I’m a writer, but I am also a reader. I love to curl up with a good book and lose myself in a story. Like any reader, I have my favorite heroes. They’re usually the emotionally or physically wounded, the anti-heroes, those tough men who don’t believe they could ever be anyone’s hero. Flawed and sometimes broken, they nevertheless stand head and shoulders above the usual leading men.
There are far too many to list them all, but here are five of my favorite paranormal romance heroes.
- Rhage from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I admit that I put off reading this series when it first came out because the blurb from the first book just didn’t hook me. But it kept getting such great reviews I ended up reading the first three books one after another, and I fell in love with the brotherhood, but most especially with Rhage. He’s handsome, but it’s not his looks that drew me in. It was his tortured soul and his huge capacity for love. How can you not love a vampire who can morph into a purple dragon to save the people he loves?
- Kaleb Krychek from Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian. I was a huge fan of her Guild Hunter series, but had never read any of her Psy-Changeling series. Then I read about Heart of Obsidian and bought it, even though it meant starting in the middle of a series. Kaleb is arguably the most dangerous man on the planet. The only person he ever loved was kidnapped and it has taken him years to find her. The ones who took her from him will pay, even if it means he has to lay waste to the world.
- Vane Kattalakis from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Night Play. This is one sexy werewolf who has had more trouble and tragedy in his life than anyone should have to face. But he still has a huge capacity to love. Funny, tragic, and sexy, this story and this hero is one of my favorites.
- Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron, part of her Dark-Hunter series. This book was difficult to read in many places. The tragedy is almost beyond bearing. No one tortures her characters like Kenyon does. Acheron is the eleven thousand year old leader of the Dark-Hunters. He’s known life as both a human and a god. The scars on his body and soul would have permanently crippled a lesser man, but he has risen above it. And he still has the deep capacity to love.
- Surprisingly enough, my final hero is Styxx, from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Styxx. What makes this story so remarkable is that Styxx has been portrayed as a villain throughout the series. He’s Acheron’s brother and his nemesis. But it really does depend on who is telling the story. Styxx’s story might be the most tragic of all. His is a tale of lost love and war, always fighting to live, to save a piece of his soul. He’s so alone it almost broke my heart. This is a man who doesn’t know how to give up, who will fight to the bitter end.
I could list dozens more from many of my favorite authors and series. Like most readers, I’m always searching for that next series, that next wounded hero to fall in love with.
If you’re looking too, maybe you’ll consider checking out Drakon’s Promise, the first book in my Blood of the Drakon series.
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.