The Allure of the Wounded Hero

I recently wrote a blog piece about tortured heroes and was asked to name some of my favorites from books other than my own. I chose Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s JANE EYRE, Christian, Duke of Jervaulx from Laura Kinsale’s FLOWERS FROM THE STORM, Darius Lindsay from Grace Burrowes’s DARIUS, Reggie Davenport from Mary Jo Putney’s THE RAKE, Lord Ian Mackenzie from Jennifer Ashley’s THE MADNESS OF IAN MACKENZIE, and Holden Caulfield from THE CATCHER IN THE RYE.

I have created a number of wounded heroes (and a few heroines too) in my own books. Indeed the blog was written as a lead-in to the paperback publication of the first two books in my new seven-part series, The Survivors’ Club series, about six men and one woman who were variously wounded in the Napoleonic Wars and spent three years together on an estate in Cornwall recovering and rehabilitating so that they could continue with their lives. Why write so often about men and women who are wounded in body and/or tortured in spirit–especially in books that are love stories?

To a certain degree woundedness and brokenness of spirit are common to the human experience. We are all uplifted when we witness other people (or even ourselves) enduring the pain and rising above it, conquering it, bringing themselves to healing and wholeness, finding themselves capable of acts of kindness and heroism and love, not despite their suffering, but because of it. Think of real life people such as Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and all the heroes and heroines, often nameless, whom we see selflessly giving of themselves in the midst of great calamities and tragedies.
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Such people are irresistible as the main characters of love stories, for love can help them find healing and peace, and healing and wholeness enable them to trust the love that is offered them and to give love in return. Great love stories are about more than just romance and sexual chemistry and happily-ever-after. They are about two people who are whole enough in themselves to take the great risk of loving their way through life, regardless of what the future may have in store for them.

What are your thoughts on the subject? And who are some of your favorite wounded fictional heroes? I will give away a paperback copy of THE PROPOSAL (the outer and inner, stepback covers are shown above) to one randomly chosen commentator on this post before the end of next Tuesday, May 21.

122 Replies to “The Allure of the Wounded Hero”

  1. I love the wounded characters, I think they add a depth to a book that is not seen very much. They also typically touch a deeper level of emotion that other books.

    1. Oh, I wanted to read that one, it is on my TBR pile, it must have gotten covered by all the other books on that particular pile *wink*. I will have to dig it up. 🙂

  2. Funny enough I recommended a book to my mother earlier today on the basis of wounded heroes! I am drawn to the stories of their adversities and the pathway that can lead them to their salvation, especially through love. That probably makes me a hopeless romantic! I absolutely love your books, and I find that whether the hero is ‘wounded’ or not doesn’t really matter when I read your stories. I have so many favorites I can’t name just one of them!

  3. Thank you for addressing wounded heroes. Maybe reading your novels will help people better relate to wounded veterans from recent wars.

  4. I love the wounded heroes, too! I loved Reggie in The Rake! I agree with Misty Helm on this one, they do end up touching on a more emotional part than in other books. I’m not much of a “chick flick” person, or a romantic movie person, but I love me a good historical romance! Some of the historical romance movies have been okay, like “Shakespeare in Love,” but the books are the best. Then I get to imagine the faces they way they were created!

    1. If you like “period” movies, may I recommend “Waterloo” starring Christopher Plummer as Wellington and Rod Steiger as Bonaparte. Also all of Jane Austen’s stories that have been made into movies and an excellent movie called “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” by, I believe, one of the Bronte girls.

  5. I think that Asheron in Sherrilyn Kenyan’s Dark Hunters books is one of the most wounded heroes that I have ever read about.

      1. I also love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron as a wounded hero. She specializes in them but also writes about them with humor. One of my favorite wounded hero characters aside from the ones mentioned, is Dain of Loretta Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels”. Chase actually shows what’s going on in his head, as well as the heroine’s which gives some added dimension to him.

  6. I agree with Sara above. Simply Love was one of my favourite books about two people who are both wounded in very different ways. I think we have all been wounded at one point of our lives (physically, emotionally…) and that is what makes us who we are. So love stories that share this always seem the most real to me!

