian, you’ll have to assist me.”

“Where should I pull over?” Dirk demanded.

“Anywhere!” Cara shouted.

The brakes screeched as he pulled off the side of the road, behind a clump of bushes.

Cara released a pent-up breath. Glancing at Adrian, she said, “Ready?”

“I’d better be,” he replied.

As a vampire hunter, Adrian was no stranger to blood and injury. He and Shane had patched each other up countless times over the years. This was different. It was the first time Adrian had ever wanted to save a dying vampire.

Glancing at Tarun’s pale, angular face, he thought about how tumultuous their relationship had been. Tarun had started out as his enemy. The vampire had wanted to slay him, but something drew them together. It wasn’t just sex — although that was amazing. Despite how they appeared to be total opposites, their lives were similar in many ways. They understood each other. Adrian had never felt this way about anyone. Now that he’d found his soul mate, he didn’t want to lose him.

Buy: Fangs and Floggers (Weapons of Redemption)

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To enter for the chance to win a pdf download of Weapons of Redemption 5: Fangs and Floggers, please leave a comment. A winner will be drawn three days from the day of this original post. Thank you!

About Saloni Quinby

The child of a painter and a psychic dreamer, Saloni Quinby feels spirituality and storytelling go hand-in-hand. She loves the scent of gardenia, the sound of wind chimes and the taste of honey. By listening to what isn’t said, she creates works based on unspoken desires. Saloni prefers blurred gender lines and many varieties of romance. In a world where passion must at times be restrained, she believes erotica is a pleasure to be shared. With her stories she would like to make her fantasies yours and hopes you enjoy the ride. She also writes under the name Kate Hill. Please visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com, http://www.twitter.com/katehillromance and https://www.facebook.com/kate.hill.92505.

Buy: Fangs and Floggers (Weapons of Redemption)

Review: Killer in Wolf’s Clothing by Kelli A. Wilkins

Killer in Wolf’s ClothingReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is a book that you will need an open mind in order to read. It is a M/M romance with some BDSM. Just because it’s a gay romance don’t let that stop you from reading this story.

Greg and Larry are playing some bedroom games 😉 Kelli shows her readers that Greg and Larry can be like any loving couple. But then you’ll find that she has added a paranormal twist to her story.

Deke is someone who’s not very happy with Greg. Wait until you see the kind of appetite he has – and I’m not just talking about food. One great thing about paranormal authors is that nothing is off limits – the sky’s the limit. Anything is possible and there are no boundaries.

Kelli could have gone the easy route and just made the story about Greg and Larry. But she has given us a mystery plot and the guys need to solve it. For me, it’s the mystery that keeps me turning the page not all the sex. Don’t get me wrong that sex is great in a story but for me there has to be more than just that to hold my attention.

The impressive thing is that Kelli gets her tale done in less than one hundred pages. And when you have finished reading it, you won’t feel cheated. She does a great job of keeping you interested. You will not want to put this down until you have read it from the first page until the last. I’m a fan and can’t wait to read more of her work.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Killer In Wolf’s Clothing

15 GLBT Romances That Rocked My World

Guest Post by Carla F.

GLBT romances are becoming more and more popular. I love reading them! They fall into as many categories as the m/f romances (Contemporary, Regency, Paranormal, etc.) so there is something for everyone. Below is the list (in alphabetical order) of my favorites.

  1. Bad Boyfriend – K. A. Mitchell – After Quinn Maloney is dumped by his closeted boyfriend of ten years, he decides to approach a twink in a club and ask him to accompany him to the christening of his ex-boyfriend’s baby. Eli Wright turns out to be much more than just a date. Mitchell is a solid writer whose books always contain such great characters.
  2. Dance with Me – Heidi Cullinan – Ex semi-pro football player Ed Maurer and dance instructor Laurie Parker have conflict over the separate classes they are teaching at the community center. In a bargain, Ed agrees to be the assistant in Laurie’s ballroom dancing class. Ed’s neck injury and Laurie’s pressure from friends and family to perform on stage once again cause problems in their relationship.
  3. Death of a Pirate King – Josh Lanyon – I couldn’t make a list of GLBT romances without including Josh Lanyon. Death of a Pirate King is the fourth book of his Adrien English series. Adrien and his closeted-ex Jake have been broken up for two years, but are thrown back together when Adrien sits next to a man at a dinner party who dies while at the table.
  4. Fair Game – Josh Lanyon – In this one Lanyon also writes about estranged lovers and an investigation. Elliot Mills, a former FBI agent but now a professor, is asked by a student’s parents to investigate the disappearance of their son. Elliot’s ex, Lance Tucker, is the FBI agent assigned to the case.
  5. Frat Boy and Toppy – Anne Tenino – He always thought that he was straight, but Brad is slowly realizing that he is indeed gay and is extremely attracted to Sebastian, the teaching assistant for his history class.  This one had me laughing out loud because of Brad’s thoughts as he processes his real sexual orientation, his coming out to his family and friends, and his clumsy attempts to get Sebastian’s attention.
  6. Handle with Care – Josephine Myles – This one has a one has a diabetic hero who is on home dialysis and is waiting for a kidney and pancreas transplant. He finds himself attracted to the purple-haired skateboarder who delivers his regular orders of DVD porn.
  7. Moving in Rhythm – Dev Bentham – Mark Apostolos is cripplingly shy and cannot find the words when he is speaking to strangers. In fact, he tends to avoid people whenever possible. (He even teaches online courses.) When he accompanies his pregnant sister-in-law to dance class, the handsome instructor, Seth Miller, makes Mark want to overcome his shyness.
  8. Muscling Through – J. L. Merrow – This is a funny and sweet book about a man, Al Fletcher, with a low IQ who falls in love with a Cambridge art professor, Lawrence Morton. I like that the story is told through the eyes of Al.
  9. Pricks and Pragmatism – J. L. Merrow – Luke Corbin is an English student who like many students doesn’t have a lot of money. He trades sexual favors with rich men in order to keep a roof over his head. When Luke’s latest throws him out for another man, Luke’s friend gets him a place to stay at Russell’s house. Russell is not rich and he is a total nerd. He is also saving himself for someone special.
  10. Regularly Scheduled Life  – K. A. Mitchell – I reviewed this one here.
  11. Retreat From Love – Samantha Kane – This one, a part of the Brothers in Arms series, is a ménage a trois story of Frederick Thorne, Duke of Ashland, and his love for wounded soldier Brett Haversham. Freddy finds out that Brett is in love with Anne Goode who was Freddy’s first love. Since Brett resists Freddy’s attempts at seduction, Freddy decides to push Brett and Anne together.
  12. Scrap Metal – Harper Fox – Since the death of his brother and mother, Nichol has come home to help his grandfather on the sheep farm. They are close to losing it because of debts. One night Nichol catches a man, Cam, breaking into his barn. Everything starts to change. The amazing thing about this story is that the cold, wet, sheep farm and surrounding area become a third person in the story.
  13. Stolen Summer – S. A. Meade – Evan Harrison and Colin Williams’s relationship turns from best friends to lovers right before Evan goes off to Pakistan on a journalism assignment. There he is taken hostage. Once he is freed he has trouble dealing with what he went through, and it threatens his and Colin’s relationship.
  14. Strawberries for Dessert – Marie Sexton – This was the first GLBT romance that I read. Accountant Jonathan agrees to a blind date with globe-trotting twink Cole Fenton. After a disastrous first date, they try again and eventually decide to enter into a casual relationship and get together whenever Cole is in town.
  15. The Only Gold – Tamara Allen – In late 19th century New York Jonah Woolner is angry and disappointed to be passed over for promotion by newcomer Reid Hylliard. Jonah is sure that Reid’s methods will cause problems for the bank, and Reid’s attempts to be friends with Jonah don’t work.

