He’s big, he’s hot, and he’s very very miserable. Why Tortured Heroes are their own sub-genre for romance readers.
I just discovered that Goodreads has a tortured heroes section — two in fact. Popular Tortured Hero Books, and the Tortured Hero Shelf. Meanwhile, All About Romance has a Tortured Heroes page that began in 1996!
You’ll see a lot of repeat books/authors on these lists, with books I happen to lurv. Which leads me to suggest: aren’t tortured heroes their own romance sub-category/brand? I think so. Here are five top reasons why we love tortured heroes:
1) He’s Cursed. Curses suck. They can be painful, they can repeat daily/nightly/monthly — wherein the hero becomes the shameful opposite of what he wants to be. See Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series for variations on this. What you basically have here is male subjugation. It’s hot.
2) He’s Cursed–for All Eternity. The hero has gotta believe he’s in a mess he just…
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