  7. Since the first romance novels I ever read, about fifty-plus years ago ( and they were Georgette Heyer’s ), the ones that moved me most were the ones with “wounded” heroes and heroines. Give me characters that suffer and grow and change and survive and cope over the ones that just move thru a colorfully costumed setting. Following someone imperfect getting to the heart of the human condition is much more satisfying than watching set-piece cardboard cutouts play act at humanity. The wounded hero is the one we want to take home and take care of for ever.

  8. I also have a soft spot for the wounded heros (and heroines). I also love Sydnam Butler. Reggie Davenport in the Rake has long been a favorite, and I’m glad to see him included on this list since his wounds are more internal. Gabriel Fairchild in Teresa Medeiros’ Yours Until Dawn is another good one. I’m sure there are many more but it’s a little late and I’m lagging. This has been a great topic, Mary!

  9. I have always loved John Blackwood in Julia Quinn’s Dancing at Midnight. His wounds were not only physical but pyschological too. Love it ~sigh


  10. I love the wounded hero’s stories, it is real and raw. Life is not perfect, nor is it easy and when I read a story that actaully has the realism of life and all that comes with it I enjoy it more. People that are wounded in real life can look at thease stories and relate, and it can give them hope. I know when I was wounded emotionally your books were a great comfort. My brother in law is a wounded vet and the love from his wife and family help him overcome so many obsticals. Love really can heal all things.

  11. My favorite absolutely favorite most wounded hero is Gabriel from “Captive of Sin” by Anna Campbell. She has written about a lot of wounded heroes, but Gabriel’s experience is a real nightmare. I agonized with him throughout the book, hoping for his healing but wondering if it is even possible.

  12. I have always been impressed by the quiet dignity of Sydnam Butler in your book, Simply Love. And I loved Ludovic in Heyer’s The Talisman Ring. It is interesting to see how these heroes handle their adversities.

  13. Stories with wounded heroes prove that love conquers all. One of my favorite heroes is Sir Alistair Munroe from To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt. In fact, that whole series pulls at your heart strings.

  14. I think Anne Jewell and Sydnam Butler are my favorite wounded hero/heroine of yours. It gives you faith in the strength of human spirit to read love stories about wounded heroes. None of us are perfect, and many of us are scarred. It is nice to see the people get happily ever afters.

  15. My favorite has got to be Sin MacAllister from Kinley MacGregors’ “Born in Sin”….He was so wounded in body and soul,but still came to love someone so much,and selflessly.It broke my heart at places,yet in the end it is a book I could just read the last few paragraphs over and over with that big goofy,teary-eyed smile on my face!!!

  16. I would love to win your book. I loved the hero in WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST by Eloisa James. He was based on Hugh Laurie’s character in the T.V. show “House “.

  17. Me….I just love your books, wounded hero or not. Even though they do add a certain special something to the story.

  18. My favorite so far is probably Sydnam Butler, but thank you for the list; I am going to go check those out at my library!

  19. I so love all your books Mary, but Sydnam Butler is my all time favorite. His wounds were so visible in a time when there weren’t the wonderful fixes we have today. And the story was so well woven, I still cry every time I read it. Its wonderful that you can address a subject that is so much a part of today and tell our modern day wounded hero’s that they are still a loved and lovable person, no matter what terrible things have happened to them.

  20. We are all imperfect or wounded in some way, so it is refreshing and hopeful to read about how other people find the courage to move on with their lives and allow themselves to love and trust. I adore your books, and re-read them often. I am SO excited to see this new series beginning!

  21. The wounded hero/heroine allows us to see not only our secret selves and te trauma real or imagined that we have lived through. There have been times that reading of a wounded hero/ine I have learned how to deal with a family member who has been wounded, or a patient at work or a co-worker. There are very few of us who have not had something to overcome, some physical, some mental many emotional.
    I think I love wounded hero/ines because they are strong. They have survived. The are more that what they were in the beginning and most of them realize it. The wounded have lost a part of themselves, but in the action of the loss, they have gained tenfold. I love to read of these men and women and the fight to re-realize their lives. And while the hero/ines are fictionalized they represent each of us perfectly without the actual spot light being placed on our own lives.

  22. I really loved Reggie, too, in The Rake. Other favorites are Kresley Cole’s Lachlan MacRieve and Lothaire; Larissa Ione’s Reseph; and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Kyrian, Zarek, Valerius and Acheron.

