Please give a warm welcome to Sharon Page

SharonPageAuthorPhoto1

Romances that Heal

I’m very excited to be guest blogging here today and I wanted to talk about two of my favourite themes in romance: redemption and healing.

My second historical romance, Engaged in Sin, released in November, and features ones of my most tortured heroes, Devon Audley, the Duke of March. Wounded in battle at Waterloo, Devon was left blinded and is tormented by memories war.

EngagedinSin_Page

I love stories where the heroine heals the hero; where the hero is brave and noble, but is being crushed by the weight of guilt, loss, or painful memories. Devon Audley went to war even though, as a duke’s son and heir to the title, he should not go. He went to escape the grief of losing his fiancée, only to throw himself into a horrifying nightmare of violence and loss. When he returns to England without his sight and suffering ‘battle-madness’ as he terms it, he refuses to go to his family, as he doesn’t want to burden them. Instead he behaves like a recluse and hides in his country house. Devon refuses to accept help—until the heroine, Anne Beddington, thrusts herself into his life.

Anne is in danger. She is on the run, accused of a crime she did not commit. When she learns Devon’s friend intends to hire a courtesan to give Devon a little “sexual healing”, Anne pretends to be the ladybird, trying to keep her past a secret.

Anne’s touch brings Devon more than pleasure. Gradually, she helps to heal his heart and soul. Here is a small excerpt from one of my favourite scenes. In it, Devon has just been woken from a nightmare by Anne…

“I mean what did you do to me that made me leap up and slam you onto the ground?”

“I—I brushed your hair out of your eyes.”

“Exactly. It was an inconsequential touch, but it set me off like a flame reaching a keg of gunpowder. I’m mad. The war, the battles, the blindness, the killing and the grief—I wasn’t strong enough to let it all just glance off me. I’m no war hero—all throughout the damned thing, I was filled with pain and fury and grief and doubts. A hero is a man who is filled with confidence, who takes action and doesn’t waste time on remorse. He doesn’t hide in the blasted dark. He gets a damned grip on himself. But I can’t. I’ve gone out of my wits, and I’m going madder by the day. I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse. That’s why I have Treadwell to scare people away.”

“You are drinking too much,” she said firmly. “That is probably why you are getting worse. If you were to stop drinking—”

“I like drinking,” he snapped. What was wrong with the chit? Didn’t she recognize the need to get away from him and stop arguing?

“But it doesn’t help—”

“It helps me. And I intend to do a fair bit of drinking right now. So you need to get out of this room and leave me alone. For the rest of the night, you will stay in that bedchamber. You will not come out until I summon you.”

Devon expected to hear her footsteps patter across the floor. If there ever was a cue for a woman to hasten out of a room, this was it. But, no, the stubborn wench was not moving.

“Go,” he roared. “Get out now.”

He should have felt satisfaction as her feet slapped against the floorboards, then the door slammed—obviously behind her as she left. Instead, he now needed a drink because he felt like a blackguard. War hero. His bark of laughter rang in the room. What a blasted joke that was.

(Excerpt from Engaged in Sin ©2011 by Sharon Page)

When I first decided to write Engaged in Sin, I wanted to ensure I portrayed Devon’s struggled with blindness and post traumatic stress accurately. To my good luck, a television documentary on post traumatic stress disorder aired while I was writing the story. And I was able to find two amazing books on blindness.

The first book was a memoir written by a man who lost his sight, called “On Sight and Insight” by John M. Hull. I had certain preconceptions about how blindness would affect Devon—for example, I thought his other senses would become better to compensate for his blindness. However in the memoir, the author said his senses did not actually improve—they were just all he had to rely on. For me, that was an astounding discovery and touched my heart.

The second book was a biography of James Holman, a young naval officer who lost his sight in 1811. He went on to become a world traveler, and his life story is fascinating. While blind, he crossed Siberia in a sleigh. From this book, “The Blind Traveler”, I learned how medicine in England dealt with blindness. Surgeons at the time resorted to the technique of couching to deal with cataracts—which involved giving a blow to the eye with a slender spike to detach the lens. Scary stuff.

I think this research helped me create a realistic tortured hero in Devon Audley. Do you enjoy romances with a healing theme? What are your favourites?  I’ll be giving away a copy of Engaged in Sin to one lucky commenter.

Visit Sharon at www.sharonpage.com

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About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at http://www.cindygerard.com
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27 Responses to Please give a warm welcome to Sharon Page

  1. Quilt Lady says:

    I really enjoy books with the healing themes. My favorites lately has been Maya Banks Highlander series. The last two in the series had healing theme. Seduced by a Highland Lass I think was my favorite of them. They were all good though

    • Sharon Page says:

      Hi Quilt Lady
      I haven’t read Maya Banks’ series, but it looks really good and I want to pick it up. Especially after I saw her video done by Tessa Dare. The video was fun, and for me it highlighted how poignant and emotional the books sounded.

  2. Stonehawk says:

    Being deaf I sort of like the theme of the hero having some kind of disability while the heroine heals him or pairs herself to him as his. There’s a paranormal romance series that have a blind hero who is actually a vampire. Not so sure if i should post the book with the blind hero but its called “Dark Lover” by J. R. Ward. Of all the characters in Ward’s series I happen to like the blind hero called “Wrath” the most more than any other character in the series. so check it out.