Do you have a favorite GLBT book?

Photo Credits: Nephelim (www.nerobizzarro.com)

Review: Pulled Long by Christine d’Abo

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Book 3 of the “Long Shots” series.

Ian Long owns a coffee shop with his two sisters. Jeff Carson is a straight guy that’s getting a divorce and has a crush on Ian. Christine has given her reader’s another interesting read.

Right in the first chapter, Ian goes for it. You have to cheer Ian on – he really deserves some happiness. Jeff is very blunt about what he’s looking for from Ian. Ian got burned once so now he has self-esteem issues. On their first date, they go to Maverick’s (a sex club for adults).

Christine has them doing “truth or dare” on their first date in one of the rooms at Maverick’s. It was a very interesting scene. What a way to get to know each other. Her sex scenes never disappoint her readers – can we say hot!

I love how Christine doesn’t make relationships easy for her characters – just like in real life. Nothing is straightforward between Jeff and Ian. And of course one of them has an ex. Jeff has the type of personality where he expects answers – he’s exactly what Ian needs. Christine shows the reader that everyone can feel vulnerable but that most families are there no matter what. At the very end, she gives the reader a chuckle.

You will be glad that you have read this series. You don’t have to read any of the books, in this series, in order but at some point you have to read each one. You won’t regret reading the works of Christine d’Abo. You’re also one step closer to reading Josh’s story.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Pulled Long

Review: Blank by Sommer Marsden

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Think you can take the heat of the next sizzling novel by this best-selling author? Think again…

Kyle is one of those guys who denies everything to himself, the sort who lives in total denial of what or who he is in favor of lying his way in and out of situations he doesn’t like, and in some cases, even those he does.

His real reason for being this way comes out in Chapter three when he remembers all the times he was beaten-up in prison for the foolish thing he did before. He has taken all the heartache he felt and all the pain and hid it all away where it can’t affect anyone else but him – most of all he misses Jason, his former lover and the man he left behind when he got taken away to jail.

When he is with someone he doesn’t take much notice of them – it’s not in his nature to care about the other person. After all, they are just another face to him, someone he can have sex with, and after that they have no other meaning – faces tend to blend in with this guy, and he hasn’t had a real relationship with a guy since.

Kyle tries to put his past of doing time in jail, drugs and fucking behind him and goes to Montana in search of a new life, and with it comes a new job where none of the workers there, or the boss will take his kind of attitude if he shows it, so once he’s talked to the boss, he finds he must change his attitude, and start as he means to go on.

It is Tad that is set to change his life, and he doesn’t know it until it hits him. Tad doesn’t take any of the trouble he brings to other guys, he makes sure Kyle knows where he stands with him, and as a reader you can’t blame him. He doesn’t like the way he sleeps with any guy he meets, and he thinks he won’t burden him with it either, and sets him straight on a number of things he thinks he might have trouble with if he’s around him for too long.

He thinks that other straight guys around might not accept a gay guy whoring around as he does. Then he kisses him. It’s so unexpected that it amazes even him. That Tad would shout at him, then kiss him is beyond him, but he accepts it and says he’ll be good. After that something strange happens; whereas before in bed at night when he sees the men he sleeps with, he doesn’t see their faces, when he romanticizes about Tad, he sees his face for the first time, and enjoys the experience. Here is a guy who won’t back down, who won’t take any bother from him – if anything it will be Kyle who submits to him and his needs.

Even when his interest has switched from Jason to Tad, he is still in denial, but what he doesn’t realize above all else is that he’s in love with him, the man who brings him to his knees, the man who makes him tremble when he comes near. There is a lovely end to this novella, and readers will enjoy the happy ending it brings after all Kyle has been through.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Blank