  23. I like the wounded hero stories I feel it makes it a more emotionally appealing to the the reader and possibly more realistic. Of course the stories where the main characters are drop dead gorgeous is nice but it is just so touching when the hero is wounded, the story surrounding it and how love happens and overcomes obstacles. The quintessential wounded hero in my opinion was of course, Mr.Rochester in Jane Eyre, but there are so many others that are classics as well as modern.

  24. The phantom of the opera was a classic hero. Even though he has not always been portrayed as a good guy. There have been so many wonderful wounded heroes! I feel like the vulnerability of the character makes them seem more humanly realistic. Our perfect heroes are wonderful but the flaws make them humble. The underlying theme of hope makes all of us feel good, but the wounds help us see ourselves in each character! This visually driven world needs these characters to help us see beyond the outer shell.

  25. I am a sucker for wounded heroes. I loved Edmond Waite in The Notorious Rake. I’m also very fond of Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge in What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long. Hmm, I guess I have a bunch more, I agree that the people who have something to overcome finding redemption in love is especially appealing. They also ring a lot more true to me, since we all have our own baggage and whatnot. 🙂

  26. Some people feel it a waste of time to read these types of books. I am not one of them. I believe they give young women and not so young, the encouragement to reach beyond the daily strife in life, to know that something better will come their way and they must keep on the course to find it. Thank you for providing these women and men the hope needed to reach beyond the seemingly possible.

  27. People frequently underestimate themselves until confronted with some kind of adversity: a mother abandoned or widowed who struggles to care for her children, loss of a loved one, loss of income, illness, and of course being wounded in battle. This theme of protagonists who have been wounded speaks to the journey we all face on some level. When faced with a major life obstacle, do we rise to the occasion or let it defeat us? Thank you for sharing your gift of storytelling with the world!

  28. Well, you picked two of my favorites, Darius and Christian. Ian Mackenzie was very dear to me because I have three boys that are very much like him. You also have written some wonderfully wounded heroes and heroines and do it so well. I am very drawn to the wounded heroes, both the physically and emotionally wounded ones. I think they seem to appear more human than some of the more Alpha male heroes.

  29. One of my favorites is actually Sydham Buttler, I feel in love with his story. I Love wounded heroes and heroines, somehow and specially if the books are well written it makes the whole story just more human and more poignant and definitely more memorable.

  30. I love that you write about real situations that occur in life – wounded heroes come in many different guises and I appreciate that you’ve chosen to write about their struggles this way. The only problem with this series is that we have to wait for the next book to come out! Thanks so much.

  31. I agree, a wounded hero finding his way to HEA is a good premise in romantic fiction. I agree with Darius, which I read recently. Also, Piers in When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James, Hardy in Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas & Colin in Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr.

  32. Stories of wounded heroes are my absolute favorites. Anthony Earheart in The Temporary Wife is one who comes to mind of your books, but his father was even more wounded. I love how they were able to come together before it was too late. I think that’s what makes me gravitate to these stories, the fact that all that pain can be reversed, that a man lost can be redeemed, and mainly by the power of love. Another wounded hero who is often overlooked is Christian de Rivers in Suzanne Robinson’s Lady Gallant. He is wild and wronged as much as he wrongs, and another lost soul, Eleanor Becket is able to lead his to his redemption by finding her own. I cannot wait to keep on reading of your wounded Survivors Club and how they find themselves through love. Thank you.

  33. Wounded heroes have been part of my life from birth due to being born after WWII yet coming into late youth during the Vietnam era. At a youth retreat I encountered a slightly older man trying to overcome heroin addiction. Immediately I felt the allure of the wounded hero, both frightening and attractive. How could any soldier come home without at least hidden PTSD? Would enjoy learning more by reading your books. The Proposal is a book I hope to win, written by Mary Balogh.

  34. YOU are the go-to girl when it comes to wounded heroes. Sydnam comes to mind, of course. But so do Constantine Huxtable, the Duke of Ridgeway from The Secret Pearl, and, frankly, Wulfric Bedwyn, just to name a few. I also think you’re the go-to girl when it comes to wounded heroines: Fleur and Vanessa, for example. You said something on Facebook once that has become (for me, as a fledgling author) one of my mantras—that you need to understand the characters’ pain. Succinct and spot on.

    But, just to be fair and include other authors, I would add Jo Beverley’s Marquess of Rothgar, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Bobby Tom Denton and Alex Markov, and if we’re hitting the classics, then I’ve always had a thing for Rochester, too. And Sydney Carton always makes me cry.

