There’s something undeniably steamy about a bad boy in fiction. He’s aloof, always keeps you on your toes, but usually deep down, he’s got a heart of gold. And while I love me some bad boys in books, today I want to talk about another archetype because while the hero in my debut YA fantasy Garden of Thorns is definitely steamy, he is not a bad boy. In fact, he’s actually a good guy and sadly, nice guys usually finish last, even in fiction.
Good guys tend to get pushed to the side in narratives. True, there are plenty of novels with the friends-to-lovers trope but oftentimes, when that mysterious new guy strolls onto the page, the reliable guy friend gets shelved because predictability doesn’t always make for great tension. But I was determined.
When I sat down to create Rayce, I wanted him to be a good guy. While I love the romantic tension of opposites attracting, I wanted him to be undeniably likable and knew he would have to be in order for my heroine, Rose, to give him a chance. Since she had spent so many years as a slave in a burlesque show, under the tyrannical rule of a man, Rayce had to be kind, caring, and unwavering in his belief that he can help the world. What I needed was a healer.