By Ashlyn Mathews, author of Shadow Watcher and My Fallen
I love a hunky Alpha male, especially if they’re the dark and tortured heroes of urban fantasies or paranormal romances. What is it about these men that appeal to readers? Can it be their imposing height, raw masculinity, good looks, or impressive knowledge and use of weapons at their disposal?
For me, the appeal is embedded in who these men are. Vampires, werewolves and demons are evil creatures. Evil creatures shouldn’t be heroes. Vampires are essentially dead beings, feeding off of the living. Werewolves are animals, possessing the primal instincts of animals. Demons are sinful and belong in Hell.
Yet these creatures make great heroes by virtue of their inner struggle with doing good and the temptation to commit evil acts. They walk a fine line between right and wrong. One push and suddenly these heroes can fall into the category of villains.
When they do, what keeps readers from abandoning our dark heroes and to continue to root for them to get the heroine and their much deserved happily-ever-after? For me, the answer lies in the circumstances of why they did what they did. If it’s for love, for family, for the greater good, to save a life or destroy evil, then I’ll continue to stick by the hero.
But what if he commits murder? What if he kills for the heroine? In my paranormal romance, My Fallen, the hero does exactly that. Xavier Doom is a dangerous guy, a Fallen, a type of demon known for their insatiable appetite for money, power and women.
When Elise Castle, the Vampire Slayer he falls for, is threaten by a trio of werewolves, X takes matters into his own hands and kills them. His reasoning to her for his act of violence, aside from protecting her, is the werewolves were wanted in connection with the killings of rival pack members. Justified? And by committing murder, can he still be a hero?
Do characters that walk a fine line between good and evil hold the same appeal for you? If so, what is it about them that has you wishing for their happiness?
Bonus! Check out the book trailer for My Fallen here: