When Heroes Fall Hard


Welcome to my post as part of the Hero’s Blog Hop that runs from July 27 through July 31. I’m delighted to be a part of this awesome event. There are a lot of giveaways happening at more than 100 different blogs, and then there’s the grand prize that’s up for grabs as well (check out the SWAG here!)

As a romance writer, I create a lot of different heroes. Sebastian, in my most recent indie release, Obsession, is a tortured soul. I’d probably have to label him a beta with alpha tendencies. When Sebastian falls for Helen, he crashes into the ground like a felled tree. It’s delicious watching him struggle every step of the way until he realizes he’s in love. From that point on he’s a man on a mission to make Helen realize she’s in love with him. All of this while Jack the Ripper is loose in the city.

Obsession coverMost of my heroes have strong alpha streaks, and there’s nothing I love more than seeing a strong hero brought to his knees by the love of a woman. I think it’s beautiful when they fall, and fall hard, for the heroine. Nothing quite so awesome as when a strong man realizes he’s lost the battle when it comes to love.

One such man is Baron Garrick Stratfield from my award-winning book Pleasure Me. Garrick was a wonderful character to write. He was my first virgin hero, and he’s clearly become a favorite of other readers as well as Pleasure Me has won several prestigious awards. The book was the 2011 RT BOOKreviews Reviewers Choice award winner, 2012 Desert Island Keeper status at All About Romance, and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for best historical. Ruth and Garrick’s story also just finaled the Georgia Romance Writers highly touted contest, the Maggie’s.

Below is an unedited excerpt from the book where Garrick has to tell Ruth that he’s a virgin. Not an easy task for any man to admit he’s inexperienced.

    “You do not need to remind me of the age difference between us.” Her voice had all the warmth of winter and he spun around to face her.

    “Fuck. Your age had nothing to do with it,” he snarled. “I couldn’t make love to you because I’ve never been with a woman before.”

    “You bastard,” she gasped as outrage darkened her face. “You must truly think me an old fool.”

    Stunned, he stared at her in disbelief. She didn’t believe him. The fear rolled back over him again. He’d spilled his guts and for what? What could make her think he’d never made love to a woman before? He clenched his jaw at the look of contempt on her face. This was not going like he’d expected. What the hell had he thought was going to happen?         

    “It is the truth,” he growled as he struggled with the fact that she didn’t believe him.

    “Is it? Then tell me why Lady Kent says you were the best lover she’d ever had? Then there’s Mrs. Campton who said your touch set her on fire,” she scoffed with fury. “Not to mention the more than a dozen other women I’ve heard sigh over your sexual prowess. And what of the mistress you’ve kept for the last two years?”

    He shook his head with incredulity at her words. As he slowly processed her fiery allegations, he remembered a few brief moments with Lady Kent in the Duke of Salisbury’s garden a few years ago. The kisses they’d exchanged had been quite pleasurable, and it had been one of the more difficult situations to extract himself from. The same for Mrs. Campton.

    What was it Ruth had said? Sexual prowess. The women of the Set considered him a skilled lover even though he’d never bedded any of them. They’d lied to protect their own reputations, and in return they’d helped craft the reputation he’d worked for. The realization wound its way through him with a sluggish speed that left him speechless.

    “You insulted me once before, my lord. Do not try to insult me again.” Ruth neatly sidestepped him and headed toward the door.

    “I am not in the habit of lying,” he growled as grabbed her arm and tugged her backward into his chest.

    One arm wrapped around her waist, he subdued her struggles and prevented her from breaking free of his grasp. The sensual fragrance she wore flooded his senses and sent lust slamming into him. Damnation, how was it he couldn’t get near her without feeling this intense need to hold her and never let her go. This need to kiss every inch of her until she called out his name. But worst of all was the craving to bury himself inside her.

    Fear lanced through him at the images filling his head. But this time his terror was born of the desire crashing through him. He closed his eyes against the delicious view her loosely tied robe offered him as he looked over her shoulder and saw the full curve of her breast. She was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. Even despite his lack of experience, he knew what to look for in a woman.

    His friends had discussed the finer points of a woman’s figure many times. Once or twice they’d even dragged him to a brothel despite his best efforts to extract himself from the visit. Although he’d managed to keep his secret under the pretense of being drunk, he’d received enough of an education so as to appreciate the lush curves of Ruth’s body. She was beautiful.

    “Please let me go.” Her voice was a strained plea that made him flinch.

    With a quick movement, he turned her to face him, his hands still holding her in place. Anger glittered in her eyes, but he could see the hurt and confusion reflected there as well. He drew in a deep breath and cleared his throat. He wanted her to believe him, but how could he make her understand without stripping himself bare—without giving in to the hunger tugging at him with vicious glee.

    “I’m not lying to you Ruth. And telling you that I…my…about my lack of experience is damned difficult.” He released his hold on her. “You’re the first person I’ve ever shared this with. My family doesn’t even know. And the only reason I’m telling you is because I know you thought I rejected you because of your age.”

