One of the (many) things that fascinate me as a Romance reader and as a Romance writer are the beings or other living things a character loves BEFORE he/she finds her/his main romantic love interest(s).
What is her/his basis for love?
For example, in Warlord’s Return, Ariq, the barbarian hero, cares deeply for his brothers-in-arms. They have fought side-by-side for a good portion of his lifespan. He would do anything for them, would trade his life for theirs without hesitation.
I know Ariq is capable of great love and lasting relationships because he experiences that in a platonic way at the beginning of the story. When he meets his heroine, Xareni, I expect his commitment to her to eventually be as strong or stronger than his bond with his brethren.
Xareni, on the flipside, seems to be a loner when we first meet her. She has been hurt…greatly. Due to that not-yet-healed pain, she keeps herself separated from other humans and humanoids, tends to grumble at beings, is admittedly relationship-adverse.
Except she DOES have a relationship. She would kill, would die for Spark, the mini-dragon she considers to be her hunting partner.
She curses at the equally ornery creature but she goes out of her way to feed him the choice bits, often pets him, is more concerned about his reaction to returning to civilization than about her own. Her attachment to Spark is strong and deep.
And I know her relationship with Ariq has the capability of being as strong and as deep. Even when she pushes him away, when she stabs him…multiple times, I have faith she could eventually love him with all her soul.
Knowing this about both characters gives me great hope they will…eventually…have their happy ever after. Their relationship and their love should last.
Question: What does the hero or heroine love or care for at the beginning of the romance you’re currently reading?
Ariq is a barbarian warrior seeking a war.
He locates that battle when he meets Xareni.
Ariq is one of Chamele’s top warriors. A genetic predisposition to fighting, paired with intensive training and experience, has honed the scarred male into an effective killing machine. He loves war, can’t live without combat.
The Succession Wars, however, have finally ended and the Chamele sector is now at peace. Seeking excitement and purpose, the barbarian warrior accompanies his Second to the Refuge, an outlaw settlement on Carinae E. He hopes to locate the battle he’s been craving there.
Ariq finds that conflict and more when he meets his fated mate.
Xareni owes the Ruler of the Refuge a favor. That’s the only reason she has returned to the settlement. She doesn’t like crowds or structures or a certain barbarian warrior who insists on following her everywhere. It doesn’t matter that there’s a connection between them, that he makes her burn with desire, that he looks at her with heat in his dark eyes.
She’s a monster and monsters don’t need anyone.
Warlord’s Return is a STANDALONE Alien Barbarian Sci-Fi Romance featuring a determined barbarian warrior, an equally resolute human female, and an eyeball-eating mini dragon.
About Cynthia Sax
USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of top ten lists.
Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com