  35. I love a tortured hero or heroine. Even both together, trying to figure it out and hold each other together. A favorite of mine is from Shana Galen, Armand. Such a wonderful story. So sad and tortured. But still accepts and gives love. He learns. The Making of a Gentleman.

  36. For me, wounded heroes are irresistible because they allow for a true evolution of the character that makes any good book worth reading. Watching the characters grow as their love grows and the “ah-ha, I’m in love” moment are the two best things about reading romances for me.

  37. I always feel a much deeper connection to the so-called wounded heroes. By letting us in on those wounded sides one feels like they know them deep into their soul and we can watch as their love connection slowly heals them and know how right they are for each other. In your books I think this is best displayed in “Simply Love” where the heroine Anne Jewell is more mentally and emotionally wounded whereas the hero Sydnam Butler suffers from a much more physical wound although it too comes with its own emotional wounds. I loved reading as each helped the other overcome these wounds and turn into a more complete person.

  38. Misty is so right. Something about the wounded hero makes for a much deeper story. One sure reason is that it makes the character seem so much more human and realistic (not that realism is the point of fiction but I find it helps me like a book more). Or maybe it is because we end up becoming so much more involved in the story because we want to see them have a happy ending.

  39. I think stories about wounded heroes resonate with readers today because of the large number of wounded veterans — some with physical wounds, some with mental wounds — that are in our society. Fictional accounts help us empathize with their situation, and — I like to believe — seeing fictional heroes overcome their problems gives heart to those who are also suffering.

  40. I loved Ian Mac Kenzie. . He was misunderstood, and wounded by others ignorance as well as his own troubles. You characters are realistic yet, wholly romantic. After all, perfect people are annoying. 😉

  41. Great storyline opportunities! I love the wounded hero stories, where the heroine comes along and heals his inner wounds, and doesn’t see his outer scars. Then of course the perfect romantic ending.

  42. As far as being an emotionally wounded hero – I love Lorraine Heath’s Jack Dodger from “Between the Devil & Desire”. Morgan St. James from “With This Kiss” by Victoria Lynne is one of my all time favorite scarred heroes – great characters as well as good mystery & the hero & heroine working together to catch the bad guy.

  43. I just finished “Dearly Beloved” by Mary No Putney, which has a tortured hero in Gervase Brandelin. He seems impossible to like at first, because of the horrible thing he does in the very beginning of the story. But we come to admire him through the eyes of the heroine,as her love slowly brings about redemption for both of them.

  44. I’ve read some books where the main character is a wounded hero and I must admit the first books I read where there were these kind of characters I didn’t like much. But then, I realized most people aren’t perfect and in real life, the heroes are the wounded, either physical or emmotionally. Suffering, most of time, make people be wiser, though it can also make them tougher.
    I’ve read a book last week, it’s the Lyon’s Lady from Julie Garwood, and the main character Lyon was a very nice wounded one.

  45. Love wounded hero stories. I love reading the depth of the hero, the struggles and getting his girl even though he thinks something is wrong with him but she just sees the good side.

  46. Let’s face it — everyone is wounded in some way. Showing them dealing with that makes the character more real for me. And love isn’t easy — or if it starts easy, if it lasts, it doesn’t stay easy.

  47. I read to escape into a fantasy and find that wounded heros/heroines bring a reality to the novel. My first romance novel I ever read was The Secret Pearl and I was hooked!!!

  48. Wulfric, the not-really-cold Duke, so sexy – my favourite damaged hero! OK, he wasn’t so obviously damaged as many, but he certainly had issues standing in the way of his being truly happy.

  49. I love your wounded heroes. They start out as a brooding rake then begin to develop noble qualities, he becomes vulnerable, passionate and he falls in love with the heroine. Especially when he begins to realize that he IS in love that he can’t live without her. Their flaws are endearing they are real, you can identify with both the heroes and heroines. Some of my favorite wounded heroes are Lord Edmond Waite “The Notorious Rake”, “The Dark Angel” series men and James Purnell of the Web series. Looking at the cover pictures I feel drawn to the character, I want to know who he is. I want to look into their lives and live in their world for a time. I look at the cover pictures often as I read, it connects me to the characters. I think about your characters for days after reading. I’m always excited telling a new Balogh reader about the best books to start with. It’s not uncommon for me to then go back and reread my favorites! I would be very thrilled and honored to be chosen. Thank you for your works and for your time in considering me to receive “The Proposal”.