    Her lovely mouth parted as if she was about to speak, and he pressed his fingertips against her lips. God, but her mouth was soft against the pads of his fingers. His insides knotted up with that familiar sensation she always aroused in him, and he clamped down on the desire building inside him.       

    “You’re the most desirable woman I’ve ever met. Every time I’m near you, I have to fight to keep from touching you. God help me, but I can’t get the image of you, emerging from your bathroom with water still clinging to every part of you, out of my head. You looked like a young Aphrodite with your hair tumbling down onto your beautiful breasts.”

    He could hear how hoarse his voice had become as he met her gaze. The fact that she was dressed almost exactly as she’d been the other night was not helping matters. His cock had gone rigid in his trousers, and his tongue grew thick in his mouth as he remembered how badly he’d wanted her at that moment, almost as badly as he did now.

    “The way your nipples became taut peaks the moment you realized I was looking at you made me come close to coming right then and there. Can you blame me for…I couldn’t help taking you in my mouth when the opportunity presented itself. And Christ Jesus, I didn’t know…never thought that a woman might think to shave…”

    Bloody hell. He was stammering—acting just like he had all those years ago with Bertha. An inept schoolboy. He flinched at the memory and jerked away from her. This had been a mistake. A blunder of the worst proportions. Whether she believed him or not wasn’t the real danger. It was whether she’d keep his secret or not.

There’s something really vulnerable about these two characters in this scene that I love. Sometimes an author has to put time between them and book, but Pleasure Me has always stayed with me on so many levels. Now that you’ve read that scene, perhaps I’ve enticed you enough to read more here on my website.

I post the first two to four chapters for each book here on the website so readers get a feel for whether or not they want to keep reading. Nothing like buying a book based on the blurb, and it doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Since this is a Hero Blog hop, tell me what trait you think a great hero has to have.

I’m giving away a copy of Pleasure Me to one lucky winner, and a copy of Kismet to another winner. Answer the question above and be sure to include your email in the comment. We need a way to contact you if you’re a winner.

Added BONUS!! Love’s Portrait
FREE download on Amazon.


Commented Here? Then visit the next blog on the list below. Good Luck

THIS BLOG HOP ENDED July 21, 2012 – All prizes have been awarded (see first line of the post for open/close dates)

This entry was posted in Blog Hops, Giveaway by Monica Burns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

98 thoughts on “When Heroes Fall Hard

  1. the hero must be faithful, the kind of hero who doesn’t boast his sexual experience,.. in that way i can say i wont doubt of his fidelity after the HEA.

  2. Some of my favorite qualities is kindness, humor, loyalty, i love an alpha, i especially love a hero with a tragic past. One that needs a strong heroine to match him. Thanks for the fun hop and the awesome giveaway! Ya all rock!! 🙂

  3. I think a hero has to be selfless! Like the rest of us, they are in need of rescuing at some point, too… but the best of them will save us before saving themselves.

    feathermaye at gmail dot com

  4. Your books look great! Thank you for the free download and thanks for the chance to win!

  5. I love a hero who’s protective, compassionate, and loyal. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. A trait a hero must have is an overwhelming care and devotion to his heroine. Once he falls, he falls deep. LOVE THIS!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway, and I love the excerpt 😀

    cass237 at gmail dot com

  7. wow that award you won is great and then the trait a guy has to have to be open and then be able to do what he is suppose t do and then it could be any one

    desi the blonde at msnd dot ocm

  8. I like strong Alpha males who are protective my favorite! Thank you for the great giveaway!
    Latisha D
    tishajean@ charter.net

  9. Woohoo! Loving this hop! My favorite hero has to be tall, dark, and handsome, have a six or eight pack, be faithful, loyal, and love his woman/family beyond reason.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.

  10. I love a scarred hero. The ones everyone’s given up on until that right woman comes along 🙂

    I’ve got both book so please don’t enter me for them but I didn’t know about Love’s Portrait. Just wanted to say thanks for that!

  11. Loyalty, we always hear about women standing by their men how about a man standing by his woman.

  12. Honor is so important in my Heroes. He may not want to admit to it, but he must be honorable.

    rjofus at gmail dot com

  13. I love it when the hero has some vulnerability.
    Thanks for the beautiful excerpt and giveaway!

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  14. Oh how my heart has just sighed with this excerpt. I love reading where a strong hero makes himself emotionally vulnerable to show his lady how much he loves and wants her.
    Thanks so much for sharing you books with us.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  15. Besides all the obvious things a Hero should be, he should also be compassionate.
    Thank you for the excerpt of “Pleasure Me” it sounds like an awesome read.


  16. I love the change of having a virginal HERO instead of heroine. Usually it is the other way around, the hero with lots of experience while the heroine is as pure as first snow. Thanks so much for the giveaway.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

    • Believe it or not my editor suggested it. My initial reaction was an umm…yeah sure. I guess I can do that, while inside in my best Will Smith imitation, I was going “Oh no! Oh HELL NO!” LOL But I think it turned out better than I expected.

