posted by Christine Wells
Hello, Banditas and Bandita Buddies! I've brought lair favourite and my dear friend Denise Rossetti, back to the lair today to talk about her brand new erotic romance from Ellora's Cave, GUILTY AS SIN. Isn't that an amazing cover? Denise has been blessed by the cover gods!
Ah, back in the lair. Time for True Confessions. We’ll get to the giveaway later. Sven, my dear, block those innocent Swedish ears. Here’s the Awful Truth -
I worry myself sometimes - well, quite often actually.
I’m a perfectly law-abiding citizen. I vote, I pay my taxes (albeit with much cursing). I’m a wife, a mother, a friend, a colleague. I’m so normal, I’m positively tedious. I love Happy Endings – in fact, they’re essential to my reading satisfaction.
Why then, do I get such a kick out of creating dark, angst-ridden characters? I just lurve the underbelly of the soul, relish and adore it. Torment? Anguish? Bring it on, sister! I have no problem sliding into the psyche of the basest villain and yet I’m not a serial killer, honest. Oh, and I absolutely adore Bad Boys.
There’s just something about an alpha guy who’s armoured against love. It makes my fingers itch to hit him over the head with a heroine he can’t resist. Take Michael in Guilty as Sin for instance, once an assassin, now a master thief. He’s not the massive, broody type Bad Boy, he’s lithe and handsome and jaded beyond belief. No morals whatsoever, or so he believes. If Phoenix wasn’t a sword and sorcery world, I’d give him a black leather jacket, mirror shades and a Harley Davidson. No problem with The Attitude, he’s already got that in spades!
In my mind, he looks something like this guy. Your mileage may vary. ;)
Here’s Liseriel the Gray’s first sight of him. Hmm…
She didn’t think she’d ever seen such a pretty man—or one more accomplished. Vastly entertained, Liseriel the Gray stepped deeper into the shadows and folded her arms, watching him flirt with a plump matron encased in gold-shot velvet while his eyes carried on an entirely different conversation with her stolid, bulky husband.
This was the master thief Jan had spoken of, she was sure of it.
That was all they knew of him, his name. And that he’d been an assassin once. Her lip curled. Likely he still was.
Brilliant. Light-fingered. Deadly.
The man appeared to be a gilded youth, the line of his jaw clean and beautiful, his hair a thick golden blond that gleamed with health. Lise narrowed her eyes. A wig, but a very good one. Human hair, she judged. There were rings flashing on his slender fingers, sapphire drops in his earlobes. He’d spared no expense, she had to give him that. A perfect little lordling, and all in excellent taste. So what if she could see the hard disks of his nipples beneath the ultrafine silk of his shirt? Or if the merchant was darting discreet glances at the taut ass cupped so lovingly by the satin breeches required by court etiquette?
Michael was wearing makeup, expertly applied—not unusual for men at the Sereian court. Coupled with the classical purity of his features, the fine, elegant shape of cheek and nose and skull, it gave him a disturbingly androgynous air. He looked… She had to think about it…
Available. Delightfully, dangerously available.
He was deceptively lean. Lise measured the width of his shoulders and her gaze dropped to consider the muscle in his thigh. Oh yes, there was power there all right, coupled with perfect, almost unnatural control. His purpose kept him on a tight leash, this thief.
Come to think of it, Michael is one of the few heroes I haven’t been able to reduce to tears, though he did get plenty depressed and angry. I needed help to bring him to his knees! Like it says in the blurb for Guilty as Sin, in the end it took two Aetherii to catch a thief.
Michael’s bad, bad, bad—all the way to the bone. A single heated encounter with the master thief and level-headed Liseriel the Gray has never been so furious—so intrigued—in her life. Neither has Michael. Danger’s always been his drug of choice.
With his huge bronze wings and sweet, serious smile, Daxariel the Burnished is everything the thief is not—a generous shining spirit, an honest loving soul—and a virgin.
It's going to take two Aetherii to catch a thief. Lise and Dax are both so godsbedamned good, Michael can’t wait to debauch and defile, to make his Aetherii beg for dark erotic pleasures. It’s the only way he knows to win—and win he must, because there’s something about wings and tails and trust freely given that has him reeling.
Exquisitely trapped between Michael’s intoxicating wickedness and Dax’s steadfast love, everything Lise believes about duty is dust on the wind. How can she crave both these men, different as night and day?
Trust me, writing a ménage is complicated and exhausting. Try taking three incredibly different characters and giving them a halfway believable HEA. Hah!
On the surface, Lise is practical and dutiful. She thinks she’s dull. In fact, she’s like a drawn blade, all steel and elegance. She’s a warrior for justice, brave and honourable. Dax is - well, he’s nice. Decent, through and through. If he didn’t have magnificent wings and a wicked feathery tail, he’d be the boy next door. (That’s him on the cover. Isn’t he gorgeous? The model is perfect for Dax.) But I gave them both a little streak of the devil, just to keep Michael on his toes.
It’s interesting how much easier I find it to write a ‘bad’ character than a ‘good’ one, and I suspect I’m not alone. Is there something more intrinsically fascinating about wickedness? In real life, any woman in her right mind would prefer a loving husband and nurturing father over the swashbuckling glamour of a pirate. Can you imagine one of those dark elegant vampire types with baby sick on his shirt, or worse – baby poo?
So tell me, Banditas and BBs - Why do you like ‘bad boys’ in romance? Or perhaps you don’t! Can you think of a hero so dark you thought he was beyond redemption, and then discovered differently? Or what about a hero so thoroughly nice he bored you to death or drove you nuts?
One lucky commenter will receive a free ebook copy of Guilty as Sin. Instant gratification!
You can read the first chapter of Guilty as Sin here or go straight to Ellora’s Cave.
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