  50. I love Rochester from Jane Eyre also. He is cynical, driven and tortured. I also think Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen’s Persuasion is another such person.

  51. The survivors Club series has been a favorite of mine. I think these wounded warriors appeal to us because we are all wounded a little bit inside. It feels good to see happiness come finally.

  52. Those tortured wounded characters serve to always remind me that there is much more to an individual’s life than what appears on the surface. Everyone carries hidden wounds in their hearts and souls. Thanks for all the wonderful books you written and please don’t stop writing!

  53. I recently did a walk for the March of Dimes … there were people walking because the March of Dimes helped their premature child live and thrive despite being born too early. There were also people walking despite having experiencing the loss of a child to prematurity. I was walking with my sister who, two months ago, lost her twins after they were born at 23 weeks 2 days. Though she was hurting, she raised money and walked so that others would be spared the pain she was going through.
    I like a wounded hero that is similar – works through their pain while contributing to a cause to make sure that others don’t experience the same trauma. Abused child working or donating to shelters and the type. A character without a family joining the military and making their own.
    Everyone is “wounded” in some way – it’s whether we let that would make us lay down and give up or use it to make ourselves better that counts.

  54. I love the wounded heroes when author clearly cares about their character as much as I am. My favorite lately keeps returning me to Jonathan Harker from Dracula for the mental struggle he has in bring this upon them. Looking forward to the new book as I always want something for the plane that I don’t have to power down and your books make the flights so much more enjoyable.

  55. Jack Carstairs, the wounded hero in A Gallant Waif by Annie Gracie, is just so perfectly grumpy and romantic. I adore everything about that story.

  56. I love to read stories with wounded heroes. If well written, they are very emotional stories, and that makes the happily-ever-after even better. Three of those you named are on my favorites list also. (Jane Eyre is my all time favorite book.) In addition, England’s Perfect Hero (Suzanne Enoch) and Seduced by a Stranger (Eve Silver) are wonderful stories with wounded heroes.

  57. It is said that scars make a man attractive. In my case that is actually true. I love guys with scars. They usually make really great “heros” in books, they hide behind them like a mask and the “heroine” has to look past them (the scars) to find the person behind. Sometimes scars are invisible, scars on the heart and the soul and it becomes harder for the other characters to see, why they are who and what they are (wounded, self loathing, unable to love) and to push past that to reach the person, get to know the real man. It is much more fun to read and follow such a process. I also think that the different ways some of the heroines tackle their heros to make them see, that they are worth being loved and being able to love back, what makes the story interesting.

  58. Mr Rochester is pretty high on my list, but I actually rather like Colin in Eloisa James’ book With This Kiss, and for that matter his father and father in-law also feature highly on my wounded (emotionally if in no other way) list. Possibly they are up there because I’ve read them recently, but I do like a wounded hero with a loveable personality.

  59. I have read all of your books (I hope – I think I have covered the back list) and I find your characters compelling and engaging. I always hate to have the story end, and deeply appreciate books in a series, such as The Survivor’s Club. The wounded hero (or heroine), especially in this series that recognizes the burden that war places on individuals, and the complex healing they need if they are to be whole and comfortable in society, is a model of hope for anyone who deals with a returning veteran. It may be fiction, and the end is always good, but the story offers both escape and comfort. Love your books, and your characters. Each series is a new delight.

  60. I don’t think there is any such thing as a perfect life …. It is all about overcoming personal obstacles. That is why I always pull for the underdog…

  61. Mary, I am a big fan and love all your books. As long as you keep writing them, I will keep buying them.

    Brant Mallam in Hannah Howell’s “It He’s Tempted” is my current favorite wounded hero.

  62. I have always enjoyed your books and looking back – there are a lot of wounded heroes in your books. Another favorite author is Deborah Hale and she usually has retired military heroes, many who are scarred or “damaged” in some way. One of my favorite contemporary authors is/was Dick Francis and it seems like all of his heroes are damaged in some way. Sid Halley comes to mind because he appeared in two of Francis’ books. It just adds another facet to wonderful characters.