  17. I love the premise of Pleasure Me, I can’t wait to read it!
    I love a hero who is very strong and take charge, and yet can force himself to be vulnerable for the heroine.
    amandastar84 at gmail.com

  18. Loyalty is always the first thing that comes to mind for me followed closely by humor(especially of the snarky variety).

  19. I think the first trait that always comes to mind is loyalty. No matter how mad he is at the heroine, he should never actually cheat on her.

  20. I love a hero that has a sense of humor, and is a little bit naughty but still does the right thing. Thx for giveaway.


  21. I think a hero needs tenderness, Thanks for your part in this blog hop. Carin

  22. I like a hero with a strength of character & honor. He should also have a sense of humor & show his vulnerability to the woman he lives


  23. Pleasure Me is one of the most beautiful, emotional, sensitive, sexy/passionate novels that I’ve ever read. It’s definitely a keeper. Garrick is special; he is so shamed by his supposed “disability” that really isn’t. This is a strong, caring hero, exactly what the older courtesan heroine needs. I read and cried until the book ended. Garrick truly deserved his happy ending.
    Susan Shapley

    • Susan, thanks so much for your enthusiastic comment about Pleasure Me. It’s a special book for me as a writer. Thanks for posting.

  24. Love the excerpt. Poor Garrick! There are so many qualities and traits that a hero should have but strength and integrity would be at the top of the list for me.

  25. Broad Shoulders is one of my main loves for a hero. omahablack at yahoo dot com

  26. humor, some of the best stories are when the hero cracks jokes along the adventure

  27. A virgin hero is great after so many virgin brides. And a hero needs to be stong.

  28. A virgin hero sounds delightful after so many stories about virgin brides. And a hero needs to be strong and fall hard.

  29. He’s got to be totally committed to what he’s fighting for, body and soul
    ptitpupuk at sky dot com

  30. I’m a big fan of alpha heroes. They need to be tough, loyal, and willing to make the decisions that no one else will. Your heroes sound right up my alley 🙂

    kristinecayne (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. I love strong alpha hero’s too. For some reason my favorite hero are the ones that are emotionally wounded. Why that is I have no idea. lol

  32. Hi Monica!

    Let’s see, what trait does a hero have to have? Compassion would have been the first thing that comes to mind (buried maybe, but it would exist), until a couple of recent villianous heroes emerged for me in books read and/or written.

    So probably the ability to make a woman laugh (and not because he’s an idiot, but he’s able to cheer her up no matter how bad things seem).


  33. I love a hero that is aggressive yet is capable of tenderness when the situation arises — balances both emotions. A complex individual with many layers to the true person. Tortured hero.


  34. I love flawed heros. I do not wantthem to be too perfect. One thing I really like in heros is being able to show the heroine their vulnerable side after their relationship grows.

  35. I love a hero that is a bit rough around the edges but has a heart of gold.


  36. My hero must be kind and thoughtful. ^_^

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    khriscc (at) yahoo (dot) com

  37. I think that being protective is a good thing for a hero to be. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  38. I think a trait that every great hero has to have is some sort of selflessness.

  39. thanks for the awesome giveaway! I’d have to say integrity, respect, a good sense of humor and intelligence.


  40. Do I really have a Must Have list? For reading – I want to be engaged and interested in what they do next… but I can’t admire or hold interest in someone who hasn’t the smarts or wit to carry on a conversation. And the ability to be kind and polite – in real life or in books – it costs nothing to deliver truths with kindness


  41. Monica –

    To me the one trait that I think a great hero must have is to recognize his weaknesses and strength, to have the insight to accept what he can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference between accepting and striving to do what is the right thing to do.

  42. A Hero is someone who does what is right, who helps someone who is in a dire situation and doesn’t want to be be labeled a hero.


  43. Honor, a hero needs to have a sense of honor.

    cgnemesis [at] yahoo [dot] com

  44. I like my heros to be faithful and honest, also love a little humor in them.

  45. love the excerpt. think that shows one of the things a good hero should have — the willingness to open himself & be vulnerable to the heroine
    gamistress66 (at) aol (dot) com

  46. My hero MUST be HONEST!! No pretty lies, or subterfuge to get the heroine into his arms…or anywhere else! Just the facts sirrah(!) and my heroine will fall for you straight away…if that is what you really want!!

  47. I love an alpha male with a strong instinct to protect, but still values the strengths of others, especially in women. 🙂

    julieboo817 at gmail dot com

  48. A hero to me has to be steadfast in his pursuit of his woman.

  49. Great excerpt, I really felt for his chagrin at admitting his inexperience and then finding she didn’t believe him.
    My heroes have to be considerate, both in and out of bed!
    paulamartinromances(at) gmail.com