Guest Author & Giveaway: Laura Navarre featuring The Devil's Temptress

Thursday, February 17

I love a dark and brooding hero.  One that is mysterious...who has  a past and has ulterior motives that are slowly revealed to the reader.  Where throughout the story you know he "must" be good, after all he is the hero, but his actions can appear questionable, so there's this constant doubt of whether or not he's to be trusted.  And while the hero may think his soul is black and irredeemable, you ultimately find that he has a heart of gold when all is finally revealed and he is in fact worthy of the love he's found with the heroine.  Laura Navarre proves, "dark" heroes, make "great" heroes...especially when we are talking about, Raven, her hero in THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS.  

Laura is here today to talk about what makes these types of characters so interesting and sometimes irresistible and share insight into her new historical romance THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS.  Read and enjoy!

Protection At A Price:  The Hero as Dark Ally

Who doesn’t like reading about dark heroes?  Even when their deeds are cruel, sinister or violent, we sense there’s a worthy motive or saving grace behind all that danger, a spark of light flickering in the darkness.  As readers, discovering that light in the darkness is one of the reasons we’re intrigued by dark heroes, compelled to learn their stories, and ultimately satisfied by the read.  Dark heroes may be tortured, bitter, solitary, abrasive, violent, angry, depressed, self-hating, vengeful, even disfigured…but it doesn’t discourage us!  Instead, we’re excited by the “danger factor,” our sense of apprehension to know these angry heroes might turn on our heroine at any moment.  

Often in romance, the dark hero first steps onto the page not as a suitor, crush or love interest, but as a reluctant ally—the formidable character whose knowledge, skills, or assets the heroine must have to embark upon her quest, whatever it is she’s seeking.  While the hero may agree (or be compelled) to assist the heroine, his motives for doing so may be far from benign.  Often, his assistance comes at a pretty steep price.  When that happens, the hero functions as a dark ally.    

I define a dark ally as a dangerous, terrifying, or hateful ally whose assistance—while often motivated by selfish, spiteful or even horrific motives (a drive for revenge at any cost, for instance)—is critical to the protagonist’s quest.  As you might expect, the dark ally’s assistance may profoundly alter both the heroine and himself.    

I explore this dynamic in my dark Crusader romance The Devil’s Temptress (Feb. 15, 2011), which takes place at Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court.  Our hero is the Raven—a disgraced Muslim knight known as the Devil of Damascus.  His face scarred by a Saracen blade, voice ruined by the effects of Greek fire, he’ll sell his sword to the highest bidder—and he’s one of the darkest heroes I’ve written.  Yet he agrees to help Lady Alienore of Lyonstone, who’s fled court to escape a forced marriage.  Although Alienore is a strong heroine in her own right, a woman who masquerades as a knight on the tourney field to defend disgraced damsels no other knight will champion, she needs the Raven’s help to escape the soldiers dispatched by an angry king to capture her.  She knows she’s hiring a man utterly devoid of sentiment or chivalry, which makes him a questionable ally to start with.  In truth, the Raven himself is in disguise; he’s her vengeful suitor, and the marriage is all that stands between him and ruination. He saves her from the king’s fury, but his price is her virginity, her honor and her fortune.  This makes him a pretty dark ally!  And his betrayal will transform both of them in ways that are crucial to the story.

In this case, our dark ally is also the hero.  Alternately, the dark ally can function as the other man or woman in a love triangle, a father/mother figure or a mentor. One famous example outside the romance genre is the murderous psychiatrist Hannibal Lector (played by Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs. He’s willing to help FBI agent Clarice Starling identify and locate the serial killer Buffalo Bill not from altruistic motives, but in order to win privileges for himself—and for the sadistic pleasure of getting inside Clarice’s head.