  63. The wounded heros in your books are what make your stories so heartfelt and, for lack of a better word, connectable. Sydham is one of the few that have stuck with me thru the years. Another one has stuck with me but I can’t remember the title and now it’s going to drive me crazy. He took a woman to his estate but he was hooked on laudanum and he used martial arts to deal with it. HELP!?!?!?!

  64. I am so looking forward to THE PROPOSAL and the entire series. I am also going to read some of the books you listed in your blog that I have not already read. The wounded heroes and heroines always seem to have such depth of character. All of your stories are wonderful!

  65. I’d have to say that Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite wounded guy. His childhood and up to the point that he met his heroine showed the depths of pain and anguish he went through. I love that book and even convinced my fiance to buy me the Audible of it so I could listen to it for my plane ride home.

  66. LOVE books about tortured heroes! Mary Baloghs books are fantastic, have them all so…..these 2 things together should make a spectacular read, can’t wait!

  67. I agree with others that seeing wounded heroes overcome and find happy resolutions is most uplifting in this violent era in which we are living. PTSD veterans, both male and female. Tragedies like Newtown, Connecticut and the Boston Marathon bombings bring it home to non-combatants. One of the classic wounded heroes is of course Mr. Rochester, so well done. I also loved Jo Beverly’s Lord Rothgar, and your Sydney who had to relearn not only love and trust, but his artistry.

  68. In reading this, it occurred to me that many are variations on the fairy tale beauty and the beast. Sometimes the wounds are visible and sometimes they are inner. Robin McKinley did a great version of the story In “Beauty” I frankly love the play too. As the song says”Tale as old as Time, Song as old as Rhyme, Beauty and the Beast”

  69. The wounded character adds depth to the personality of the character. It gives you someone to cheer for, to hope can overcome. And we all love him/her to be someone with strength, whether physical or of spirit.

  70. IMO, no one does wounded heroes as well as you do. Adam from A Secret Pearl is one of my all-time favorites. Other than your heroes, I have a few that stand out, Robert in Suzanne Enoch’s England’s Perfect Hero is wonderful. Jasper in Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Seduce a Sinner also an amazing hero. Both of these characters are suffering from severe PSTD and the writers do an excellent job of portraying this in a way that is realistic and historically sound. I also love Dare in Jo Beverley’s To Rescue a Rake. I felt like the love relationship portrayed in this book was truly responsible for helping the hero recover from his physical addiction to opium , as well as his emotional trauma. Actually, I think that is true of all of the books that I’ve mentioned. It sounds trite to say that these heroes were saved by love, but in a very real way, I feel like they were.

  71. To me, the basis for every great romance novels is the healing power of love. Characters usually have some wound or flaws which are healed by love. Like you, Mr. Rochester is an eternal favorite of mine. You have many which I enjoy… Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ most recent hero, Panda, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress. I really liked how she wrote him. Georgette Heyer’s Sylvester is another.

  72. My favorite wounded hero right now is a rescue dig named Trooper. He was chosen as a therapy dog from our rescue for Stiggy Dogs. They train dogs to become therapy dogs to returning veterans with P.T.S.D. Unfortunately his veteran spiraled into alcohol and drug abuse. Because he was damaged either by the situation or the person he has been returned to our rescue. We will work hard to restore his confidence and after that a perfect home. Until then he will be fostered in a loving home.

  73. I agree with you Mary. Characters will baggage are more fun to read about. I think it makes them easier to relate to. That being said, I love Heathcliffe from Jane Eyre. I also adore Mr. Thornton from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. I’m getting a little warm just thinking about him! Sydnam Butler and Anne from Simply Love. That is a story I read once a year. I love the characters and how they change.

  74. Please don’t consider me for the giveaway, but I have to mention His Grace the Duke of Bewcastle. He was not disfigured in any way, and he had worlds of wealth and power as well as loving family, and yet, he’d known terrible loss at an early age, bore up under responsibility that was wounding in itself, and was further burdened by an emotional isolation and expectations of himself that would have felled lesser mortals. Maybe wounding has to do with how badly a hero needs the heroine to rescue him, rather than how diminished he appears in the eyes of the world?

  75. I used to not read stories with a wounded hero. That was until I started reading your books Mary. I have fallen in love with each and every wounded hero and their stories. I’m excited to read this new series and fall in love with each hero and their stories.
    Since reading your books, Mary, I’ve learned to also love other wounded hero books such as Jane Eyre and many more. I have enjoyed reading about both physically wounded and emotionally wounded heroes and heroines.

