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Archive for April 17th, 2023

Briar Boleyn: Fantasy Romance Heroes to Swoon For (Plus: A New Release and a Giveaway)
Monday, April 17th, 2023

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

What makes the perfect hero for you? Is he a friends-to-lovers type or do you favor the bad boy or even the villain-turned-lover?

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the hero who says the words, “Who did this to you?” Or maybe even growls them. Yep, growling would definitely be better. There’s nothing like that toe-curling growl.

Here’s a list of my top three fantasy romance heroes. They are all more than capable of a good growl. Feel free to add your hero pick in the comments!

1) Hawke Flynn, from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash

“With my sword and with my life, I vow to keep you safe.” – Hawke

Hawke is an interesting hero because he’s not only friends to lovers, but he’s enemies to lovers, too. He starts off as the handsome man Poppy kisses in a tavern on her illicit “night out.” When he’s assigned to her as one of her bodyguards, he becomes her fiercest protector and slowly her friend. But by the end of Book 1 in this series, things take a fierce twist. You’ve never seen friends-to-lovers-to-enemies done like this before! I highly recommend checking out this unputdownable series (especially if you like medieval vibes and vampires).

2) Rhysand, from Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.” – Feyre

Like most readers, I hated Rhysand at first. Last night I saw a new Sarah J. Maas reader post in a Facebook romance reader group I’m in saying just three words: “I HATE RHYSAND!” The comments below the post were hilarious, as you’ll understand if you’re already an ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) fan. The fandom itself is worth reading the series for. Fans of SJM are rabid and devout. There are so many memes and so much fan artwork! And it’s fun to be in on the “twists” of the story.

One of the biggest ones of which is… (STOP READING NOW IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SPOILERS)

That Rhysand may begin as Feyre’s enemy but he slowly worms his way into her heart and reveals himself to be villainous only for the very best reasons (protecting his people is a great reason imo). Moreover, Rhysand and Feyre share something very few romance heroes and heroines share (maybe Jamie and Claire from Outlander are one exception) – similar trauma, right down to their tormentor, which helps them to bond.

3) “Max” Maxantarius Farlione from Carissa Broadbent’s Daughter of No Worlds

“I wanted him in so many ways. As a friend, as a kindred soul, as a fierce teammate. As skin and lips and teeth. As a hitched breathless moan in the darkness or a lazy embrace in the sunrise. I wanted that. I wanted it all.” – Tisaanah

Okay, Max is my exception here because he fits the villain or enemy definition in only the loosest terms. His villainy was forced upon him (read the book to find out how). By the time our heroine Tisaanah meets Max, he’s a quintessential grumpy hermit. With a nice age gap to boot! Max becomes Tisaanah’s mentor and as he trains her in the ways of magic, a friendship slowly blossoms. This is a slow burn romance but the romance is absolutely there! I’m looking forward to finally getting to book 2 of this series.

And finally, my very own fantasy romance hero can be found in my newest release. Queen of Roses is out April 15, 2023. Here’s a quick excerpt…Then keep scrolling for a giveaway!

“Who did this to you?” Draven’s voice was a guttural growl. The sound of a furious animal, not a man.

I shook my head mutely.

“You won’t tell me? You think I won’t find out for myself?” He shook his head as if in frustration. “Morg–”

My eyes widened.

He tried again. “Princess. My lady.” I could see him trying to soften his voice. Which was impossible. A steel sword could never become silk. “Tell me so I may help you. That is all I ask.”

I tried to clear my throat. When my words emerged, my voice was hoarse and cracked. “Thank you, but… there is no need for any of this. I’m fine.”

This time he really did growl. A sound low and deep in the back of his throat.

I tried not to flinch. I failed.

“Last night in the market. Now this. You are not fine.” He crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his head. “Tell me this. Has it happened before?”

I was quiet.

The truth was, it had. But not this badly. Last night… Last night was the worst.

Florian had cornered me before. He had hurt me, bruised me. He had even used his knife. I had small scars in a few hidden places from those encounters.

But compared to last night, those had all been childsplay.

Again I thanked the Three that Draven could not see the rest of the marks I bore. Strange, the things we thought we ought to be grateful for.

If he could see Florian’s name carved across my chest, just above my breasts, well… I had the feeling he would explode into a tempest of rage that nothing would be able to contain.



Want to win a copy of Queen of Roses and other great books? Enter to win a collection of paranormal and fantasy romance books here! (Contemporary and Historical Romance collections available, too!)