    • Sharon Page says:

      Hi Stonehawk
      Dark Lover sounds great and I definitely will check it out. I’ve read a little of J.R. Ward and they look like intense books. I write a vampire series for Kensington, so I’m really interested to check them out.

  3. Laurie G says:

    I find myself emotionally pulling for these wounded heroes. I liked Elizabeth Hoyt’s Legend of Four Soldiers series. Lisa Kleypas’s Sebastian in Devil in Winter. Elizabeth Lowell has several heroes who have been traumatized, Hawk in A Woman Without Lies, Dominic in Untamed.

    • Sharon Page says:

      My favorite was Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Beguile A Beast. I thought it was great how she paired a wounded hero with a heroine who was also emotionally wounded, yet the heroine was strong enough to heal the hero. The hero is reclusive, and my favorite scene was when the heroine, acting as his housekeeper, talks him into buying a new teapot. He refuses at first, but by the end of the conversation, he lets her buy one, while believing he won the round. It was lovely.

  4. kris says:

    I love a wounded hero….either physical or emotional. Your book sounds awesome, I can’t wait to read it!

  5. AlisonP says:

    Engaged in Sin sounds amazing. Right up my alley! I love the tortured hero healed by the heroine theme. One of my favorites is Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell.

    • Sharon Page says:

      Hi Alison
      I absolutely adored Captive of Sin. The hero had been held prisoner, chained to corpses, and could not bear human touch. It was simply brilliant and such an amazing conflict for the hero.

  6. michelehauf says:

    Welcome, Sharon! The excerpt sounds awesome. Will have to look for this one!

  7. lois greiman says:

    Thanks so much for riding with us, Sharon. Gorgeous cover. Wonderful concept.

    • Sharon Page says:

      Thanks so much for having me here, Lois. I loved your post yesterday, where you mentioned that you saw a book on Amazon that you didn’t recognize. That’s happened to me–I think for me it’s a sign that I’ve tried to pack too much in the brain and things are starting to fall out.

  8. Leanne Banks says:

    Congratulations Sharon! Your premise is fantastic and your research fascinating. Thanks for joining us in the vert today!!!:)

    • Sharon Page says:

      Thanks Leanne, and everyone, for hosting me here. Research is one of my favorite parts, because I get to find so many fascinating books and I have the perfect excuse to read them–it’s work 🙂

  9. Sharon Page says:

    I also just wanted to let everyone know I have a e-novella available now at Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99. (It will be coming soon to B&N). It’s called Sinful. The hero is a former Bow Street Runner hired to find a missing debutante. Suspecting she eloped, he hunts down a celebrated dressmaker in London who helps young ladies escape before they are forced to go through with loveless duty marriages. He discovers the modiste, Estelle, is the woman he was supposed to marry years ago, but who ran away and disappeared.

  10. Welcome, Sharon!

    Youe selected the perfect excerpt. I’m getting myself Englaged In Sin immediately. Tortured heroes are my favorites, and I adore a great healing/redemption story.

  11. Na says:

    This sounds just my kind of story. The more tortured the hero the better and it’s not because I want them to suffer but because I want to see them overcome them, become a better person and see the impact love can have on them. Devon Audley sounds like he need love and I know the woman will have to really special to reach through his barriers and touch his heart. I will add this to my wishlist, it sounds wonderful.

    • Sharon Page says:

      Hi Na,
      It is so true–I love to see how the hero heals, the process that he goes through. I want to see how he conquers the setbacks that inevitably happen. And I want to see how the heroine gets through to him. Seeing that problems can be solved and things can be conquered always leaves me feeling better.

  12. LSUReader says:

    Engaged in Sin sounds like a great read. Thanks for visiting, Sharon.

    Regarding books with healing as a theme…Elizabeth Hoyt did a four-book series (The Legend of the Four Soldiers,) whose heroes had served together in North America during the French and Indian War. There is a recurring plot point joining all the books–who betrayed them? How each fared and how each lives through (and with) his betrayal and healing is a unique story. This is a wonderful series and I highly recommend it.

    • Sharon Page says:

      That is a terrific series. I first found Elizabeth Hoyt when my agent raved about The Raven Prince, and it was really terrific. I haven’t read the Maiden Lane series, but it looks really good and is going to be my treat after my January deadline.

  13. Barbara Elness says:

    I do enjoy romances with a healing theme, it’s interesting to see how the characters deal with whatever misfortunes they encounter and then find love and healing with each other. My most favorite theme is a second chance at love, it is nice to see people who have made mistakes in the past figure out how to get past them and care for each other again.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

    • Sharon Page says:

      Second chance at love and reunion stories are some of my favorites. It is like healing, in a way, when the characters overcome the issues that drove them apart.
      I really loved Sherry Thomas’s Private Arrangements and Not Quite a Husband.

  14. Chelsea B. says:

    Wow, I am so glad I read this post. This book sounds terrific! I love tortured heroes, as wrong as that probably sounds 😉

    • Sharon Page says:

      Thanks Chelsea

      Another book with a healing theme that I loved is Lisa Kleypas’ Love in the Afternoon. The hero and heroine fall in love when they exchange letters while he is in the Crimean War, and the content of those letters is so touching and wonderful.

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