  76. There are several – but Eloisa James and Suzanne Enoch have written great ones. I love that you dedicated a whole series to them and how different injuries and different personalities can come together to make wonderful stories.

  77. While there is certainly nothing wrong with romance novels, I sometimes wish yours weren’t categorized as such. I think too many people dismiss your writing because it is romance. But it is so much more than that. Your characterizations go so deeply into what makes us human. I think your writing is superb and your characters are so very real. I look forward to each new book. I know I will be revisiting them again & again.

  78. I have read every one of your books and you are defintely one of my top favorite authors. Right now I am reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J R Ward and I am in love with this Series since every one of the males has some type of wound whether it’s physical or psychological or addiction. I think what I like most about these characters is the sacrifices that the people around them make and how that is what typically helps the character to get out of himself and think of others. Nothing like the Bedwyns, I just loved those characters..

  79. I have to admit one of my favorites was always Dare in Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues series. War does terrible things to people. One of my heroes is a medically retired Marine who served in Afghanistan who falls in love with an Indiana State Trooper who’s almost as messed up as he is. Flawed characters have room to grow, once they acknowledge they need to reach out for help, a lifeline. Thanks for adding more titles to my mile-long reading list!

  80. I think one of the reasons we all enjoy seeing a wounded hero overcome their difficulties is we live in a world where it is not always easy to see people overcome. One can see there are situations which appear to be overwhelming for people. And seeing success where there was once defeat is a wonderful gift you have given us. And I think I agree, your books are so much more than romance. Your books are filled with characters who deal with life. Thank you for what you do.

  81. I enjoy reading about wounded heros/heroines. Makes the story real and it’s such a warm feeling as they recover or at least become able to survive with their injuries.

  82. Love your books, thank you for the realism. I’m a widow of a retired USAF soldier and in a way they make me feel closer to him when I read them.

  83. I’ve always loved the “real” traits and problems of your characters. Combining ‘wounded’ and a recent FB post of yours about YA books, I’d like to mention Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden. I also recently listened to the broadway cast recording of the musical version, so it’s on my brain! But I think the tragic story of Archie and Lily is so touchingly sad. I also like Rochester, and (for most of the book), could we maybe consider Col. Brandon? “Lord Carew’s Bride” is a favorite as well, I usually recommend it to friends.

  84. It breaks my heart to read about wounded heroes. But then I love the part where they start to heal and stand up again to embrace life. It always overwhelms me and makes me cry when they learn to accept loss and defeat And I fall in love to the character deeper when they admit that they too have weaknesses and that they also cry while pouring out all their sentiments and feelings hidden behind their bravado mask. For me, it makes them more of a man.

  85. My Dearest Mrs. Balogh, Thank you for highlighting these wounded heroes in your novels. If a writer is going to include soldiers, she or he should include those that have been wounded in battle. I am of an age were friend have gone to fight in these current wars and have come back broken somehow…physically and or mentally. Just being home is a struggle to acclimate to regular life. Although your books feature heroes from 200 years ago, the struggle is the same. The feeling of not being whole, feeling out of place, the memories of the horror they have seen…all of this haunts them. Marriages collapse, friendships are abandoned; new relationships are hard to start…as so many of your storylines beautifully and heart wrenchingly illustrate. The first story I read with a wounded hero was of Stephen I believe his name is, the man missing an arm and an eye. That you could make this “disfigured” man a romantic hero not only shows what a brilliant writer can do, but how complex life really is. These men and women are the best of us and for you to use that in a new series is exciting. I hope your readers can remember our Wounded Warriors at home a little more and thank a soldier the next time they see one. Thank you for the enjoyment you continue to bring to my life.

  86. Completely agree!
    I love to read about wounded heros, their stories are really touching.
    I think one of my favourite is Sydnam Butler (Simply love, 2nd Simply Series)…The story of love and redemption was ‘simply’ beautiful. Anne was wounded as well, but her ‘scars’ were not visible…
    I strongly recommend Adele Ashworth’s book Winter Garden. Thomas Blackwood is such a terrific character, and what if he is scarred?
    Thank you very much for all your books Ms. Balogh!

  87. Love the stories you write about wounded Heroes. Other books that I enjoyed were, England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch. (Rorbert Carraway). A Candle in the Window by Jayne Castle.