Another example from the silver screen is Severus Snape (insidiously played by Alan Rickman) from the later Harry Potter films.  Snape agrees to help Harry strengthen his magical powers, despite his seething hatred for Harry, solely to defeat Lord Voldemort.  J.K. Rowling plays on this dichotomy between Snape’s noble intentions and his hateful bearing by convincing us, at times, that he’s actually the villain.  This illustrates another function for the dark ally—to serve as a red herring in the story.

Have I convinced you yet that dark heroes and dark allies are useful guys to have around…beyond the obvious reason that they’re sexy?  If not, I’ll keep doing my best to make the point at You can also find some excerpts from The Devil’s Temptress with more of the Raven’s dastardly deeds. And I’d love to know YOUR thoughts about dark heroes and dark allies. Who are your favorites, on the page and the stage?


In the glittering, sumptuous court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, betrayal lurks around every corner. The queen is at odds with her king, and to obey one could mean treason against the other. Even Alienore, considered the most virtuous lady at court, holds secrets: whether masquerading as a knight on the tourney field to defend those without a champion or desperately trying to keep her lands—and her maidenhead—from the Duke of Ormonde.


He is called the Raven—his face scarred by a Saracen blade, his voice raspy with the effects of Greek fire. His parentage is unknown, his prowess legendary. And he’ll sell his sword to the highest bidder. As his piercing eyes track her every move, Alienore wonders who he’s working for now: finding a spy for King Henry? sent by the duke to fetch her home? Or is each heated touch, each whispered promise of pleasure part of a much more personal mission?

Read an excerpt, & read an exclusive look at Ch 2 for Musings readers

Congratulations Laura and thanks so much for being our guest!  The wait for THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS is finally over. Woo hoo!  I really enjoyed The Devil's Mistress, and I have to say that TEMPTRESS was definitely worth the wait.  It was supposed to be released late last year, but with the upheaval at Dorchester  Publishing, the publication date was delayed (like many of it's other titles).  And just so you know it is being released as a digital book first, then later (like Aug 2011) it will be released as a trade sized paperback for those of you who like to read in print.  My review for The Devil's Temptress will post next week in case your interested in more than, "I really really liked it" :)

If you'd like to learn more about Laura and the books she writes you can find her at her website, as well as at Facebook, and Twitter.

To celebrate the release of Laura Navarre's newest historical romance, THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS, she would like to giveaway a digital copy of the book to one lucky Musings follower.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question Laura asked readers in her post, AND show her some comment love by leaving a meaningful comment or question for her.   (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & International addresses
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on February 20th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

Booklover signature (revised)

*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


stacey February 17, 2011 at 2:50 AM  

that thay are harder to win over is one of there Atractions.
I'm a GFC Follower

debbie February 17, 2011 at 6:02 AM  

I like them because they have alot of depth, and you never really know what they are going to do. I would say the elijah price character in the movie unbreakable is a dark ally( even though in the end he was the villian.)
I really like this concept. I hadn't really thought about it before. I would love to read the book.

Tore February 17, 2011 at 7:36 AM  

I like dark heroes because they are tough but there is a softness inside of them. They will do what they have to do even if it means being tough on someone and they will protect the ones they love. Please enter me in contest.

gamistress66 February 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM  

dark heroes can be utterly deliteful. they often have a certain code of ethics that they follow and can be very loyal and honest when it all boils down to the nitty gritty.

The blurb on the new book sounds enticing. Congrats on its release.

Artemis February 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM  

A very unlikely ally, but never a hero, of the small screen of one of my most favorite (albeit now cancelled programs) FARSCAPE: the one, the only Scorpius. John Crichton *sigh* needed him and "Harvey" more than he wanted to admit!

I adore the dark hero/ally. Is there any other type?!? Oh, and that cover...

Old GFC Follower

June M. February 20, 2011 at 2:43 AM  

I like the dark heros and allies in books. They have a dangerous, sexy appeal.

Your book sounds really great. Thanks for the giveaway.

June in KY

Pam S (pams00),  February 20, 2011 at 6:24 PM  

Really enjoyed the interview thanks for sharing! The Devil's Temptress sounds like a great read - so glad it is coming out, congrats on it's release!

