(Soldiering On, #3)
Publication date: March 2nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Radha Iyer knows there’s something terribly wrong happening at the casino she manages. Her staff are acting cagey, the finances don’t add up, and then her Head of Security is found murdered in his own home. She’s out of her depth and desperate for help.
Zack Walker has kept to himself since the day an IED left him permanently scarred. When Radha calls Soldiering On for help, his degree in math makes him the obvious choice to go undercover as the new Head of Security to help her discover what’s going on and who’s responsible.
But the conspiracy they uncover goes deeper than either of them could have imagined. When their investigation is compromised, it puts them both in mortal peril and on the run. With nowhere to turn they must rely on each other, but danger and betrayal lurk in every shadow…
The Appeal Of The Wounded Hero
Beauty and the Beast. Scarred Hero. Wounded Hero. Whatever you call it, I’m a fan. It’s definitely one of my favourite tropes. In fact, my Soldiering On series is built around this very trope. The series features four heroes (and one heroine!), all wounded in different ways.
On lists of favourite romance tropes, this one shows up every single time. So I’m not the only one that loves it! The question is, what’s the appeal?
Part of it, I believe, is that it shows a hero that has conquered some adversity. Whether they were wounded in childhood, in an accident, or in war, they still experienced something difficult and survived. Resilience is a very admirable quality in a romantic hero. It hints at a depth of character and experience that most of us couldn’t imagine.
But it’s not just that. It is also what the trope represents, and the kind of dynamics that it usually plays to.
I like wounded heroes, because I like heroes that are a little less sure of themselves. (Beta heroes are my jam!) Usually in these stories it is the hero that falls for the heroine first. So, when I read a blurb about a wounded hero, I will often assume that the story will be packaged with two of my other favourite tropes—Hero in Pursuit, and the hero’s “unrequited” pining (that is really requited!).
In addition to this, it will often give the reader a hint that the hero is not all that confident in himself. Maybe he doesn’t think he’s good enough for the heroine. And that is such a refreshing dynamic in this world of arrogant Alpha Billionaires that it is something I actively seek out.
Also, writing military heroes, it’s all-too-easy to make them superhuman. So the wounded element softens their abilities, making them more relatable and realistic.
Sometimes part of the appeal is that the story is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale/Disney movie that many of us love. In this case, there is also a sense of nostalgia that can go along with the reading. Particularly when the story has been made sexier or dark, more grown up. It can be all the things that you love about the original with an adult flavour to it.
Another appealing element is that there needs to be a lot of character growth from the hero to be worthy of the heroine. He needs to grow in his self-confidence, learn to trust the heroine, and put himself out there in order to earn his happy ending. I find that a much more appealing character arc than a more arrogant man learning humility, but I know that’s my personal taste!
I hope you enjoy reading my wounded heroes as much as I liked writing them!
Aislinn is an Australian Expat living in Qatar. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and History, which she loved, and then went on to do a Masters in an unrelated field. She now largely pretends that last degree never happened.
She is the author of the ‘Soldiering On’ books, a Romantic Suspense series. She enjoys reading, writing, travelling, and fantasising about her future cottage in a forest. Now that she’s published, her next life dream is to own a dog.
This is where she would list her awards if she had any.