  88. My favorite series of yours is the “Bedwyn Series” will always be my favorite, it started my journey into historical romance novels……Ever since then I can’t put them down I was frustrated that I couldn’t find any of them at my local library when I finished one I NEEDED the next one lol so now I just buy the whole certain series all together from e-bay then donate them to my local library so the next person doesn’t have to wait if they can’t afford it 🙂 I woulsod like to get my hands on The Proposal as soon as possible….Your an Excellent Writer and I love all of your books! Wounded Heros getting what they deserve at the end of a story is always the most heart warming feeling in the world, thanks for all of your works and looking forward to much more!!

  89. Mary,

    I enjoy reading about tortured heroes, maybe that’s why I like your books so much. Another recent example is Christopher in Lisa Kleypas’ “Love in the Afternoon.” He suffers from what we now know is PTSD as a result of his tours during the Napoleonic wars. In this he has a great deal in common with the six characters in your current series. I believe that such stories are quite relevant today because so many of our young men and women are returning from military duty with daunting physical, mental, and psychological obstacles to overcome.

  90. I have to say Captain Christopher Phelan from Lisa Kleypas’ Love in the Afternoon really stuck with me. He suffered from nightmares from the war he was fighting in before and I love how Bea was able to stick with him, and help him overcome. Thanks for the giveaway, Mary!

  91. A well crafted wounded hero (or heroine) story can be wonderful to read. I also thought of Adele Ashworth’s Winter Garden. The hero had grown used to his ‘wound’, but had to redefine its impact on his life as he and the heroine grew closer.

    It’s difficult for me to describe the point where I feel wounded heroes become overdone. I’ve had the distinct impression at times that I’m reading terrible details about the hero’s past which are solely included to induce sympathy, but offer little else to the story.

  92. Just finished reading Notorious Rake, Edmund Waite was the kind of wounded hero I`m more likely to empathize with. Reading comments made me realize how many wounded heroes there are. But I`m more apt to remember their triumph over their difficulties than the wounds themselves. Really looking forward to your new series.

  93. I’m a military veteran in a family of military retirees. My nephew and brother both served the US in Iraq. They are wounded (how could they not be?) by what they saw and what they did. And yet we still love them–perhaps all the more–despite how hard they can sometimes be to love.

    Thank you for featuring wounded heroes in your backlist. Thank you for including them in the new series. And thank you most especially for “showing” that wounded heroes are worth the patience, determination, and love it takes to heal them.

  94. The wounded and the underdog heros make my sentimental heart jump a beat. I love that the actions they may take don’t match their true selves, and when that happens the author takes you down this road that surprises you with how worthy and loving the hero is deep down inside and at times has you shedding a few tears as they find there way to love. It’s like finding a rainbow between the gloom and rain. So far my favorite wounded heros are Sydnam from Simply Love by Mary Balogh, Captain Christopher Phelan from Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas, and Gabriel Fairchild from Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Mederios.

    I just read the Notorious Rack and I have a new favorite hero to add to my list of favorites, Edmond Waite. I keep going back and rereading parts of that story.

    Bravo Mary Balogh…

  95. I love history and historical romances. The mixing of the social classes always makes me smile for the under dog, male or female. The wounded hero/ heroines are my favorites. They show strength and love knows no bounds to societies rules. I have read many of your books, serials are my faves as the story continues in each and they all get their loves. Thank you for your love of writing and sharing it with us.

  96. I missed your give-a-way, but given the topic, I had to comment on Sydnam Butler. This is a story I’ve recommended to friends. It’s one my writing teacher recommended to her students. Anne and Sydnam are incredible characters and their story deeply moving. Thank you for giving it to us.

    I love wounded hero stories and have one of my own I hope to sell. 😀 I’m awaiting all the books in your new series with great anticipation.

  97. Wounded heroes are so much more interesting. I think this is probably because most of us have been wounded in one way or another and this makes the possibility of happiness, even after major misfortune, much more real to us. Few of us can identify with characters who have not experienced some sort of adversity, whether it be heartbreak or injury or financial distress.

  98. I love the story of Sydnam and Ann. They are both wounded. It is just that he has physical wounds, so it is easier for others understand that there are emotional wounds as well. Hers are not visible. So it takes someone like Sydnam to understand. I also love how you create the feeling in Ann that her beauty is a curse. It is so true. Things that others envy are often a blessing and a curse.

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