I like my heroes and allies... well characters for that matter.. like I like most things in my life... in variety. With that said I do love a good dark and tortured main character. I like the complexity they seem to have, the build up and overcoming of the past as well as their harden nature.

Pam S
pams00 @
gfc follower/subscriber

Laura Navarre February 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM  

Thanks, Artemis and Debbie, for the tips on Farscape and Unbreakable! I'm going to take a look at those for the book I'm writing on dark heroes. :) So glad you enjoyed the guest-blog!

And congrats to Pam, the contest winner!

Happy reading,
Laura Navarre

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Post Archives


1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars Andrea Angels Anthology Aphrodisia Author's Angels Avon Awards Ballantine BDSM Berkley Billionaire Blaze Blog Hop Blue Book Trailers Booklover BookTrib Brava Candlelight Promotions Carina Character Interview Charity Chick Lit Christmas Cleis Press Conference Contemporary Contests Coupons Cover Reveal Cowboy DD Delacorte Demons Disappointments Disclosures DNF Domestic Violence Dorchester Dreamspinner Press ElaineReads ELF Ellora's Cave Entangled Publishing Erotic Romance Erotica Event Everything Else F/F Romance Fantasy Romance Favorites of 2009 Favorites of 2010 Favorites of 2011 Favorites of 2012 Favorites of 2014 Feature Feel the Heat Firemen Flipbook Forced Seduction Forever Romance Freebies Fun Friday Futuristic Gallery Ghosts Giveaway Goddess Fish Grand Central Guest Harlequin Hidden Gems Highland Romance Historical Fiction Historical Romance Holiday Theme HQN Humor Infidelity Intermix Interracial Romance Interview Irish Romance Julia Just Jinny Kensington Lendle Giveaway Librarian Links LitConnect Loose Id Loveswept M/M Romance Medieval Romance Melissa Meme Menage Menagerie Michele Military Romance MIRA Mira. Month in Review Movie Star Movies Muse Pictures Music Musician Mystery NAL New Adult Newsworthy Noble Romance Non-Fiction Novella Paranormal Romance Pierced Pirates Pocket Books Poem Poll Quickie Giveaway Quiz Random House Reading Challenges Reading Lists Recipes Reviews Riptide Publishing Rock Star Romance Hint Fiction Romantic Suspence Royal Romances Samhain Sci-Fi Scorpio M Seductive Museums Seductive Saturday Self Published Serial Novel Shapeshifters Share the Love Siren Small Town Sneak Peek Sourcebooks Spice Sports St. Martin's Steampunk Romance Summer Reads Sunday Brunch Surveys Susannah Tattoo TBR Thursday's Thoughts Time Travel Romance Tuesday Teasers Urban Fantasy Vampires Victorian Videos Vikings Virgin Western Winners

My FREE Kindle Quest

I've wanted a Kindle for what seems like forever, but haven't been able to afford it (and that's saying something since I can justify the cost of just about ANYTHING that I really want). I've tried winning one in one of the many giveaways that have taken place over the couple of years, but with no luck :( So I've decided to take matters in hand so to speak :) I've now decided that I am going to accumulate enough Swagbucks from my Swabucks searches to buy in essence my new Kindle will be FREE...funded entirely by my internet searches done on Swagbucks. I'll keep you informed of the Great Kindle Quest below (in case you're interested....if not feel free to just skip over this part, but really who wouldn't be interested in a FREE Kindle?)
Goal: $119
Current Swagbucks Amazon Gift Card balance: $90.00
If you'd like to learn how you can earn Swagbucks and earn your own Amazon Gift Cards to buy books, a Kindle or other merchandise sold at Amazon contact me and I would be more than happy to tell you how I plan to go about it. (just so you know you can earn both and gift cards on this rewards site)
Invesp landing page optimization

Book Blogs

  © Blogger template Foam by 2009

Back to TOP